Volkswagen Polo review

Category: Small car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Volkswagen Polo 2020 infotainment
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  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 boot
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 dashboard
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 rear seats
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 infotainment
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 right tracking
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 front cornering
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 rear cornering
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 front seats
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 infotainment touchscreen
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 steering wheel
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 gearlever
  • Volkswagen Polo 2020 boot
RRP £17,400What Car? Target Price from£16,284
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Volkswagen Polo costs a little more to buy than the Renault Clio and quite a lot more than the Skoda Fabia. However, it is predicted to hold onto its value well and, when it comes to monthly PCP finance payments, you'll actually pay less than you would for some of those rivals.

In any case, the Polo is cheaper to buy than an equivalent Honda Jazz, Peugeot 208 or Toyota Yaris, let alone premium-badged alternatives such as the Audi A1 and Mini hatchback.

GTI versions aside, you’ll enjoy reasonable running costs as well. For a pure petrol, fuel economy is surprisingly good, although the Polo isn't as frugal as the hybrid Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris, and emits more CO2 as well.

Equipment, options and extras

We’d go for entry-level Match trim, which gets a reasonable amount of kit as standard, including alloys, air-conditioning and dusk-sensing headlights. You probably want to add the Light & Sight pack to get rain-sensing windscreen wipers, and climate control is another option worth considering.

Beats trim is really just about the better stereo, so if you love your creature comforts then SEL is the one for you; it piles on the equipment with larger alloys, dual-zone climate control and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. R-Line is too pricey to recommend, and mostly just adds styling fripperies.

If you're interested in the GTI versions, head over to our separate review by clicking the link.

Volkswagen Polo 2020 infotainment

Reliability

The Polo was rated merely average for reliability in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, outperforming the Ford Fiesta but proving considerably less dependable than the Skoda Fabia and Mini. 

You get a three-year/60,000-mile warranty as standard, as well as the option of extending the warranty to four or five years for a reasonable price. That's average for this class, but if you want something longer, Hyundai and Renault offer five-year warranties and Kia a class-leading seven years.

Safety and security

The Polo was awarded five stars (out of five) for safety by Euro NCAP, although it's worth noting that result was from back in 2017 when the standards were more stringent that they are today. One note of concern was a reasonable likelihood of whiplash for a child sitting in the back.

All Polos come with automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard, a system that can stop the car at low speeds without you pressing the brake pedal if it thinks you're about to run into another vehicle. Or, indeed, a pedestrian.

You have to pay extra for lane-departure warning, though, something that many rivals have fitted as standard. It comes in a pack that also includes blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, which intervenes if you’re about to reverse out into the path of another car. As for security, an engine immobiliser and remote locking come as standard.

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Overview

The Polo is a huge seller and it isn't hard to see why. It's a great all-rounder – smart and roomy inside, comfortable to sit in and good to drive. And while it’s pricier to buy outright than some of its rivals, that’s largely offset by competitive monthly finance rates and strong resale values. However, hybrid rivals offer better fuel economy and you need to pay extra for some of the modern safety kit rivals come with as standard.

  • Comfortable ride
  • Generous interior space
  • Quiet on the move
  • Ford Fiesta is more fun to drive
  • Gutless entry-level petrol
  • Standard safety kit could be better

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