What used Volkswagen Polo hatchback will I get for my budget?
Prices for this generation of Volkswagen Polo start at £3000 but, for that, you’ll be getting an early, high-mileage car with a basic spec and an underpowered engine. We’d recommend increasing your budget to at least £4000 for a lower-mileage example with the 1.4 petrol or 1.2 TSI turbocharged petrol.
Petrol models, in general, are significantly more popular than diesel ones, so if you want the latter you’ll need to shop around and expect to pay a premium, particularly if it’s one of the ultra-economical Bluemotion models. These had low-rolling-resistance tyres, revised gear ratios and enhanced aerodynamics, helping them to average more than 80mpg in official fuel economy tests. The pre-facelift 1.2 diesel Bluemotion car starts at around £5000, while the 1.0 TSI petrol Bluemotion costs about £8000.
At the other end of the power scale is the slightly lacklustre GTI model with the 1.4 TSI engine, for which you can expect to fork out at least £8000. That's also the starting price for BlueGT models with active cylinder technology (it shuts off two of the four cylinders while cruising to save fuel).
A late model 2017 1.2 TSI Match Edition car with a full service history and below-average mileage will start at around £9500.
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How much does it cost to run a Volkswagen Polo hatchback?
The Polo is more expensive to buy than rivals, but running costs are competitive, with all engines bar the 1.4 petrol exceeding 50mpg in official tests. Note, too, that depending on your budget, it might be worth spending a bit extra to get one of the turbocharged petrol engines to benefit from their superior fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, making them significantly cheaper to tax.
Early Polos with a 1.2 petrol engine have a combined figure of 51.5mpg and cost £120 to tax, while cars with the 1.4 unit average 47.9mpg and cost £140 to tax.
The 1.0 TSI and 1.2 TSI turbocharged petrol engines in facelifted Polos have average economy figures of 62.8mpg and 60.1mpg respectively. The 1.0 version sneaks into the free road tax band, while the 1.2 will cost you £20.
The GTI model's 1.4 TSI and post-facelift 1.8 TSI average 47.9mpg and 47.1mpg respectively and both cost £140 to tax.
The diesel models are much more economical. Up to 2014, the range consisted of a 1.2 that averaged 72.4mpg and cost £20 to tax, a Bluemotion version of the same engine averaging 80.1mpg and a 1.6 that has a combined figure of 65.7mpg and costs £30 to tax. After 2014, there was a 1.4 in 73bhp and 89bhp form with 74.3mpg, and this was later boosted to 83.1mpg, while a Bluemotion version with all the aerodynamic tweaks averaged 91.1mpg. Facelifted diesel Polos all get below the 100g/km threshold for free road tax.
If you are looking for a nearly new Polo, be aware that the tax system changed on 1 April 2017, so any vehicles registered after this date will cost you £140 a year in tax.