One of the Volkswagen Automotive Group’s (VAG) top sellers with 14 million units sold since its debut in 1975, the latest Polo, as per previous snaps, takes after the recently facelifted Golf aesthetically with the biggest departure from the outgoing model being a new platform and gain in dimensions.
Using a variation of the VAG’s flexible MQB architecture, renamed A0 and shared with the Seat Ibiza, the Polo now measures 4 053 mm in overall length, 81 mm longer than its predecessor, with a wheelbase of 2 564 mm (up by 94 mm and only 14 mm shorter than the Golf 5), width of 1 751 mm (+69 mm) and height of 1 446 mm (+7 mm).
Along with a 15 and 25 mm gain in headroom despite the small height increase and a boot now measuring 351-litres as opposed to 280-litres, the interior now features a mostly digital layout inspired by that of the Passat, thanks to the latest Active Info Display instrument cluster.
In addition to a new multi-function steering with one button to switch between the various menus, the infotainment system offers a choice of 6.5-or eight-inch displays encased in glass and designed to mimic those of smartphones, while new driver assistance systems include City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Traffic Alert, semi-autonomous Park Assist and Stop / Go for models with the optional DSG gearbox.
Underneath the bonnet, the Polo will go in sale in Europe later this year with a choice of three petrol, one diesel and a single natural gas engine, with drive once again to the front wheels.
Starting the range off, the base petrol can be had with a normally aspirated 1.0-litre three cylinder mill making either 48 kW or 55 kW, while the application of a turbocharger ups power to 70 kW or 85 kW respectively. A five-speed manual is standard on all bar the high powered 1.0 TSI, which receives a six-speed manual, with a seven-speed DSG optional on both TSI models only.
Cooking petrol models are capped off by the same 110 kW 1.5 TSI Evo used in the Golf, while the Polo GTI drops the current 141 kW 1.8 TSI engine for the same 2.0-litre TSI used in the Golf 6 GTI, albeit detuned to 147 kW. A six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG are offered on both.
Diesel power will come from Volkswagen’s stalwart 1.6 TDI developing either 59 kW or 70 kW, while the 1.0-litre TGI natural gas churns out 66 kW. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard on all models with the higher powered TDI featuring the DSG as an option.
A choice of five trim levels (Trendline, Comfortline, Highline, Beats and R-Line), 14 exterior colour options, wheel sizes ranging from 14 to 18-inches in 12 different designs and 13 interior will be available with prices in Germany expected to start at €12 795 (R183 312).