It’s so long since I last posted that WordPress has changed almost beyond recognition and I had some difficulty in getting started again. Serves me right I suppose but in some ways a lot has happened in the past year, enough to keep me distracted elsewhere but not enough that I would want to report in much detail on the blog.
As readers of this blog with long memories might recall, just over a year ago I had sold our VW camper and our 1970 Morris Minor Traveller and bought a Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion. Then I threw a spanner into the works by having a stroke and going to hospital for a couple of weeks. Fortunately I made a fairly good recovery, which continues.
To buy a nearly new car (and a 2010 model is nearly new in my book) is a major departure for me. Around 1970 I bought two new cars for a business that I was running at the time but otherwise it has always been classic cars, or cars that have soon started to be regarded as classics. So it was quite a surprise for me to discover how much small cars have “moved on” in recent years.
I always used to think of modern cars (especially relatively inexpensive ones) as featureless Euroboxes and not at all interesting and tended to concentrate my attention on various classic cars, or at least relatively lively small saloons. I no longer have the space and facilities for maintaining and restoring cars, nor the inclination for that matter at my age. So prior to buying the Polo I was looking for something small, comfortable for two and economical. Our anticipated low mileage should be expected to ensure low maintenance. I bought the car in May 2016 (when it was five-and-a-half years old) and am still most impressed by how well it suits all requirements.
The proper model name of the car is ” Polo Bluemotion TDI”. The Bluemotion bit refers to the many features which were designed to ensure fuel economy, such as the special tyres, for low rolling resistance and the smooth contours of the car (including underneath) for low wind resistance, among others. There is also a feature which switches the engine off and on as appropriate when stationery in traffic. Re-starting never fails but I find it unnerving because the engine is so quiet that I cannot be sure when it is running but in any case a lot of re-starting in town traffic must drain the battery too quickly and cause unnecessary wear and tear on the starter motor. Fortunately there is a switch to turn the feature off.
There is a 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder diesel engine which is surprisingly lively when accelerating aggressively yet has ample performance without seeming to struggle when driven normally. I expected the five forward gears to be useful but still worried that long motorway trips would feel boring and underpowered in a car designed for fuel economy. Not so. The Polo is fun to drive and if the dashboard indicator is to be believed, I can move at 70mph (the UK’s maximum limit) and still get 70 miles per gallon, on a level motorway. The car is light and compact and very easy to handle at all speeds and it is quiet enough, even at 70mph, to have a conversation with my wife without raising my voice. It is comfortable and manages poor road surfaces admirably and the dashboard instruments are particularly informative.
There is an indicator on the dash to tell you your fuel consumption at any particular moment and the same shows various other figures such as how many “miles” are left in the tank. Another display advises when to change gear which, even for experienced drivers, can be useful when you are in especially noisy traffic, because the Polo is so quiet.
My Polo doesn’t have Satnav but I have one already and this plugs in near the cup holders under the radio/CDplayer. Storage space is limited but just about adequate.
The rear seating is more than enough for two adults and (on short trips) even three of normal proportions.
There is ample boot space and this becomes positively huge if the back seat is folded down, as in the picture above. Our car has a spare wheel and tools stored beneath the floor of the boot.
I have a feeling that I won’t need the next car for many years and, when I do, it won’t be the Satnav that I will be plugging in, but the car itself.