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Which Volkswagen Polo makes the best company car?

  • Revised Polo brings significant improvements in CO2 and MPG figures
  • Find out which engine and trim makes the most sense in our guide
  • Optional extras are reasonably priced, including satellite navigation

The Volkswagen Polo is the German manufacturer’s second biggest selling car here in the UK and has been revised for 2014 bringing substantial improvements in CO2 emissions and fuel economy across the range. 

Although appealling to more retail buyers than fleet, it is still a popular and low-cost choice for many company car drivers who put practicality further down their priority list.

Picking the right Polo can be a pretty daunting task. To help, we’ve trailed through the range to help you find the engine and trim choice that makes the most sense as a company car, including any optional extras that may be worth a look.

Three-door versus five-door

Despite the extra sporty appeal of the three-door, the five-door is by far the more practical choice here especially if you have children or are planning to start a family. There is also only a £630 difference in price between the two so it would be an easy decision for us.

Engine choice

Although diesel is the conventional choice for company cars, petrol is actually the more cost-effective option here mainly because of the large premium in price applied to diesel over petrol. To get to the payback point you would need to travel a substantial amount of miles to counteract the tax savings and the price at the pumps.

The big news for 2014 is the introduction of a new petrol BlueMotion engine to the Polo range which will not only be more powerful than the diesel option but will also emit only 94g/km of CO2 and have an official average fuel consumption figure of 68.9mpg.

Unfortunately both BlueMotion engines will not be available to order until the end of the year. However there's still a pair of pretty frugal petrol engines to choose from now if you cannot wait; a 90bhp 1.2 TSI and a 1.0 MPI which is available in two power outputs, 59bhp and 74bhp.

There is actually very little to separate the petrol engines when it comes to CO2 emissions with all engines slotting within the 14 percent BIK tax band for the 2014/15 tax year.

Although the 1.2 TSI costs around £1,000 more than the lower powered 1.0 MPI, both engines are identical for fuel economy and we think the extra 30bhp will make all the difference if you need to travel on the motorway.

Trim level

There are five trims available to choose from: S, SE, SE-Design, SEL and BlueGT. The SE trim offers a good balance between value for money and kit with DAB Radio, a 6.5-inch touchscreen entertainment system, 15-inch alloy wheels, USB port, air-con and leather interior touches.

The price does jump up quite a bit once you move to SE-Design and SEL so we think SE is the most cost effective choice.  

Optional extras

There are quite a few optional extras on offer and reasonably priced too. We would consider the sat-nav system which will cost you £700, adaptive cruise control with front assist and emergency city braking priced at £500 and MirrorLink (not available on iPhone),  which cleverly transfers your Android phone display to the multimedia screen in the car.

Verdict

We would go for the 1.2 TSI 89bhp five-door Polo in SE trim which has a P11d price of £14,155, and add to that the MirrorLink technology, sat-nav system and adaptive cruise control, which brings the total to £15,505.

With CO2 emissions of 107g/km, this places the car in a 14 percent BIK tax band meaning a total monthly cost of £36.18 for a 20 percent tax payer.