The newly polished Volkswagen Polo is the small car that doesn’t feel small at all anymore.

“The newly polished Volkswagen Polo is the small car that doesn’t feel small at all anymore.”

  • More spacious than ever

  • Top quality interior

  • Some impressive ‘big car’ kit

86%

Overall Rating

  • Entry price has increased

  • Some of the lesser powered engines feel a little breathless

  • Fiesta still handles better

Overall Rating

Overview

The new Volkswagen Polo has grown not just in size but as a full package and can now offer more spec, tech and comfort than ever before. Competition in this segment might be fierce at the moment, but this newly polished Polo will still be the one to beat for those who want a premium feeling car in a now not even quite so compact package.

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Space & Practicality

The new Polo is nearly 8 centimetres longer than the car it replaces. One of the first places you’ll notice this is in the boot. The luggage capacity has grown by over 25 per cent to a massive 351 litres. That’s only 30 litres less than a Golf.

It now only comes as a five door, so there’s no more scrambling in and out of the back for your rear seat passengers. They also open good and wide and Isofix anchors come as standard making it a viable option for small families on a budget.

Space in the back is exceptional for a car in this class and knee room is particularly impressive, even for adults. The middle seat is as it always is in these cars, a tight squeeze with three abreast but fine for kids.

What’s impressive about the increase in space is that it has managed to hold on to that small car charm  – neat enough not to look or feel too intimidating, yet solid as a rock.

Equipment and Safety

The Polo interior was always great, and always felt a bit more premium and grown up than its rivals. This has been taken up a notch further and it now offers some truly impressive ‘big car tech’. Standard features on the bestselling Comfortline model include an 8 inch colour touchscreen display, Air-Conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. It’s a fantastic system to use, and in our opinions, one of the best on the market at the moment.

There’s some impressive safety kit on board too like active emergency braking which will warn you first if a car brakes suddenly in front of you or a pedestrian gets in your way, and automatically apply the brakes if you don’t heed that warning. Along with the all round airbags fitted as standard, it helped the Polo score the full 5 star rating on the NCAP safety test.

Performance & Running Costs

There’s a good choice of engines to choose from. The most popular will be the 1.0l petrol, which you can get in three different power outputs of 65, 75 and 95 brake horse power, the latter being the new turbo-charged TSI which is a really nice little engine if you want that bit of extra power. Our test car was powered by the entry level 65hp model which doesn’t set the world on fire in terms of performance but for a city driver, it’s probably all the Polo you’ll ever need. It’s light and agile so still feels peppy enough about town – quick off the mark at the lights but at the same time offers a very solid and reassuring drive.

The good small car stuff prevails in the tiny turning circle, light steering, and nippy, zippy feel around the suburbs and carparks.

It offers the kind of impressive fuel economy you want from a city car with a claimed fuel economy of 4.7/l 100km and an annual motortax bill of just €190. For those who do heavier mileage, there’s also a couple of 1.6l diesels.

Reliability & Residuals

Unfortunately along with the growth in dimensions, the price has also grown a bit too and the new Polo now starts at €16,795 or more realistically, €18,695 for the Comfortline model. It’s still quite good value as far as Volkswagens go, still cheaper than a Golf and being a compact, smaller-engined car, residual values will be particularly strong.

In short, the new Polo is everything a small car should be and while competition in this segment is now fiercer than ever this newly polished Polo will still be the one to beat for those who want a premium feeling car in a now not even quite so compact package.

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