Volkswagen Polo 1.2 DSG – Just zippin’ around

Mention the brand “Volkswagen” and you’d find a whole fan base of them for the Scirocco, Golf, Passat, and Jetta models. In line with that, it is actually no surprise that the Polo still remains pretty inconspicuous.

Dubbed as a “supermini” hatch, the Polo doesn’t really stand out on the roads, and might even get mistaken as your normal “Golf” by those who are not observant enough.

However, the new Polo leaves much to be desired, and although it might not seem any different from its predecessor, a drive in it might just leave you amazed at its “performance-to-size” delivery.

Exterior

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The new Polo sets itself apart from its predecessor by means of a lower air intake, complete with a chrome strip separating the bumper and number plate from its fog lamp intake section.

Over at the rear, Volkswagen claims that its rear bumper adds on a couple of mm’s to the baby Volks’ length. However, other than this minute difference, there is really nothing to distinguish the old from the new.

Interior

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Perhaps the greatest aesthetic difference between the old and the new Polo lies in its interior. Slide into the seats and you’ll realise that despite the small size of this supermini, the Polo actually feels bigger than it looks.

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Gone are the days where the Polo’s interior reflects a bread-and-butter car, with manual adjustments and knobs all over the dash. Now, the new Polo comes standard with a 5″ infotainment system, complete with automatic climate control. No, you don’t get the luxury of a navigation system nor a reverse camera, but it is already a huge improvement compared to the knobs and dials of its predecessor.

While the exterior presents itself as a simple sedan, we were actually impressed by the features of the Polo. yes, you lose out on navigation and certain higher-standard features, but you do still get a multi-function steering wheel – something you would not enjoy even in the entry-level Golf 1.2 DSG. The controls, as per Volkswagen standard, is easy to use and doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where are the volume control buttons.

The only grouse we had was probably that the Polo didn’t come fitted with Bluetooth adaptability, something we felt was an absolute necessity in today’s context. The Polo tricked us otherwise with the telephony control buttons on its steering, only to leave us disappointed when we discovered it was just a dud.

The Drive

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Features aside, we dug further down beneath the hood of this 3.97 metres car. This is also where the main highlight of the new Polo sits.

With most of its features and design similar to the previous Polo, the new car boasts an entirely new 16-valve head plant. Yes, figures doesn’t do justice (the old and new plant both puts out 90 bhp), but the new DSG does get you slightly faster off from the lights.

Working in line with Volkswagen’s 7-speed DSG box, the Polo brings you to the century mark in just 10.8 seconds, 0.1 faster than the old car. We wouldn’t fault you for missing out this split-second (literally) change, but the more evident one should be the enhanced fuel economy of the car.

Thanks to the addition of the automatic start-stop system, the new Polo is able to achieve a 11.3% drop in fuel consumption compared to its predecessor. The brochure states 4.7 litres to the hundred, and it was indeed a stone’s throw from our own road tests which clocked an impressive 5!

Because the Polo isn’t exactly very huge, maneuverability is a breeze. Thanks to its small frame, the Polo zips around traffic extremely well, and takes corners with ease even at higher speeds. You would still expect a litle crosswind shaking especially when sandwiched between two trailers along roads like West Coast Highway, but other than that, it should get you to your destination with maximum safety and comfort for a sedan its size.

Conclusion

Given the similarity between the old and the new, most people would not be able to distinguish between the two. and you’d need a rather observant enthusiast to note the infotainment system, different trimmings, as well as the chrome strip before being able to identify with it.

But for the average driver, the enhanced responsiveness and fuel efficiency should be sufficient to impress. Yes, the Polo isn’t the ideal car for a family man with 4 kids in tow, but it certainly makes an amazing choice for couples or smaller families.

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We like:

The small frame of the Polo makes it very easy to drive about. And we mean, really very easy.

We don’t like:

The lack of Bluetooth was a slight disappointment – after all, we are stressing on not holding on to our phones as we drive, no?

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