Facelifted 2021 Volkswagen Polo on sale now
Updated sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo features refreshed styling, improved technology and a new GTI model
- Updated styling similar to the Mk8 Golf
- All models get new safety technology and more standard equipment
- Entry-level Life model starts from £17,885
The facelifted 2021 Volkswagen Polo is now on sale in the UK with a starting price of £17,885. The refreshed supermini was revealed earlier this year with an array of updates, including new safety technology and more standard equipment.
The latest Polo is available in the same Life, Style and R-Design trim levels as the current Golf. VW’s updated supermini continues to count the Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and SEAT Ibiza as its biggest rivals.
A new 204bhp Polo GTI model has also been confirmed for production and is set to go on sale early next year.
2021 Volkswagen Polo: trim levels and prices
The Life model kicks off the updated Polo lineup, with VW saying it expects the car to account for around 75% of UK sales. It gets a generous amount of standard equipment, including an eight-inch digital dial cluster, automatic wipers and electrically folding and heated door mirrors. Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control and LED headlights. Prices start from £17,885.
Both the Style and R-Line models occupy the flagship slot in the Polo range, with each starting at £20,785. The Style trim focuses on comfort, adding two-zone climate control, VW’s Discover sat nav system and VW’s 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro dial cluster. Upgraded IQ.Light LED matrix headlights are also fitted, along with front and rear parking sensors and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The R-Line model looks the sportiest thanks to a body kit that gives it a more aggressive look. Interior additions include front sports seats, which are trimmed in ‘Karoso Artvelours’ upholstery, stainless steel pedals and black headlining. It also gets additional safety technology over the Style trim, with road sign recognition and high beam assist fitted as standard.
The new Polo can be specced with a sports suspension setup for £360, which adds selectable driver modes. Optional safety features include a rear-view camera for £250 and a driver assist package with park assist and Pro-active passenger protection costing £485.
Buyers can also pick from a range of optional paint colors, with the basic Pure White costing £360. Above this, a two-tone finish adds a black roof panel for £580, with pearl and metallic paint finishes ranging from £580 to £695. A range of 16 and 17-inch wheels are also available.
The refreshed Polo is available with three 1.0-litre petrol engines. The non-turbo 79bhp version remains the entry-point to the range with a five-speed manual gearbox. This engine is only available in the Life trim and is capable of up to 51mpg with CO2 emissions of 124g/km.
Above this, a pair of turbocharged TSI engines are available, with a 94bhp version getting a five-speed manual gearbox, with an optional seven-speed DSG automatic box also available. Both the manual and the DSG-equipped versions officially manage fuel economy of up to 54mpg, with CO2 emissions ranging from 118g/km to 125g/km respectively. Above this the range-topping petrol produces 108bhp and comes with a DSG automatic as standard. It’s only available in the R-Line trim and is capable of up to 50mpg and emits CO2 of 128g/km.
The design of the latest Polo takes inspiration from the Mk8 Golf hatchback. Changes at the front include a new set of LED headlights and daytime running lights, along with an LED light bar running along the grille. The front bumper has been redesigned with a wider air intake and new fog light design.
The car’s side profile is virtually unchanged but buyers can choose from a revised set of alloy wheel options. Four additional paint colours have also been made available.
The Golf-inspired styling continues with a pair of new LED rear light clusters that now extend into the bootlid. Other changes include new badges. The bumper design has been slightly tweaked as well and features a pair of fake exhaust pipes finished in contrasting silver trim.
Interior, technology and trim levels
While the majority of the interior remains unchanged, VW has introduced a new multifunction steering wheel and replaced the old rotary style ventilation controls with a touch-sensitive panel setup on models with automatic climate control.
Every version of the new Polo gets an eight-inch digital instrument cluster, with higher spec models getting an upgrade to VW’s 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro.
An eight-inch infotainment system is standard on the base model, while a larger 9.2-inch version is also available. Both versions have VW’s ‘WeConnect’ software, which includes functions such as music streaming, real-time traffic information, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A pair of USB-C ports and a wireless smartphone charging pad are available as options.
Full UK specifications have yet to be confirmed but the trim levels will mirror those available for the Mk8 Golf. An entry-level Polo Life model will kick off the range, followed by a mid-range Style trim and a range-topping R-Line version.
VW has introduced driving assistance functionality to the Polo for the first time, with the IQ Drive Travel Assist system. When engaged, the system uses both lane keep assist and predictive cruise control to automatically accelerate, brake and steer the car. In cars equipped with an automatic gearbox, the assistance can be activated from a standstill and at speeds of 18mph upwards in models with a manual gearbox.
2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI
After its withdrawal in 2020, the Polo GTI will officially return next year. It’ll be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 204bhp. Power goes to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. With launch control, the new Polo GTI sprints from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 149mph.
What does it mean for car buyers?
The arrival of the updated Polo will help to keep it competitive against recently updated rivals such as the Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. Additional safety features and tech upgrades should also help tempt buyers, and so long as VW gets the PCP finance deals right, the Polo will remain an attractive proposition for buyers who want a more upmarket supermini.
See where the Polo lands on our list of best first cars.