- Excellent build quality
- Fantastic interior
- Efficient engines
- Not as fun to drive as some
- Average boot space
- Conservative looks
The Polo is the classiest supermini out there
The Volkswagen Polo is one of the German manufacturers best-selling cars. First introduced way back in 1975, the Polo has throughout its history been one of the most solidly built small cars, that customers know they can trust. With a keen focus on quality, the Polo stands out from a very busy market by offering fantastic engine options, a well-crafted interior, and an unmatchable build quality.
The most recent revamp, in 2014, featured a subtle facelift, improved safety technology, and a more up-to-date infotainment system.
The undisputed class-leader
The interior of the Polo is without doubt the best-quality out of all the superminis on sale today. Build quality is exceptional, space is plentiful, and there’s a brilliant infotainment centre. If the interior ranks no.1 in importance for you, look no further than the Polo.
As soon as you step into the Polo, you can immediately tell it is a class above at this level. Everything feels incredibly upmarket. Soft-touch plastics are used across the dashboard, and switches are well-damped and easy to use. It’s also attractively designed, with chrome touches giving it a contemporary
When it comes to space, the Polo also impresses. It doesn’t have the biggest boot in its class, but the space it does possess is very useable. SE models and above come with an adjustable boot floor, something not found on many cars in its class. There’s ample room for most people’s everyday needs, and there’s plenty of space for the weekly shop.
Providing you avoid the S trim, the Polo comes with a fair whack of standard equipment. The SE trim comes with electric windows, remote central locking, alloy wheels, air-con, and the added bonus of steering wheel mounted audio controls. There’s also a 6.5” touch screen that controls the excellent infotainment system, with a DAB radio, CD player, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity all involved. It really is a pleasure to use as well, even technophobes will get the hang of it without too much hassle.
Volkswagen have really got the inside of the Polo spot on. You really couldn’t wish for anything more in the supermini class. There’s enough kit to please nearly everyone, even on basic models, and everything is so solid and well thought out it feels as homely as your living room.
Not as entertaining as some, but still impressive
For a supermini, the Volkswagen Polo is an incredibly refined drive. It’s not as much fun as a Ford Fiesta, but it drives like a much more expensive car.
Suspension and Chassis
If there’s one criticism you could throw at the Polo, it’s probably in its handling. There’s a fair bit of body roll at high speeds, and steering isn’t quite as sharp as it could be. Nevertheless, it offers plenty of grip whatever the weather, and it's especially maneuverable in the city. The hot-hatch GTI model at the top end of the range improves upon this, with stiffer suspension, and sharper turn-in.
If you can criticise its lack of fun, you certainly can’t criticise its refinement. Even on motorway drives the Polo cushions all but the worst of potholes and rough surfaces, and it’s equally capable around town. There’s also very little in the way of road or wind noise, even at high speeds. The Polo really is a comfortable car to be in.
Gearbox-wise, there’s a couple of options to choose from in the Polo. The gearbox that appears at the entry level of the range is a 5-speed manual gearbox, that’s perfect around town, but not so good for motorway driving. Further up the range is a 6-speed manual that is good at both. The range-topping 7-speed twin-clutch DSG automatic really is a spectacular transmission, especially on a supermini. It glides through gears with ease, though it’s only available as an optional extra.
A wide range of engines to suit all needs
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Polo, you’ve got two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s a big range of power outputs and efficiency levels though, so there’s bound to be one that perfectly fits your needs.
For the petrolheads out there, Volkswagen offers the turbocharged petrol-powered 1.8 litre GTI. Packing 190bhp and 236 lb/ft of torque, the lightweight Polo will have you going from 0-62mph in just 6.7 seconds, all the way up to its top speed of 147mph. The Polo GTI is also faster than its closest hot-hatch rivals, the Fiesta ST, and the VXR Corsa.
If you’re more interested in eco-credentials, the best option in the Polo range is the diesel-driven 1.4 TDI SE. Producing only 88 g/km of C02 means you won’t be paying any road tax, whilst also helping to save the ecosystem. This model is also the most fuel-efficient in the range, offering a stonking 83.1mpg. To achieve those figures in a supermini is staggering. With this model, you’ll be saving money on fuel, and car tax.
Whichever engine choice you go for in your Polo, you can be assured that they’re all well-equipped to cope with day-to-day living. The least powerful in the range may struggle on motorways, but other than that, you can take your pick out of the rest. None will disappoint.
Full marks on NCAP safety tests, impressive safety equipment
The supermini class is still one area where manufacturers have struggled to achieve full marks at NCAP. Not so with the Polo. It easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating, beating nearly all of its competitors. There’s also a fair amount of safety technology available. There’s the usual array of airbags, along with stability control, and a post-collision braking system as standard.
Impressive running costs
The Volkswagen Polo certainly offers buyers tremendous value for money. This obviously varies from model to model, but there is value to be had throughout the range. Many of the models have low C02 emissions, and fuel efficiency is solid, with only the GTI an anomaly.
The Polo really is one of the best in its class in this area.
Insurance wise, Polo’s are relatively cheap to insure, this despite the fact that Volkswagen’s are generally more desirable, and hold their value better. The cheapest in the range finds itself in group 3 (1.2 S), leading up to group 30 for the Polo GTI, though again this is out on its own, as the rest of the range sits comfortably around the group 10 range.
Depreciation after the first couple of years, is actually very positive for the Volkswagen Polo. Buyers understand the importance in purchasing a good solid car that will last, therefore the Polo seems to hold its value. Like most cars though, the first couple of years can see rapid depreciation from list price, and what with the Polo being so well built, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Volkswagen Polo is widely acknowledged as one of the best cars in the supermini class, and for good reason. It has the classiest interior, the best engine range, and is efficient to run. It’s no wonder that the Polo has remained a favourite for buyers for over 40 years.
Buying a used Volkswagen Polo online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Volkswagen Polo for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Volkswagen Polo. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Volkswagen Polo online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Volkswagen Polo? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Polo, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Volkswagen Polo, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Volkswagen to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st year depreciation cost of 40%.