VW Polo review by TopGear

The Polo makes no attempt to enter into the jocular spirit of its more fun supermini peers. Yet it remains the logical choice, if not the loveable one.

  • Comfort

    Fine seats and a reasonably compliant ride keep the Polo at a good-average level for the class. It isn't especially roomy though, as evidenced by the lack of the third rear head restraint.

    Rated 6 out of 10
  • Performance

    The most intriguing engine is the 105bhp petrol TSI, a turbocharged 1.2-litre. It's torquey and smooth (if a bit buzzy) and always feels willing. It replaces the old 1.6 and goes harder, but according to the EU lab figures, travels nearly a quarter futher on a litre of fuel. The other petrol engines are revised versions of what came before, including a pair of sweet but gutless 1.2 three-cylinders (60bhp, we ask you). There's also a new 1.6 diesel engine in two outputs - 75 and 90bhp. It's smooth and refined and the fuel needle seems magnetised to the F. But the economy star is the brand-new 1.2 diesel Bluemotion that emits a paltry 91g/km of CO2.

    Rated 5 out of 10
  • Cool

    The Polo GTI looks like a Golf GTI wannabe. Would you dress up like your hero and then ask if you looked cool? Exactly.

    Rated 5 out of 10
  • Quality

    The Polo makes the same leap as the Mk4 Golf did, the one that really put VW on the map for cabin quality. There's nothing too elaborate, but the whole fascia is executed with lush materials and a watchmaker's tolerances. There's some scratchy plastic on the doors, mind, and some of the nice brushed-alloy trimcomes only if you shell out for the top spec.

    Rated 7 out of 10
  • Handling

    If you want to go a long way in a small car without your arse aching, skeleton humming and ears zinging, the Polo is your car. There's remarkably little cruising noise, and the suspension swallows that tiring high-frequency patter of the average concrete motorway. At low speed the Polo's ride is nicely pliant when dealing with the craters that are standard on British streets. However, due to the weight of the larger engines the car is hardly fun, although you can have a good time in the 1.2 TSI.

    Rated 4 out of 10
  • Practicality

    A Polo is boxy and has large doors and is easy to see out of. But actual cabin and boot space is merely average for the class.

    Rated 6 out of 10
  • Running costs

    No nasty surprises here - all the engines are clean, especially the diesels, which sit in VED Band C (£30) and return 65mpg. But the amazing Bluemotion 1.2 TDI trumps them all with 91g of CO2 meaning free road tax and an amazing 80mpg.

    Rated 10 out of 10

Article source: www.topgear.com