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Volkswagen’s 3rd-gen Golf TDI BlueMotion rated at 73.5 mpg US; 15% better than predecessor

New Golf TDI BlueMotion. Click to enlarge.

Volkswagen’s third-generation Golf TDI BlueMotion, introduced as a concept at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris last September(earlier post), is rated with fuel consumption of 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpg US) on the NEDC—equivalent to 85 g/km CO2. This represents a 15% improvement in fuel consumption compared to the previous model.

Volkswagen launched the first generation of the Golf BlueMotion in 2007.At that time, the Volkswagen set a new benchmark for sustainability with a fuel consumption value of 4.5 l/100 km (52.3 mpg US), or 119 g/km CO2. The second generation of the Golf BlueMotion—with fuel consumption of 3.8 l/100 km (61.9 mpg US), or 99 g/km CO2—made its debut in autumn 2009.

With numerous aerodynamic modifications, the Golf TDI BlueMotion achieves a Cd value of 0.27, contributing to its low fuel consumption. The aerodynamics of the TDI BlueMotion were enhanced, among other things, by a lowered chassis (by 15 mm), a special roof spoiler, a radiator grille that is almost closed to the outside (with integrated BlueMotion lettering), partially closed air inlet screens in the bumper, optimized cooling airflow and special underfloor panels.

Curb weight was reduced by 49 kg (108 lbs). The BlueMotion model also incorporates the features that are standard for all new Golf models: the Stop/Start system and battery regeneration mode; inner-engine modifications with the TDI; a wider spaced 6-speed manual gearbox; and tires with extremely low rolling resistance.

The new Golf TDI BlueMotion accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 10.5 seconds; in 4th gear, the Golf TDI BlueMotion accelerates in 9.0 seconds from 80 to 120 km/h (50 to 75 mph).

New TDI engine. The 1,598 cm3 turbo direct injection engine (TDI) is a four-valve four-cylinder engine of the new EA 288 range. It produces 81 kW (109 hp) in the engine speed range from 3,200 to 4,000 rpm. The TDI equipped with common rail injection develops a maximum torque of 250 N·m (184 lb-ft) starting at 1,500 rpm and running up to 3,000 rpm. As a result, the Golf TDI BlueMotion can be driven more frequently than on average with very low torques and thus in a very fuel-efficient operating range, VW suggests.

Construction details such as reduced internal friction (among other things, through piston rings with low pre-tension and the use of low-friction bearings on the camshaft); a novel thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase (e.g. separate cooling circulation loops for the cylinder head and the cylinder crankcase as well as a deactivatable water pump); exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), cylinder pressure sensor, two-stage oil pump and the water-cooled intercooler located in the intake lead to a further reduction of fuel consumption and emissions compared to the displaced engine.

For emissions control, Volkswagen also employs a NOx storage catalytic converter and a diesel particulate filter close to the engine.

Modified 6-speed gearbox. The engine’s power is transmitted to the wheels via a 6-speed gearbox. Volkswagen engineers tuned the gearbox especially for use in the new Golf TDI BlueMotion. Among other modifications, they integrated a 6th gear with a longer ratio for lowering the torque; moreover, the gearbox works with a new fuel-efficient oil featuring a low viscosity, which heightens its effectiveness.



Almost 74 mpg versus USA's new cars and light trucks fleet of about 24 mpg is a real 3X achievement in fuel efficiency.

A hand to VW for mass producing a fuel efficient car.

Let's hope that the 20+ other car manufacturers will do the same?

Will the new Passat TDI do (relatively) the same?

Bob Wallace

Apparently the Blue Motion TDIs won't pass US crash safety standards. Is that correct?

We get a heavier, larger engine TDI is seems.

Trevor Carlson

"(73.5 mpg US) on the NEDC" is not the same as 74 MPG rating average on the EPA test cycle.

If this vehicle isn't homologated to be sold in the U.S. why compare it to the U.S. version? Just give VW a hand for the improvements they've been able to achieve free of U.S. requirements. (namely safety and emissions)

HarveyD, if you still can't comprehend why the U.S. is different maybe you should start a petition to U.S. Congress to gut the EPA, NHTSA, DOT, etc. and move to copy Euro standards for passenger vehicles. Or just move to Canada or Europe and quit griping about U.S. vehicles not getting the best MPG.


BW is probably correct but why, are these the real reasons?

1. USA's people are heavier (not to say more obese)than EU's?
2. USA's families are larger than EU's?
3. USA's drivers have to compete with more Hummers than EU's?
4. Stronger Oil lobbies to satisfy?
5. Stronger Big-3 car manufacturers to satisfy?
6. Stronger Unions to satisfy?

It is certainly not a matter of safety and lower emissions.


One day, we may have a set of International Standards based on the metric system?

Km/L of diesel, gasoline, gasoline/ethanol mixture, NG etc would be interesting for ICEVs and/

Km/kWh for EVs would also be interesting.


With future improved communication between EV batteries and ultra quick chargers, the latter will automatically adjust the DC voltage and current density to satisfy various battery packs.

Standards for ultra high capacity connectors & cables remain to be designed and approved. EU is close to reaching an agreement.



You forgot the main reason why similar cars get worse mileage in the US: US EPA tests are tougher and compare much more favorably to real-life mileage figures.
According to a recent GCC article, EU figures are around 25% too optimistic, while US figures are within 10%.

That and the fact that air pollution is taken much more seriously in the US, which means that diesel cars need much more complex exhaust treatment systems than they do in Europe.
Mind you, Europe is catching on. The mayor of Paris recently proposed a ban on diesel cars in his city. It probably won't happen, but you never know. Health is more important than a few pennies saved at the pump.


If the Euro rating is dropped by 20%, it's still over 58 mpg - which makes 54.5 mpg very US doable (years ahead).


I don't really agree that the U.S. has much more strict emission regulations than Europe (as of Euro 5b and Euro 6 at least). The current Euro standards are less strict with respect to NOx compared to Tier 2/LEV II, but they're more strict with respect to both CO and particulate emissions (NMHC about the same as T2B5). The test duty cycles are not identical (FTP in the U.S. and NEDC in Europe) so direct comparisons may not be fully valid.

All new diesel vehicles certified in Europe are now required to meet a particle number (PN) limit (6X10^11 particles/km) which is a very restrictive limit (most gasoline cars can't meet that limit without a filter, especially GDI, even in the NEDC).

Presumably, this Golf TDI BlueMotion will be certified to Euro 6 since it will be implemented in 2014, although it's not explicitly stated in the press release.


Driving style is also another factor but very different 'on-board' cargo/passenger + vehicle weight may be more important to explain the differences. Another factor may be fuel quality differences. I didn't see any '87' gasoline for sale in EU during my last visit (6500 Km) but I didn't pay much attention to diesel fuel?

The average per vehicle/Km emissions are much lower in EU than in USA.


man why can't we get this car in AMKERICA huhuhuhuuh I want a highway cruiser damnit!


In another news article, I saw that they referred to Euro 6. The car should have a NOx storage catalyst for NOx abatement. A recent article in the MTZ journal describes the technology of the new VW diesel engines. Larger vehicles will have a combined SCR catalyst and DPF.


Don't count on getting this kind of economy if you use this car mainly to drive to the supermarket and the kids to school.


HarveyD 87 Octane is not available in Europe. The lowest Octane is 89 (95 RON) Unleaded then there's premium which ranges between 97 and 99 RON depending on brand. Shell's V-Power Nitro is 99 RON I believe, as is Tesco's super unleaded - the latter being bad form mileage as ethanol has been used to provide the octane boost.


What are the effects of mpg?


May I remind you that this car runs on diesel fuel, not 87-octane gasoline. The diesel fuel quality in EU is generally significantly better than in the USA. This makes adaption of engine technology for US conditions more difficult, although not impossible. If there is some environmental concern in the USA, the diesel fuel should be reformulated. Then, the same engine technology could be introduced much faster also in the USA. Strict emission limits and poor fuel quality seems as a strange combination in my view.

A comment about PN is that the limit for gasoline cars will be 6x10^12, i.e. 10 times higher than for diesel cars. Not until a couple of years later, the same limit will apply for both fuels. Particle filters is one solution to meet this limit. In the USA, PN limits are not yet on the agenda (although other emission limits are tough).


Harvey D,

You do not understand R&D and engineering ,nor can you understand the differences when you compare apples and oranges.

NEDC Is a ridiculously optimistic mileage evaluator.

To make you happy, I suggest that you start a petition to have EPA multiply present EPA mileage estimates by 4 times. Then cars will "achieve" more than 100 mpg, and you will be happy that NAFTA cars get better mileage than EU ones do.

It may have been true once upon a time, that EU diesel was much cleaner than NAFTA fuels but that changed two years ago, when ULSD diesel was first required. US gasoline is not as clean as EU gasoline today, but new regulations are in effect that will clean them to better then EU standards in a few years.

EU VI is NOT in any way shape or form equivalent to T2 B5. Unlike here, the EU specs do not apply to all engines, no matter the size. The total emissions from a 7 or 8 liter diesel in NAFTA will be about equal to the emissions of a sub 1 liter EU engine, when EU VI is fully implemented. The CO comparisons are irrelevant for such dissimilar sized engines. For comparable 1-3 liter engines the US regulations are tighter as CO, the only place EU specs are better, is virtually un-measureable on similar sized US engines.

EU VI is more comparable to T2 B9-11 overall when fully implemented on all sized engines in 2016 or 2017. Meanwhile US emission regulations are tightening to T2 B2,(aka L3 SULEVII). This is a ZEV emission level to be found in EVs, heretofore. IOW, to totally clean, pristine Air Quality in NAFTA. Plus these ICE based ZEVs actually cleanse the ambient air, while EVs don't.

OTOH, it is nice to see that the EU is now at last entering the world of regulating toxic emissions, if only 40 years late. After spending and wasting time on CO2, which has minimal impact on anything now, or likely in a few hundred years.

But to quote a famous phrase, "Welcome to the Fight. I know, we will win".


Pop one of these 1.6L TDI engines into a jetta hybrid instead of the 1.4L TSI and watch the mpg numbers soar from 42/48 to something much higher.


It will probably take 40 years until the USA will even consider regulating nanoparticles, i.e. particle number emissions (PN), which is the most hazardous emission component regarding human health effects. May I suggest that you start a petition to have EPA to regulate PN and that you avoid commenting on the topic of “toxic emissions” until this happen.


USA's standards will always be different than the rest of the world. That has always been used to block and/or delay imports of superior vehicles from EU and Asia.

It is a very old commercial game that USA has been playing since/before the Boston Tea Party. It is called money Democracy at work.

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