Volkswagen polo bluemotion

Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion

There are a few debates that will rage on until the end of time: global warming, economic health, the Iraq war and um, speed cameras. Yep you read that correctly. You see I haven’t met a motorist who doesn’t despise speed cameras and their purpose. I know we’re told they help reduce crashes as they are only erected in ‘accident black spots’ but everyone knows that they pay for the police to have drinks at Christmas every year. If you disagree it’s probably because you think I want to go everywhere at 100mph and I can’t because I’ll be caught. You’d be correct. However I have a friend who drives a Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion and whose sole purpose is to get from A to B economically in an affordable car and he doesn’t like the Big Brother element to them, so having to drive slowly isn’t the only consideration.

My gripe is that I now spend more time looking at my speedometer than the road ahead and have surely run many people over without knowing it. It’s interesting that Swindon Council have taken the decision to remove their speed cameras as they see no correlation in using them and the reduction in accidents. With cars getting safer each year you’d expect the numbers of deaths on our roads to reduce naturally, however it has remained static at approximately 3,000 per year – speed cameras or not.

This then is an odd situation. If cars are getting safer and speed cameras don’t make any difference you’d still expect the number of deaths to reduce. So is the reality that speed cameras do help reduce fatal accidents and cars are getting worse? Well no that’s rubbish as European Car Safety testing has witnessed massive improvements in the past decade. The answer then must be with the person behind the wheel of the car, or more pointedly their intelligence.

By enforcing a 30mph speed limit for all because of some idiot having a crash you penalise those with a brain. As noted above I am guilty of creeping over the speed limit on the motorway or on a deserted A-road at night, but I’d never drive through a school zone during home-time at 50mph. The answer then is to rid the world of speed cameras and dependent on your IQ, have your car’s speed limited.

In the interim you could take a big step in displaying intelligence by considering the Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion as your next car (assuming you’re after a small hatchback that is). The additional ‘Bluemotion’ tag is more than just a name, but a big shouty word that means this Polo is very economical and environmentally friendly. The mpg in this little car is a whopping 73 and this is due to a few clever tweaks from Volkswagen. Firstly the front grill has been modified along with the rest of the front end to slip through the air more efficiently. The rear roof spoiler is subtle but also plays a vital role in the car being more aerodynamic, along with smaller wing mirrors and tall skinny tyres to reduce resistance against the tarmac.

The engine is a 1.4 litre diesel that can be found in the standard Polo range. The difference in the Bluemotion is the valve timing, exhaust and catalytic converter have all been fettled to improve efficiency. The three cylinder engine can be noisy when you put your foot down, however for a little car it is a surprisingly competent motorway cruiser with minimal wind noise (proof the styling changes have worked) a comfortable ride and a long top gear.

Speaking of top gear, the car show of the same name recently raced from Basle in Switzerland to Blackpool in England using a single tank of fuel for the 750 mile journey. The Volkswagen won the race and despite running on fumes in the final stages completed the journey – testament if ever there was one that you don’t need an expensive hybrid car to be economical. The Polo Bluemotion is actually more frugal on fuel than the Toyota Prius and much cheaper to buy.

In terms of cost, expect to pay £12,000 for the Volkswagen which is similarly priced to the 1.4 TDI version of the Polo which does have more kit in terms of air conditioning and other luxuries (these are absent in the Bluemotion along with electric windows to save weight), so you’ll need to weigh up the fuel cost savings of the Bluemotion derivative with having less kit to play with.

The best thing about the Bluemotion however is whilst speed cameras remain; you won’t be going fast enough to be caught out and you’ll be showing everyone how intelligent you are at the same time.

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