If you thought Volkswagen didn’t make anything smaller than the Golf, you haven’t seen what’s offered in Europe. This is where the Volkswagen Polo lives.
The Polo is an extremely small hatchback that’s been around for a long time. So long, in fact, that we’re in the sixth generation of this little car. The Polo fits on the tight European roads well, and it’s a popular choice for those drivers who need to spend a lot of time in some of the large cities across the European nations. The current version was launched in 2017, with a mid-cycle facelift in 2021.
The Polo doesn’t bow to modern times
Unlike most other vehicles, this tiny VW isn’t offered with a hybrid or electric option. That said, the Polo might be a little easier to live with than the larger Golf. Although there’s less interior space in the Polo, this car only has the bare minimum features and qualities to make it drivable and refined. The small gas engine does come with a start/stop function to reduce fuel consumption slightly while sitting at traffic lights.
- Quiet, roomy, comfortable cabin
- Well-equipped in its standard guise
- Conservative interior
- Not as much fun to drive as other subcompact cars
What trims are offered?
The 2024 Volkswagen Polo comes in four trims, giving you various packages and features that make this little car enjoyable. The trims are Life, Style, R-Line, and GTI. Those of us in America recognize the R-Line and GTI models from other VW models. Once you get past the base model, the Style and R-Line versions are priced the same. The difference between these two trims is that the Style model is made for comfort, while the R-Line is a sportier version. As you would expect, the GTI is the range-topping Polo, and it has the sportiest build.
The Polo has grown inside and out
The Polo is not a new name in the VW world. This car has been around for nearly half a century. During that time, the VW Polo grew and became nearly as big as previous versions of the Golf. This tiny car is comfortable in the front and has enough room in the rear for two people to ride comfortably.
When you look around the cabin, you’ll see a car that’s a little too conservative. Other models have more stylish interior elements, including the Skoda Fabia, which is the Polo’s corporate cousin. The Peugeot 208 is also much more stylish than the VW Polo.
The entry-level Life model has an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. This model also features an 8.0-inch digital instrument panel. The instrument screen increases to 10.25 inches in higher trims while the infotainment screen grows to 9.2 inches. You’ll also have two front and two rear USB-C charging ports on all models, electric folding heated door mirrors, and automatic wipers.
This car has lots of actual buttons
The touchscreen has volume and zoom control buttons on either side of the screen, making it easy for the driver or passengers to adjust settings. The climate controls are separate from the infotainment screen and are located lower down on the dash, making it easy to adjust the comfort settings inside the Volkswagen Polo. The Life trim has buttons and knobs that are easy to use, but once you step up to the larger touchscreen, the bank of buttons aren’t nearly as user-friendly.
What powers the VW Polo?
This little VW has two powertrains offered for it. There’s a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that’s used for most of the trims. This little car can be had in its naturally aspirated form that produces 79 horsepower and a five-speed manual transmission for the Life trim.
This powertrain can be had with turbocharging, which increases power to 93 horsepower. Toss in an optional seven-speed DSG automatic transmission, and you have the powertrain available for the Style and R-Line trims. The R-Line model can also be had with a 108-horsepower version of this powertrain.
The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine powers the GTI trim, giving this little car 204 horsepower. This is a huge step up compared to the other VW Polo trims.
Find the right Polo to drive
Although the Volkswagen Polo isn’t sold in the United States, if you take a vacation to Europe, this could be the car that you rent during your trip. Which version of this little car would you want to drive and enjoy on the small streets around Europe? This little car might make you want to bring one back across the pond.
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