2021 Volkswagen Polo revealed: price, specs and release date

Volkswagen Polo gets refreshed looks and more technology in an effort to keep it at the sharp end of the small-car class...

Volkswagen Polo 2021 front studio

On sale Autumn | Price from £17,500 (est)

If you’ve got an older sibling, chances are you wanted to be like them when you were growing up. Similarly, the Volkswagen Polo has long tried to mimic its bigger brother, the Golf. So, it's perhaps not surprising that following the introduction of an all-new Golf last year, the Polo has been given a mid-life refresh that has focused primarily on increasing the family resemblance.

On the outside, for example, the headlights now cut down into the bumper and are joined together by a light strip that runs through the front grille (just like on the Golf). Inside, traditional rotary air-con controls have been ditched in favour of touch-sensitive sliders – a backwards step in terms of usability, but another Golf feature, and hardly the first time a big brother has been a bad influence.

Volkswagen Polo 2021 rear studio

More positively, a central front airbag and powerful LED headlights are now fitted to improve safety, with matrix LED lights that can remain on full beam without dazzling oncoming traffic likely to be standard on all but the entry-level trim. There’s also an optional Travel Assist pack that bundles together adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance.

Other changes include restyled front and rear bumpers and the Polo badge being moved from the left to the centre of the tailgate, where it sits beneath a large VW badge. However, as before you can choose from three turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engines producing between 79bhp and 108bhp.

Volkswagen Polo 2021 dashboard

A face-lifted version of the Polo GTI hot hatch will join the line-up early next year, but Volkswagen says it has no plans to offer any hybrid or electric Polos. Instead, it will introduce a standalone small electric model in 2023 to sit below the Golf-sized ID.3.

While pricing for the revised Polo is still to be confirmed, we’d expect only a small increase over the outgoing car, which costs from £17,400. Life, Style and R-Line specifications will be offered, with the former the entry point to the range, and the latter (pictured) giving the Polo a sportier look.

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