From £10,165
Other than 4x4 looks, the Dune offers nothing more than a standard Polo.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Polo
The Polo is a polished, mature-feeling, spacious supermini

The fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo has junior Golf looks, but is that enough?

27 January 2006

What's new?Met the Polo Dune or, as it’s called in mainland Europe, the CrossPolo – a moniker that doesn’t translate well into English. This car looks more surprised than cross: in essence, it’s just a regular Polo with 17-inch alloys, 15mm raised suspension, big bumpers and a bodykit.Despite the chunky appearance, there’s no four-wheel drive and although the bodywork addenda are unique to the Dune, other changes aren’t. Taller suspension is offered as an option on regular Polos and gives a modicum of rough-road (but not off-road) ability.Meanwhile, you can find the Dune’s interior modifications (seats, pedals, steering wheel and handbrake) on other Polos, too, albeit not trimmed to match some of the Dune’s glow-in-the-dark colours.What's it like?The UK will get two Dune variants, a petrol and a diesel, both with 1.4-litre engines. The petrol has 74bhp and the diesel 69bhp so, should you want a Dune to be seen in, both give you ample opportunity – neither makes it from zero to 62mph in less than 14 seconds.The three-cylinder diesel’s engine note is throbbily endearing, but the quieter, more refined and more powerful petrol is the better choice. It’s also £800 cheaper.The Dune’s handling is as lacklustre as the performance. The tall springs and dampers cannot control body movements well enough to exploit the grip afforded by the 215/40 tyres, although it does ride better than you might expect.Should I buy one?Otherwise, the Dune retains all the standard Polo characteristics: good ergonomics, firm but comfortable seats, an air of solidity and a rather large price tag.

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