The Polo has never been an easy car about which to enthuse and it remains resolutely that way.

Even so, its sheer completeness, distinguishing practicality and abundant rational appeal are all impossible to deny.

The Volkswagen Polo brings ‘big car’ space, class, kit and finish to this class like never before

This is a more grown-up, spacious, well-mannered Polo than VW has made before, with a breadth of ability that most supermini makers wouldn’t even aim for, never mind achieve.

It comes at a price premium but justifies that in so many ways: with its technological sophistication; with its reassuring on-road handling manners; with its rounded blend of performance, drivability, economy and refinement and with its perceived quality.

If you prefer your small cars with a youthful, spring-heeled sense of dynamic vivacity or a keen sense of style – and both tend to mark out an appealing supermini in our book – the Polo is unlikely to hit the spot, which partly explains why it falls marginally shy of the class leader – the Seat Ibiza.

Substance is prioritised front and centre before style in this car, but the success with which it’s delivered remains a convincing advert for rational thinking.