Used Volkswagen Polo Hatchback 2005 - 2009 review

Category: Small car

The Vokswagen Polo is classy and compact - a dependable car with plenty of cachet

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback (05 - 09)
  • Volkswagen Polo Hatchback (05 - 09)
  • Volkswagen Polo Hatchback (05 - 09)
Used Volkswagen Polo Hatchback 2005 - 2009 review
Star rating

What's the used Volkswagen Polo hatchback like?

The Volkswagen Polo is more about comfort than thrills, and the supple suspension provides a compliant ride in both town and on faster roads. The steering and controls are light and help make low-speed manoeuvring easy. If there is a hole in the Polo's repertoire, then it's the poor body control.

You'll need to work the smaller petrol engines hard to make decent progress, and the diesel engines can sound gruff when pushed. The GTI is a revelation compared with the standard cars, with greatly improved steering, tighter body control and more grip.


The Vokswagen Polo is classy and compact - a dependable car with plenty of cachet

  • Style
  • Solid build quality
  • Resale values
  • Comparatively pricey to buy
  • Average to drive

There's space for four adults inside, and the boot is a decent size and shape. Access in the three-door model isn't as bad as you'd think, although the five-door is much better for small families. Most of the cabin feels solid, although some of the materials could be better quality.

Ownership cost

What used Volkswagen Polo hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Volkswagen Polo hatchback?

The Polo Bluemotion is head and shoulders above the others, with excellent economy, zero road tax and the best residual values. However, these do cost more to buy, so make sure your mileage justifies the extra outlay. Of the standard diesels, both 1.4s average around 60mpg, with the 1.9 returns 56mpg.

Petrol models are best for those who do a low annual mileage, because their lower purchase price offsets the diesels' better economy. Both 1.2-litre petrols manage 48.7mpg, despite the more powerful version having 10bhp more. The 1.4 petrols aren't far behind at 44.8mpg. The GTI averages just 36.2mpg, but drive it like a hot hatch was designed to be and that will quickly drop.

Servicing costs and insurance are higher than they are for many rivals, but you can save money by using one of the many cheaper independent Volkswagen specialist garages.

Our recommendations

Which used Volkswagen Polo hatchback should I buy?

With eight petrol and four diesel engines to choose from, you're spoilt for choice.

The 1.2-litre petrol comes with either 59bhp or 69bhp - the second is better thanks to the extra power, although neither is fast. The 75bhp 1.4 (80bhp after '06) is eager and economical, while the rarer 85bhp 1.4 FSI offers the best combination of power and economy. Next up is the 1.4-litre Sport with 100bhp, then the 104bhp 1.6. The GTI is fastest, with a turbocharged 148bhp 1.8-litre engine, plus honed suspension and brakes.

Diesel options are simpler: there's a 69bhp or 79bhp 1.4, or a 100bhp 1.9. In '07, the ultra-frugal Bluemotion version was launched, with its 79bhp 1.4-litre diesel engine delivering 74mpg on average and CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.

The entry-level E model is sparsely equipped, but the Match has alloys, air-con, electric front windows and a CD player. SE models add nice touches including driver's seat-height adjustment, and Sport models have fog lights and lowered suspension.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Volkswagen Polo hatchback?