Volkswagen Polo GTI hatchback (2010-2017) - Reliability & safety

The Volkswagen Polo GTI has a so-so reliability rating, but this is offset by good safety credentials

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Used car deals
Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

Despite its good reputation in the wider world, the Volkswagen Polo has had a tough time in our annual Driver Power customer satisfaction survey.

Volkswagen Polo GTI reliability

The Volkswagen Polo was rated poorly for reliability in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK. Of the owners who responded, 11.3% reported experiencing a problem with their car at least once.


The Polo GTI hasn’t been crash-tested specifically by the experts at Euro NCAP, but the standard car has. It was awarded the maximum five-star rating, with a 90% score for adult occupant protection and 86% for child occupant protection. It scored a so-so 41% for pedestrian protection and 71% for its proactive safety equipment.

Those scores are broadly in line with what the Ford Fiesta achieved, although its 66% score for pedestrian protection is more impressive. Both models are outclassed by the Renault Clio in this area, though.

Standard safety kit on the Polo GTI includes a range of grip-enhancing aids such as electronic stability control, two rear ISOFIX child-seat mountings and a range of airbags (although curtain airbags are optional extras).

If you’re planning on carrying a child seat in the front, you’ll need to get the optional airbag deactivation switch, costing around £50.

Most Popular

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Tips and advice
1 Oct 2020

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Best new car deals 2020
16 Oct 2020

Best new car deals 2020

New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport gets 296bhp and racetrack mode
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport prototype
13 Oct 2020

New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport gets 296bhp and racetrack mode