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Used Volkswagen Polo 2018-present review

Category: Small car

Section:

What is it like?

Volkswagen Polo front - 19 plate
  • Volkswagen Polo front - 19 plate
  • Volkswagen Polo rear - 19 plate
  • Used Volkswagen Polo 18-present
  • Used Volkswagen Polo 18-present
  • Used Volkswagen Polo 18-present
  • Polo 2019 RHD centre console
  • Volkswagen Polo rear seats
  • Volkswagen Polo style pack
  • Volkswagen Polo front - 19 plate
  • Volkswagen Polo rear - 19 plate
  • Used Volkswagen Polo 18-present
  • Used Volkswagen Polo 18-present
  • Used Volkswagen Polo 18-present
  • Polo 2019 RHD centre console
  • Volkswagen Polo rear seats
  • Volkswagen Polo style pack
Used Volkswagen Polo 2018-present review
Star rating

What's the used Volkswagen Polo hatchback like?

Not to be confused with the mint, clothing line or sport, the Volkswagen Polo is a small car through and through. This is the sixth-generation model and – spoiler alert – it's really rather good. It has a smart interior and a comfy ride, for starters, but that's just a taste of its appeal as a used buy. 

The engine range starts with a non-turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit with 64bhp, 74bhp, or – in later cars – 79bhp. There's also a turbocharged version of that engine that increases power to 94bhp or 114bhp in higher-specification Polos. Meanwhile, there’s a 197bhp 2.0-litre unit in the Polo GTI hot hatch, as well as a 1.6-litre diesel with 79bhp or 94bhp.

From 2020, S and SE trims were replaced with Match, which basically gets you everything SE had but adds front and rear parking sensors and tinted rear windows. A United trim also entered the range. It sits below SEL and comes with niceties including cruise control, heated front seats, sat-nav, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and auto wipers.

The Polo was facelifted for 2021, and the front fascia and rear lights were altered to tweak its overall look. A new 8in digital instrument display (that replaces the car's otherwise traditional dials) became standard across the range, and the model's trims had a couple of name changes. The range became entry-level Life, mid-range Style and range-topping R-Design. The GTI remains a variant, too. 

To drive, the Polo falls on the side of safety and comfort rather than entertainment. If you're looking for fun, go for the Seat Ibiza or (even better) the Ford Fiesta. The Polo is tidy enough, with light steering, decent body control and a smooth ride. This car scores big time for long-distance driving too, with remarkably low wind and road noise at motorway speeds.

People in the front won't have much cause for complaint when it comes to space, with generous leg, head and shoulder room. In fact, it puts you more in mind of the space offered by family cars from just a few years ago. There are also plenty of places to store oddments in the glove box, centre console and large door bins. Interior quality is good, and everything feels and looks like a step up from rival small cars.

Rear leg room and boot space have been improved significantly over the previous Polo and the new car easily trounces the Fiesta for interior room. It’s worth remembering that SE cars and above come with the very useful variable-level boot floor that removes the annoying load lip (the entry-level S model doesn't get that).