The Volkswagen Polo was launched in India in the year 2009 to take on rivals like Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i10, Hyundai i20, Tata Indica Vista and Fiat Punto. Already being one of the best selling hatchback in Europe, this car was liked equally by everyone in our country as well due to its matured, contemporary look with distinctive style and solidity. However then, the 5th generation Polo received a very mixed response due to lack of some necessary features like the electric ORVMs, USB Port, Automatic Climate Control, etc and was quipped with a weak 1.2 Litre 3-cylinder petrol engine. Volkswagen tried to regain the confidence of its customer by launching the face-lifted Polo in 2012 with some minor changes like more functional music system, a new gear knob, redesigned alloy wheels and headlights. But, Polo still failed to regain the market position due to its high price and poorly refined 3-pot 1.2 Litre petrol engine.
After learning lessons from previous failures, Volkswagen again launched new facelift Polo in 2014 with some cosmetic upgrades and much needed mechanical changes under the hood. This new Polo looks more attractive and fresher than previous models with a new front bumper, chrome treated front grille, a newly designed fog lamps and dual-barrel headlights.
The new Polo is available in three trim variants, namely Trendline, Comfortline and Highline and features dual front airbags as a standard across all variants. The Polo is all about unique personality, so it comes in different colour options with best in class paint quality. There are 6 body-paints currently available namely Copper Orange, Candy White, Night Blue, Flash Red, Carbon Steel and Reflex Silver.
As mentioned earlier, the new Polo received front facia upgrades with new Grill and headlights. The grill carries a Volkswagen badge at the centre, nicely supported by integrated chrome bars.
The new dual barrel headlights in black finish received chrome treatment too, and they look classy and upmarket than the previous Polo. But, new headlights still look conventional compare to LED headlights with daytime running lights on Euro - Spec. Polo.
The new redesigned front bumper features thick chrome strip running across the air-dam and integrated fog lights. The revised fog-light unit also received chrome lining all around and is enclosed with cornering lights.
The bonnet is clean and unfussy with typical Volkswagen lines, giving more planted and sporty look to the hatchback.
The new Polo features aggressive front, a short rear overhang and sporty side profile. The side profile is dominated by muscular shoulder line, originated from front headlight and continuing all the way back up to tail light.
The prominent side skirts add sportier character to side profile and also help to optimise airflow over the door panels.
The Side profile follows the 'Three Window Look', which means the third side window integrated in the C-Pillar. The roof line doesn't fall sharply after the C-Pillar, providing just enough headroom for rear seat passengers.
The new Polo measures 3971 mm in overall length and have a wheelbase of 2469 mm. The car is 1682 mm wider and 1469 mm taller. The ground clearance of 165 mm is smaller than the New Ford Figo (174 mm) and Suzuki Swift (170 mm).
The new seven spoke steel/ alloy wheels (depends on the variant) look sportier. The base variant gets steel wheel with 175/70/R14 tyres , while the top variant received alloy wheels with 185/60/R15 tyres.
Electrically adjustable ORVM with turn Indicators on top variant. Base variant received manually adjusted ORVMs.
The rear is dominated by a new rear bumper integrated with license plate carrier and reflectors. The tailgate extends right up to rear bumper and can be open with the VW logo, which acts as a switch to open it.
The new tail-lights are nicely integrated into tailgate & shoulder line. The panel gap between boot-lid and rear bumper looks wide, but its not cause of worry.
The new Polo comes with roof edge spoiler too.
Exterior specifications and Price comparison with other hatchbacks:
What you’ll like
• Overall the interiors are elegant and neat with preferences given to fit and finish, Quality of materials.
• Powerful A/C with climate control even felt at the rear seat.
• Dual tone beige and black colour setting(high-line trim).
• A good audio system.
• Pretty comfortable and cosy seats.
• Numerous storage pockets and bottle holders to keep you packed on that long drives.
• Large boot compared to rivals.
What you won’t like
• Lack of door lock / unlock on individual door handles.
• Lack of power windows on base trims.
• Rear leg room and comfort is not up-to the mark compared to its rivals.
• Pretty high placement of the foot pedals for the driver would seem like an issue for tall people.
• Smaller 14” spare wheel.
The dual tone interior looks bold and elegant.
A welcoming view of the Polo. Door pockets can accommodate 1.5L bottle.
The rear view with open doors.
Boot space is decent with wide opening doors but there is no 60:40 split in the rear seats making it tough to carry luggage and more than 2 passengers at the same time.
A clear view of the road ahead even from the rear seats. Also note that there are no pockets/storage areas behind the front seats.
The VW Polo Facelift comes with mirrors in the sun visor, this feature was unavailable in the previous models.
A smart well finished A/C vent with an elegant chrome outline. You can also see the passenger airbag symbol on the dash.
A huge glove box which comes with a lot of practicality it also has a separate section to store documents and the owner manual. Not to forget the glove-box has cooling provisions.
A good stereo system which is offered on the top two variants while the base variant gets nothing.
A powerful A/C (lower variants) with efficient cooling capacity.
Moving over to the driver information system the Tachometer and the Speedometer has been designed well with the center console showing information like Fuel quantity, Distance to empty, Outside temperature, Kilometers left for servicing etc.
Like a typical European car the lever on the left side of the steering controls the lights and cruise control. Cruise control is only available on the high-line variant.
The right side takes over the wiper and washer controls.
While light with a black background gives a premium touch and is very easy to read information without getting much distracted.
Stars in the night.
Well lit up !
pretty cramped up back here with very less leg room and head room .
The climate control comes on the higher variant and is truly outstanding.
A 14" spare wheel with a well packed jack and tool holder.
There is definitely a lot of ground clearance (165mm) seen here and the dual tone door panel looks neat.
A typical German engineered 5 speed gearbox. Two cup holders in front of Gear Lever.
Full advantage taken of the dual tone looks and a different glove-box handle.
As said the pedals are situated pretty high up and the dead-pedal foot rest would be useful accompanied with cruise control on those long highway rides.
The Polo’s 280-litre boot is usefully big and it’s well shaped too. Also with a first aid kit and an emergency reflective triangle stored neatly.
Engines and Transmissions:
The new Polo comes with two engine options; a 3-cylinder 1.2L MPI petrol and 1.5L TDI Diesel engine. The important change VW has made is under the hood. It has downsized 3-pot, 1.6L TDI engine to 4-cylinder, 1.5L TDI engine to get some excise cut and to reduce the overall price of the car.
1.2L MPI Petrol Engine:
The 3-cylinder 1.2L MPI engine churns out 74 bhp (5400 rpm) and 110 Nm torque at 3750 rpm. This engine really misses a sheer refinement of 1.2L, 4-cylinder petrol engine of other competitors, but it is more fuel efficient and offers linear power in the mid range.
VW claims that when paired with 5- speed manual transmission, 1.2L MPI offers ARAI mileage of 16.47 kmpl. Switch on the ignition key and you will immediately sense the vibrations of engine at the start-up. Slide the gear in 1st, and the car pick up gradually. VW claims that car sprint from 0 to 100 km/hr in 14.5 seconds. The 2nd and 3rd gear easily pull the car up to 40 km/hr, which means, frequent gear shifting is needed in heavy traffic. The gear shift is fairly light and slick.
The engine offer balanced power in the range of 2000 - 5000 rpm and it does revv happily up to 6000 rpm after which it starts stalling. The 75 PS Polo can achieve a top speed of 165 km/hr. The 1.2L MPI does it job fairly in city driving conditions, but on highway cruise and overtaking, the car demands more power from the engine.
1.5L TDI Diesel Engine:
The earlier 1.6L 3-Pot diesel never received positive feedback from the Indian customers as it was less responsive below 2000 rpm and non-linear power availability in the mid range.
VW equipped new polo with more refined and balanced 1.5L TDI engine to overcome previous flaws in the 1.6L Diesel Unit. This new engine offers plenty of torque at low rpm without turbo-lag and that is the main characteristic of this new diesel unit. In bumper to bumper traffic, the car pulls effortlessly in the 2nd gear under its own torque without need of shifting down to 1st gear. No need of frequent gear shifting in heavy traffic due to ample torque availability in the low rpm range.
The 1.5L TDI provides 230Nm torque at 1500 to 2500 rpm, which is better than its rival 1.5L i-DTEC Diesel Engine in Honda Amaze. The engine churns 89 bhp (90PS) at 4200 rpm and offers smooth, linear serge of power from 1100 rpm till 4000 rpm. After 4000 rpm, it starts loosing the power and its hard to extract more from it even after hard revving.
Coupled with the 5 - speed manual, the 1.5L TDI returns 20.14 kpl ARAI mileage, which is pretty impressive and economical. With 90ps uner its belly, the new Polo can accelerate from rest to 100 km/hr in just 13.1 seconds, which far better than previous model (1.6L Diesel took 16.2 seconds) .
With 1.5L diesel heart, the new Polo feels complete, efficient and well built and will surely bring some smile to its owners.
The new Polo uses light weight high strength steel with a right structural design to achieve high static rigidity. The high rigidity is an important parameter to evaluate safety, driving comfort and quality. All these parameters are quite evident on the new Polo.
Volkswagen claims that the new Polo is 7.5 percent lighter than the previous model due to use of light weight, high strength steel and that too; without compromising structural solidity.
The dual airbags (driver and front passenger) are standard across all the variants of the New Polo, while middle and top variant comes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) as an additional safety feature. With the two airbags, the Polo achieved a 4-Star rating for adult occupant protection in the 64 km/h Global NCAP crash test.
The new Polo is the only hatchback in the Indian market which has received a 4 -Star NCAP rating!!
Missing Side airbags on Top Variants. New Ford Figo top variant comes with six Airbags!!
Ride and Handling:
Volkswagen has used completely redesigned McPherson strut type suspension in the new Polo, which is tuned to the softer side for comfort ride on Indian roads. The large 15 inch wheels have a positive effect on driving performance and overall car stability at high speed.
The lower stance and soft suspension helps to take on bad roads without much fuss and ABS provide you enough confidence to push the car harder on open roads. The new sporty multifunctional steering wheel feels responsive and light, allowing you to take tight turns on city roads effortlessly.
The new Polo has turning radius of 4.97 meter, which is good enough for city driving conditions. Definitely, the new face-lifted polo comes with improved ride and handling qualities compare to previous model.