Five years after the fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo arrived, VW has
given its big-selling supermini a thorough overhaul. New three-cylinder
petrol and diesel engines, an infotainment system from the latest Golf and a raft of new tech have been added, to give the little Polo a big car feel.
There are styling changes, too, although you’re unlikely to notice
them. Sharper bumpers, redesigned LED headlights (on top-spec models)
and a chrome strip between the foglamps are the only exterior tweaks.
However, inside there’s a smart new three-spoke steering wheel and
the same modular infotainment system (MIB) as in the MkVII Golf. The
top-of-the-range unit features a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen that senses
your hand moving towards it, then displays more options. It
incorporates Bluetooth audio streaming and smartphone-style gesture
zooming for maps, too.
Safety tech has also filtered its way down from the new Golf. This
includes radar-controlled adaptive cruise control, an autobraking
function and an optional rear view camera. A new electromechanical
steering system helps to reduce fuel consumption, while ‘Sport Select’
two-stage adaptive dampers can be added, in a Polo first.
But the real advances are under the bonnet, where VW has updated the
entire engine range, improving economy by 21 per cent in some cases.
Gone are the old 74bhp 1.2 TDI and 89bhp and 104bhp 1.6-litre TDI
diesels, replaced by a trio of three-cylinder 1.4-litre TDIs with
Most impressive is the 74bhp Polo TDI BlueMotion. Its economy is up
from 83mpg to 88mpg, and CO2 falls by 6g/km to 82g/km. Even the regular
89bhp Polo TDI with a DSG auto now emits just 89g/km.
VW still offers its 89bhp and 108bhp 1.2 TSI petrol engines, but has
replaced the old naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine with the 1.0-litre
three-cylinder from the up!, offering 59bhp or 74bhp.
An 89bhp turbo version of the same three-cylinder powers the 1.0 TSI
BlueMotion, and claims 69mpg and 94g/km. Topping the range is an updated
Polo GTI, with a 12bhp power hike to 189bhp.
The facelifted Polo will debut at March’s Geneva Motor Show, and go on sale soon after. VW claims prices won’t rise, so it should start from under £11,000. For more details click here.