A Vauxhall Corsa and Renault Clio offer more head room, but the Polo is still roomy enough even for taller drivers, and it offers more elbow room than most, too.
Two fixed cupholders ahead of the gearstick are useful, although it can be hard to get a big takeaway mug into the recessed cubby they sit in. The CD player that’s in the glovebox of SE models and above means you have a bit less room in there, so with the handbook taking up space, too, you won’t get more than a few small or foldable items in it.
The door pockets are a good size and will take a 750ml bottle, while a cubby ahead of the cupholders is good for resting a phone on, since it offers easy access to the USB and 12V sockets.
Volkswagen Polo rear space
The Polo has fractionally less rear head room than a Fiesta or Clio, but it’s usefully better than a Peugeot 208.
Leg and elbow room are very good, too, so you’ll be able to sit two adults on the rear bench comfortably. There are three headrests as standard, even in three-door models, but a middle passenger will have to put up with a hard seat, and foot space that’s compromised by the jutting central cupholder and the raised floor. There isn’t really enough elbow room for three adults sitting side by side, either.
Access to the back in the five-door models is very good, with the high roof and only minor rear wheel arch intrusion making it easy to slide in. In the three-door model you have to climb between the folded-forward front seat, which springs forward with one pull of the lever. You still have to be dexterous, as you go head first through the gap and drop onto the back seats, but it’s better than some rivals.
Volkswagen Polo seating flexibility
Entry-level S trim cars have a one-piece folding rear seatback, but SE gets split rear seatbacks that are light and which fold to leave a smooth load bay, provided you’ve raised the adjustable boot floor (also standard on SE upwards).
However, you do have to lift the rear seatbase up and forwards in order to topple the seatback(s) flat, which is a faff you don’t have to put up with in many of the Polo’s rivals.
Tipping the driver and passenger seats forwards to make access to the rear bench in three-door models is fairly easy, with just a lever pull and a shove needed to create a respectable gap to climb through. Even the driver’s seat doesn’t return to the position it was set in before, though, so you have to re-set the front seats every time you let someone into the back.
Volkswagen Polo boot space
It’s worth going for SE trim and upwards for the adjustable boot floor that allows you to raise it flush with the load lip and folded seats.
In this state, while the Polo doesn’t have the biggest boot in the class – it’s a bit shallower and narrower than most – it is perfectly well suited for light everyday use, and the adjustable floor is something most small cars don’t get as standard.