The sheer joy of driving

Since its launch in 2010, the Volkswagen Polo has been in a continuing state of evolution. Over the years, it has been powered by a minimum of eight totally different engines, nevertheless, it’s this 2020 mannequin that will get essentially the most completed engine but.

The new 999cc, three-cylinder direct-injection turbo-petrol engine — an International Engine of the Year award winner — is each densely full of expertise and finely engineered to deftly stability the conflicting necessities of each energy and gas economic system. Compared to the outgoing 1.2 TSI unit, energy is up by 5hp to 110hp, whereas torque stays an similar 175Nm, albeit from a barely greater 1,750rpm (vs 1,500rpm for the 1.2 TSI).

Also new are the gearbox choices. The TSI unit is on the market with a 6-speed handbook gearbox for the primary time, whereas the quick-shifting DSG gearbox from earlier than can be changed by a standard 6-speed torque converter auto (it isn’t in showrooms but).

Apart from the engine, little has modified on the Polo. The form is timeless and nonetheless exudes that strong Teutonic really feel. The crisp particulars nonetheless elicit lengthy, appreciative appears to be like, and what provides to the attraction is the brand new GTI-like nostril launched with the facelift final 12 months. There can also be an additional bit of cladding that stretches alongside the operating board and round to the rear, merging with what appears to be like like a fake diffuser.

The interiors

The cabin too is kind of acquainted and, the truth is, feels prefer it has been carried over unaltered, with only some necessary options added. As earlier than, construct high quality is a spotlight of the Polo. The ‘thunk’ if you shut the door speaks volumes and what additionally lends an air of high quality is that the buttons are constructed to a excessive customary. The predominantly black-and-grey cabin although feels uninteresting.

The sheer joy of driving

The 6.5-inch touchscreen will not be very massive however the high quality of the show and contact perform is sweet. In reality, utilizing the system is kind of seamless, and Apple CarPlay works significantly effectively. Those who love driving may also admire the sporty instrument panel with its white-on-black numbering and the monotone central show. And then there’s the leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, a tactile expertise in itself.

The entrance seats provide good seating consolation and the driving place is great too. Rear-seat area has not been the Polo’s strongest level; nevertheless, that mentioned, the seat will not be a nasty place to be, particularly in case you are not very tall. Thigh assist is sweet, the cushioning is good and the backrest is properly reclined too.

When it involves equipment, VW has deleted some important objects. There is not any rear parking digital camera, no ESP and no LEDs, however on this Highline Plus, you do get stuff like a cooled glovebox, cruise management, voice instructions and one-touch energy home windows.

The drive

Performance, by any yardstick, is robust. The tug from 3,000rpm to round 6,000rpm delivers a powerful push within the small of your again; shift up a gear and there’s not a lot of a let-up in efficiency. Acceleration is so robust, the 1.0-litre does the 0-100kph dash in simply 9.97sec, making it one of the quickest hatchbacks round and a full second quicker than the 1.2 TSI. Accelerate additional and by the point you get to 160kph, that hole is greater than 6sec!

The unit additionally pulls cleanly from low engine speeds, making it simple to drive in site visitors. Get off the clutch, even from as little as 1,100rpm in any gear, and there’s not an excessive amount of judder or hesitation. Acceleration, nevertheless, is a bit flat and energy doesn’t are available in robust till you cross 2,500rpm.

The sheer joy of driving

Rowing by the gearbox to maintain the engine on the boil provides tremendously to the driving expertise and the well-chosen gear ratios squeeze essentially the most out of this engine. The 6-speed gearbox, nevertheless, takes a bit of effort to fit by the gate, and every now and then feels a bit notchy.

Lopping off one cylinder has compromised refinement to some extent and the discordant beat of the three-cylinder engine is noticeable. Idle is a bit lumpy and you may really feel a number of pulses coming by the clutch. The lack of a balancer shaft means it actually will not be as easy as Ford’s 1.5 three-cylinder Dragon — the benchmark for refinement. Also, 1.2 TSI house owners will clearly miss the silky easy responses and seamless punch of the larger four-cylinder unit.

The sheer joy of driving

However, the place the hatchback hits it out of the park is round corners. The steering is direct, slack-free and weights up properly as you go quicker. The automobile additionally enters corners with much more confidence. It effortlessly carries pace into corners, the turn-in is sharp, physique management is respectable, and the large wheels and grippy tyres actually help you preserve quickens. It even rides effectively. There is a touch of stiffness within the springs, however the suspension manages to spherical off sharp edges fairly properly. Even massive craters aren’t a lot of an issue.

Keen drivers will actually benefit from the well-rounded efficiency of the brand new Polo 1.Zero TSI, which actually comes collectively as an ideal driver’s automobile. In reality, for sheer driving pleasure, you’ll not get something extra entertaining for the cash. The 1.Zero TSI can also be environment friendly. The official determine stands at 18.24kpl, which suggests a real-world determine of between 11-12kpl on our metropolis cycle.

Pros and cons

If you’re in search of area, consolation and practicality, the brand new 2020 Polo 1.Zero TSI will not be the hatchback for you. However, shift your gaze to the driving force’s seat, and the 2020 Polo instantly emerges as a entrance runner. Yes, the engine must be labored to get essentially the most out of it, it isn’t fairly as easy as a four-cylinder, and a few necessary equipment has been deleted. Still, in case you are having fun with your time behind the wheel, the gracefully ageing Polo with a brand new coronary heart is a compelling bundle.

The sheer joy of driving

Outright efficiency is what units this automobile aside, and proper now there isn’t a different faster mainstream hatch. It is steady at pace, likes to deal with corners, and goads you to drive it shortly. Put merely, this can be a good driver’s automobile . Adding to the feel-good issue is Volkswagen’s legendary construct high quality. It feels strong, each in and out, and that even after 5 years of arduous utilization, it won’t look the more severe for put on.


At ₹8.02 lakh, it isn’t too far off the automobile that at present dominates this class — the Swift ZXi+ at ₹7.58 lakh. For the identical cash, you will get a compact SUV too, however that won’t be half as a lot enjoyable as soon as the novelty wears off.

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