The Polo is supple, calm, quiet and rubber-footed in its ride, and comfortable in a way that small cars often aren’t.
At high speeds, it keeps its cabin settled but is still decently controlled over larger, longer-wave bumps.
At town speeds, it’s nicely forgiving and absorptive over sleeping policemen and soothes away all but the shortest, sharpest edges, which can sometimes be felt but seldom thump or crash.
This is the kind of small, affordable car, in other words, to effectively ease you through the urban rush hour with the minimum of stress and strain, and to reassure you on motorway trips that it can mix it with bigger cars, at higher speeds, without feeling at all out of its depth.
With medium-light, medium-fast steering, the Polo is agile enough at town speeds, with a grip level and responsiveness more than capable of making a dynamic virtue of its compact size.
Thanks to VW’s preference for ever-linear, predictable handling, it’s also very easy to drive. The car isn’t among the most grippy or compelling prospects in the class, but it has better body control than some and a very consistent balance of grip that resists understeer well initially and allows it to build only gradually as the car corners, and only in a proportion great enough to add a blanket of stability to everything the car does.