What Car? says...
The Volkswagen Polo has always been highly regarded, but for most of its 47-year history it's been in the shadow of its bigger brother. You know the one we’re talking about, of course: the iconic Golf.
This latest-generation Polo is finally finding the spotlight, though, having brought the gap between the two models closer than ever. That's because it has grown up considerably over the years.
The VW Polo is up against some seriously accomplished rivals, including the big-selling Ford Fiesta, the uber-practical Honda Jazz, the comfort-focused Skoda Fabia and the sporty Seat Ibiza.
It can't ignore the premium offerings in the class, either, including the closely related Audi A1 and the Mini 5dr. In this review, we'll tell you how the Polo stacks up against its rivals in all the key areas, and we'll also fill you in on which engines and trim levels make the most sense.
Whichever small car you decide is right for you, make sure you check out our free What Car? New Car Buying service. You’ll find big discounts on most makes and models of car – including some of the best VW Polo deals.
Not particularly. The Polo finished 16th out of 17 models listed in the small car section of the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey (only the Ford Fiesta did worse). As a brand, Volkswagen performed fractionally better, coming 22nd out of 32 car makers in the same survey. Read more here
No, the Polo is sold with a range of petrol engines, none of which have any kind of hybrid technology. That doesn’t mean the Polo will cost you a lot to run, though – most versions are fairly efficient. Indeed, our favourite 1.0 TSI 95 petrol engine will officially return up to 54mpg. If you want an electric VW, have a look at the ID 3, 4 or 5. Read more here
We think the mid-range 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol, called the 1.0 TSI 95, is the best engine option for the Polo because it mixes peppy performance with fuel efficiency. As for trim, we recommend sticking with entry-level Life, which includes everything you’re likely to need, including 8.0in touchscreen infotainment, air-con and 15in alloy wheels. Read more here
The Volkswagen Polo Life is the entry-level trim in the Polo range, so it’s cheaper than R Line. It comes with air-con, automatic windscreen wipers and 15in alloy wheels. R-Line versions of the Polo have extra kit including sportier styling, larger alloy wheels and a 10.25in digital instrument cluster. Read more here
The Polo is a very safe small car, and was given five stars out of five when it was tested by the safety experts at Euro NCAP. It comes with lots of systems designed to protect you and your passengers, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance and blind-spot monitoring. Read more here
The Polo’s boot is bigger than in most rival small cars, with a capacity of 351 litres. It’s also a good square shape and has a height-adjustable floor. If you lift the floor to its highest setting, there’s no lip at the boot entrance to heave your items over. Read more here
|RRP price range||£20,070 - £28,905|
|Number of trims (see all)||4|
|Number of engines (see all)||4|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||petrol|
|MPG range across all versions||43.5 - 54.3|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£1,109 / £1,887|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£2,218 / £3,775|