Volkswagen Polo Match review

  • Volkswagen Polo Match driven
  • Price £11,300-£14,485
  • On sale now
What is it? Match is the latest trim to join the VW Polo range. Available with three engines – two petrol, one diesel – and in three- and five-door bodystyles, it replaces both the SE and Moda trims.

Central to its appeal is that it offers more equipment than either of the outgoing trims, but costs less. Along with standard kit, the Match gets air-con, alloys, electric windows, remote central locking, electrically adjustable door mirrors and decent safety kit (four airbags and stability control).

What's it like to drive? Mechanically, nothing has changed with this new trim, so the Polo remains a car focused on comfort and refinement.

Our test car came with the 84bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine, which gives pleasantly easy performance. While some rivals have rev-hungry engines, the Polo's is flexible and pulls happily from 2000rpm. This is helped by well-spaced gear ratios, and means the car responds keenly in any situation and has decent pace around town.

The ride, too, is good around town; the soft suspension coping well with lumps and bumps, and the light steering makes manoeuvring nice and easy.

However, the Polo is less impressive away from main roads. On faster routes it pitches and rolls on uneven surfaces and the vague steering does little to inspire confidence. A Ford Fiesta is much more nimble and enjoyable to drive, without any loss of ride comfort.

What’s it like inside? Nothing has changed inside with the addition of the new Match trim. Mind you, nothing much needed to change. The Polo was – and remains – the classiest supermini at this price in the UK.

The materials used and the way they are assembled are a lesson to every manufacturer, and it’s very comfortable. There’s a good range of adjustment on both the driver’s seat and steering wheel, and you’ll have no problem finding your way around the dashboard.

It’s in the back only that the Polo is a little disappointing. Compared with the new Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris, for example, its rear seats are cramped.

Should I buy one? The Polo always was a classy and desirable supermini, and the addition of Match trim only makes it more so. If you weigh up kit and cost, you'll soon realise that the model we’re driving here – with the 1.4-litre petrol engine and the five-door body – is the pick of the Polo range.

In the wider scheme of things, it’s true that the Polo isn’t the largest car in its class and some rivals are better to drive. However, it’s still a compelling and attractive package – one of the very best superminis on the market.

Rivals
Ford Fiesta
Renault Clio

What Car? says…


Andy.Pringle@whatcar.com
 
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