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Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
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Buying new

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Most Polo buyers will opt for the 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engines – and the 95hp version is expected to account for 75% of all Polo sales. Three-quarters of the Polo’s customers surely can’t be wrong?

And they’re not. This engine, though not overwhelmingly refined, has all the performance most people will ever need, delivered with reasonable fuel economy and agreeable levels of emissions. It would have been nice if VW had stumped up for a six-speed gearbox instead of the basic five-speed, but that probably keeps the purchase cost down and you can always opt for the seven-speed DSG if you want to improve on it. A solid choice.

The 115hp 1.0-litre TSI certainly packs extra punch, so remains worth considering. But if we wanted more out of a Polo we’d save up even more pennies and buy the 1.5 TSI with 150hp – it’s a lovely engine with real zip and character.

How well the 200hp Polo GTI fares will be entirely down to its performance – particularly in comparison to the latest Fiesta ST – so we’ll reserve judgement on that until we’ve driven it.

Most Polo buyers won’t bother with diesel, and we wouldn’t either.

Buying used

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VW Polo supermini history

  • 2017 – Sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo launched. All-new versus its predecessor, it’s based on a new platform, comes packed with technology, and is larger and roomier, too.

Selling

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  • 1.0-litre 95hp petrol by far the most popular choice
  • Be sure to shop around for the best deals
  • Avoid going too mad with options and colours

Those 1.0-litre petrol Polos should be in good supply, so don’t be afraid to haggle.

This is a popular model, so most dealers won’t be desperate for sales, but they should still be motivated to secure your cash – if you don’t think you’re getting value for money at one showroom, try another; there are plenty of VW franchises around.

Diesel may be trickier. On the one hand, you may get a good deal because so few are sold, on the other the rarity is likely to add to the inconvenience, and dealer group stock won’t be subject to the same economies of scale.

Above average residual values should translate into attractive finance packages – just remember to check you’re not paying extortionate levels of APR if you plan to buy the car at the end of the finance period. Check the Parkers Deal Watch pages for the latest offers.

How should I spec my VW Polo?

Specification-wise, the value sweet-spot is likely to be SE – with a good balance of price and standard equipment. Avoid getting too carried away with outlandish colour combos if you want to ensure a strong second-hand price later on.

VW generally tries to keep individual option pricing down on this model – but this can tempt you into adding lots of things, which will obviously drive the price much higher. Try to concentrate on items that will make a difference to future buyers as well; we like the Sport Select adaptive suspension but weren’t blown away by the Active Info Display.


Buying a used VW Polo 

  • 1.0-litre petrols should be easy to find
  • Check faster models for signs of abuse
  • Look carefully for parking damage

Want a 1.0-litre petrol? Then you’ll be spoilt for choice – so don’t accept any rubbish. The Polo sells in large numbers, and to a wide variety of people; it’s down to you find a good second-hand example but the Parkers Car History Check and the Parkers valuation service can help make sure you’re onto a winner.

All the usual rules apply here. Check the service history, including whether the car is on fixed or variable intervals, as this will give you some insight into how it’s been driven. Many Polos will be used mainly around town, so look for parking damage and scuffed wheels.

Inspect more powerful models – the 1.5-litre TSI and 2.0-litre GTI in particular – for excessive tyre wear and worn out brakes, as this may provide clues as to how they’ve been treated.

Is the interior in good condition? Models with lighter-coloured plastics and seats may require deep cleaning. Check that all the on-board technology still works.


Selling your VW Polo supermini

  • The best cars will sell fastest
  • Good preparation can help ensure yours is one of these
  • Be thorough and honest when advertising

With lots of used Polos out there you need to make your advert stand out.

Detail everything you can about the car – including service history and fitted options – take high quality photographs in good light and price sensibly. The Parkers car valuation service can help you here.

Get minor damage repaired, including any marks on the wheels, and make sure the interior is looking its best.

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