Which used Volkswagen Polo hatchback should I buy?
We reckon the small premium for five doors over three is worth it; getting at the back seats in the three-door Polo is awkward, especially if you're trying to strap the kids in.
If you want an automatic gearbox, you'll have to go for the 1.6-litre petrol engine, but that's no great hardship - it's one of our favourites.
Diesel fans should ignore the unrefined 1.9 diesel (launched in 1996) and pick the much better 1.9 turbodiesel (1998 on) or 1.4 TDI (from 2000). However, the Polo with the most all-round ability is the 1.4-litre 16v petrol (introduced in 1995), and there are plenty for sale.
When you are looking, try to find as new a Polo as possible. Early models have only a basic roster of kit, but later cars are better, especially on the top trims, GLX (earlier cars) and SE (later models).
On a similar note, twin airbags became standard on all Polos in October 1998 and anti-lock brakes from January 2000. So, bear that in mind when you're shopping around.
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