Currently reading: New-look 2021 Volkswagen Polo opens for orders at £17,885
German supermini gets refreshed looks, more technology and level two autonomous driving

The new-look 2021 Volkswagen Polo is now open for orders in the UK, with prices for the Volkswagen supermini starting from £17,885. 

It's available in the same 'Y-structured' variety of trims as its Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen Tiguan siblings; the line-up kicks off with Life (expected to account for 75% of sales) and moves on to 'comfort-focused' Style and performance-inspired R-Line, each from £20,785. 

Prices for the Volkswagen Polo GTI range-topper will be confirmed in the coming weeks. 

The design refresh is primarily centred around bringing the Polo into line with the newer Golf; Volkswagen’s head of exterior design, Marvo Pavone, said the link with the wider family is key: “It’s very important to have this relationship with the Golf 8 design language [because] it makes the car clearly wider and easily recognisable.”

The lighting strip is one element of a raft of styling changes on the car, as Volkswagen looks to push past the 18 million Polos sold in the model’s 45-year history.

Further changes run to LED headlights (now standard), new front and rear bumpers, redesigned tailgate and LED tail-lights. The front LEDs are available with matrix technology for the first time in the Polo, dubbed IQ Light.

The car also gains the firm’s new bootlid signage, dominated by a large VW logo with Polo lettering underneath. The wheelbase remains the same, but the facelifted version is slightly longer, due to its reprofiled bumpers.

In addition to the styling alterations, the Polo is now available with Travel Assist as an option. This level two autonomous driving feature, first seen on the Volkswagen Passat, brings together adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance to enable partly automated driving at up to 130mph. A more regular version of lane-keeping assistance is fitted as standard.

Inside, the Polo gets Volkswagen's latest infotainment system with a 8.0in touchscreen as standard, offering all the latest connectivity options. A 9.2in version is available as an option, while the new slider temperature control that sits lower down the centre console is brought over from the Golf.

A redesigned, standard-fit multifunction steering wheel is also part of the changes, while in the dashboard, an 8.0in digital instrument display greets the driver.

Engines remain the same as before. Delivering a range of power outputs from 79bhp to 108bhp, the all-petrol three-cylinder line-up offers a choice of five-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearboxes. 

There are currently no plans to offer the Polo with an electrified powertrain. Volkswagen says it has the ID range to fill this role, pointing out that it's planning an EV that will sit below the Golf-sized Volkswagen ID 3.


Volkswagen Polo GTI review

Volkswagen Polo GTI returns for 2021 with new look, 204bhp​

Volkswagen ID 3 review


Read our review

Car review

Volkswagen’s ever-sensible supermini gets even more grown-up as the Polo hits its fifth decade, but can it take top honours?

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Bimfan 10 September 2021

'Wow, a new VW Polo!' Stifles a big yawn.

EricMcSpud 10 September 2021

Marvo Pavone obviously needs to visit Specsavers.

What the heck is going on down the sides of this poor "latest generation" Polo?  It has more pointless folds and creases than an origami dinosaur.

Compare this with the previous generation's clean, simple and perfectly consistent surfacing and you'll see my point!

And why does a compact hatchback need to appear "...clearly wider..."?  Durrr!

And whilst we're on the subject of dumb looking VWs, why does the Arteon look so inexplicably dumb from the front?

gavsmit 10 September 2021

I'm reading this as:

Blah, blah (unwanted driver aids), blah, blah (unwanted in-car tech to go wrong), blah, blah (marketing flannel to excuse the hardly changed bland corporate VW looks), 79 BHP small car for almost 18 grand from a make that denies Dieselgate to UK customers whilst paying compensation to others.