Volkswagen's sixth-generation Polo has arrived in the local market sporting a significantly larger body than its predecessor, along with a new engine range. A slimmed down model line-up consists of the 70TSI Trendline, 85TSI Comfortline and sporty GTI.
Let's trawl through the specifications to help find the one you want for the dollars you have.
With a driveaway price of $17,990 the Polo 70TSI Trendline, with a six-speed manual gearbox comes equipped with the following standard equipment:
- Eight-inch touch-screen infotainment display
- Bluetooth hands-free mobile and audio streaming
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality
- Cruise control with speed limiter
- Driver Fatigue System
- Reversing camera with guidelines
- Heated exterior mirrors
Metallic paint costs $500 on all models and a number of option packs are available to order.
Exclusive to the 85TSI Comfortline and GTI is the Driver assistance pack with adaptive cruise control, stop start function, kerb function – left mirror tilts to show the kerb when reversing – blind spot monitor and rear traffic alert, manouevre braking, optical parking, park assist, parking distance sensors and proactive occupant protection system. The cost is $1400 for both models.
Also exclusive to the 85TSI Comfortline and GTI is the Sound and Vision pack delivering a 10.25-inch multi-information screen plus discover media audio and satellite navigation. Included in the pack is a smartphone-style HMI on the infotainment screen and a 300-watt premium audio system. Prepare to hand over $1900 for this bundle of goodies.
85TSI Comfortline buyers can dress up their Polo with the $1500 R-Line pack, which features16-inch alloy wheels, tinted side and rear glass, front fog lights with cornering function, R-Line badging, gloss black diffuser and chrome exhaust tips, a roof spoiler, body kit, and sports suspension.
The GTI can be enhanced with a $3900 Luxury pack that gets you 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy rear and rear-side glass, LED headlights, heated front seats and a glass sunroof.
All models are fitted with mandatory anti-lock brakes and traction control, plus six airbags, brake assist, flashing brake lights activated by emergency braking, hill start assist and multi-collision brake. Driver assist functions include cruise control with speed limiter, a distance warning display to the car in front, city emergency braking and pedestrian monitoring, and a rear-view camera with guidance lines. Step up to the GTI if you want driver profile selection, driver fatigue detection, selectable sport suspension and an extended electronic differential lock to enhance traction.
Infotainment, Comfort and Convenience
Every Polo comes standard with an eight-inch colour capacitive infotainment touchscreen. Apps include MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto. You also get the usual Bluetooth for phone and music streaming plus a vehicle settings menu with service intervals. A multi-function display between the speedometer and tachometer provides a plethora of vehicle and trip information.
Want to brighten your Polo's interior? Slip past the 70TSI Trendline and head to the 85TSI Comfortline. You'll get chrome trim around the mirror and window switches, the handiness of rear reading lights, illuminated vanity mirrors, a storage compartment in the roof console, and a front armrest.
An auto dimming interior mirror is also included but not folding exterior mirrors; they're only available on the GTI. But if you want rain-sensing wipers tick the Comfortline box, as they are standard with that variant.
Want more chrome? Head to the GTI with its chrome trimmings on the outer face vents, door handle surrounds and around the instrument cluster. Plus you get LED ambient lighting and LED front footwell lighting.
The 70TSI Trendline and 85TSI Comfortline have manual air-conditioning, but only the GTI comes with dual-zone climate control, although all models are fitted as standard with a pollen filter.
Like the look of aluminium finished sports pedals? Tick the GTI box and you'll also get aluminium GTI logo doorsill scuff plates and a black roof lining. Giving the dash and centre console a racy look is the red inlays of the GTI.
Is a leather steering wheel a must?
Good news, you only have to buy the entry-level 70TSI Trendline to get the flat-bottom wheel, but if you want paddle shifts on the wheel, (DSG-only) you must buy the GTI.
All models have cloth trim, with the Comfortline getting its own 'comfort cloth' and the GTI wearing 'Clark' GTI sports cloth. The GTi's front seats have added side bolstering and for the driver, adjustable lumbar support.
Do space savers wheels turn you off? Then forget the GTI and its space saver. Instead choose the Trendline and save some money over the Comfortline, although both offer a full size spare.
Keyless entry? It's super handy and if it is a must have, it's the GTI for you as it isn't available on the others.
Picking the difference between the Trendline and Comfortline takes an eagle eye, but the easy way to tell are the steel wheels on the Trendline and the chrome grille on the Comfortline.
If you want to stand out in your Polo, save your money and buy the GTI. You get 17-inch alloy wheels instead of the 15-inch alloys of the Comfortline. You also get a body kit with gloss black accents, twin chrome exhaust pipes, honeycomb inserts in the grille and lower air intake, a rear spoiler, sports diffuser along with GTI badging on the grille, front guards and hatch.
Engine and transmission
The 70TSI Trendline and 85TSI Comfortline share the same 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine, but tuned to different power outputs. The Trendline produces 70kW and 175Nm of torque with the 85TSI Comfortline increasing that by 15kW and 25Nm, respectively.
Powering the GTI is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine developing 147kW and 320Nm.
Trendline buyers can choose between the standard five-speed manual transmission or the optional seven-speed DSG. Comfortline buyers can also opt for the seven-speed DSG or if a manual is your style, you get a six-speed gearbox.
For GTI buyers the only choice is a six-speed DSG.
Volkswagen Polo 70TSI Trendline five-speed manual – – $17,990 Drive away
Volkswagen Polo 70TSI Trendline seven-speed DSG – $20,490 Drive away
Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Comfortline six-speed manual – $20,490*
Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Comfortline seven-speed DSG – $22,990*
Volkswagen Polo GTI six-speed DSG – $30,990*
** Plus on road costs
For overall value the Polo 85TSI Comfortline DSG hits the sweet spot. You get a sizeable power increase over the Trendline with virtually no fuel efficiency downside and more kit, like the alloy wheels over the steelies on the Trendline, without spending a lot more.
But if I am not watching my pennies, the GTI is a no-brainer. This pocket rocket is an absolute blast to drive. On the fun factor it's off the Richter scale, especially when the roads you are travelling no longer go straight. I guarantee you'll always take the long way to get anywhere, just to enjoy more wheel time.