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.
What's it like?
Reasonable and able to accelerate with haste if required, even at 60mph in fifth gear and revving with the 1.0-litre engine at 3000rpm. Drop down a gear or two and it feels quite lively, albeit with more of that three-cylinder thrum entering the cabin. Opt for the 74bhp 1.0 and life is more fun and relaxed.
Next to a Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost, the Polo is not as swift and doesn’t handle with the same zest, but it does a sound job of dispatching corners without fuss or drama. More importantly for most Polo buyers, it copes easily with lump-addled roads and seals out wind and road noise to leave the occupants unharried.
This is a theme that VW has carried through to the revisions in the cabin, which seems to have enjoyed an equally mild update as the exterior on first acquaintance. However, the Polo is the first to receive VW’s next generation of touchscreen, which features a proximity sensor and works in much the same way as a smartphone. On SE models and up, a larger 6.5in screen is included and sat-nav is a £700 option. For £150, the multimedia screen can also be upgraded with VW’s MirrorLink (see sidebar) so that it offers all of the functions of your phone on the screen.
For the rest of the Polo’s cabin, it’s business as usual, with high-quality plastics, a good driving position, decent space front and rear and a reasonable boot.
Should I buy one?
Yes, because although its changes are small Volkswagen has left all that is good about the Polo untouched, while also improving on fuel economy and emissions, as well as adding new technology across the range. Let's not forget that the Polo is competitively priced against competition, too.
Volkswagen Polo 1.0 MPI 60 SE 5dr
Price £13,065; 0-62mph 15.5sec; Top speed 100mph; Economy 60.1mpg; CO2 106g/km; Kerbweight 1055kg; Engine 3 cyls, 999cc; Installation front transverse; Power 59bhp at 5000-6000rpm; Torque 70lb ft at 3000-4300rpm; Gearbox 5-spd manual