0 - 62 mph10.8s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2122 g/km


By Jonathan Crouch


This sixth generation Volkswagen Polo supermini is cleverer, smarter, classier and certainly more charismatic and confident this time round, featuring some fresh new engines and a bit of extra hi-tech in the Golf-style cabin to please loyal buyers. Ultimately though, it's still the carefully conservative choice it's always been. Low key, but likeable.


3dr/5dr Hatch (1.0, 1.5 TSI petrol / 1.6 TDI diesel)


Supermini fashions come and go but one model seems to remain impervious to fickle fancy. A Volkswagen Polo is somehow above all of that. And if you buy one, you'll probably think yourself to be so too. Over 14 million Polos have been sold since the car first went on sale back in 1975, having previously begun life badged as an Audi A50. This sixth generation Polo design, launched late in 2017, is as you might expect a very big deal for the brand - in more ways than one. For one thing, it's by far the largest Polo to date - far bigger for example, than earlier Golfs. For another, its sales significance remains huge for the Wolfsburg maker, given that almost 10% of all the cars the company has ever made have been Polos. So no, not every important new model launched these days is an SUV. This one only sires an SUV, it's underpinnings forming the basis for Volkswagen's T-Cross, the brand's smallest offering in the lifestyle crossover segment. Most folks though, will still want just a straightforward Polo, which is why the Wolfsburg maker continues to expect that this model will account for around 25% of its total sales in our market. That's despite intensified supermini segment competition, primarily from the 7th generation Ford Fiesta but also from contenders like SEAT's fifth generation Ibiza, car which shares this one's sophisticated new Volkswagen Group MQB A0 architecture. That platform facilitates the increase in exterior dimensions we mentioned and provides for what's claimed to be a more sophisticated 'big car'-style driving experience: we'll see. And there's also plenty else to keep this Polo popular, with some fresh engines, a sharper look and much higher standards of electronic safety provision. Inside, the completely new cabin can now be colour-personalised and delivers media connectivity for the modern age, including the option of a hi-tech digital instrument cluster. Plus for the first time, the GTI model at the top of the range is now a really credible rival for the segment's finest hot hatches. Elsewhere in the range, this car can still be the conservatively clever choice it always has been. If that appeals, then stay with us as we put this car to the test.

What You Get

Volkswagen doesn't mess about too much with the fundamental aesthetics of its core models. Just as a Golf should always be recognisable as a Golf, so it is with the Polo. Yet within these constraints, it was also necessary to move the design of this car forward. Volkswagen says the styling of this 'AW/BZ'-series sixth generation version is more 'masculine' and - whisper it - even a little 'charismatic'. It's certainly bigger - about the same size as the fourth generation Golf that was sold by the brand until 2003. With the MK6 model, this five-door body style was the only one on offer, the three-door version having been consigned to history after a production run of 42 years. As soon as you get in, just as in a Golf, you'll sense all the hallmarks of a really well made car, with the same glass-fronted 8.0-inch 'Composition Media' infotainment touchscreen you'd find on Volkswagen's larger family hatch dominating the dash. In place of the somewhat old fashioned vertically-stacked dash of the previous Polo, a more horizontally-orientated design was based around a central fascia panel that positions all of the key controls on a higher plane that's more in your direct line of sight. That panel is fundamental to a revolutionary move in Volkswagen interior design - the availability of dash and associated centre stack trimming that isn't predominantly black. 'Reef Blue', 'Energetic Orange', 'Silver Silk' and 'Deep Iron' colour options were all made available to original customers. And in the back? There ought to have been big improvements here too, given this sixth generation model's 92mm increase in total wheelbase. Which is pretty much how it turned out, though if you're familiar with the previous version of this car, you may find that this MK6 model's higher waistline and shallower rear window make it feel a little more enclosed than before. Particularly impressive is the improvement in shoulder room, though, as with rival superminis, that's not enough to make this bench in any way really suitable for the transport of three adults. And out back? Well, it's mostly all good news. Avoid entry-level trim and you'll get an adjustable-height floor that can be re-positioned at a lower level if you've taller loads to carry. In terms of overall boot size, we're talking 355-litres, which is a massive 75-litres more than the MK5 model and 63-litres larger than the trunk you get in a rival Ford Fiesta.

What You Pay

Prices for this early MK6 Polo start at around £8,700, which gets you a '17-plate 1.0 MPI 64PS variant with base 'S; trim, values then rising to around £12,700 for a later '20-plate car. Allow a premium of around £300 for plusher 'SE' trim. We'd try and stretch to the turbocharged 1.0 TSI unit, which values in 95PS form from around £9,700, which gets you a '17-plate 'SE'-spec model, with values rising to around £14,200 for a later '20-plate car; add on a premium of around £1,100 for a plusher 'SEL'-spec model with the gutsier 115PS version of this engine. If you want the rare 1.6 TDI diesel, values start at around £10,000 for a '17-plate 'SE'-spec car, with values rising to around £14,700 for a later '20-plate car. Add around £750 more for plusher 'SEL' trim. Finally, for the even rarer petrol 2.0 TSI GTI hot hatch model, values start at around £12,100 for a '17-plate car, rising to around £18,100 for one of the last '20-plate cars.

What to Look For

As with any supermini, check for interior child damage. Check the alloy wheels for scratches. And look for signs of accident damage such as uneven panel gaps. Also look for any parking damage, such as scuffs to bumpers and kerbed wheels, because only the higher-spec versions were fitted with front and rear parking sensors. With the entry-level S model, remember that you won't be able to connect your smartphone to the infotainment system because it lacks the App Connect option, so try and stretch to a better specced variant if that's an issue. There were various manufacturer recalls you should know about. Certain Polos made between May 2017 and October 2018 were subject to a recall that relates to a design flaw with the rear seatbelts. On cars made in October 2017, the travel in the handbrake might increase due to the adjuster working loose. With Polos made between October 2019 and February 2020, there's a risk that oil may get into the brake servo, so the whole system will need to be checked over by a VW technician in case there's oil in the system. Make sure that all these recalls have been attended to if the model you're looking at has been affected.

Replacement Parts

(approx based on a 2018 Polo 1.0 MPI 64PS - Ex Vat) An oil filter is in the £6-£13 bracket. An air filter is in the £7 bracket and a pollen filter costs typically between £6 and £11. A water pump is around £120-£150. Front brake pads sit in the £17-£47 bracket; rears will sit in the £12-£22 bracket. Front brake discs sit in the £44 bracket; rear discs are about £23-£33. A rear lamp is around £46. A headlamp is around £172. A wiper is around £6-£12.

On the Road

We were told that this sixth generation Polo would ride like a much larger car and sure enough it does, easily shrugging off pock-marked urban surfaces. The sophistication that delivers this showing doesn't lie in intricate suspension design but in the light, stiff MQB A0 chassis that this MK6 model shares with other Volkswagen Group superminis like SEAT fifth generation Ibiza. Through the corners, this Polo isn't quite as agile as its Spanish cousin or a rival Ford Fiesta - the rather light steering doesn't deliver a huge amount in terms of meaningful feedback - but body movements are well controlled and wider tracks deliver plenty of front end grip. As for engines, well almost all buyers in our market order this Polo with petrol power - specifically the 999cc three cylinder unit that in this period featured in so many compact Volkswagen Group models. At the foot of the range, it appears in the normally aspirated MPI form, with either 65PS or 75PS. A better option though, if you can stretch to it, is the turbocharged TSI version of this unit, available with either 95PS and a 5-speed gearbox or 115PS and a 6-speed gearbox. DSG auto transmission was also offered to TSI customers - and to those who chose the other perkier petrol options, a 150PS 1.5 TSI EVO powerplant and the 200PS 2.0-litre engine fitted to the flagship GTI hot hatch model. Two minority-interest 1.6-litre TDI diesel variants, developing either 80PS or 95PS, were also available. Even the 1.0-litre petrol unit can deliver diesel levels of economy though, the 65PS MPI version capable of 60.1mpg on the combined cycle and 108g/km (both NEDC figures).


So, where does all that leave us? Well, in one of those situations where everything changed - but nothing was really very different. This sixth generation Polo proved to be a big step on from its predecessor in just about every area you could name. But if you want one, the reasons why will probably be much as they've always been with this car: it feels a quality cut above its rivals. The quality element in question though, moved forward quite significantly with this 'AW/BZ' MK6 model, which might make quite a difference if you're one of those buyers who's been waiting for an excuse to buy a smaller car, but has yet to come across one with the kind of sophistication and technology found in something larger. If so, this sixth generation Polo might well be the model that finally persuades you to downsize. It feels more refined, more premium and more mature than any supermini we've previously driven. The result might be little more than a shrunken Golf, but then that's exactly what most buyers want. Indeed, you could choose one over that larger family hatch and really not lose out very much in terms of practicality, drive dynamics or even the style statement you'll make on the high street. Ah yes, the 'style statement' some versions of this sixth generation model try to make. There's probably a place for it, but plenty of rivals do the trendy lifestyle vibe a lot less self-consciously. Ultimately, the typical Polo person doesn't really buy this Volkswagen in order to make a fashion statement. Which is why he or she will almost certainly end up with the kind of conservatively-finished variant we've been trying here. That conservative mindset extends into the issue of drive dynamics too, so it probably won't matter that a handful of rivals feel more engaging than this one through the corners. Of greater importance to likely buyers is that few of these competitors will be more comfortable in day to day use. At the end of the day, there's much to be said for an extra touch of quality and class. Seek those as your priorities and you'll find this little supermini more than happy to oblige.

  • Electric front windows
  • Heat insulating tinted glass
  • Heated rear window with auto timer
  • Rear electric windows
  • Front windscreen washers and wipers with 4 speed intermittent delay
  • Rear windscreen washer and wiper with interval delay, reverse activated

  • Anti-lock brake system
  • Front/rear disc brakes
  • HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • Electronic stabilisation programme with electronic differential lock + traction control
  • Hill hold control
  • Automatic post collision braking

  • Front + rear carpet mats

  • Galvanished body

  • Wireless app connect
  • Volkswagen connect

  • Power assisted speed sensitive steering
  • Driver alert system

  • Start/stop system

  • Warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts unfastened
  • Lights on warning
  • Digital clock
  • Multifunction computer plus
  • Speedo and rev counter, electronic odometer, trip, service interval display and fuel gauge
  • Emergency call service

  • Electrically foldable, adjustable and heated door mirrors with reverse activated kerb view adjustment on passenger's side

  • Chrome plated air vent surround
  • Chrome plated instrument surrounds
  • Shadow steel decorative inserts

  • Battery regeneration during braking

  • DAB digital audio broadcast
  • Diversity antenna for FM reception

  • Chrome trimmed strip on lower bumper
  • Left and right chrome effect trapezoid fascia exhaust tailpipe surrounds
  • Unique R Line badging
  • Black grille with chrome surround
  • Rear diffuser
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body coloured side sills

  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear number plate lights
  • LED darkened rear light clusters
  • High level 3rd brake light

  • Dust/pollen filter

  • Storage compartment under front seats
  • 2 bag hooks in luggage compartment
  • Chrome-plated electric window button surround
  • Chrome-plated electric mirror adjustment switch surround
  • Storage compartment in rear doors
  • Storage compartment in front doors
  • Unique R Line door sill protectors
  • Carbon flag cloth upholstery
  • Titanium black roof lining and sun visors
  • Handbrake grip button in chrome effect
  • Luggage compartment cover, removable
  • Glovebox
  • Stainless steel pedals
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Leather gear knob and handbrake grip
  • Gear lever gaiter in black trim surround
  • Luggage compartment with variable load floor
  • 2 front cupholders and 12 V socket with cover
  • Centre console storage with open storage compartment
  • Front centre armrest with 2 x USB-C ports in front and 2 x USB-C ports in the rear
  • Three spoke leather trimmed multifuction steering wheel with aluminium inserts and R Line Logo

  • Ambient lighting in front foorwell, front/rear door and dashboard light strips
  • LED interior lighting - 2 reading lights front and rear with interior delay and dimming function
  • Instrument lighting, adjustable panel illumination
  • Interior light with delay
  • Luggage compartment lighting

  • R Line styling pack - Polo
  • Light and sight pack - Polo

  • Single tone horn
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • 3 point height adj front seatbelts + pretensioners
  • Driver/front passenger airbag
  • Front seat side impact airbags
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Drivers and front passengers safety optimised head restraints
  • Front and rear passenger curtain airbags

  • Front seat backrest storage pockets
  • Folding rear seat backrest
  • Front sport seats with lumbar adjustment and R line logo on seat backrest
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat
  • Front head restraints
  • Isofix Preparation 2 Rear child seats
  • 3 rear head restraints
  • Driver and front passenger seat height adjustment

  • Alarm with interior protection and deactivation via infotainment system
  • Remote central locking with 2 remote folding keys
  • Electronic engine immobiliser

  • Driver and front passenger sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors

  • CO2 (g/km): 104
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • Noise Level dB(A): 69
  • CO: 0.255
  • HC: 0.041
  • NOx: 0.028
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: 0.0002
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 168
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 124
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 109
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 129
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 122
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 129
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 122

  • CC: 999
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • Gears: 5 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 49.6
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 70.6
  • EC Combined (mpg): 61.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 42.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 55.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 61.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 50.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 42.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 39.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 55.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 61.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 57.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 50.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 47.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 49.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 5.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 4.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 5.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 4.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 4.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 5.7

  • Generation Mark: 5
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 8E
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 96
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 85
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 76
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 59
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 95
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Coin Series: R Line
  • Coin Description: TSI 95
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - BHP: 95
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 10.8
  • Top Speed: 116
  • Engine Power - KW: 70
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 129
  • Engine Torque - NM: 175
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1600
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 17.8

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: SEBRING
  • Tyre Size Rear: 195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 195/55 R16

  • Length: 4053
  • Width: 1751
  • Wheelbase: 2551
  • Width (including mirrors): 1964
  • Height: 1461
  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 351
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1125
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.6
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1088
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1620
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 40
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1000
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 580
  • Max. Loading Weight: 532

  • Rear tinted glass from B-pillar backwards approx 65% tinted: Included

  • Voice activation for telephone and navigation: £200
  • Mobile phone interface with inductive charging: £105

  • Lane assist with blind spot detection, rear traffic alert and electrically foldable door mirrors, dynamic road sign display: £580
  • Lane assist with blind spot detection, rear traffic alert and electrically foldable door mirrors: £535
  • Park assist steering with front/rear parking sensors: £125
  • Rear view camera: £260
  • Ultrasonic front and rear optical and audible parking sensors: Included
  • ACC - Adaptive cruise control with front assist, distance monitoring, city emergency brake and speed limiter: £620
  • Front assist, radar sensor controlled distance monitor, city emergency braking and predictive pedestrian protection: Included
  • Driver Mode Selection with four preset modes - Eco, normal, sport or individual modes: £120

  • Discover media navigation system with 8" display including streaming and internet: £865
  • Digital Cockpit Pro: £345

  • Body colour door mirrors with integrated indicators: Included

  • Electric panoramic sunroof with glass sliding and tilting including integrated roller blind: £930
  • Special solid paint: £350
  • Metallic paint: £575
  • Pearlescent paint: £575
  • Solid paint: Included

  • LED dipped and main beam headlights with automatic range adjustment: £890
  • Halogen clear headlights with range adjustable including automatic headlights on: Included

  • Climate control - 2 zone electronic air conditioning with automatic air recirculation and allergy filter: £420
  • Manual air conditioning: Included

  • Winter pack - Polo: £300
  • Smoking pack - Polo: £30
  • Black roof pack - Polo R Line/ GTI+: £50
  • Composition Media Pack - Polo: Included

  • Metallic - Energetic Orange: £575
  • Metallic - Reef blue: £575
  • Metallic - Reflex silver: £575
  • Metallic - Limestone grey: £575

  • Pearl - Deep black: £575

  • Solid - Urano grey: £0

  • Special solid - Pure white: £350
  • Special solid - Flash red: £350

  • Front assist with Pre crash preventive occupant protection: £140

  • Remote keyless entry using key fob including Start/Stop button on centre console: £320

  • Carbon flag cloth - Titan black/Flint grey: £0

  • 16" Sebring alloy wheels: Included
  • 17" Bonneville black diamond turned alloy wheels with anti theft wheel bolts: £450

  • Tyre mobility kit: Included
  • Space saver spare wheel: £100

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

Lex Autolease
Leasing Broker Federation

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