It will not have escaped your notice that each of the cars that compete with the Volkswagen Polo in our supermini Top Five scores a high star rating. This segment of the market is particularly competitive and each car that we recommend thoroughly deserves its score.

Equally, none is completely flawless. And it is no different with the new Polo. This is a polished, mature-feeling, spacious supermini, and given its specification it’s competitively priced. It also rides well. If these are your priorities, the Polo is as good as, if not better than, any other small car you could buy. 

The Polo is a polished supermini that's competitively priced

But if you’re seeking flair, chances are you’ll find the Volkswagen Polo a little dry. Dynamically it is composed and unflappable but offers little motive flavour.

The Ford Fiesta is far more likely to put a smile on your face, as is the Mazda 2 or a Renault Clio. And only the Clio comes close to matching the Polo on its combination of rolling comfort and space.

Similarly, the styling, which mirrors that of the latest Volkswagen Golf, isn’t as youthful as the Ford or Mazda (or a Seat Ibiza), but its conservative looks may pay dividends, especially when it comes to used values, in the longer term.

Purchase prices seem high, especially when compared with increasingly talented Korean superminis, while equipment levels are actually quite good.

The BlueMotion's headline figures are mightily impressive and a huge temptation, while all versions are reasonably frugal. The GTI is an interesting alternative to more frenetic hot hatches, even if ultimately it lacks the finesse and, therefore, fun of many rivals.

Back to top

Whichever Polo you choose, though, will be a safe bet – and that’s what best describes VW’s latest effort in this tough segment.