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Volkswagen Polo Review

4/5
Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo range...

List Price

£17,715 - £25,655

Acceleration (0-62mph)

6.5 - 15.5 seconds

Top speed

106 - 149 mph

Engine Power

80 - 207 bhp

CO2 Emissions

103 - 129 g/km

Fuel Economy (Combined)

57.6 - 62.8 mpg

Prices & Specification
Pros

A very classy looking supermini; handles well; very economical engines

Cons

Initially expensive; smallest engines are a bit weedy; not as fun as some rivals

The Volkswagen Polo is an excellent supermini. It is probably the classiest looking supermini on the market and oozes quality, both inside and out. The Bluemotion engine has incredibly impressive fuel economy and as with all VWs these days it is safe and reliable. The only downside is that despite handling well it just isn’t quite as toned as the Ford Fiesta and if you get an entry level engine you might find the pace a bit disappointing.

Performance3.5/5

The VW Polo has a decent selection of engines available. The smallest of these is a 1.2 which can come with either 60 or 70bhp. These engines are deceptively nippy around town, but if you do any sort of motorway driving regularly then they are probably not going to be big enough for you. There is a 1.4 which will certainly handle motorways better, but it’s certainly worth paying the extra and getting the 1.2 TSI. This little turbo is a powerful VW Polo petrol engine for its size knocking out 105bhp and will get you from 0-62mph in sub ten seconds.  There is also a 1.4 TSI engine with either 140bhp or, available in the GTI only, 180bhp.  The latter of these will get you from 0-62mph in a truly impressive 6.9 seconds. If you prefer a diesel then the 1.6 TDI 75bhp is the standard model and it is a solid and refined engine, you can upgrade this to a 90bhp version but if you want real economy then the 1.2 TDI BlueMotion engine is pretty unbeatable, with VW claiming it can do 81mpg.

Handling4/5

The Volkswagen Polo handles very well, it is light and nippy around town, and feels grippy in faster corners; the ride is smooth and composed, so all in all a very good car. The only problem for the Polo is that the Ford Fiesta is markedly better, the Polo has more body lean in the corners, and the suspension system isn’t quite as clever, meaning handling can sometimes feel a little unresponsive compared with the Fiesta.

Exterior4/5

The VW Polo used to look like a fun but slightly insubstantial car. The new design, however, gives it a more grown up feel. It has combined elements from other members from the Volkswagen stable, the grille and headlights have the angled look of the Scirocco and the shape has a similar feel to the Golf. As a result the Polo is definitely one of the classiest superminis on the market.

Interior4/5

The Volkswagen Polo’s classy look is continued in the interior. Lots of superminis go for a quirky look for their styling but VW have avoided this route and gone for a stylish design which is very effective. The cabin feels big with plenty of space in both the front and back. The boot is well proportioned at 280 litres, and there is a decent amount of cubbyhole space to stash items in as well.

Equipment3.5/5

The VW Polo entry level model is the S and it has to be said this is a little disappointing; you get central locking, electric front windows, a CD player and a boot mounted 12V socket. The Match is a better package, offering air conditioning, 15 inch alloys, remote central locking, a six speaker CD player with USB and iPod connectivity, heated door mirrors, and body coloured exterior trim. Next up the VW Polo range is the SEL, with this you get leather trim on the gear knob and steering wheel, 16 inch alloys, ambient lighting, and a trip computer.

Safety4.5/5

The Volkswagen Polo scored 5 stars in its Euro NCAP crash test, putting it ahead of some of its class rivals. 4 airbags, stability control (ESP), ABS and Volkswagen’s whiplash reducing system (WOKS) are standard on every Polo but you do have to pay extra if you want curtain airbags.

Buying & Owning4.5/5

Volkswagen has an excellent record for reliability and we have no reason to expect that will be different with the Polo. This reputation means that residual values for the Polo should be good, which will make you feel a bit better about the comparatively large initial outlay. The Polo falls into a low tax band and it also can do plenty of miles to the gallon – the  petrol engines can achieve 50mpg but the Bluemotion diesel is the star of the show on this front achieving 81mpg.

Reviewed by cars2buy