The Volkswagen Polo is one of Britain’s most popular cars, the high-quality and dependable supermini having appeared regularly among the country’s top-sellers across its illustrious history. Bolstering its position as a class-leader, the model has been refreshed and enhanced, with intelligent assistance systems and innovations, a new look and trim levels, and even more generous standard equipment. The new model is available to order now, from £17,885 OTR.
The Polo is currently in its sixth generation, and was introduced to the UK market in 1975. More than 18 million have been produced during its 46-year lifespan. This latest version – the mid-life enhancement of its sixth iteration – rationalises the model’s trim line-up into the familiar Y-structure of other Volkswagen models; the range starting at £17,885 OTR with the Polo Life, and moving up into a two-pronged structure of comfort-focused Style and sportily-designed R-Line specifications, both priced from £20,785 OTR. The high-performance Polo GTI will arrive at a later date.
Four engine and gearbox configurations are available across the standard Polo line-up – all 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engines, ranging in power output from 80 PS to 110 PS. A five-speed manual gearbox accompanies the entry-level 80 PS, 93 Nm unit, while the 95 PS, 175 Nm power plant is available with both 5-speed manual and 7-speed DSG transmissions. The range-topping 110 PS, 200 Nm engine is available exclusively with the 7-speed DSG, and ahead of the Polo GTI, is the most rapid Polo in the range, taking 10.4 seconds to reach 62 mph.
With fuel economy of 54.3 mpg and CO2 emissions of 118 g/km (WLTP, combined), the Polo Life, with the 95 PS engine variant and 5-speed manual gearbox, is the model with the lowest emissions and greatest fuel economy across the Polo range, closely followed by the R-Line with the same engine and gearbox and the DSG-equipped, 95 PS variant of the Polo Life. The 95 PS engine is expected to take around 60% of UK sales, shared between the manual and DSG configurations.
With an equipment list containing even more features and technologies than the outgoing Polo, the enhanced model introduces big-car technology to this compact Volkswagen. For example, the entry-level Polo Life features Travel Assist as standard for 95 PS Life models and above – making the Polo one of the first models in its segment to offer partly automated driving. LED headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control and an 8.0-inch Digital Cockpit are also among the enhanced Polo’s factory-fit equipment, with handy features such as two front and two rear USB sockets, power-folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors, and automatic rain-sensing wipers also included as standard.
The Polo’s 8.0-inch Ready 2 Discover infotainment system is built on the third-generation Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB3) and therefore brings App-Connect, which uses either a USB connection or Bluetooth link to activate smartphone mirroring via the central touchscreen. The blend of value, technology and appeal of the Life trim means that it is expected to take around 75% of Polo sales in the UK.
Style trim is available exclusively with the Polo’s 95 PS engine and 7-speed DSG transmission, and majors on comfort and innovation. It includes IQ.Light intelligent LED matrix headlights, which allow individual settings for different driving conditions and environments. This is yet another example of Volkswagen democratising technology, this feature now offered in Volkswagen’s supermini, having first being seen on the Touareg in 2018. Also standard-fit for the Polo Style are front and rear parking sensors; 16-inch ‘Palermo’ alloy wheels; 2-zone climate control; an upgraded 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro dashboard display; and a Discover Navigation infotainment system.
The Polo R-Line is identifiable from the outside by its 16-inch ‘Valencia’ alloy wheels and bespoke bumpers, with distinct styling at the rear bringing the sporting model in line with its larger R-Line siblings, incorporating exhaust trim mimicking a trapezoidal quad-tailpipe setup. Inside, the model features a sporty black roof lining; stainless steel pedals; and sports comfort seats for the driver and front passenger, with upholstery in ‘Karoso Artvelours’ microfleece. The R-Line also shares many of its luxury features with the Polo Style, with a Discover Navigation infotainment system, Digital Cockpit Pro, ambient lighting and 2-zone climate control as standard, as well as Dynamic Road Sign Display and High Beam Assist aids.
As with every Volkswagen model, the enhanced Polo can be personalised further via a range of carefully selected options, which include the new-to-Volkswagen paint shade Vibrant Violet (£595) and new-to-Polo Kings Red (£695); a selection of 16- and 17-inch alternative alloy wheels; assistance systems including a rear-view camera (£250) and a pack bundling together Park Assist, Proactive Passenger Protection and other assistance features (£840 / £485 depending on specification); and a Sports Suspension Pack (£360), which incorporates more dynamic suspension, the XDS electronic differential lock first introduced on the Golf GTI, and Driving Profile Selection.
The GTI will arrive at a later date as the flagship of the Polo range, with further information to be released in due course.
Lisa Hartley, Polo Product Manager at Volkswagen UK, said: “The Polo is a supermini with a well-earned reputation for high quality, reliability and safety, and its regular spot in the top-sellers list shows just how much UK customers love it. As it enters the second phase of its sixth generation, it brings technologies that not only add more convenience, but also boost safety, efficiency and can benefit other road users too. A great example is the IQ.Light system, which was first introduced on the latest Touareg.
“Forty-five years of heritage combined with convenience, style and innovation mean that this latest Polo is exactly what our customers want and need. Small wonder it is such a popular choice.”