The new VW Polo looks like a shrunken Golf, which pretty much sums up what Volkswagen has tried to achieve with this fifth-generation Polo: all the positive attributes of the Golf, just in a smaller, more affordable package. The derivative styling and bigger dimensions are designed to make the Polo feel more mature, while the Scirocco-inspired nose and lights add a touch of flair.
Volkswagen offers the Polo is three- or five-door forms, with a vast array of petrol or diesel engines, which include an ultra-efficient 80+ mpg Bluemotion model and a 178bhp be-spoilered GTI.
Trim levels run from S, through Match and SE to range-topping SEL which is only available with the more powerful engines – 1.2-litre TSI and1.4-litre petrol engines and the 1.6-litre diesel. S models can be (and usually are) specified with air conditioning, when the gain the A/C tag, while the GTI with its standard DSG double clutch auto ‘box is a standalone model.
Along with the more mature styling comes an equally grown-up price tag – this isn’t a budget supermini.
While this is also the case for the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, the supermini class is ultra-competitive and the Polo is facing a string of credible competitors. So just how compelling is the prospect of a downsized Golf?