The main focus of the new sixth generation Polo, now offered in a 5 door only form, is a major increase in cabin and luggage space, the debut of new engines, sharper design, and new ‘big car’ assistance systems.
Technologies such as City Emergency Braking with new Pedestrian Monitoring function, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Detection significantly improve safety and reflect a new level for assistance systems in the supermini segment.
The exterior design has been made more powerful, and expressive, while the new Polo’s interior has been fundamentally renewed. Indeed this is a supermini interior that has been fully developed for the digital era.
The instruments are arranged on the same viewing axis as the infotainment system, too, with new glass-encased eight-inch touchscreen units standard across the entire Polo range.
New LED headlights replace all Xenon headlights on the sixth generation Polo, while LED daytime running lights are also standard on the car.
The optional Keyless Access locking and engine starting system, which is also new, can be specified to further improve convenience while Driving Profile Selection allows the choice of one of four programs: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual, to tailor the Polo’s character to the driver’s precise need, and mood.
In the Eco driving mode, for instance, engine control, air conditioning and other auxiliary systems are regulated in a manner that ensures optimal fuel efficiency. In vehicles fitted with DSG, a coasting function can also be used with the Eco mode: if the driver releases the accelerator pedal – for example, on downhill stretches – the DSG disengages and the engine idles. In Sport mode, on the other hand, engine response and shift points of the DSG are configured to be more dynamic.
The new car is longer, wider, has a lower overall height but improved headroom versus its predecessor.
Bigger in every dimension but length than the Golf Mk IV – sold here until 2003 – the capacious new Polo offers a boot volume that has grown 25%, from 280 litres to 351 litres.
Every new Polo contains a generous level of standard-fit equipment, including Bluetooth and USB connectivity as well as an 8.0-inch colour touch-screen, in keeping with its position at the head of the supermini segment.
The Polo range kicks off with the 999 cc three-cylinder petrol EVO engine, producing 65 PS, with a more powerful 80 PS version also available. 999 cc three-cylinder petrol TSI engines are also available, with 95 PS and 115 PS, with both six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG gearboxes available. Two 1.6-litre diesel engines are offered, with 80 PS and 95 PS respectively. At the top of the Polo range, a 200 PS 2.0-litre TSI engine powers the new Polo GTI and Polo GTI+, with a six-speed DSG gearbox the only available transmission available at present. All engines are Euro VI compliant.
Regardless of fuel choice, all new Polo engines are equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode, while any of the TSI and TDI powerplants with an output of 95 PS or more can be configured with a 6- or 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox, depending on engine choice. Alternative gearbox options include five- or six-speed manuals.
The Polo can be adapted to its driver’s particular preferences via a large range of convenience systems, including optional features such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Indeed, even the entry-level version of the new Polo is launching with the Front Assist area monitoring system including City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring as standard.
The Polo achieved a five-star crash safety rating from testing body Euro NCAP in 2017, achieving 96% for adult occupant protection, 85% for child occupant protection, 76% for pedestrian protection and 59% for its safety assistance systems. In all tests, adult occupant protection is rated at adequate or better for all areas.
Polo particularly impressed in the side barrier test and side pole impact tests, with maximum points awarded for each. Also praised by the safety body was Polo’s standard Front Assist system, which avoided collisions at most test speeds.