Volkswagen Polo hatchback

Price  £11,300 - £19,915

Volkswagen Polo hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • High-quality interior
  • Good fuel economy
  • Spacious interior
  • No air-con on entry-level car
  • Rivals are more fun to drive
  • Basic engine feels slow

At a glance

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Top of the range
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"You can think of the Volkswagen Polo as a smaller VW Golf – it really is that good. It features a range of excellent engines and most models are well equipped."

The Volkswagen Polo is one of the most enduring models in the small family hatchback class. It appeals to people who want the build quality, refinement and comfort of the Volkswagen Golf, but in a smaller package. Its main rival, the Ford Fiesta, is more fun to drive, but can't match the VW's build quality. The current Polo has up-to-date engines, the latest in-car tech, logical trim levels and fresh looks.

The Polo range offers a good selection of engines, with the most economical 1.4-litre diesel capable of 83.1mpg. If you don't like diesels, then the sporty BlueGT model offers a great balance between performance and economy. 

Entry-level models are powered by the same smooth and eager three-cylinder engine used in the Volkswagen up! city car, while the 1.2-litre TSI petrol line-up has been tweaked to include 89 and 109bhp versions. There's also a BlueMotion model that comes with petrol power for the first time. It's not as economical as the most efficient diesel, but it still returns fuel economy up to 68.9mpg.

The Polo tends to have less equipment for the money than rivals. The most basic model does without air-conditioning (it's a £720 option), but does get electronic stability control, electric front windows, a Bluetooth phone connection and an infotainment system with a colour touchscreen.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.6 / 5

With a range of efficient engines, strong residuals and plenty of standard equipment, the Volkswagen Polo makes lots of financial sense

Engines, drive & performance

3.7 / 5

The Volkswagen Polo features a range of powerful petrol and diesel engines – although the entry-level versions need to be worked hard

Interior & comfort

4.6 / 5

Few supermini models can match the Volkswagen Polo for comfort, refinement and big-car feel

Practicality & boot space

3.3 / 5

A reasonably roomy interior, decent-sized boot and plenty of useful storage make the Volkswagen Polo a good choice for small families

Reliability & safety

4.2 / 5

The Volkswagen Polo is solidly built and uses tried-and-tested components, plus the recent facelift introduced a raft of standard kit

What the others say

4.1 / 5
based on 4 reviews
5 / 5
"The VW Polo is a fantastic supermini, with smart styling, an impressive interior and great engines."
4 / 5
"Subtle is the word for the Volkswagen Polo's 2014 facelift, but there's plenty of new safety technology and more efficient engines."
7 / 10
"A comprehensive little supermini. Feels like a smaller Golf, and there's nothing wrong with that."
4 / 5
"It may not be as good to drive as a Ford Fiesta or as versatile as a Honda Jazz, but it remains a great all-rounder that's well built and thanks to the Volkswagen badge, holds its value well too."
What owners say 
4 /5 based on 266 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
3 Aug 2015
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