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What is it?

The Polo is a supermini available in three and five-door body styles, with a choice of nine engines and seven trim levels. There are three automatics and a sporty GTI. There have been five generations of Polo, the current model introduced in 2009 and facelifted in 2014.

What is the Volkswagen Polo like to drive?

The Polo is one of the most civilised superminis, being particularly quiet and presenting a well-made interior to match. The entry-point 60hp 1.0 three cylinder is best suited to urban commutes, while all the other engines are good to excellent all-rounders. Of the two diesels the 90hp version is well suited to long distances; both engines are unobtrusive when cruising. The 1.4 TSI is brisk and the Polo GTI rapid. The Polo is easy to handle, it’s quiet, rides smoothly at higher speeds and corners capably. All this, well-arranged controls and comfortable front seats make for an agreeable driving experience.

What engines are available?

Seven petrol engines and two diesels are offered. The petrol range starts with a trio of 1.0 three cylinders of 60hp, 75hp and 95hp. Four-cylinder engines include two 1.2 TSIs of 90hp and 110hp, a 150hp 1.4 TSI and the 192 1.8 of the Polo GTI, all of these turbocharged. Diesels come as turbo 1.4s of 75hp and 90hp. All Polo 1.0s, 90hp 1.2s and diesels have five-speed manual gearboxes, the rest coming with six-speeds. Seven-speed dual clutch automatics are available with the 110hp 1.2 TSI, the 150hp 1.4 and the 192hp GTI.


What are the key standard features of the Volkswagen Polo

The entry-level Polo S provides a 5in touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, electric front windows, DAB radio/CD player, USB port, driver’s seat height adjuster, remote central locking, hill-hold assist and 14in steel wheels.

  • SE (over S): 6.5in touchscreen, manual air conditioning, alarm, electric rear windows (5-door), trip computer, electric heated door mirrors, passenger’s seat height adjuster, 60:40 split rear backrest, variable height boot floor, 15in alloys.
  • SE Design (over SE): sports seats, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, LED headlights and washers, front centre armrest, front foglights, ‘Ceramique’ décor, aluminium-look pedals, 16in alloys.
  • SEL (over SE): front foglights, front centre armrest, LED headlights and washers, front and rear parking sensors, 17in alloys.
  • BlueMotion (over S): 6.5in touchscreen, manual air conditioning, electric heated door mirrors, alarm, Bluemotion styling kit, front foglights, front centre armrest, trip computer, leather trimmed wheel, handbrake, gearlever, cruise control, 15in alloys.
  • BlueGT (over S): 6.5in touchscreen, manual air conditioning, alarm, electric rear windows (5 door only), electric heated door mirrors, cruise control, trip computer, sports suspension, electronic differential lock, BlueGT styling kit, front under-seat drawers, 60:40 split rear backrest, variable height boot floor, 17in alloys.
  • GTI (over SE): GTI styling kit, sports seats and wheel, aluminium-look pedals, front under-seat drawers, sports suspension, electronic differential lock, 17in alloys.

What are the key options?

Convenience pack, parking pack, winter pack, sat nav, Mirrorlink, voice activation, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, reversing camera, LED headlights, glass sunroof, air conditioning.

How spacious is the Volkswagen Polo?

The Polo provides plentiful room for adults up front and its rear seat is fine for younger teenagers. There’s a reasonably sized boot, and plentiful on-board storage. A split folding rear seat backrest and a height-adjustable boot floor are provided with most models.

Running Costs & Safety

What will it cost to run?

CO2 emissions range from 88g/km for the 1.4 TDI diesel to 139g/km for the manual GTI. The auto GTI achieves 129/g/km. The basic 60hp engine emits 106g/km and the economy-oriented 1.0 Bluemotion 94g/km. Fuel consumption ranges from 91.1mpg for the 1.4 TDI Bluemotion diesel to 47.1mpg for the Polo GTI. The most economical petrol engine is the 95hp 1.0 Bluemotion, which achieves 68.9mpg combined. Benefit-in- kind exposure ranges from 19% for the 1.0 Bluemotion to 28% for the manual GTI. All models have fuel-saving stop/start.

What safety features does it have?

Four airbags (front side and headbags are combined), anti-lock brakes, automatic post-collision braking, ESP anti-skid control and electronic traction control are standard. Driver alert is standard on all but the S. The Polo scored a five star NCAP safety rating. There are Isofix attachment points for two child seats in the rear.

Need more information on BIK (benefit in kind) and CO2? Then why not try our calculator to help you work out your running costs.


The Alternatives

These include the Citroen C3, Citroen C4 Cactus, Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20, Kia Rio, Mazda2, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio, Toyota Yaris and Vauxhall Corsa. Premium alternatives include the Alfa Romeo Mito, Audi A1 and MINI.

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