The supermini evolving into a superior motor car

While patrons could be flocking to crossovers and SUVs at a ridiculous fee, there’s nonetheless quite a bit to be stated for extra smart superminis. For years these had been the bread and butter choice, and whereas the market could have modified, these fashions proceed to high automobile gross sales charts, together with the likes of the Fiesta, Corsa and the VW Polo.

And the Polo is a massively necessary automobile for VW, with 18 million variations being produced since 1975 – and with the sixth-generation Polo arriving in 2017, it was due a slight refresh, to maintain it up-to-date with newer rivals just like the Renault Clio and Toyota Yaris. But is that this new automobile ok to compete with the perfect?


Volkswagen is best recognized for evolution than revolution, and this newest Polo is a moderately delicate replace, to say the least. Design modifications embody new standard-fit LED headlights, and tweaked styling on the entrance and rear to offer the Polo a barely extra aggressive look, and produce it nearer to that of the brand new Golf.

Inside, there’s a brand new digital instrument cluster that’s discovered on each Polo, no matter trim, whereas extra security package is out there – together with a brand new predictive adaptive cruise management and Matrix LED headlights, that are notably superior for a automobile of this dimension. Finally, VW has chopped and altered all of the trim ranges in-line with all its newest fashions.


With the exception of the GTI sizzling hatch, all new Polos use a 1.0-litre petrol engine. It’s additionally but to function any form of electrification, too. A naturally-aspirated entry-level 79bhp mannequin is nice for first drivers however moderately sluggish for anybody else. It’s adopted by a turbocharged unit, which is out there with outputs of 94bhp or 108bhp.

It’s generally a very smart interior, though there are some rather low-rent plastics on the door cards and the air-con controls look a bit old-fashioned by today’s standards
It’s usually a really sensible inside, although there are some moderately low-rent plastics on the door playing cards and the air-con controls look a bit old style by immediately’s requirements

Our check automobile is the center choice, and will get a selection of a five-speed guide or seven-speed DSG automated transmission – we’re making an attempt the latter right here. It’s capable of speed up to 60mph in 11.1 seconds, whereas flat out it might hit 116mph. In phrases of working prices, all Polos needs to be low-cost to maintain going, with this model returning a claimed 51.2mpg, together with CO2 emissions of 125g/km.


The calls for positioned on small vehicles just like the Polo today are distinctive, and a mean drive simply received’t minimize it. But the Polo is an excellent all-rounder behind the wheel, with its stand-out issue being its good refinement. 

Even at increased speeds, it’s exceptionally hushed, whereas standard-fit adaptive cruise management (excluding the 79bhp engine) makes it implausible on longer motorway runs. Our check automobile’s comparatively small alloy wheels additionally allowed for a very snug journey, whereas ought to you end up on a twisty stretch of tarmac, it feels nimble and agile.

This 94bhp engine can be an amazing match for the Polo. Its efficiency won’t ever wow, however there’s loads of punch there for secure overtakes. The DSG automated is the one actual weak spot, having an actual hesitancy at slower speeds, which isn’t nice when making an attempt to affix a roundabout or get out of a junction. Flicking the gearbox into the ‘Sport’ setting does assist to enhance issues, although.


Volkswagen hasn’t messed an excessive amount of with the Polo’s design, however the delicate modifications are welcome and maintain it trying recent. Old-fashioned halogen headlights aren’t any extra and in place are new full-LED items – and also you get LEDs on the rear too. In truth, trying on the lights on the again is among the best methods to inform if the Polo is ‘new’, as they’re now wider, and run into the boot lid as effectively.

Meanwhile on the entrance, it will get a barely extra aggressive design due to new diagonal air inlets. You can take issues up an additional notch too by selecting the R-Line, or certainly the full-fat GTI if you would like the efficiency to go together with the racier appears to be like.


Volkswagen hasn’t messed too much with the Polo’s design, but the subtle changes are welcome and keep it looking fresh.
Volkswagen hasn’t messed an excessive amount of with the Polo’s design, however the delicate modifications are welcome and maintain it trying recent.

Given the outgoing Polo already had probably the greatest interiors in its class, you possibly can’t precisely blame Volkswagen for less than making a number of small alterations. The predominant change is the addition of digital dials – beforehand solely out there as a dear choice, they’re now fitted as customary throughout the vary, and assist to modernise the cabin. 

It’s usually a really sensible inside, although there are some moderately low-rent plastics on the door playing cards and the air-con controls look a bit old style by immediately’s requirements.

One huge plus level for the Polo, although, is its inside house. The boot measures a beneficiant 351 litres (solely 29 behind than the Golf), whereas a height-adjustable flooring actually improves on a regular basis usability. There’s additionally an honest quantity of house within the rear seats by class requirements and greater than sufficient for a small household.


Previously the Polo was out there in trim ranges referred to as SE/Match and SEL, however these have now been swapped for Life and Style, mirroring Volkswagen’s newest naming construction.

The Polo begins at €22,770, and that cash pays for the fundamental Life mannequin which incorporates 15-inch alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch touchscreen and guide air-con, in addition to the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration know-how.

The Style trim examined right here will get you a lot the identical gear however comes with 15-inch alloys and raises the worth tag to €25,700.


Volkswagen hasn’t made an enormous vary of tweaks on its Polo, however the ones which were made are welcome because it now appears to be like sharper, will get extra know-how and is much better geared up than earlier than.

While the Polo is among the priciest choices within the supermini class, its mixture of high quality, refinement and house is one not often discovered on a automobile as compact as this.

It actually makes you query the necessity to improve to the category above, because it feels extra Golf-like than ever, which is most actually a praise.

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