What used Volkswagen Polo hatchback will I get for my budget?
Prices for this generation of Volkswagen Polo start at £2500 but, for that amount, you’ll be looking at an early, high-mileage car with a basic spec and an underpowered engine. We’d recommend increasing your budget to at least £3500 for a lower-mileage example with the 1.4 petrol, or £5000 for a 1.2 TSI turbocharged petrol.
The ultra-economical Bluemotion model starts at £5000 for a pre-facelift 1.2 diesel, or £8500 for a 1.0 TSI petrol.
The GTI model's 1.4 TSI and post-facelift 1.8 TSI average 47.9mpg and 47.1mpg respectively. If that's too low for you, consider the BlueGT; the cylinder deactivation technology of its 1.4-litre engine helps this particular model to achieve 58.9mpg in more powerful 148bhp form.
The diesel models are much more economical. Up to 2014, the range consisted of a 1.2 that averaged 72.4mpg, a Bluemotion version of the same engine averaging 80.1mpg, and a 1.6 that has a combined figure of 65.7mpg. After 2014, there was a 1.4 in 74bhp and 89bhp form with 74.3mpg (later boosted to 83.1mpg), while a Bluemotion version, with all its aerodynamic tweaks, averaged 91.1mpg.
Both of the 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engines in pre-facelift Polos emit 128g/km, but the revised 1.0-litre engines cut this down to 106g/km. The regular 84bhp 1.4 and 178bhp 1.4 found in the GTI are also equal for emissions at 139g/km, with the 189bhp 1.8 just a little worse at 140g/km. The popular 89bhp 1.2 TSI petrol is a fine compromise at 109g/km, and there's also the 94bhp 1.0 TSI Bluemotion that emits just 94g/km.
The entry-level 74bhp 1.2 diesel emits 102g/km, while the 89bhp 1.6 emits out 112g/km. Facelifted diesel Polos, along with all Bluemotion models powered by diesel, get below the 100g/km threshold for free road tax
If you are looking at a late Polo, be aware that the tax system changed on 1 April 2017, so any vehicles registered after this date will have to pay a yearly flat-rate fee. Anything registered before this date will be charged based upon the CO2 emissions the engine produced. To find out more about the current road tax costs, click here for further information.