Driving position and dashboard
The Polo joins the Ford Fiesta in providing a driving environment that won't grow tiresome with time spent behind the wheel. There's a generous amount of manual adjustment for the driver's seat and steering wheel, and the seat itself provides good support. All of this will help most shapes and sizes to find a suitable position quickly and remain comfortable over long distances.
It's a shame that adjustable lumbar support is only standard on GTI models, but you can still add it as part of a reasonably-priced optional Style Pack on lesser trims. We’d certainly recommend adding that pack and the optional front centre armrest, although the latter comes as standard from SEL models and above.
All the dashboard buttons are positioned well, so even if you’ve never been in a Polo before you’ll become familiar with the layout in no time at all.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The Polo benefits from relatively thin pillars both front and back, as well as tall, wide windows all around. With such an unobstructed view you’ll find it easy to place the car on the road and see what’s approaching at roundabouts and T-junctions.
All Polos, apart from the GTI+, get halogen headlights as standard, which light up the road at night just fine. The optional LED headlights are even brighter and are worth considering if you find driving at night tricky, but be warned, they are pricey.
Parking sensors are standard on SEL trim and above, and a reversing camera is an optional extra on all trim levels other than entry-level S.
Sat nav and infotainment
Every Polo has an 8-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard, with sat nav included on mid-range SEL trims and above. If you don’t want to ascend the price list that far, you can add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (both of which let you use your phone’s sat-nav app) as a reasonable priced option on all trims bar the entry-level S.
While there are some handy shortcut icons on the sides of the screen, the fact that they’re touch-sensitive means you can’t really use them on the move without actually taking your eyes off the road. We prefer the rotary dial infotainment control you’ll find in the Mazda 2.
However, the Polo has one of the best touchscreen systems on the market when it comes to colorful graphics, response times and how easy it is to flick through menus so don’t let the fact it has no physical buttons put you off entirely.
Meanwhile, standard on SE models and above is a multi-function steering wheel which lets you control the stereo without taking your hands off the wheel.
Quality inside is some of the best in class. You’ll find soft-touch materials on the front of the dashboard and, in general, all of the areas you touch the most such as steering wheel or gear lever feel of higher quality than what you get in most alternatives – the Polo is light-years ahead of the Toyota Yaris in this regard. It’s a similar story with all the buttons and switches – all feel solid to press and look built to last.
There are now eight dash colours to choose from, so you can personalise the interior look to your liking. The only disappointment is that the plastic used in the door cards is hard and scratchy.