89bhp oil burner is good for economy, but is on the gruff side
No complaints about the cabin, but diesel's noise levels can intrude
VW Polo's 'baby Golf' tag is derived from its brilliant cabin
First DriveWe drive VW's supermini in range-topping trim and with its pokiest 109bhp 1.0-litre engine. Does the combination make sense in the UK?
First DriveNew convenience and safety gadgets, plus a great new TSI engine, help keep the Polo close to the top of the class
What is it?
It’s a Polo, fitted with the more powerful of the two 1.6-litre diesel engine options available.
We’ve already sampled the 74bhp oilburner; here we drive its slightly more muscular 89bhp stablemate.
Both 1.6 diesels share combined economy and emissions figures of 65.7mpg and 112g/km of CO2 resepctively.
What’s it like?
As we’ve previously concluded, the otherwise refined new Polo and a diesel engine aren’t the most comfortable of bedfellows.
It’s quite a vocal powerplant and even in 89bhp form isn’t exactly flexible, especially around town; the motor only feels strong when using the bottom quarter of throttle pedal travel so it feels like you’re working it hard to make progress.
That said, it’s a more than capable motorway cruiser and can return impressive economy, with mpg figures in the mid to high-50s within easy reach.
Should I buy one?
Maybe. Diesel gruffness aside, this is an economical and refined supermini with the legs to cover distances in downsized comfort.
However, if most of your driving is done in town then you’ll have a more rewarding – if less frugal – time in a petrol powered Polo.