Review

Volkswagen Polo hatchback

£11,525 - £20,140

The Volkswagen Polo is a supermini that rivals other popular cars like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208, as well as cars with which it shares many mechanical parts – the Skoda Fabia, SEAT Ibiza and more expensive Audi A1.

The Polo's appeal lies in its image of a downsized Golf – it's got a desirable image, a high-quality interior and a mature driving experience. It's not the most exciting to drive, but it's very refined on the move and is very comfortable, plus there's a wide range of efficient engines to choose from and a variety of trim levels.

Kicking off the engine range is a 1.0-litre petrol taken from the Volkswagen up! city car. It feels quite slow in the Polo, but it's acceptable if you only use the car around town. You’re well catered for if you want a more powerful petrol Polo, though.

There's an 89bhp 1.2 TSI, a 94bhp 1.0 TSI in the eco BlueMotion model, a 1.0 TSI with 108bhp that's reserved for higher-spec R Line and SEL models and a 1.4-litre TSI with 148bhp with Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) that shuts down cylinders that aren’t needed to boost economy. This engine is only available on the BlueGT model.

There's one diesel engine – a 1.4 TDI – that produces either 74bhp or 89bhp in different trim levels, but it's the most economical engine in the Polo range and should return up to 83mpg.

The Volkswagen Polo is at the more expensive end of the supermini class, so you’d expect it to come with plenty of equipment. However, entry-level S models go without luxuries like remote central locking and air-con, so it's worth looking further up the range for the best value.

We’d recommend the 1.2 TSI Match. It comes with a generous list of standard equipment including DAB radio, a touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth, air-con, alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, electric folding mirrors, tinted rear windows and cruise control.

If you want more luxuries then you can step up to the SEL, while R-Line models have a sporty bodykit, piano black trim on the dashboard and sports seats. BlueGT models have unique badging, larger alloy wheels and unique interior trim and seats, too. There's also a Polo Beats edition, which will appeal to music lovers with a 300-watt Beats audio sound system and some unique design features.

Volkswagen also provides an extensive list of options to add onto the Polo, too, including full bright LED headlights, a parking camera, sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, adaptive cruise control and leather seats.