There are few surprises with the Volkswagen Polo. The first discovery that runs true to form is that it is larger than the model it replaces, by 54mm in length and 32mm in width, and is now just 15mm shorter than the Mk2 Golf.
The Polo's styling draws heavily on existing Volkswagen products, but it is the wide, short grille linking the headlights that is most familiar. Although the new Polo uses a different platform from its predecessor (we’ve seen the PQ25 before on the Seat Ibiza), there is little in the suspension set-up that differs from the norm.
At the front there are MacPherson struts and at the rear a torsion beam and trailing arms. The lighter and larger 2017 Polo will be built on VW's new MQB A0 chassis, which will only be available in one bodystyle and thus saving developmental costs which can used to include more internal technology.
Wheel size ranges from 14 to 17 inches. The entry-level S trim has steel wheels. Match and SE trims get 15-inch alloys of different designs, while SEL trim comes with 16-inch alloys which can be upgraded to the largest 17-inch design.
The simple, narrow headlights and the flat grille that links them identify the VW family face, a design first seen on the current Scirocco. Below the main bumper unit is a second air inlet, and below this is a forward-reaching spoiler (body coloured on all spec levels) that helps to improve aerodynamic efficiency.
A rear spoiler integrated into the tailgate is standard across the Polo range and, as with the Golf, the tailgate extends right down to the bumper. The tops of the tail-lights are linked with those at the front of the car by a styling line running the length of the Polo. Viewed from behind, the rear lights look rather large and dominate the styling, lacking the design sharpness of the headlights.
The door mirrors (body-coloured on mid-spec levels and above) generate 20 per cent less air resistance than those of the previous model, but their noticeably smaller size restricts the field of vision.