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Volkswagen Polo: Which trim should you buy?

  • We take a closer look at all the different engines and trims available
  • Which makes the most sense for you as your next new car?
  • From sporty GTI to ultra-frugal BlueMotion choice

Written by Debbie Wood Published: 6 August 2015 Updated: 6 August 2015

Since going on sale back in 2009, the Volkswagen Polo has had a number of revisions and changes to its line-up plus a grand total of 12 trims introduced in just six years.

So even if you’ve decided that the Volkswagen Polo is the car for you, that’s only really half the battle when it comes to choosing the version you want.

A hugely popular choice here in the UK, today there are nine equipment levels – or trims – to choose from: S, S A/C, SE, SE Design, BlueMotion, R-Line, SEL, BlueGT and GTI.

To help you make sense of it all and find the right Volkswagen Polo, we’ve taken a closer look at the various trims available.

Don’t forget to read our full review of the Volkswagen Polo and check out our Cars for Sale section for local deals. 

For sportier performance

Like the Volkswagen Golf, the Polo range also includes a sporty GTI model which adds styling enhancements over the standard hatchback including 17-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, LED lights, unique GTI badging, a black honeycomb grille, red brake callipers and a twin exhaust, plus lowered sports suspension and a revised rear suspension set-up for a more engaging drive.

Sitting right at the top of the range, the GTI rivals the Ford Fiesta ST and has a starting price of £18,900. Under the bonnet is a 1.8-litre petrol engine with 190bhp and 320Nm of torque capable of accelerating the car from 0-62mph as quickly as 6.5 seconds.

There’s a choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed auto gearbox and running costs are reasonable with a combined fuel economy of 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km; though choose the DSG auto gearbox and these figures improve to 50.4mpg and 129g/km.

As well as the styling enhancements buyers will also get air-con, electric heated and adjustable door mirrors, Bluetooth, DAB Radio, remote central locking and electric windows thrown in as standard.

Click here to read our full review of the Volkswagen Polo GTI

For low running costs

Nearly every Polo will come equipped with BlueMotion technology to help keep running costs low, however if you’re looking for the optimum performer in fuel economy, the stand-alone BlueMotion model is the one to pick with a combined fuel economy of 68mpg and CO2 emissions of 94g/km.

The extra mpg means a small compromise on performance though with 93bhp and 160Nm of torque produced from the small 1-litre petrol engine exclusive to BlueMotion models. It means the car can sprint from 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds.

Costing £14,780 as standard for the three-door model, it’s not cheap to buy either, costing nearly £3,500 more than the entry-level S model.

Over the standard Polo you do get alloy wheels, an alarm system, remote central locking, cruise control, air-con, a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen system and front centre armrest though.

The value for money option

Although the entry-level models carry the cheapest price tag, they come don’t come with many luxuries or mod-cons like cruise control or even air-con.

We think the sweet spot in the range when it comes to value for money is SE trim which has a starting price of £12,635 and includes air-con, a heated rear windscreen, DAB Radio, Bluetooth, an alarm, automatic post-collision braking system and 15-inch alloy wheels as standard.

Ultimate luxury

Sitting near the top of the range is SEL which comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, reading lights, parking sensors, cruise control, LED headlamps, rear tinted windows, trip computer, chrome interior detailing and a leather trimmed steering wheel and gearknob as standard.

Prices start at £16,310 and there’s a choice of a 1.4-litre diesel or 1-litre petrol engines. The latter has enough power to accelerate the car from 0-62mph in less than ten seconds and you can also opt for Volkswagen’s excellent seven-gear DSG automatic for a premium.

If you’re after more performance then the BlueGT model is the next tier up which is equipped with a 1.4-litre petrol engine with cylinder shutdown technology which offers a combined fuel economy of 61mpg and 148bhp which powers the car to accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds.

It’s pretty expensive though, with prices starting from £17,910.

Options worth considering

The Volkswagen Polo is not renowned for its impressive levels of kit or its cheap price tag. That said, its build quality, interior refinement and range of economical engines produce an overall package which is hard to beat.

If the Polo you want to buy doesn’t come with all the kit you need, Volkswagen has a vast options list for you to be able to spec up your ideal car – beware though, some can be very expensive.

The options we would consider include the Parking Pack which features front and rear reversing sensors, a rear view camera and cruise control too all for the reasonable price of £425. If the Polo you want already comes with parking sensors, you can fit the rear-view camera separately for £240.

For those of us who like to go on adventures around the UK, a sat-nav is a must and Volkswagen has put together a good package for £700 which includes navigation software updates for three years, European data, three calculated routes (Fast, Short, Eco) and Traffic Sign Display.

Ideal for the colder months is the Winter Pack which for £360 combines headlight washers, heated front seats, heated windscreen washer jets and low washer fluid warning light. Once you’ve owned a car with heated seats you’ll never want to be without them again.

The Light and Sight Pack is well priced at £150 and includes automatic headlights, separate daytime running lights and rain sensor wipers.

For just £100 you can get fitted Car-Net App-Connect which integrates Apple CarPlay, Google Andriod Auto and MirrorLink allowing mirroring of smartphone display on the infotainment touchscreen via USB connection. 

One of our favourite new safety features is adaptive cruise control which adapts the speed of the car automatically, slowing you down if you get close to the vehicle in front. This system costs a reasonable £500 to add and also includes an emergency braking system – it’s not available with lower-powered 1-litre engine options though.

The optional small sunroof is one of the more expensive options at £860 and although LED lights look good, £900 is a big outlay.

TOP TIP – When looking at options make sure you add up the cost and compare to the higher trimmed models which may feature them as standard. 

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