Review

Volkswagen Polo hatchback

The Volkswagen Polo is one of the enduring models of the small hatchback segment. It appeals to people who want the build quality of a Volkswagen Golf in a smaller package. Its main rival, the Ford Fiesta, is more fun to drive but can’t match the Volkswagen's build quality.

With the new Vauxhall Corsa and the new Mazda2 set to go on sale later this year, Volkswagen has given the Polo a thorough refresh for 2014. The model gets new engines, revised in-car tech, and new trim levels.

The Polo range offers a good selection of engines, with the most economical 1.4-litre diesel engine capable of 83.1mpg. For now, the fast Volkswagen Polo GTI has been phased out, in favour of the BlueGT model that offers a better balance between performance and economy.

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.