I've just handed back a 1.6 litre Volkswagen Caddy Bluemotion to the VW Press dept - quite reluctantly! Over the course of three days I covered nearly 1,000 miles (well, 875.6 to be exact) on everything from single track roads to Motorways and at no time did the fuel consumption fall below an average of 50 mpg.
This was the 102 PS (100 bhp) version with the 5 speed gearbox. And why not a six speeder? Because that’s not what this van is about, it is more of a mobile toolbox than 'overtaking lane hogger'. The 'Bluemotion' tag means that it is optimised for fuel efficiency, so it's no GTI either!
Despite that, it's first run was mainly Motorway, all the way from New St Even's Town to Prodrive's test track at Warwick, and back. On that 525 mile round trip, the Caddy averaged 53 mpg. It should have been a lot better than that, but I got fed up sitting at 60, and the speed kind of crept up to 70 mph (and beyond!) so who was I to hold it back? Besides, there was work to be done in Warwick so I didn’t want to dawdle.
On my return home I immediately headed north to Aberdeen where it is dangerous to exceed 60 mph – only because of the profusion of cameras and camera vans on the A90 and frequent, very large tractors!
And just for a change, on the return home I headed south via Banchory and over the sinuous Cairn O’Mount road with its vertigo inspiring climbs and hair raising descents. Considering how hard the wee motor had to work I was surprised to record 51.54 mpg on that 250 mile round trip.
Although the gearbox had to be used to get the best out of it on the Cairn O’Mount climbs, the 1.6 litre engine was more than up to the task, so there was little concession to the Bluemotion technology in real terms.
The remainder of the mileage was tootling around locally and with a little bit of concentration I was easily exceeding 60 mpg. The only drawback is that the Bluemotion badge adds 400 quid to the price, but that could be easily recouped with fuel savings over the first year depending on use. But even for a burly six footer, it's a crackin' wee van.