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Volkswagen has just launched its latest version of the popular Polo – a car that continues to offer its buyers an efficient set of engines, plenty of equipment and excellent build quality for a reasonable cost.
The Volkswagen Polo is marketed as a smaller version of VW’s hugely popular Golf hatchback and the latest model does little to disappoint, offering buyers a powerful and exciting drive. Furthermore, the safety features offered with the new Polo are rarely offered on a car of this size.
The most popular engine with buyers is the 1.0-litre, there cylinder petrol with 60bhp, although those who do a lot of motorway driving would be better off upgrading to the 75bhp version of the engine or the 90bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine. An automatic gearbox is only available for the 1.2- and 1.4-litre petrol models.
Finding a comfortable driving position in the Polo is made easy thanks to plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment and large windows create a light and airy feel to the cabin. Ride comfort is excellent with the Polo taking rough edges off bumps at both town speeds and on the motorway. Wind noise is minimal at high speed except for around the wing mirrors, whilst engine noise in diesel models is more noticeable when town driving. To drive, the Volkswagen Polo isn’t as fun as the Ford Fiesta – the steering is a bit too light and there is more body lean on corners.
Inside the new Volkswagen Polo, occupants will benefit from ample head and elbow room plus enough storage spaces and door pockets to fit most people’s every-day belongings. The dashboard of the VW Polo has a classy look and feel, with many of the controls lifted from other more expensive models in the company’s line-up. Three-door versions of the Polo come with “easy-entry seats” so that they can fold further forwards than normal giving occupants more room to get in. Legroom is not a generous in the back but adequate for two occupants. Boot space is similar to the Polo’s main rival, the Ford Fiesta, but slightly smaller than the Hyundai i10, Split-folding seats come with the SE spec and above to provide more luggage space in the back if required.
The entry-level Polo S, comes with a touchscreen, DAB radio and a stop/start system. However, if you want air-conditioning you’ll need to upgrade to an S A/C specification. The SE adds body-coloured door handles, electrically adjustable wing mirrors, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, remote locking and a larger touchscreen, whilst the SE Design adds 16inch alloy wheels and higher grade materials for the interior. The SEL includes front and rear parking sensors and cruise control and the top-of-the-range Polo BlueGT, which is only available with VW’s 1.4-litre petrol engine, includes sporty styling additions and lowered suspension.
Included in the standard equipment, the Polo features “Bluemotion Technology” which includes items such as a stop/start system that cuts the engine out in traffic and helps increase fuel economy to impressive levels with the petrol engine capable of achieving up to 50mpg in official EU tests and the diesel topping 80mpg.
The Polo achieved the maximum five-star rating when crash tested by Euro NCAP, although a curtain airbag system for rear seat passengers is an optional extra. All Polos feature a stability system plus a device that applies the brakes after a collision, reducing the chance of a secondary impact. Further advanced features include radar for the cruise control allowing drivers to maintain a set distance from the car in front and Volkswagen’s City Emergency Braking is optional.
Should I buy one?
The Polo certainly isn’t the cheapest small hatchback on the market, but it costs no more than the Ford Fiesta and holds on to its value better than virtually all its rivals. The look and feel of the Polo combined with its excellent build quality and attractive levels of equipment make it a sound investment for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable supermini car.