Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Petrol engines 8.3 - 11.0 mpp
Diesel engines 10.8 - 11.6 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.

Fuel economy

Petrol engines 38.7 - 51.4 mpg
Diesel engines 53.3 - 57.6 mpg
  • Diesel offers best mpg but 1.0-litre petrol comes close
  • Polo should offer low insurance and high residuals
  • Servicing for 1.0-litre models should also be cheap

Most economical of all is the 1.6-litre diesel, which boasts 53.3-57.6mpg, but out in the real world you’ll have to travel thousands of miles a year more to make the difference in the asking price over the 1.0-litre petrol models, especially since the diesel is only available in high-spec SEL - the 95hp 1.0 TSI claims up to 47.1-51.4 mpg, while the automatic version dips to 42.8-46.3mpg.

During our time of testing, the 80hp 1.0-litre averaged around 42-43mpg, which is some way short of the claimed 49.6-51.2mpg. We suspect this will be down to the lack of a sixth gear, meaning at motorway speeds, the engine spins relatively high around 3,500rpm. Using the speed limiter function helps a little, but because you have to work the engine hard getting up to speed, you'll have to cover a fair distance on a gentle motorway cruise before you reach the official figure.

The most powerful 1.0-litre engine with 115hp claims an average of 46.3mpg, while the GTI dips below the 40s with 38.7-39.8mpg.

VW also tells us that these new three-cylinder petrol models are around 10% cheaper when it comes to servicing costs versus older four-cylinder engines – not least because they require fewer parts (there’s one less spark plug for starters). The company also promises excellent insurance rates, while as with all Volkswagens the Polo should hold its value better than average thanks to strong residual values, meaning it should be worth more than rivals when you come to sell it.

The VW Polo is unlikely to raise the ire of your local Greenpeace chapter, as its best-selling engine choices are all small 1.0-litre petrols – which means CO2 and NOx emissions are kept well under control. There has been no mention of hybrid or electric versions of the Mk6 Polo, but the best performer for CO2 emissions is the 1.0-litre Evo with 80hp, emitting between 125-132g/km, while the 95hp version emits 127-135g/km with its manual gearbox, or 139-151g/km with the DSG automatic. However the 115hp 1.0 TSI isn't far behind at 137-138g/km, with the DSG automatic ranging between 130-146g/km.

The GTI produces between 159-165g/km of CO2 emissions.

Is it reliable?

  • Not typically a troublesome model
  • Lots of shared parts with other VW models
  • Time will tell whether this is good or bad

Volkswagen is far from blemish-free in this area, but the Polo isn’t typically known for being a troublesome model. Being based on a similar platform as the Golf this time means plenty of shared components with other VW models, however – though only time will tell if this means tried and tested levels of satisfaction or group-wide troubles. As of 2019, there have been two recalls for the Polo. One is for the handbrake lever that can travel more than necessary, while the other is to do with a rear seatbelt issue - a recall that's affected cars across the VW Group.

The Polo comes with a standard three-year warranty from Volkswagen in case anything goes wrong with the car. 

2018 rear seatbelt recall

In May 2018, a recall was issued on the Volkswagen Polo’s left rear seatbelt, warning that during sudden lane changes the left rear seatbelt could become unlocked (when the centre rear and left rear seat were both occupied). A fix was found and fitted free of charge during recalls for affected vehicles.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £150
Insurance group 1 - 28
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