Volkswagen Polo hatchback
Price £11,250 - £19,865
- 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
"The Volkswagen Polo has been given a mild facelift for 2014. The car gets new engines, new trim levels and extra equipment."
The Volkswagen Polo is one of the enduring models in the small family hatchback class. It appeals to people who want the build quality, refinement and comfort of a 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.
With the new Vauxhall Corsa and the new Mazda2 set to go on sale towards the end of the year, Volkswagen has given the Polo a thorough refresh for 2014. The model gets new 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. For now, the fast Volkswagen Polo GTI has been phased out in favour of the BlueGT model, which offers a better balance between performance and economy.
Entry-level models are now 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 89bhp and 109bhp versions. As yet, there's no ultra-efficient BlueMotion model, but when it does make an appearance in 2015, it'll be powered by frugal 1.2-litre petrol rather than the outgoing car's diesel.
The Polo tends to have less equipment for the money than rivals. The base 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.
With a range of efficient engines, strong residuals and plenty of standard equipment, the Volkswagen Polo makes lots of financial sense
The Volkswagen Polo features a range of powerful petrol and diesel engines – although the entry-level versions need to be worked hard
Few supermini models can match the Volkswagen Polo for comfort, refinement and big-car feel
A reasonably roomy interior, decent-sized boot and plenty of useful storage make the Volkswagen Polo a good choice for small families
The Volkswagen Polo is solidly built and uses tried-and-tested components, plus the recent facelift introduced a raft of standard kit