4.3 out of 5 4.3
Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Polished Polo is well built and spacious, with an extensive range

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback Review Video
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At a glance

New price £17,885 - £23,355
Lease from new From £206 p/m View lease deals
Used price £8,705 - £24,680
Used monthly cost From £217 per month
Fuel Economy 38.7 - 57.6 mpg
Road tax cost £155
Insurance group 1 - 29 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Impressive array of on-board technology
  • Efficient engine range, plus powerful GTI
  • Strong brand image
  • Spacious for a supermini

CONS

  • The fanciest equipment is optional
  • Refinement occasionally lets it down
  • Variable ride comfort
  • Not especially fun to drive

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback rivals

Written by Lawrence Cheung on

Is the Volkswagen Polo any good?

The Volkswagen Polo is a solid choice. It's smart, polished, and just that bit more sophisticated than the average supermini thanks to a premium and grown-up image that shouts sensible in a way that no other big-selling small car does.

Previous Polos had interiors that were a bit dour, but this latest model is vibrant and modern, packed with technology, and claims to be the most spacious in class. Liberal helpings of soft-touch plastics keeps things feeling premium.

Despite its merits, it's easily outsold by the Ford Fiesta. While it also goes up against the SEAT Ibiza and Audi A1, five-door versions of the MINI HatchMazda 2, Nissan Micra and the Vauxhall Corsa.

Read the Volkswagen Polo verdict

What's it like inside?

Pretty spacious considering its size. The Polo is not only bigger than the previous model in every dimension that counts, it actually exceeds the size of the fourth-generation Volkswagen Golf in all but length. Most crucial of all is the increase in its wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear axles); pushing the wheels 92mm further apart plays a big role in making passengers more comfortable – creating more room and improving ride quality. The latest Polo is also 69mm wider than the car it replaces.

Inside there are premium materials that would feel equally at home in larger, more expensive cars. It can be specced with colourful interior options too, increasing the Polo’s youth appeal and giving the cabin a more playful feel.

VW’s bosses see all this as ‘overcoming traditional class boundaries’ – meaning you get a lot more of a large car experience in this Polo. We say it gives you a great deal of car for the money. The Ford Fiesta is excellent in many areas, but with the Polo Volkswagen has clearly set out to surprise and delight customers with what’s possible from a car of this size.

For example, this generation of Polo was the debut car for VW’s second-generation Active Info Display – the optional interactive digital gauge cluster that replaces the conventional instrument dials.

Other key features include autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection as standard, a central touchscreen display (depending on model), and extensive connectivity – from smartphone features to specially developed apps.

Read more on the Volkswagen Polo interior

What's it like to drive?

First and foremost, the Polo is very easy to drive. Superminis like this have a huge scope of buyers and Volkswagen needs to cater for all of them. All of the controls are logically laid out and most people will adapt to driving one very quickly.

The most basic models have enough get up and go for the city, while the more powerful cars easily keep up with the hustle and bustle of the motorway. The GTI models are aimed at enthusiasts who enjoy driving - and they may just be a little disappointed.

Read more on how the Volkswagen Polo drives

What models and trims are available?

As sales of three-door cars have dropped significantly in recent years, there is no such version of this generation of Polo, VW deciding instead only offering the more practical five-door – which makes accessing the rear seats easier.

There are eight trim levels to choose from. They are Match, Active, Beats, SEL, R-Line. GTI, and GTI Plus. Each one brings with it slightly more kit than the one before.

Engines consist of 1.0-litre petrols with different power outputs, available with manual or automatic gearboxes, plus a 2.0-litre petrol that's reserved for the GTI and GTI Plus.

What else should I know?

There's a new Volkswagen Polo right around the corner. If you're the kind of person who must have the latest things, it's worth waiting for it. Alternatively if you're after a bargain, wait for this new one to come out then look for a dealer looking to offload an 'old' model.

Is this the supermini to go for? Read on to find out in the full Parkers Volkswagen Polo review

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback rivals

Other Volkswagen Polo models: