Since the 1976 original Volkswagen Polo reached these shores as a rebadged Audi 50, VW has conferred more than 1.4 million examples of the car to us Brits.
For context, that’s some way short of the 4.5m or so Ford Fiestas sold since that model was introduced in the very same year, but it’s a fantastically large figure nonetheless. And with it comes to the pressure to err on the side of conservatism.
That momentary confusion is one of the hallmarks of an extraordinarily successful model, because the manufacturers of such vehicles know that they alter a successful recipe at their extreme peril. The new car thus springs few initial surprises. Its proportions are instantly recognisable and so, too, are its facial features. However, it is in fact something of a quiet revolution.
That revolution comes in the form of a redesigned interior. Thanks to the car’s new chassis, the cabin is more spacious and, as the vanguard of the Polo’s charge into the ‘digital era’, it’s also more technologically able than anything yet seen in a supermini.
There’s also the trickle down of safety systems from larger models such as the Golf. It’s why you can now have an optional active instrument binnacle that feels as though it should still be the preserve of Audi’s more luxurious models.