Our Volkswagen Golf gets winter tyres

Our Volkswagen Golf gets winter tyres

Published on November 25, 2011

We regularly bang on about winter tyres and their merits so we've put our money where our mouths are this year and fitted a set of Bridgestone winter rubber to all four wheels of the Golf BlueMotion. It gave us an excuse to have the car cleaned again too. It's so easy to take one of the few permanent cars in the household for granted when there are so many shiny new models passing through our hands.

Have to admit that the clean has really brought up the paintwork and though the Golf doesn't turn heads in black it remains one of the few class-less hatchbacks on sale. That doesn't mean I think it has no class! I mean its drivers are from all walks of life. It has mass appeal, which explains its continued success and a status amongst buyers that is pretty unique in the mainstream market.

Our BlueMotion example averages about 6.0 litres/100km (47mpg) even when it's being driven around the centre of Dublin most of the time, though take to the motorway at all and it seems to run on air, with the fuel gauge not budging! That's even the case at this time of year, when the lights are on more than usual, as are the wipers and rear demister.

Still, few complaints really as yet. Bluetooth wasn't standard in this model (somewhat paradoxically given the BlueMotion name), but we believe Volkswagen will remedy that in the near future. In any case, I use a Parrot Bluetooth system that can easily be moved from car to car. It's about the only thing I'd change about the Golf.

As for the winter tyres, they've not come into their own as yet, as the temperatures have not dropped below seven degrees Celsius. The weather gods seemed to laugh at me fitting the tyres last week as the temperatures 'soared' to as high as 15 degrees. I'm pretty confident that's the highest we'll see around here for a while so I'm expecting to reap the benefits of the winter tyres soon - even if it doesn't snow.

People tend to forget that the softer rubber works better than all-weather tyres even on a dry road - once the temperature drops. Also, for those that wonder why I've fitted four winter tyres, and not just to the driving wheels, it's important to remember that braking and turning rely on grip from all of your tyres. That's why snow socks are only so useful. They're great to get you moving (slowly) in tricky conditions, but have limitations. Winter tyres, however, come with few compromises - initial cost and fitting aside.

We'll let you know how we get on with them.