2019 Volkswagen Polo Review | What Car?

2019 Volkswagen Polo Review | What Car?

Look at the best-selling cars in the UK and
you’ll notice two things: first, that more and more people are choosing SUVs, and secondly
that the Volkswagen Polo is consistently a top performer. In fact, the Polo is the second-best selling
Volkswagen worldwide, behind the Golf. And this latest version faces some very tough
competition, not only from within the VW Group with the Seat Ibiza and Skoda Fabia, but also
from the Ford Fiesta. In this review, we’ll tell you what the
latest Polo is like to drive, what it’s like inside and how easy it is to live with.
And remember if at the end of our review we’ve convinced you to buy a Polo, then head over
to the new car deals section on whatcar.com to see how much money we can save you – remember,
it could be thousands of pounds. First, though, let’s take the Volkswagen
Polo out for a drive. There’s a fairly daunting range of six petrol
and two diesel engines to choose from in the Polo, but our favourite is the 1.0-litre TSI.
It might only have 94bhp available and three cylinders, but it has the best combination
of performance, CO2 emissions and fuel economy. It pulls strongly in town and can also hold
its own on the motorway, but you will need to work it hard on faster roads. Where the Polo really shines is in its ride
comfort, which matches the very best cars in this class. Its suspension takes the sting
out of potholes and speed bumps, even at low speeds, and it can smooth out rougher surfaces
at higher speeds. The Polo doesn’t quite top the either the
Ibiza or Fiesta for class honours when it comes to handling, but it does offer precise
steering, secure handling and plenty of grip – giving you confidence to thread it through
a series of tight turns. What will strike you, too, is just how quiet
the Polo is when you’re cruising along. There’s very little wind or road noise which
finds its way inside, and no knocks from the suspension on rough surfaces. It’s very easy to get comfortable inside
this Polo, and there’s lots of adjustment in this driver’s seat and steering wheel.
That all means that no matter what size or shape you are, you should be able to find
a good driving position, and that will keep you feeling fresh even after a long journey. These thin front pillars make looking out
of the front and to the side easy, and even looking over your shoulder to reverse gives
you a fairly good view. Nevertheless, parking sensors come as standard on SEL models and
above, and a reversing camera is on the options list on all models bar the entry-level S car. The quality in here is right up there with
the class best. Everything you touch feels well made and built to last, and there’s
lots of soft-touch plastic covering the top and front of the dashboard. You can also personalise
your car with eight colours. The only disappointment is that compared with the rest of this interior, these
door plastics feel a bit low rent. All Polos get this 8.0-inch colour touchscreen
as standard, and it handles most of the car’s functions meaning there are precious few other
buttons dotted about. There are also no shortcut buttons to help you navigate your way around,
and the touchscreen can be difficult to use on the move. Otherwise, though, the system offers good
response times and crisp graphics, and the way the menus are laid out is logical. You
can also specify an Active Info Display screen, which replaces the car’s analogue dials
with a configurable screen instead. No other car in this class can match the Polo
when it comes to front space, because there’s just so much of it. A couple of tall adults
can sit here without their heads brushing the ceiling, and there’s lots of adjustment
in these seats. This interior is also nicely wide, so you won’t be rubbing shoulders
with the person sitting next to you. There are also lots of places to put your odds and
ends, like this area in front of the gear stick, deep door pockets & this glovebox. It’s a similar story for those in the rear,
because the Polo is again extremely spacious. Two six-foot adults can sit behind similarly
tall drivers without their knees brushing the backs of the seats in front, and with
a decent amount of space above their heads. Both rear doors have generous pockets, too.
As with most small cars, though, fitting three people back here will be a squeeze. The Polo’s boot is on a par with the Seat
Ibiza’s but is far bigger than both the Fabia and Fiesta’s, meaning you should be
able to get a couple of suitcases in here without any trouble. SE and SEL cars also
get an adjustable boot floor, so there’s no loading lip to lift heavy bags over. This
is a practical space, too, because the car’s wheel arches don’t intrude into its space. The Polo costs a little more to buy than the
equivalent Ibiza, Fiesta and Fabia, but it’s not all bad news because the Volkswagen will
also hold onto its value better than those rivals, and that means PCP deals are much
more competitive. We’d choose the 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine
and team it with SE specification. This is one up from the entry-level S models and gets
you 15-inch alloy wheels, electric rear windows and a leather steering wheel, as well as the
air conditioning and electric front windows which come on every Polo. No matter which version you go for, you’ll
get automatic emergency braking as standard, which contributed to it being awarded a full
five-star rating from Euro NCAP. The Polo is a truly impressive small car.
It has good interior quality, great infotainment and a comfortable ride, and it’s more spacious
inside than most rivals. For plenty more on the Polo, including our full online reviews
of it and its key rivals, head to whatcar.com, and remember to click on our new car deals
section and see how much we can save you on your next car. Before you do anything else, though, click
subscribe to never miss another video.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Beautiful. Same could be said for the car.
    IMO Polo is the new Golf, I have the Mk 7.5 Golf atm but I miss the earlier models agility and feel. This years Polo finally has the good looks and the equipment of its bigger brother as well.

  2. Can't listen to this ridiculous presenter pitching her voice up and down, like "that is the way I have to speak to pretend to be a presenter" . So as soon as I see her I stop watching and give it a thumbs down. What Car – Get a proper presenter that knows how to speak properly. BTW – that polo is Ugly.

  3. Looks just like the last one. Hardly cutting edge styling outside or in. Dash in particular looks incredibly old-fashioned and is hideous with the coloured options, touch-screen or not. Touch-screens are hopeless in cars BTW… I agree with others on here, wouldn’t touch any VW Group product with a bargepole, having once owned an Audi. Most unreliable I’ve ever owned and it was new when I bought it. Still don’t understand how they have a reputation for quality. This is from an ex Alfa owner, so you’ve been warned…

  4. I really like this Polo but I really wish VW would just keep it the same size as the older Polo's. It's starting to look too much like a Golf.

  5. It's too bad we don't get that model in Canada. The cheapest car we get from VW is the Jetta which well get replaced in the short term. Personelly , I've always liked hatchs but they kind of fell out of favor in North America and the choice of models is rather limited when compared to what it used to be in 80s and 90s.

  6. Great review as always. The Germans are slightly bigger than us brits so their cars mostly always have more room inside. Plus the build quality of the polo will surely last the test of time against its competitors. This new Polo does look like the design styling point for the Golf Mk8. That’s a good thing.

  7. The 1.0 95 bhp is JUST about enough to do the job. Other than that, it is a pretty uninspirering engine, while being refined. But the 5 speed gearbox is as bad and cheap as they come with rubbery shifts. Go for the 115 bhp unit as minimum, if you are doing more than city driving. I will be waiting for the 1.5 tsi 150 bhp. It gives the same economy, 4 cylinder stability and transformes the car into something much more entertaining.

  8. Absurd car from absurd brand, just for info, mid spec Polo costs same as mid spect Mazda 3 wich is class above the polo, not mentioning that you can buy all Volkswagens segment cars for 5-10k euros cheaper if you chose Seat or Škoda, basically the same cars, cheaper, same quality, more reliable, with more equipment. LoL…

  9. Thanks for the nice review & you're right, the cheap-feeling plastic on the doors is really the most negative point, from the new Polo.

  10. Rebecca – why have you changed the way you talk? Ive just watched a video you did for Good Grips in 2012 and you talk perfect in that.

  11. I really like that front end… but the rest of the body looks like the last gen…
    (Reminds me of the current Auris – toyota put a nice looking front end ONLY on an otherwise boring looking car).

    Perhaps the next gen Polo will be nice – or is VW only updating front ends now? (as Audi only updates front and rear ends only?)

  12. Great car, poor review, just too quick, almost like one of those mini tv adverts you find stuck to the side of a shop shelf, slow done, not everything has to flow in a slangy, song-like fashion..

  13. Ok did you build car for people with 6.2 (191cm) high. As I am aware all people suffer because all cars build for people up to 170cm high.

  14. Why only 1 litre with 94bhp? My Polo is 1.2 90bhp and although perfectly fine the acceleration is shit. And this car is bigger.

  15. Trolled through the data on this car, and it seems you don't get cruise control as standard, only an advanced £600 adaptive cruise control as an option. Is this true?
    And does it have a GPF ?

  16. Either we speak about petrol engine or diesel, there is no space for this car when there is the new Fiesta.

  17. Please mention all available engine choices. Hate anaemic 3 cylinders ?, you often end up burning more fuel than saving when you rev them up and get them upto speed. 1.5 litre 4 cylinder is the sweetspot imo✌?

  18. Ok can someone tell me if those multicolored digits on the climate control screen come with every Polo? 1:38 Because on most videos they're just grey or white. I love them!

  19. I LOOOVEEEE my 1.6 Tdi Polo. Eventhough its 2010. Will be changing it maybe ending 2019 beginning 2020 depending how life goes finamcially
    Would be my 3rd VW. 1.0L nope. My 1.6L responds MAATERFULLY. I am a sporty driver and love my Shifting gear.

  20. best selling doesn’t mean best… wouldn’t be seen DEAD driving a FORD… VW, for those in the know ??

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