VW’s Polo, like a lot of us as we get older, has grown a touch over the years.
The sixth generation Polo (lunched in March 2018) is a similar size to the 1998 Golf Mark 4. With more than 14 million units sold worldwide to date (including derivatives nearly 16.5 million units), the Polo is certainly a success for VW.
Being built on Volkswagen’s modular MQB platform (which serves in its various sizes vehicles such as the Golf and Tiguan Allspace seven seat SUV), the Polo 6 is ostensibly a city car with internal space that rivals brand vehicles from the next segment up such as Mazda3, Ford Focus and Subaru Impreza.
Longer and lower in height than the previous generation, the new Polo is also larger inside. Length: 4,053 mm (+81 mm), wheelbase: 2,548 mm (+78 mm), cargo capacity: 351 litres (+71 litres).
The sixth generation Polo has been designed on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) vehicle platform. This allows the designers to deliver more dynamic proportions with a long wheelbase, short body overhangs and a sporty ratio of its key dimensions (longer, wider, lower overall height but improved headroom). The design has been made more powerful, masculine, charismatic and expressive than previously.
The base model is let down by the 15 inch steel wheels, but overall it has a differing appeal from its competitors.
Inside the Trendline is a mixed bag. There are touches of class in the soft touch dash, door sills and flat bottomed leather steering wheel. However there are other areas where it shows that it is an entry level model, like the cloth seats with harsh material.
The driver’s seat is manually adjustable and relatively comfortable, but lacks additional lumbar support and that was noticeable. There is plenty of room, even for taller drivers such as myself.
The dash layout is typical VW, which means functional, clear and easy to read. Two large white on black dials with a handy MFD between.
The centre stack is well integrated and laid out. The 8 inch screen provides crisp images for the reversing camera. There are little storage areas around, but I wouldn’t say that was a strong feature.
Rear seats are ok for shorter distances, but the majority of buyers will be singles or couples, so that really isn’t an issue.
The boot area is adequate, but larger than most size competitors, and with the fold down rear seats allows a large and flexible space.
For an entry level vehicle the Polo Trendline is well equipped and standard features include:
- 15 inch steel wheels
- Front Assist with City EB and pedestrian monitoring
- Driver Fatigue Detection
- Low tyre pressure indicator
- Multi-Function Display (MFD Plus)
- Leather multi-function steering wheel
- 8 inch infotainment system
- App-Connect, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Bluetooth phone connectivity
- 2 x USB ports
- Rear View Camera (RVC)
- Cruise control
- Air conditioning
- Height adjustment for front seats
- Power windows
- Electrically heated and adjustable exterior mirrors
- Split/folding rear seat
Drive and Engine
Trendline Polo is powered by the turbocharged 1.0 TSI three cylinder engine that produces 70 kW/175Nm. The three-cylinder engine accelerates the Polo to 100 km/h in just 10.8 seconds. With a top speed of 187 km/h, it reaches the level of the first Golf GTI. These figures apply to both the manual gearbox version and the optional 7-speed DSG version for this engine.
While these figures are average, the important thing to note is that around town the Polo seems to want for little. It is a free flowing engine that revs easily and well matched to the 7 speed DSG transmission. I haven’t been a big fan of these DSG transmissions previously as they can be jerky around town, but the Polo was smooth and progressive.
Economy is outstanding at around 5.0L/100km for the 7 speed DSG meaning we got over 700km out of a tank of fuel. The relatively low torque delivery certainly helps with economy.
Overall driving impressions of the Polo are positive. It has an almost carefree approach, buzzing around with abandon, light yet responsive in the steering, compliant in suspension over the horrible suburban tracks we call roads in Sydney and nimble around the tight inner city streets.
VW Trendline base version is well equipped and has a five star ANCAP safety rating. Standard features include assistance systems such as the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring. It unfortunately doesn’t qualify for the Driver Assist packages, which are available only on the upper spec models.
- Nimble round town
- Internal space for its class
Not so Good Bits:
- Misses safety package
- No embedded Sat Nav
- Interior a little bland
VW Polo Trendline at around $20,490 MLP* is actually pretty good value. Its small enough outside that it suits as an inner city dweller, yet large enough inside to accommodate a weekend away with reasonable luggage.
It has a muscular, yet stylish appeal that seta it apart from its competitors and its size transcends between segments. Definitely worth a drive if you’re after a city vehicle that is a little different.
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Facts and Figures: 2019 VW Polo 70TSI Trendline
- Engine: 1.0L 3 Cylinder TSI 70kW/175Nm
- Transmission:7-speed DSG FWD
- Warranty: 5 Yrs / Unlimited km 1 Yrs Roadside Assist
- Safety: 5 Star ANCAP
- Origin: Germany
- Price: From $20,490 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.