Volkswagen Polo Review & Test Drive


Volkswagen Polo Overview

The Polo’s clean lines have aged very gracefully and the cabin doesn’t look dated, either. Quality is top-notch and the Polo’s strong build gives a feeling of security that you don’t get in most small cars. That said, the Polo’s cabin feels small and space at the back is very limited.

The Polo’s new 76hp, 1.0-litre petrol engine is quiet and refined for the most part but offers mediocre performance. The 90hp, 1.5-litre diesel does have a bit of low-speed lag but also offers strong punch in its comfort zone. You get even more performance from the 110hp version of the same engine on the GT TDI. The GT TSI brings together a pleasant 105hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The result is a sporty hatchback. All Polos drive with confidence and even though their suspensions are on the firmer side, ride quality is good.

Volkswagen Polo Exteriors

Exterior looks have not changed much, and the family identity is still very much there. At the front, the three-strip chrome grille has been replaced in favour of a single-slat chrome grille. The company has toned down the usage of chrome in and around the front grille, which makes it look bold and rugged. The hatchback boasts an all-new front bumper, which compliments well the aforementioned thick striped grille around the air dam. The headlamp cluster along with the twin fog lamps looks good, although disappointingly daytime-running lights (DRL) has been left out this time.

The Polo also benefits from an all new set of alloys and body-coloured door handles. The design of the tail-lamp cluster has also been tweaked slightly. Every change done to the exteriors, as mentioned before, are very slight and will only be noticeable to the practiced eye. Else, they are minor – an oh, of course – a new colour Copper Orange is added to the prevailing shades of Candy White, Night Blue, Flash Red, Carbon Steel, and Reflex Silver.

Volkswagen Polo Interiors

The interiors have become plush in this new Volkswagen Polo. From the new glossy finished steering wheel with mounted controls, additional entertainment features to the seat fabrics, all have contributed to make the passenger feel richer and premium once inside the car cabin. The new features in the Volkswagen Polo include the Bluetooth synchronization with the mobile phone, information display with more details, reverse-parking sensors. The two-tone dashboard really looks bold and smart. The button quality and also the seat fabrics have become better than before. The beige fabric seats get dirty very easily and the only solution for that is to use seat covers.

The base model of the Volkswagen Polo is the Trendline that comes with 14-inch steel wheels, dual airbags, air-conditioning, gear-shift indicator, steering wheel, electronic power steering and front power windows. The Comfortline trim is the mid-level variant gets 15-inch alloy wheels, all four power windows, front fog lamps, ABS, anti-pinch windows, rear defogger and windshield wiper, multi-function display and rear parking sensor. The Highline gets all the features as mentioned above.

The backseat comfort of the Volkswagen Polo was not the best, as it lacked knee-room even for a not-so-tall person, forget about six footers. Since the ride quality was stiff one could feel the bumps at the back. So the Volkswagen Polo always remained a car for two adults and two kids and still remains the same. The boot is sufficient to carry a couple of mid-size suitcases.

Volkswagen Polo Engine

Volkswagen is betting big on downsizing the world over and the Polo GT TSI uses one of those engines which are part of this strategy. The 1.2-litre TSI mill is insanely awesome and needs little introduction, we had a gala of a time with our long term Vento TSI. The turbocharged mill thrusts out 105 PS at 5000 RPM and 175 Nm between 1500-4100 RPM, with those kind of torque numbers, the GT TSI puts even bigger petrol engines to shame. Start the engine and you will be spellbound by the NVH or rather the lack of it. The powerplant is so refined, there is absolutely nothing to be heard. In spite of that, the motor is very quick to make progress, it has a fantastic punch in all parts of the powerband – low, mid and top although top-end rush could have been better.To know more details on Volkswagen Polo Visit Icassp2003

Driving the car in the city is a relaxing ordeal, the motor is quick to respond when you need it and the 7-speed DSG automatic transmission works its magic to keep the vehicle in the right cog at all times. When driven sedately, there is no hint of the forced induced beast which powers the Polo GT but give it the beans and the world transforms. The GT TSI takes off with urgency and hits triple digit speeds in a jiffy. While VW claims a 0-100 km/hr time of 9.7 seconds, the best we could record on our VBOX was 10.09 seconds, putting the GT TSI on par with the GT TDI in terms of outright acceleration. The problem with the GT is that the gearbox won’t let it rev more than 1200 RPM at standstill. Thus when you launch the car, there is some bit of lag which robs crucial milli seconds from the 0-100 km/hr time.

As the above table shows, the GT TSI is faster at the top-end thanks to it having a good punch near the redline which comes in quite early at just under 6000 RPM. Although the tachometer shows redline at 6500 RPM, the GT seldom crosses the 6000 RPM mark with only first gear seeing the motor rev till 6200 RPM. There are three driving modes, D for drive, S for Sports and tiptronic function which let’s you shift gears on your own (there are no paddles!). In D mode the gearbox takes it easy, shifting early and as per throttle inputs, on full throttle it swaps gears at around 5500 RPM while in S mode the motor pulls to around 6000 RPM. In manual mode the gearbox remains in the lowest gear and won’t upshift till redline but if you don’t give full throttle, it won’t downshift. Gears will automatically change in manual mode if you fail to do so.

The 7-speed DSG unit offers slick shifts and shows the urgency you would want from a performance car. The Turbocharged Stratified Injection is itself fast revving and becomes audible post 3000 RPM, creating an addictive note post 4500 RPM. 100 km/hr comes up in third gear and you can comfortably cruise in top gear at 100 km/hr with the tachometer ticking in at just 2100 RPM. The vehicle pulls very quickly to 140 km/hr (it does 150 km/hr in fourth gear) and post that progress is a bit tamed although given the road, the GT TSI will easily top out at 190 km/hr. When you turn on the car, the cluster reminds you to put your foot on the brake to engage gear, in spite of that one can change between N, D and tiptronic without touching the button on the lever. With our heavy foot and redlining day and night, the GT TSI returned a respectable mileage of 9 km/l. Driven sedately, this car will easily give double digit numbers.

Volkswagen Polo Riding

What really stands out when driving the Polo is just how comfortable it is, because the suspension takes speed bumps and potholes in its stride, stopping them from crashing through to the interior – even at low speeds with our test car’s relatively large 17in alloy wheels fitted. Then, at higher motorway speeds, the Polo remains stable and smooths away rough surfaces.Does this new Polo take class honours in the way it handles? Well, in short, no; that still belongs to the more agile Ford Fiesta.However, there’s a lot to like about the new Polo on the road. Although it may not be as rewarding to drive as the Fiesta, the steering is precise, handling is secure and there’s plenty of grip, meaning you can confidently thread through a series of corners.

Volkswagen Polo Safety

Polo is one of the well equipped hatchbacks in B+ segment which gets eminent features like dual front airbags as standard across model series. Anti-lock-braking system, anti-pinch power windows and front fog lamps are available on the mid and top end trims. Rear fog lamps are again standard across line-up along with height adjustable head restraints in front/rear, electronic engine immobiliser, 3-point seat belts in front/rear and interior rear view mirror with anti-glare adjustment.

Volkswagen Polo Cost in Chennai

Volkswagen Polo On Road Price is  6,17,356/- and Ex-showroom Price is  5,40,467/- in Chennai. Volkswagen Polo comes in 5 colours, namely Flash Red,Reflex Silver,Copper Orange,Carbon Steel,Candy White. Volkswagen Polo comes with FWD with 1198 CC Displacement and 3 Cylinders with Maximum Power 74 bhp@5400 rpm and Peak Torque 110 Nm@3750 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at 10.5 seconds . Volkswagen Polo comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Volkswagen Polo Conclusion

The updated Polo has all it takes to be the segment leader; it has a good interior, a powerful engine with the best-in-class torque figure and a good ride and handling package. The top-spec Hyundai Elite i20 is about Rs 27,000 dearer than the Polo and despite the six-speed gearbox and a nice engine it isn’t as involving to drive. Although, the Elite i20 packs in a little more features in comparison, it lacks the soul of a driver’s car. This is where the Polo seems like value for money and is the best driving hatchback one can buy at this price.Conversely, launching a good car is only half the game won and VW needs to back it with good service. This is one area that VW needs to improve as competitors like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai are right at the top when it comes to after-sales service.

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