Currently reading: 2021 Volkswagen Polo GTI on sale now from £26,430
Firm’s smallest hot hatchback returns with new technology and Golf-inspired looks
3 mins read
18 November 2021

Volkswagen has revealed pricing and specification details for the new Polo GTI, which is on sale now with technology and styling influenced by the larger Golf. 

Just one specification level is available for the hot hatchback and prices start from £26,430. As before, the car is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 204bhp. 

Torque is pegged at 236lb ft at 1500-4500rpm, which helps enable the GTI to cover 0-62mph in 6.5sec. Four drive modes are available: Eco, Individual, Normal and Sport. 

As with the previous GTI, the front-wheel-drive Polo is equipped with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. As yet, there is still no word on a long-rumoured manual gearbox option for the Ford Fiesta ST rival. 

The car also features uprated running gear, including a larger front anti-roll bar, and gains a 10.25in digital cockpit screen alongside an 8.0in central display. 

Among the roster of other standard equipment is a centre airbag, two-zone climate control, 17in alloy wheels, a leather multifunction steering wheel and Volkswagen’s Light and Sight Pack, with automatic headlight control, walk-me-home lights, rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

The GTI is returning as the Polo's flagship model and takes design inspiration from the eighth-generation Golf for its new front end, complete with VW's new light bar signature, and a revamped rear.

'IQ Light' LED matrix headlights are standard to accompany the full-width front light bar. The firm says the light bar “creates a style connection to the battery-electric ID models from Volkswagen and to the new vehicle generation of successful models like the Golf, Arteon and Tiguan”.

A different bumper design refreshes the rear end, while standard 17in alloy wheels are available in a new design based on that used by the Golf. The Polo GTI also receives dynamic turn signals for the first time. Six paint colours are offered – Pure White, Deep Black Pearl, Kings Red metallic, Reef Blue metallic and Smokey Grey metallic – with a black roof for red, white and blue paint options. 

The GTI's equipment level is based on Life trim, which means an 8.0in central infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality integrated. The red interior trim seen on the previous model returns to mark out the hot hatch.

Volkswagen's Discover Pro and Discover Media systems are optional, and the car also receives the firm's new ‘Digital Cockpit’ dashboard set-up, as used by the Golf and ID 3. Other options include a panoramic sunroof, voice control, wireless charging, a Beats sound system and 18in alloy wheels. 

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The Polo GTI is equipped with a bespoke, performance-oriented chassis tune, which lowers the body by 15mm compared with the standard Polo and adds a large stabiliser on the car’s front axle, rigid coupling rods at the front and stiffer axle locating mounts at the rear.

The Polo also benefits from Volkswagen’s Travel Assist system for the first time, including adaptive cruise control, lane assist, side assist and rear traffic alert. Autonomous emergency braking is also standard, as is a driver alert system and automatic post-collision braking.

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xxxx 19 November 2021

Someone mentioned you could get a nice Mk7 Golf GTi, you can't buy a new mk7 Golf anymore. 

AddyT 18 November 2021

Someone else mentioned you could get a nice Mk7 Golf GTI for that money. You could, but you could also buy a very nice Mk7 Golf R for that money too! A car which continues to appreciate too. My R isnt worth as much as the Polos sticker price, but would I do a straight pound for pound swap to this Polo? Absolutely NO chance! 

artill 18 November 2021

On the plus side, the Polo is a better looking car than the droopy Golf. The engine, even if down tuned is enough for a small car too. Its got a proper hand brake.

But the price (at least £27K with metallic!! wow). And that red dash!! plus small cars should have 3 doors. Small hatches should have a manual box too. 

Having said all that we all know the Fiesta will be a better drive and cheaper, the i20 more fun than this and probably more reliable, and if you want to spend a little more there is always the Yaris after you get through that long waiting list. 

Choice is good, but i would choose all the others over this.