Volkswagen Polo: From sombre city car into a street fighter

Aug 16 2014, 09:00 IST
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For Rs 4.99-6.07 lakh for the 1.2 MPI, and Rs 6.27-7.37 lakh for the 1.5 TDI, the new Volkswagen Polo is priced at a premium. For Rs 4.99-6.07 lakh for the 1.2 MPI, and Rs 6.27-7.37 lakh for the 1.5 TDI, the new Volkswagen Polo is priced at a premium.
SummaryNew Volkswagen Polo is far more attractive, better to drive, handles well, gets a cosseting cabin...

It doesn’t look fast. It doesn’t have to. After all, the Volkswagen Polo has always been the good, understated family car. So when the Polo was launched in India back in 2009, the company sold it on its strengths including solid build, well-put-together and spacious interiors, and the German brand value. Then, in 2013, Volkswagen did something different. It started planting in the Polo more powerful engines—first the 1.2-litre TSI and then the 1.6-litre TDI. What next, an all-new diesel engine and a look-fast body.


The changes to the exterior of the Polo are subtle yet extensive. It gets a new front grille and a redesigned front bumper that now comes with integrated fog lamps and cornering lights. The spic-and-span headlamps especially attract attention. The rear bumper has also been redesigned and it now gets integrated licence-plate carrier and reflectors. There are minute changes to the tail-lamps also. The car gets new wheel covers and, on the Highline version, new 15-inch alloy wheels. But the new Polo doesn’t get daytime running lights or blinkers on rear-view mirrors. The Polo was always a smart-looking car, and these updates make it look even more upmarket.


Move inside and what you will immediately notice is the flat-bottom steering wheel which, in fact, gives the Polo’s cabin a new identity. Other changes include new fabrics for seat upholstery and a silver-painted centre console. The AC vents, two DIN audio system and climate control system get a metallic surround and the audio system now gets Bluetooth, aux-in and USB compatibility and memory card slots. The display in the centre of the instrument panel is now white in colour from the earlier red and the fonts are bigger, more readable. A nice touch is that when you open any door, the footwell also lights up, enhancing visibility in the cabin. Airbags are a standard equipment on all versions of the new Polo. While all the seats are pretty comfortable, the rear seating area still is cramped and cannot easily seat three adults. But what truly stands out is interior fit-and-finish—the attention to detail is so minute that not one thing in the cabin seems out of place. The boot is large enough for its class.


While the petrol engine is 1.2-litre MPI that produces a maximum power of 75ps@5400 rpm and a torque of 110Nm@3750 rpm, the all-new diesel engine is a 1.5-litre TDI unit that produces a healthy

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