Welcome back to our car reviews and now well` find out who is prefering VW Polo and what is this car for. We will thoroughly explore every detail of this model and will answer the main question of our reviews: is this the right car to choose for you?
Model history and preview
First VW Polo has com down from the conveyer in far 1975 in Wolfsburg. Since that time the world saw more than 12 million Polo-s around the globe and now they are making at the plants around the world. It is third most popular car model in Europe (after elder brother VW Golf and Ford Fiesta). That`s why Polo was awarded “World Car of the Year” 2010.
Our reviewed model is 6-th generation of VW Polo and first, which achieve 6+ highest mark by both Euro NCAP and Japan NCAP tests of safety.
This model at one hand is the result of painstaking work of hundreds of VW engineers and at the other it is a product, where they can reveal all their most daring creativity and fancy. That`s how Polo received some peculiar colorings and PoloCross complectation which is known by its insignificant rework of platform and ability to carry roof loads.
Polo also has a very rich history of taking part in motorsports. 88 kW (120 PS) Polo GTI is a rare model as Germans rely on Golf VI GTI. Last time it is hard to find hathback version of Polo as Volkswagen concern is promoting sedan version globally, beginning the production in India and Malaysia.
- Now Polo has recognizable corporate design with three-lined chrome grille and rectangular optics. Rear side has a very plain and reserved design, considered as primitive buy many people.
- Simple design of Polo has already become calssic and Volkswagen concern doesn`r risk to change it. They work by amplifying of external features, trying to bring them to perfection. And, you know, they do succeed. Now the face is looking more aggressive and serious, hiding Polo`s modest technical capabilities. The bottom of the front side is reminding something. Isn`t it the Skoda fog lights?
- Nice classic seats with passive side support and good materials are well adapted for the long drives. They have minimum options: just front/back linear positioning and height adjustment, all mechanic. As an option in more expensive version you can order special box under second passenger seat.
- If we are speaking about restyling version of 2014 year, at last we have soft plastic and more unreserved central control panel with bigger number of options. But in base we still scarcely can hope to see radio and climate control. Such options are available in more expensive packages.
- The steering wheel undergone significant changes and now we have Golf VII steer itself. All the functional buttons are thoroughly copied from the elder model too. But not all of them can be working and we are risking to get fake buttons just for funny clicking, entertaining ourselves.
- Multifunctinal soft armrest is somplementing the picture of comfort and good ergonomics of the Polo`s interior.
- Is highly dependent on package. That`s the point: Volkswagen decide to earn money not least on special options, which any buyer can order with car. As you know, dealer has special calculator where you can estimate final cost of the car depending on how many options will you order. In the base, Polo has functionality of the early 00`s car: no electropackage, no climate control and even no radio. But with all available options, many of them are really very useful, the total price of this model can be transcendental.
Usability & Suitability
- Boot Capacity is 280 litres and about 1100 liters with folded back seats. Despite modest dimensions of this car, we can have almost straight floor when the backrest down. This is real because of new fake floor from Golf VII. It is an extra partition, which makes the boot more convenient to use and creates small additional space between it and real floor for some necessary things. Polo sedan has 450 liters boot.
- Gasoline tank holds up to 45 liters and this is normal for B-class car.
- Cabin Space. Surprisingly it has enough of legroom. If your heaight is shorter than 6.3″, you`ll have 4-5 inches margin from front seats. But because of small wheelbase 247cm back passengers won`t be able to occupy all 3 seats. There is place only for two, sitting comfortable.
- Suspension. It is almost perfect. The car still has independent multi-link McPherson in front and simple torsion beam at the back. But beam is tuned brilliantly, soaking up the potholes and butt joints, not making any additional hammering. It also gives the driver an ability to gambol a bit on the road, having a good grip with the roadbed.
- Clearance is 143mm – not the worse mark in class but not for offroad definitely. Manufacturers were forced to get the car closer to the ground to eliminate side windage and to economize fuel. Polo sedan has 170mm of clearance.
- Soundproofing. Just one word – average. We did expect more from this car and this brand indeed. You can hear the tyers on speed over 50 miles and the road bumps make you hear the hit. But it can be fixed by additional soundproofing.
- Concern Volkswagen decide to change all lineup of motors. Instead of 1.2 MPI we now have 1 liter 3-cylinder MPI which has 75hp of power and 5-speed manual transmission. Every other engine in new Polo is turbocharged. They are two 1.2 gasoline TSI and 1.4 TDI. 1.2 TSI has two modifications (90hp and 110 hp depending on compression) and the 5 or 6-speed manual gearbox. Also they are available with 7-speed DSG-robot. We tested 1.2 TSI with DSG and we left happy with motor: it has brilliant, as for such small car, dynamics and elasticity, smooth and predictable acceleration, maximal torque from the low revs in a big range (1400-4000rpm). But the DSG and especially its clutch left ambiguous impression. It has so called “dry clutch” and it tangibly crackles at every gear shift. At low speeds it shifting almost everytime you put your leg on accelerator pedal and doing it with delay and a jerk. After a while it could drive you wild. This transmission is very delicate as well. So its strongly not recommended to give it a hell on the highway. Diesel engine or rather engines (1.4 TDI for 75 and 105hp) are very well known for previous models and Skoda Rapid. It is durable and unpretentious engine with excellent torque of 230Nm (1.5hp) and very economic as well: 4.4 liters in highway mode and 5.5-6 liters in city drive. Polo sedan has hydraulic torque converter with 6-speed auto transmission. It has some advantage comparing to DSG: reliability and silence despite bigger fuel consumption and slightly worse acceleration.
- This kid has perfect controllability on good surface and in adequate speed range. Germans from VW are well known for their compromise between acceleration and traction predictability. The car feels itself like home in active city traffic and can make effective pirouettes between the highway lines.
- Suspension not only silent and comfort, but also rigid on bad roads and it cause noticeable vibration and noise. Along with average soundproofing it reminds you how small the car really is and that you need to be very careful on bad road surface.
- Hatch and sedan. Hatcback is positioning as a cheery city-car for women or for youth. It is an image car for people, who are used to get maximum from their lives. Polo sedan is more pragmatic model and drastically differs from hatch. Sedan is budget all-in-one car for developing countries. It has a large lugagge boot and higher clearance to meet requirements of people who doesn`t have enough money to buy even base-Golf, but want to have decent reliable car for every day and for work too. polo sedan and Polo hatchback, virtually speaking, are two different cars.
Power Ups in Comparing to Previous Generation
- Minimum. This is a facelift anyway. But it still improves interior a lot. Many new features as adaptive cruise control, touchscreen DVD and panoramic roof are available now. But they are available from third parties in every car.
- The functionality and interior trim is very dependent from package. It doesn`t even have radio and electric window raisers in the base and the plastic is hard and noisy. For additional surcharges you can have almost absolutely another car with sportive seats, multifunctional steering wheel, sensor DVD-panel, climate control, rain sensor, rear camera, panoramic shifting out roof and pocketful of another useful features. But the price will be much more greater.
Cost of Service
- German cars are very reliable and durable, that`s fact. Polo is a result of long-term evolution, so in careful hands of its owner it can work long without any trouble. Either way, there are a lot of service stations around the globe and Polo is very popular model what gives us the ability to find almost any detail at the market.
If you are a fan of Volkswagen and you want to buy small economical, reliable and thoroughbred city car – your choice of Polo is obvious. On the other hand, in base package you`ll buy almost completely “empty” with no pleasant gimmicks such as auto glass lifters, good radio and even handles without microlift. Just faithful metal friend, which will never give you up. But if you`ll buy a lot of expensive additional options, the price of this car can easily exceed the amount of $30.000 and this is a craziness. Polo has a big number of worthy competitors in its class such as Hyundai i20, Ford Fiesta, Mercedes B-class, Peugeot 208, Citroen C3 Picasso, Honda Jazz etc.
Volkswagen Polo full review
There is overall mark for Volkswagen Polo from Car to Choose review