Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The latest Polo costs a little more to buy than the previous model and also a few hundred pounds more than the equivalent Seat Ibiza, Ford Fiesta or Skoda Fabia. However, the Polo does have slightly stronger residual values than those rivals, so when it comes to PCP finance, the Polo’s monthly payments aren't too far adrift from what you’ll pay for its rivals.
Punchy 2.0-litre petrol GTI aside, you’ll enjoy reasonable running costs as well. The diesels are the most frugal engines in the range, with the lowest CO2 figures and highest official fuel economy, but you'll pay more to buy them in the first place.
We’d say the TSI 95 is the best all-rounder; it has the most convincing blend of performance, claimed fuel economy and official CO2 emissions. It’s even worth picking over the marginally cheaper EVO 80 engine, which returns worse CO2 emissions.
Equipment, options and extras
The range kicks off with S trim, continuing with SE, SEL and sporty R-Line. There is also a Beats special edition with an upgraded sound system.
Air conditioning, electric front windows and automatic emergency braking are all standard on entry-level S models. SE adds 15in alloys, electric rear windows and a leather steering wheel, as well as the superior infotainment mentioned earlier, making it our pick of the range. SEL piles on the equipment while R-Line adds a sporty look, but those two push the prices up quite a bit.
Certain features you usually find in bigger cars are available optionally; you can add adaptive cruise control, blindspot monitoring and LED headlights. Impressive.
This latest Polo hasn’t been around long enough for us to assess its reliability. Volkswagen features as a brand in the 2018 What Car Reliability Survey, but only managed average scores, finishing below Ford scored more highly than VW in the overall standings.
VW offers a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty as standard on its Polo, as well as the option of extending the warranty to four or five years for a reasonable price.
Safety and security
All Polo models get automatic emergency braking (AEB) which uses sensors in the front bumper to help avoid low-speed collisions with obstructions or other traffic. The system fitted to the Polo can also detect pedestrians.
The safety benefit of this system played a large part in the Polo's five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, and the car also received high scores in the adult and child occupant protection categories. As for how good the Polo is against car thieves, Thatcham Research awarded it five stars for resistance to theft and four stars for resistance to be broken into – both ratings compare well with rivals.
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