The Polo, never exciting, not special at all, solid, boring, predictable, expensive, but always a best seller. So apparently, it does something right. The role of a Polo, is that of a good allrounder. A friend to all, who does nothing wrong, but also doesn’t excel in anything. If you want sharp handling, you get a Fiesta. If you want a lot of car for a low price, get a Swift. If you want something more extravert, you get a C3 or a Micra. So, the new Polo will once again take up the role of a good allrounder, but in comparison with its predecessor, which has been around since 2009, there have been some changes. Just like the new Seat Ibiza, the Polo sits on Volkswagens modular platform; the new A0 MQB-platform, and that means the wheelbase has been extended by quite a bit. It’s wider, it’s longer, but the height has remained the same. But because the wheels now are on the edges of the car, the car now looks sturdier. It’s a seriously sized car. It’s the widest in its class and it’s over four metres long.Also, the new Polo always comes as a five-door version, the three-door version has been discontinued. The four-metre length of this car, isn’t very special anymore in the current B-segment. Every car is around that length nowadays, but if you go back in time; A Golf 3 had about the same length. Also around four metres. Of course, because the outside of the car is growing doesn’t mean the inside is growing as well. Throughout the years, safety features have been sharpened, and those features take up a lot of room in a car.Yet, a B-segment car is more often becoming a serious alternative for a C-segment car. So if we would put in a Volkswagen-perspective; why would you get a Golf if a Polo already has everything you need? Because what do you need exactly? How about space in the back? Because of that long wheelbase, the space in the back is quite good really. I’m 1,87 m and I can easily sit behind myself. There’s enough room left between my knees and the seat Headroom is good… It’s very good for this class indeed. Then, the boot. 351 litres. That’s quite a lot more than the 280 litres in its predecessor, and the biggest in the B-segment. Even better: it’s one litre more than the boot of a Golf 6. Go figure.If you fold down everything, the space increases to 1125 litres. The space in the back is nice and all, but this is what you’ll be looking at when you’re driving; the dashboard. You shouldn’t expect a
lot of big surprises here… This all looks familiar, up to the vents. This is all new though, a integrated multimedia system with satnav and a lot of other features. Everything is on this Highline. The system is quick, it still features physical buttons, which control the most used functions. Also, what’s special for the B-segment; you can get a fully digital instrumentarium. It will set you back €360,- and for that money you don’t just get two dials in front of you, but a whole digital screen, in which you can stretch the satnav, which looks very cool. So, how does the rest hold up? Well, very nicely to be honest.Earlier this week, I was in a Seat Ibiza. In essence, it’s the same car, but there are slight differences in the used materials. Mostly the finishing. It’s just on a slightly higher level in this Polo. The materials are just a tad softer, it’s all been put together slightly better, and that’s when you notice Volkswagen is still positioned higher than Seat. That said, I suddenly spot this crack here. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be there, but it doesn’t look very neat. Then, the drive. Surely it isn’t a surprise that the Polo doesn’t have surprising drive. A Polo drives like a Polo is supposed to drive. It’s a balanced mix between comfort and sportiness, but it’s mostly focussed on comfort. Especially the ‘normal’ versions aren’t sporty at all. You can choose for an adaptive suspension, but if you’d want the version we’re driving right now; the 1.0-litre TSI producing 95 horsepower, that doesn’t make sense at all.You get adaptive dampers, the steering gets a little heavier, the engine reacts a little quicker, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense if you get that on a version like this. If you get the GTI however, it’s absolutely worth it. Other than that? I already told you, it drives like you expect it to drive. It’s very predictable, very neutral, it’s comfortable… This engine, the 95 horsepower 1.0-litre TSI, will become the best selling engine in the Netherlands, according to the predictions. And that’s more than sufficient to be honest. In this case, it’s connected to a DSG automatic gearbox, which changes gear very quickly, so you’ll be in top gear very quick. Anyway, you almost won’t hear it. Only when you really put your foot down, you can hear those three cylinders purring. It’s not super quick, but it’s decent. And if you think ‘that’s too weak for me’, there’s a 115
horsepower-version available as well. In time, there will be a 1.5 TSI as well, which produces 150 horsepower. And that’s sure to be more than sufficient for the Polo. So what’s left to expect from the engine range? The entry model comes with a 65 horsepower MPI.Of course, no one will go for that, because it clearly is the showroom-lure. It’s also available with 75 horsepower, but like I’ve already said; this turbocharged 1.0-litre producing 95 horsepower, you shouldn’t do it for less. In time, two diesels will arrive in the showroom as well, and there will also be a 1.0-litre on natural gas. Not really relevant for the Netherlands. The GTI, 200 horsepower, 2.0-litres, very fun of course. We’ll have to wait for that as well. Other than that? The famous trim-levels. You’ve got the Trendline as entry trim, then you get the Comfortline and the Highline, and of course; the options.Speaking of options, Volkswagen is known for their excessive options list. If you start ticking the boxes, the metre will start running. But still, the new Polo is quite complete as standard, without it costing you extra money. Completer than its predecessor. So you get more car for the same money. For example, every Polo comes with Front Assist with City Emergency Braking as standard. That’s an emergency brake for when something pops up in front of your car for example, so it’ll brake. Sure, it’s not unique, but it’s fitted as standard.For the rest, there’s cruise control, all kinds of parking features, a very cool Beats-audio system of 300W. That’ll also become a special action model for the Polo; the Beats. That’ll arrive in time. In short: all of the technologies we’ve already seen in higher segments, have finally reached the Polo. The new Polo is available from €15.550. That will get you a 1.0-litre MPI producing 65 horsepower. A Trendline, with hubcaps, no airconditioning and no other features. No one will buy that of course. The 1.0-litre Comfortline producing 95 horsepower however, will be a very popular model. That’s already available from €19.000.That’s not particularly cheap, especially if you start to dress it up. You know that, I know that, but we also both know the new Polo will become a best seller. And considering its handling, its spaciousness, and the big options list, that’s very much deserved. The new Polo is a car which doesn’t have a lot of downsides, and indeed, it’s a serious
alternative for a Volkswagen Golf. .