The Volkswagen Polo is easily described as a smaller Golf demonstrating all of the style, drive and quality that comes from owning its bigger brother.
Like the Golf, there is a huge amount of choice when it comes to choosing engine options. The Polo is available with three petrol engines and one diesel engine with two differing power variants. The first is a three cylinder 1.0 litre petrol with 60 or 75bhp mated to a 5-speed manual depending on your choice of trim level. The second is a 1.2TSI with 90bhp mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. The third option is a 1.4TSI with 150bhp found only in the hotter Polo GT. Diesel comes in the form of a 1.4TDI with either 75 or 90bhp mated a choice of the 5- speed manual or 7-speed auto. The entry level 1.0 with 60bhp is best avoided as it feels heavily underpowered.
The Polo is a very comfortable car to drive and is particularly refined on motorway jaunts. It soaks up general lumps and bumps with ease too thanks to its soft suspension, with road noise kept to a minimum. But this softer setup means that the Polo is not quite as happy in and out of the bends. Its steering is light too and while this does not help in terms of feel, it is an added bonus around towns for manoeuvring or parking. The Polo is designed more for comfort than performance, but with that in mind, the Polo GT gets a stiffer setup and adds some fun to the Polo's practical character.
The Volkswagen Polo is available with a choice of three trim levels. These are Trendline, Comfortline and Lounge with all models available with a choice of three or five doors. The entry level Trendline, while beautifully put together, does feel a little dull and sparse with very few standard features. The best option is the Comfortline that offers door and side trim panels, leather multi-function steering wheel, gear knob & handbrake, split folding rear seats, additional storage box under front seats and cooling glovebox. Lounge brings additional comforts like sports style seats and variable servotronic steering.
From the moment you sit into the Volkswagen Polo, there is no doubting the build quality. It features a classy looking dashboard that is constructed from high quality materials and flows nicely down and across the centre console. All knobs and switchgear have a solid feel to them and all controls are easy to locate and operate. The three spoke leather multi-function steering wheel (Comfortline & upwards) complete with contrast piano black across the dashboard bring a touch of class to the cabin. The 7 inch touch screen that houses the infotainment is very user friendly and a feature that complete's to the Polo’s modern appeal.
The Polo was awarded the full five star NCAP rating during crash testing meaning it is one of the safest cars in its class. The Polo goes up against stiff competition from the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Opel Corsa and Hyundai i20. It gets a generous level of standard safety equipment that includes anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, hill assist and a full set of airbags. There is also a huge amount of optional safety tech that can be added to your Polo, such as emergency brake assist and active cruise control.
The Polo is a decent size for a supermini making it a good choice for small families. Space for front passengers is good while head and legroom is generous in the rear also. The choice of three or five doors adds to its versatility too. Storage space within the cabin is good with a central cubby, storage under the front seats and decent door pockets. Boot space is almost identical to that of the Fiesta and Corsa at a decent 280 litres. Rear seats also fold forward to create 952 litres of space.