Described as significantly smoother and more flexible than predecessor engines, the 74bhp unit in the TDI BlueMotion model is claimed to develop peak torque of 155lb ft at 1500rpm for improved standing start and in-gear acceleration along with a combined 88.3mpg and 82g/km.
Even bigger fuel savings are made with the new 89bhp unit, which is claimed to have a 21 per cent reduction in consumption at 83.1mpg and 89g/km against the 65.7mpg and 112g/km of the earlier 89bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel it replaces.
Depending on the engine, buyers will be able to choose between a standard five or six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Volkswagen has also worked on improving the Polo’s ride and handling by providing it with an optional Sport Select suspension with two levels of damping stiffness along with a new electro-mechanical steering system.
Among the external styling changes made to the facelifted Polo is a new front bumper with added structure and larger air ducts together with a reworked grille whose horizontal emphasis aims to provide the strong selling hatchback with greater visual width.
The headlamps retain the same shape as before, but they are now available with an LED main beam function on upper-end models, giving the Polo a new night-time optic.
At the rear is a subtly restyled bumper with a wider cutout for the number plate, along with revised taillamps and altered graphics. Buyers will once again get to choose between 15-, 16- and 17-inch wheels depending on the trim line along with 15 different exterior colours, eight of which are described as new.
Mirroring efforts made on the larger VW Golf, Volkswagen has attempted to lift the perceived quality of the Polo’s interior with a new three-spoke steering wheel, altered instrument graphics and a revised centre console with new controls for the air-conditioning, the choice of either a 5.0- or 6.5-inch touchscreen monitor, a range of optional infotainment features and a new rear camera to ease parking.
The latest Volkswagen also receives a range of new driver assistance and safety systems, including a post collision braking system that automatically stops the car after a heavy impact, fatigue monitoring system, adaptive cruise control radar-controlled distance control that operates between 18mph and 100mph as well as a city emergency braking function with automatic braking at speeds below 18mph.
Standard Polo trim includes the new 5.0-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, and a height-adjustable driver's seat. SE trim adds 15-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim, air-conditioning, a trim computer and the larger infotainment screen. SE Design includes 16-inch alloy wheels with new interior trim, while SEL adds front fog lights, front and rear parking sensors and a central armrest.
At the top of the range sits the Blue GT, which comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, lower sports suspension, sports seats and an electronic differential.
Prices for the facelifted Polo start at £11,100 for a 1.0-litre model in Standard trim, rising to £19,715 for a top-spec Blue GT version. First deliveries are scheduled for July.