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Why The Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion Could Save The Planet

May 16, 2008
With global warming threatening to warm up our shores to the extent that we'll live in a Mediterranean climate, I went out and bought some baking oil to help top up my suntan. The idea of sitting out on Christmas day sipping on my Pina Colada by the swimming pool isn't exactly my idea of hell. In fact I thought I'd speed up the process so I jumped into the latest Volkswagen Polo and revved off to the shops rather than walk the 100 yards, washed my clothes on the hottest wash possible, threw out all my recyclables as normal rubbish and then washed the Volkswagen Polo with a high powered hose and left the water running for a good five minutes after I needed to.

It was a good day and one that followed to the next until in one week my carbon footprint had grown to the size of a big, not-so-friendly giant. This frivolity seemed infallible; surely everyone will thank me for warming up our cold winter? Then it happened - my road to Damascus moment. I was packing my ten items into ten separate plastic carrier bags in a supermarket when the cashier asked if I needed so many. Sensing her mis-understanding, I explained that I was helping people just like her and if anything, I should be revered rather than lambasted. "Haven't you thought that if the polar cap melts we won't have a country to worry about?" came the response. There and then the energy-saving light bulb in my head switched on, I bought a reusable carrier bag and changed my life.

I can now often be found separating my cardboards from my plastics ready for recycling and be seen cheerfully walking to the shops. I am rehabilitated into sustainable and 'green' thinking and won't be caught falling off the wagon like Pete Doherty. "Bet you still drive though" you're probably saying, to which I'd happily say "yes" and point in the direction of the one aspect to remain unchanged - the Volkswagen Polo.

You see, it's not just any VW Polo, it's a Bluemotion 1 and that means it's greener than a bag of frozen peas. In fact, the car is so low on carbon dioxide emissions (just 99g/km of the stuff) that it is exempt from being charged road tax as it falls into the VED Band A. Not really sure the ins and outs of this classification but it'll save you plenty of cash that's for sure.

The savings don't end there either. The fuel consumption is so low you'll think the gauge is broken as it seems to stay wedged on 'full'. In fact the exact return is 74.3mpg from the 1.4 litre diesel engine and although you won't receive whiplash from the acceleration (a 0-60 time of 12.8 seconds) it's nippy enough to get around town and refined enough on tear up the motorway miles.

Airbags, CD player and electric windows are standard across the Bluemotion range, although for a bit of extra cash the aptly named Bluemotion 2 offers central locking, rain-sensing automatic windscreen wipers and air-conditioning. The extra weight of these extras does increase CO2 emissions to 104g/km which means the road tax collectors will come knocking on your door.

Quite frankly though all the above means diddly squat if the driving experience is reminiscent of that bit in Casino Royale where Bond has his nether regions smacked about with a piece of knotted rope. You needn't worry as the rest of the Bluemotion is near enough like any other Volkswagen Polo. The 14 inch alloy wheels are wrapped in larger profile rubber to reduce resistance against the tarmac and inevitably this means handling is slightly woollier than on a standard Polo. Despite this, the overall driving experience remains a good one - especially motorway driving where wind and road noise are kept to a minimum.

The styling retains the German elegance of the current Volkswagen range, with the Bluemotion gaining a subtle rear spoiler and smaller mirrors to help aerodynamics and in turn increase efficiency. The alloy wheels mentioned earlier set the car apart from it's siblings without being too brash. My personal favourite has to be the rear light clusters that give the back end of the Polo the look of Optimus Prime from Transformers.

So there you have it. If you want to help save the planet, consider buying a Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion - just don't expect it to turn into a robot to help out.
About the Author
Jake Delur is an automotive author currently writing on behalf of Alan Day VW to promote the VW Polo and the rest of the Volkswagen range.
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