First things first, then. The Volkswagen Polo BlueGT’s ride errs towards the knobbly and unsettled at low speed. It’s not outright harsh, but those 215/40 R17 tyres leave it on the busy and noisy side until you get a bit of speed into proceedings. From that point onwards, the Polo is fine – you hear surface imperfections but more rarely feel them, leaving the BlueGT feeling composed. 

Composed. That word will apply often within this section, because it’s probably the one that most comfortably defines what the BlueGT is about. Throw a challenging road at the Polo and it deals with the changes in camber and those uniquely British lower-frequency surface changes with unruffled ease. Body control is good and isolation levels are sound. 

Matt Saunders

Deputy road test editor
The Polo turns with just about enough vigour, but nothing here inspires you to press on with great enthusiasm

Perhaps, if anything, for a warm hatchback, the BlueGT’s handling is a little too isolated. Its steering is stiction free and retains the same weighting and accuracy virtually all the time. We suspect that there is a missive within the VW Group that suggests all steering systems should feel the same: consistently VW-ish, which includes being devoid of unwanted feedback. 

The Polo’s slickness and freedom from kickback, plus the predictable ease with which it self-centres, are all admirable traits, but with them comes a lack of definition and feel. On most VWs, that’s no bad thing; on a warm hatchback, it’s a bit of a pity.

The rest of the handling is similarly inert, most of the time. The Polo turns in well enough and grips well enough, but there’s little engagement. As a car in which to cover ground competently and briskly, the Polo delivers. As a car for the likes of us, it could do with a little more involvement. 

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