The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
There's a generous amount of manual adjustment for the driver's seat and steering wheel, and the seat itself provides good support, even if some will find the base a little too firm. All of this will help most shapes and sizes to find a suitable driving position and remain comfortable over long distances.
Adjustable lumbar support comes as standard on SE and R-Line trims, although oddly not the ones in between (Beats and SEL). Still, you can pay to have it by adding one of the reasonably priced style packs. If you're going for S, SE or Beats trim, we'd also recommend adding a front centre armrest, something that the posher trims come with as standard.
All the dashboard buttons are positioned thoughtfully, so even if you’ve never been in a Polo before, you’ll become familiar with the layout in no time.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The Polo benefits from relatively slender 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.
Front and rear parking sensors are standard on SEL trim and above (they're optional on cheaper versions), and you can pay to have a reversing camera on all trim levels other than entry-level S.
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.
Sat nav and infotainment
Every Polo has an 8.0in touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard, with sat-nav included on mid-range SEL trim and above. If you don’t want to ascend the price list that far, you can just use a sat-nav app on your phone and run it via the Polo's touchscreen using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. These handy smartphone mirroring features are standard on all trims apart from entry-level S.
While there are some handy shortcut icons flanking the sides of the screen, the fact that they’re touch-sensitive means you're never quite sure if you're pressed them properly or not; this can prove distracting. At least the volume can be controlled by using a physical knob.
The Polo also has one of the best touchscreen systems in the class when it comes to graphics quality, response times and how easy it is to flick through menus, although the rotary dial interfaces you get on the Mazda 2 and some versions of the Mini are definitely easier to use when you're driving.
There's nothing to grumble about here. You’ll find soft-touch materials across much of dashboard, and all of the things you touch regularly, including the steering wheel and gearlever, feel relatively upmarket. It’s a similar story with the buttons, switches and stalks; they all feel solid and built to last.