Review

Volkswagen Polo hatchback

Price  £11,250 - £19,865

Volkswagen Polo hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

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

At a glance

The greenest
SEL 1.4 TDI 90 PS 5dr £17,450
The cheapest
S 1.0 MPI 60 PS 3dr £11,300
The fastest
BlueGT 1.4 TSI ACT DSG 5dr £19,915
Top of the range
BlueGT 1.4 TSI ACT DSG 5dr £19,915

"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.

Volkswagen gave the Polo a thorough refresh in 2014, so the latest version features up-to-date engines, revised in-car tech, new trim levels and subtly refreshed 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 found 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 an ultra-efficient BlueMotion model – available for the first time with a choice of petrol (1.0-litre TSI) or diesel (1.4-litre TDI) power.

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 / 5
based on 2 reviews
4 / 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."
What owners say 
4.0396226415094
4 /5 based on 265 reviews
55%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
6 Mar 2015
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