Used Volkswagen Polo (09-18) long-term review

Does buying the last of the previous-generation Volkswagen Polo make more financial sense than a new one? And how does a small 1.0-litre engine cope with a myriad of real-world driving conditions...

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Max Adams
07 June 2018

Used Volkswagen Polo (09-18) long-term review
  • The car 2017 Volkswagen Polo 1.0 75 Match Edition
  • Run by Max Adams, used cars reporter
  • Why it’s here To find out if buying the old model makes better sense than the latest model
  • Needs to Cope with the daily commute on a mixture of motorway, dual carriageway and town traffic, along with occasional long-distance trips, and prove itself against the newer model

Price when new £15,505 Price on arrival £11,650 Approx value now £10,147 Mileage on arrival 2276 Mileage now 5983 Test fuel economy 42.4mpg Official fuel economy 58.9mpg

Prices based on a standard car with no optional extras

06 June 2018 - Polo on holiday

When people decide to go abroad in a car, it’s often in an expensive-to-run SUV that’s loaded to the gunwales with clothes, suncream, swimwear and the kitchen sink: everything you could possibly need for a short holiday. But if you pack sensibly and take a Volkswagen Polo, this need not be so.

Used Volkswagen Polo (09-18) long-term review

I’d been invited over to stay with my friend’s family in Belgium, and the bank holiday weekend gave me the perfect opportunity to escape the city. Plus, it enabled me to take our used Polo abroad and find out how its little 1.0-litre engine copes with the higher speeds of European motorways.

And it did alright. Overtaking took some planning, but once up to speed I could maintain a steady cruise, and the configurable digital speedo displaying kph helped a great deal. The engine buzzed away a bit in the background, but wind noise was low and the car felt stable, despite some crosswinds on the flatlands.

Used Volkswagen Polo (09-18) long-term review

However, where the Polo impressed most was on the quieter country roads near to where I was staying. Outright performance mattered little - ride comfort most certainly did. Roads in the rural areas are often made from deeply unpleasant, rippled concrete; it feels like you’re being dragged over a washboard when you drive down them. Then, when you get to a town, there is the Belgian Pavé to deal with, which will, famously, expose any interior rattle.

Or it would have done, had I not been in our Polo. Thanks to 15in wheels and a well-damped ride, it soaked up the very worst that Belgian roads had to offer. One thing that did bug me was that creak from the driver’s seat that I still haven’t got around to sorting. I must do something about that.

Used Volkswagen Polo (09-18) long-term review

During my time away, I got to have a drive in my friend’s parents' BMW Z3 Coupé and a Porsche 944 Turbo, but it didn’t feel like a hardship to go back to our Polo – mostly because it had fully functioning air conditioning and it was more than 30deg outside...

Used Volkswagen Polo (09-18) long-term review