Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
  • User-friendly interior layout
  • Lots of colour and technology
  • Easy to use with excellent intelligent design

How is the quality and layout?

Material quality is good, but not what we’d describe as outstanding versus other superminis – you don’t have to look too hard to find cheaper plastics. That said, everything you regularly touch inside the Polo is likely to feel very premium.

To say this Polo is a bit different inside compared to the previous one is akin to pointing out Joe Biden has a different style of presidential leadership to Donald Trump. Depending on how you spec it, the Mk6 Polo offers a riot of interior colour potential.

However if you do still want something a little more restrained, you can keep things toned down.

Infotainment and tech

VW has moved the media system onto the same level as the instrument cluster so the driver doesn’t have to look so far away from the road to view it. This could have been done relatively easily by fitting a standalone, tablet-mimicking screen, as most rivals have done. Instead VW has chosen to fully integrate the touchscreen into the dashboard to give the finished product a far more cohesive and intentionally future-gazing look.

UK models also get the full 8.0-inch device as standard rather than the smaller 6.5-inch version offered in some markets. Also available as an option on the Mk6 Polo is VW’s second-generation Active Info Display – a fully digital instrument cluster that replaces the conventional dials.

It’s worth noting that we found the infotainment intuitive to use – with a more attractive interface design than that of the SEAT Ibiza (which uses essentially similar hardware). Better yet, VW hasn’t made the mistake of putting all the Polo’s secondary controls into this media system – there are still dials for the air-conditioning, for example, which is now standard on all models.

One small point to note is the dual-zone climate control system allowing independent temperatures for driver and passenger - most rivals only offer the one.

Comfort

  • Good ride comfort for a supermini
  • Big wheels makes a difference
  • Refinement better than rivals, if not as impressive as hoped

From the driver’s perspective, it’s good to see a wide range of adjustment in the seating position and the steering column. You shouldn’t have much difficulty making yourself comfy behind the Polo’s steering wheel.

Although we're a little disappointed at the amount of engine noise and vibration, it still betters most supermini rivals, if not by as big a margin as we'd expect from VW. Avoid the entry-level unit and pick the 95hp version to avoid having to work the engine so hard, thus helping you maintain a calmer drive.

Where the Polo does edge ahead of rivals is with the absence of road noise, helped especially by the large profiled tyres on lower spec models. This is where you get to really appreciate the small VW over the alternative hatchbacks.

For a small car, the Polo’s ride comfort is generally positive, but cars with 18-inch wheels don't ride as well. That's the case with almost any car, but it's just a little surprising in something like the Polo where you expect it to be just that little more composed. Also, the Fiesta is available with larger alloy wheels and manages to avoid any crashiness.

It's all the more noticeable at motorway speeds as it never really settles or smooths out. The stiff rear axle could potentially be the problem here, but it causes the cabin to buzz along and vibrate a lot, picking up ridges more than we were expecting.