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2023 Volkswagen Polo evaluation | CarExpert

Few mild section hatchbacks have the category of the Volkswagen Polo.

Named after the centuries-old sport synonymous with elite society, the little hatchback is understood for being a bit bit fancy on the earth of entry-level transport.

I assume Mini-Golf doesn’t fairly have the identical ring to it, nor Putt-Putt, however the Polo goes an extended method to emulating the traits of its bigger stablemate. It’s a part of the explanation why my little sister purchased one, as she cherished that it was like a child model of my Golf.

Whereas gross sales of sunshine automobiles proceed to fall, the rising value of dwelling and gasoline might imply huge alternatives for vehicles just like the Polo; which affords huge automotive house and really feel in a less expensive, extra economical package deal.

It affords some flagship tech and options from increased up within the Volkswagen vary, and its teeny-tiny little turbocharged petrol engine affords respectable go in addition to near-hybrid ranges of effectivity. What’s to not love?

The Polo punches effectively above its weight.

How a lot does the Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Fashion value?

The Polo 85TSI Fashion begins at $31,200 plus on-road prices, which is by the way $50 cheaper than when the facelifted vary launched final yr.

It’s the costliest non-performance Polo variant on sale in Australia, and totally optioned you’re nearer to $35,000 earlier than on-roads or about $40,000 drive-away.

Sure that’s huge cash for a bit automotive, however as famous within the introduction, the Polo packs a whole lot of house and high-end options right into a compact footprint – extra on that later.

It’s value noting the Polo has misplaced some options quickly from September 2022 manufacturing because of element shortages, regardless of our check automotive being a decked-out MY22 instance, together with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Volkswagen has confirmed it plans to reintroduce this gear, which can probably be met with nominal worth rises, as soon as it comes again on-line on the manufacturing unit.

2023 Volkswagen Polo pricing:

  • Volkswagen Polo 70TSI Life 6MT: $25,750
  • Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Life 7DSG: $28,750
  • Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Fashion 7DSG: $31,200
  • Volkswagen Polo GTI 6DSG: $39,250

Costs exclude on-road prices

What’s the Volkswagen Polo Fashion like on the within?

The grown up feel and look of the Polo continues contained in the cabin.

Volkswagen already had one of many benchmark mild automotive interiors with the pre-facelift iteration of the Polo, and it didn’t actually need to alter a lot to maintain it there.

The mid-life replace introduced much less dramatic revisions to the cabin than the outside, which was already fairly a delicate set of adjustments in itself.

Volkswagen’s new steering wheel sits forward of an up to date 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Professional digital instrument cluster, and in contrast to the GTI it does with out the fiddly touch-capacitive multifunction controls. Tick.

The model’s newest infotainment powers the 8.0-inch touchscreen neatly built-in into the dashboard fascia, and as examined with the non-obligatory Sound & Tech Bundle, it packs embedded navigation in addition to wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with DAB+ radio.

All of it makes for fairly an upmarket and tech-laden expertise, and undoubtedly is without doubt one of the greatest setups within the class.

My solely gripe is that the Sound & Tech pack doesn’t add the bigger 9.2-inch touchscreen unique to the Polo GTI regionally, however supplied in common grades elsewhere on the earth. With this show, the Polo Fashion can be far and away the know-how benchmark within the section.

That possibility package deal additionally brings a six-speaker Beats premium audio system with 300W output and eight-channel amplifier. The upgraded sound system undoubtedly has some punch, however dial it up an excessive amount of and it’d make the laborious door plastics and home windows shake.

Talking of the door trims, the Polo’s mixture of supplies isn’t fairly nearly as good as most bigger automobiles its priced in opposition to, however once more it’s arguably difficult premium mild vehicles when it comes to cabin execution.

The dashboard is delicate to the touch and feels nearly as good as what you’ll discover in a Golf, however the laborious, scratchy plastic used for the doorways is a stark distinction. At the very least all the primary contact factors really feel high-quality, together with a leather-based steering wheel, strong leather-based gearshift, and padded material rests in your elbows on the centre armrest and door playing cards.

Even the seats and headliner really feel high-end, with the entrance pews specifically being upgraded Consolation Sports activities items that don’t really feel that completely different to the entrance chairs fitted to my Mk7.5 Golf GTI.

There’s an excellent stability of bolstering and luxury dialled in, and the guide adjustment affords good vary for the entrance seats and the steering wheel so taller drivers like myself (6’1) can get snug. It once more performs to that larger automotive really feel.

Between the entrance seats is a pair of small-ish hexagonal cupholders that aren’t as sensible because the rounder, toothed items you’ll discover in costlier Volkswagens, and the front-centre arm relaxation cubby is a bit skinny and shallow – however, quite a few vehicles within the section don’t even have an armrest right here.

Elsewhere, storage options are fairly good. There’s a giant cubby beneath the centre stack full with a wi-fi telephone charger, and large door pockets that may maintain bigger bottles – however no material lining.

Once more, all of it performs to the Polo’s mature and upmarket pitch.

The Polo’s second row once more is without doubt one of the greatest in section for house and luxury, although it loses floor to its Skoda Fabia platform mate right here.

Leg-, head- and knee room are above common for the category, and the seats themselves are extra snug than you’ll discover in most rivals past the Volkswagen Group secure.

It’s a disgrace the Polo misses out on directional rear air vents, which the Fabia scores. It does provide a pair of USB-C charging shops that are helpful, in addition to map pockets behind the entrance seats and bottle holders within the doorways.

Children are catered for with ISOFIX anchors on the outboard seats and top-tether mounts behind all three rear positions.

Behind the second row, the 351-litre boot is once more up there with the very best at school, and is just about 30L off a Golf. The Fabia affords 380L which is line-ball with automobiles from the section above.

This expands to 1125L with the rear seat backs folded in commonplace specification. I say ‘commonplace specification’ as a result of the Sound & Tech Bundle optioned right here eats into boot house a bit because the Beats audio system’s subwoofer takes up the underfloor storage.

Whereas Volkswagen doesn’t quote a determine for the Fashion with the choice pack, the GTI’s 305L/1079L appear consultant. The Polo Life and Fashion get a full-size 15-inch metal spare wheel, versus the GTI’s space-saver.

What’s beneath the bonnet?

The Polo 70TSI and 85TSI fashions are powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.

In 85TSI guise, the turbo triple makes – you guessed it – 85kW (5000-5500rpm) and 200Nm (2000-2500rpm). Drive within the high-spec tune is shipped to the entrance wheels through a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch auto as commonplace.

Volkswagen quotes a 10.4-second 0-100km/h time, and thrifty mixed gasoline consumption of 5.4 litres per 100km. CO2 emissions are rated at 123g/km (mixed).

The whole Polo vary is homologated to Euro 6 emissions commonplace, and options idle cease/begin know-how. 95 RON premium unleaded is the minimal octane ranking required for the Polo’s 40-litre gasoline tank.

How does the Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Fashion drive?

Not a lot has modified about how the Polo drives – and that’s no dangerous factor, both.

The Mini-Golf vibe continues to the on-road expertise, with the Polo providing a quiet, refined and comfy all-round drive that feels that little bit extra polished than the majority of its rivals.

In contrast to some rivals with three-cylinder engines, the Polo’s 1.0 TSI isn’t unrefined or thrashy, with a muted and charming tone that has that signature unbalanced sound however is effectively suppressed in comparison with one thing like a Toyota Yaris.

All 200Nm is accessible from 2000rpm, that means there’s occasional of lag off the mark because the turbo spools up and the DSG will get into gear, however when you’re shifting progress is powerful and linear, which is all that you simply want actually.

In equity it may well take a little bit of getting used to, as there shall be instances you’ll be caught out for a beat earlier than it will get on the ability. You’ll be able to drive round it by anticipating when you might want to get operating and letting off the brake early to have the idle cease/begin to hearth the engine earlier than you might want to get shifting, or simply flip the system off altogether.

You can even flick the transmission into S to get extra rapid response.

The Polo can also be one of many few automobiles on this dimension section that may genuinely be a succesful freeway cruiser, in the event you’re searching for an affordable automotive that may do common highway journeys in consolation and refinement.

With an extended seventh gear, meaty mid-range, and wonderful applied sciences like Journey Help together with a well-engineered chassis tuned for extra than simply metropolis driving, the Polo is greater than geared up for Australian freeways.

It feels as planted and secure as something within the section, and supplied you’re not trying to do a whole lot of country-road overtaking manoeuvres, it’ll fortunately cruise alongside at 100-110km/h with out a lot fuss.

No different car on this section has the Polo’s stage of high-speed stability and refinement, maybe except for Audi’s associated A1 Sportback, which helps the Polo make an excellent case for somebody trying to downsize from a bigger automotive.

Additional, at any velocity the Polo has one of many quietest cabins within the section. Intestine gemacht Volkswagen

On the town the Polo’s journey and dealing with is taut and errs on the firmer aspect, however is compliant sufficient to iron out the majority of inner-city imperfections.

The 16-inch alloys don’t like more durable impacts just like the smaller 15s on the Life, however it’s removed from crashy or unrefined on this respect.

Additional, the Polo turns in predictably and precisely, balancing the road between engagement and luxury effectively. If you would like one thing distinctly sporty greatest to take a look at the go-fast GTI and even the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo Version 150.

Like most vehicles within the section the Polo runs a torsion beam rear suspension setup and a MacPherson strut entrance design. It’s undoubtedly a bit sharper on the rear in comparison with IRS-equipped MQB stablemates, however once more it’s nonetheless ones of the leaders in its class for general consolation and refinement.

One other Polo sturdy go well with is the array of driver help applied sciences obtainable, and in Fashion spec there’s sufficient options which can be adequate to be in premium automobiles – it does share its underpinnings with an Audi, in any case…

Journey Help is without doubt one of the smartest semi-autonomous freeway assists on the market, precisely preserving you centred in your lane with out attempting to wrestle the steering wheel out of your hand, and the adaptive cruise management with Site visitors Jam Help well retains a protected distance from the automotive in entrance with out being too conservative.

The Polo will come near driving itself if you want, and the touch-capacitive steering wheel means you received’t be topic to beeping and bonging in the event you’re not making fixed steering inputs – somewhat, simply have contact on the rim.

Our check automotive’s blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert programs have been additionally helpful, however remember in the event you’re getting a latest construct you’ll miss out on this tech.

I’m additionally an enormous fan of the inclusion of Matrix LED headlights on a car on this section, which work just like the items in vehicles greater than twice or thrice the value. Dynamic Gentle Help has enjoyable animations and sequences because the completely different mild segments come on-line, which is a cool contact in a $31,000 automotive.

What do you get?

Polo Life highlights:

  • Cruise management
  • LED headlights (reflector kind)
  • LED tail lights
  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • 8.0-inch Digital Cockpit
  • 8.0-inch Composition Media touchscreen
  • Wired App-Join (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto)
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Wi-fi telephone charging
  • Leather-based multifunction steering wheel
  • Consolation material upholstery 
  • Entrance seat lumbar adjustment
  • Automated headlights
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Auto dimming rear-view mirror
  • Illuminated entrance self-importance mirrors
  • Entrance centre armrest

Polo Fashion provides:

  • Consolation Sports activities entrance seats
  • 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Professional
  • Journey Help
    • Adaptive cruise management
    • Adaptive lane steerage
    • Site visitors Jam Help
  • Park Help (auto reverse parking)
  • IQ.Gentle Matrix LED headlights
  • Dynamic Gentle Help (adaptive high-beam)
  • Illuminated LED grille strip
  • Premium LED tail lights incl. dynamic indicators
  • Twin-zone local weather management air
  • 16-inch alloys
  • Entrance Fog lights
  • Inside ambient lighting


Imaginative and prescient & Tech Bundle: $1700 (Life DSG)

  • 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Professional
  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Voice management
  • Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Journey Help
    • Adaptive cruise management
    • Adaptive lane steerage
    • Site visitors Jam Help

Sound & Tech Bundle: $1900 (Fashion)

  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Voice management
  • Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Beats premium audio system
    • 6 audio system
    • 300W output
    • Digital 8-channel amp

Panoramic sunroof: $1500 (Fashion)



Metallic and Pearl Impact: $600

  • Vibrant Violet
  • Reflex Silver
  • Smokey Gray
  • Reef Blue
  • Deep Black

Is the Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Fashion protected?

Facelifted variations of the Volkswagen Polo put on a five-star ANCAP ranking with 2022 date stamp.

With its up to date security suite in opposition to the newest standards, the brand new Polo scored a powerful 94 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 80 per cent for little one occupant safety, 70 per cent for susceptible highway person safety and 70 per cent for security help.

Commonplace security options embody:

  • 7 airbags incl. front-centre airbag
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian, Bicycle owner detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane maintain help
  • Parking sensors entrance, rear

Polo Fashion and GTI add:

  • IQ.Gentle Matrix LED headlights
  • Dynamic Gentle Help (adaptive high-beam)
  • Blind-spot monitoring*
  • Rear cross-traffic alert*
  • Park Help
  • Journey Help
    • Adaptive cruise management with Cease&Go
    • Lane centring

*Quickly unavailable from September 2022 manufacturing because of ongoing element shortages

How a lot does the Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Fashion value to run?

As with the broader Volkswagen vary, the Polo is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Moreover, 12 months of roadside help is included, and could be prolonged yearly as much as 9 years supplied you service your car with an authorised Volkswagen vendor.

Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000 kilometres – whichever comes first. It can save you cash within the long-term by pre-purchasing a three- or five-year service package deal. The previous is priced at $1350, and the latter $2300.

In response to the Volkswagen Australia web site, the five-year plan saves between $636 and $794 over paying as you go, which incorporates the primary 12-month/15,000km service thrown in free of charge. The three-year plan saves a quoted $166-$295.

By way of real-world gasoline consumption, we noticed an indicated 7.0L/100km throughout our week of testing which included combined highway varieties however skewed in direction of peak-hour commuting.

We all know it’s able to getting low sixes and excessive fives with extra cruisy driving, however if you would like essentially the most environment friendly mild automotive the Toyota Yaris Hybrid will use half the gasoline, and might run on 91 RON.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Fashion

The Polo Fashion might effectively be the decide of the vary.

With the $1900 Sound & Tech Bundle optioned, it affords all of the options you possibly can need after which some, combined in with a stage of refinement and polish that few rivals within the section can match.

It’ll value you, although. The place many rivals will prime out across the $30,000 mark even after on-road prices, the Polo with choices shall be edging the $40,000 barrier one it’s in your driveway – which is a good whack for a light-weight automotive.

That’s to not say it doesn’t go an extended method to attempt to justify its worth. With benchmark infotainment, Matrix LED headlights, and a number of the greatest help tech within the enterprise, the Polo is a bit luxurious automotive masquerading as one thing extra mainstream.

Volkswagen’s on-line configurator, you will get a automotive that appears like this one for $38,670 drive-away in the event you don’t go for the sunroof. I feel that’s the perfect Polo spec, given that also is available in cheaper than the drive-away worth of an absolute base Mk8 Golf.

Sport of putt-putt, anybody?

Click on the pictures for the complete gallery

MORE: Every part Volkswagen Polo

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