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Winner of the 2010 World Car of the Year, the Volkswagen Polo has been a firm favourite of the superminis since its 1975 launch. Following a succession of updates and intermittent facelifts, the Polo is now in its fifth generation and offers a first-rate blend of practicality, efficiency, price and performance, making it well deserving of its other accolades including What Car? Supermini of the Year 2010 and the Auto Express 2016 Supermini of the Year. Rivalling the likes of the Vauxhall Corsa and the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen have managed to take the best and most favoured qualities of the larger Golf and package them into the more compact Polo, making it drive with more maturity than its petite size might suggest.
Engine and driving experience (including safety)
The current generation of Polo, launched in March 2009, is available as a 3- and 5-door hatchback with a wide range of three- and four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines on offer. These range from the most basic 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, to the powerful 1.8-litre TSI turbo engine in the Polo GTI for hot hatch performance and sharp response. The 1.4-litre diesel engine available in two outputs gives the best performance for fuel economy, with claimed consumption of 83.1mpg.
The understated design of the polo is smart and simple, with subtle style modifications between the generations maintaining its neat overall appearance. The current fifth-generation also comes well-equipped with technology, with all models containing the same infotainment system as the Mk7 Golf, with five-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, USB connectivity and Bluetooth. A five-star Euro NCAP crash rating, front and side airbags, post-collision braking control and stability control makes the Polo a safe and reliable option.
With a broad range of engine options and excellent quality build, the VW Polo is an all-round easy drive with low running costs.
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