What is it?
The facelifted Volkswagen Polo, although as far as updates go the Polo's appears to be a very gentle update of a car that sold more than 42,600 units in the UK in 2013, second only to the Volkswagen Golf. Why mess with a good thing at all, then? Well, VW may not have bothered the styling department too much other than for LED headlights and new bumpers, but the engineering shop has been busy under the skin.
VW proudly claims that all of the Polo’s engines now comply with Euro 6 emissions regs and it has culled the old 1.4-litre petrol. In its place at launch are two 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrols and two 1.2 TSI turbocharged engines. Two 1.4-litre turbodiesels, in 74bhp and 89bhp forms, are also on offer.
There will also be a 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol that features VW’s ACT cylinder deactivation when the new Polo touches down in showrooms in July. This motor will only be offered in the BlueGT warm hatch model, with six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmissions. The manual version is rated at 58.9mpg and 109g/km, and the DSG model at 60.1mpg and 107g/km.
If those emissions don’t seem so impressive for a contemporary supermini, VW has an answer in the shape of two BlueMotion Polos, one with a 74bhp 1.4 turbodiesel and the other with a 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol. The diesel returns 91.1mpg and 82g/km, while the petrol offers 68.9mpg and 94g/km, but we’ll have to wait until later in the year for these models to arrive.
Regardless of these economy-minded models, VW says that the best-seller in the new Polo line-up will be the entry-level 59bhp 1.0-litre engine. Put this engine in a five-door body in SE trim and you have the Polo that will sell in the biggest numbers, at a price of £13,065.
On paper, the figures for the 59bhp 1.0 MPI don’t bode well, with 0-62mph taking a somnolent 15.5sec and the top speed just scraping to 100mph. A slug of 70lb ft of torque spread between 3000rpm and 4300rpm counters this to some extent and the triple is happy to be worked hard in this rev band.