VOLKSWAGEN

VOLKSWAGEN POLO HATCHBACK 2.0 TSI GTI+ 5dr DSG

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph6.7s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2160 g/km

If you're looking for a quick and discreet supermini that brings with it the trappings of big car quality, this Volkswagen Polo GTI is well worth a look. It's finally the fun steer it always should have been.

JUNIOR PARTNER

The Volkswagen Polo GTI has long lived in the shadow of its bigger brother, the Golf GTI. Does it step into the light with this latest model? Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

If you're looking for a quick and discreet supermini that brings with it the trappings of big car quality, this Volkswagen Polo GTI is well worth a look. It's finally the fun steer it always should have been.

Background

Students of automotive history will know many of them. You know, the cars that would have been remembered far more fondly had they not been overshadowed by a far more illustrious stablemate? In the Eighties, the Audi S2 coupe had no chance whatsoever following in the footsteps of the brand's iconic Quattro coupe and the Peugeot 309 GTI might actually have been a better drive than the legend that was the 205 GTI. If you want the undisputed champ of neglected sibling syndrome though, look no further than the Volkswagen Polo GTI, apparently forever condemned to be the car people walk past in showrooms to moon over the Golf GTI. Volkswagen seems rather fed up with this state of affairs and, after many years of building warmish Polos that left British buyers somewhat underwhelmed, the gloves have finally come off. Game on.

Driving Experience

As well as playing second fiddle to the Golf, the Polo GTI has traditionally had to give best to the Ford Fiesta ST in the supermini hot hatch class. The latest Polo GTI sets out to rectify that issue, the old 190PS 1.8-litre turbo engine being ditched in favour of a far heavier duty 200PS 2.0-litre TSI unit, a de-tuned version of the powerplant used in the Golf GTI. From there, power is delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed dual clutch DSG transmission, via which a sub-7.0sec sprint to 62mph is possible. The mechanical spec delivers lowered, stiffened suspension springs, uprated anti-roll bars and upgraded passive dampers as standard, though you can order switchable 'sport select' adaptive suspension as an option. Changes over the standard Polo include different front suspension knuckles, a stiffer torsion beam at the rear, revised suspension bushings and different axle geometries and roll centres. It all delivers a much more focused hot hatch. Those who prefer a more playful chassis and more communicative steering might still prefer the livewire Ford, but there's clearly been a lot of thought - and budget - poured into the Polo's dynamics.

Design and Build

The Polo GTI doesn't really go too large on extrovert styling, with much the same low-key, high quality aesthetics as the Golf. Viewed on a spec sheet, there's a lot of changes to the standard car, but the net effect in the metal is muted, discreet and classy. There's a more aggressive 'GTI Styling Pack' with uniquely-shaped front and rear bumpers and a black honeycomb front air intake. Plus some tidy 17-inch 'Parker' alloy wheels specially developed for this model. It also rides 15mm lower on its sports suspension. Drop inside and you'll find special 'Jacara cloth' seating, which is almost certainly the most extrovert aspect of the Polo GTI's entire attire. You'll notice the latest shape instrument panel that has been redesigned and your hands grip a chunkier red-stitched wheel rim. The centre console has also been given a makeover with heating and ventilation controls now easier to operate. Soft touch plastics and subtle aluminium detailing are the order of the day but the cabin is notably less austere than before. Aluminium-look pedals, black gloss instrument surrounds, red-stitched carpet mats and 'Velvet Red' decorative fascia inserts all add a more extrovert feel. There's a much bigger 355-litre boot that increases to 1,125-litres when the rear seats are folded down.

Market and Model

The list price of around £22,000 might seem a bit steep for a Polo but you do get a lot of equipment included and a DSG auto gearbox. There's a 'GTI+' version for another £1,500. Equipment for the standard Polo GTI runs to 17-inch wheels featuring red brake callipers, lowered sports suspension, a 'GTI' body styling pack, an XDS electronic differential lock and a 'Driving profile selection' driving modes system. A top 'GTI+' trim level further adds LED headlights, auto headlamps, rear tinted glass, keyless entry, power-folding mirrors, 'ACC' 'Adaptive Cruise Control' and the 'Active Info' instrument binnacle display. On to safety, an area where Volkswagen now claims class leadership with this model. Standard now on all Polos is a 'Front Assist' system that on the open road, scans the road ahead as you drive for potential accident hazards, warning you if one is detected and automatically braking if necessary. You get that same kind of functionality at urban speeds too, as part of a 'City Emergency Braking' system included as part of the 'Front Assist' package. This set-up also includes 'Predictive Pedestrian Protection' that specifically searches for pedestrians who might be about to step out in front of you and, if necessary, can initiate braking to avoid them.

Cost of Ownership

This being Volkswagen, you'd probably be shocked were this car not challenging amongst the class best in terms of efficiency. Sure enough, even with DSG auto transmission fitted - in this case a 6-speed unit - this GTI variant manages up to 39.8mpg (WLTP) and up to 138g/km of CO2 (NEDC). A lot of that's thanks to the lighter weight of the MQB A0 platform that now underpins the latest generation version of this car. If you want to get close to the quoted figures on a regular basis, you'll need to make use of the provided 'Eco' option in the standard 'Driving profile selection', that mode able to focus all of the car's systems on maximum frugality. Plus if you've downloaded the free 'Volkswagen Connect' app that comes with this car, you'll find it includes a 'Challenges' section that sets efficiency driving targets, encouraging you to collect points and trophies, with bonus challenges to improve your scores. Start getting a bit keen with the options and you'll see those famously resilient Volkswagen residuals crumble somewhat too. Just about the only options that used buyers will pay extra for are satellite navigation and the DSG transmission, but straight away these features will add nearly £2,000 to the used car asking price.

Summary

The Volkswagen Polo GTI is a car that's never really been let off the leash for fear of cannibalising sales of the more profitable Golf GTI, and has never quite learned to let its hair down. Until now. You could genuinely enjoy yourself in one of these, and that's something we've never really been able to say of Polo GTI models in the past. True, when it comes down to it, you could argue that rivals like the Ford Fiesta ST, the Peugeot 208 GTI, the Renaultsport Clio 200, the MINI Cooper S or the Suzuki Swift Sport could all put a bigger grin on your face through a twisting country road. But the Polo GTI will get close to them and at the same time is a much better, more mature, more refined everyday proposition than such competitors. It is, in short, the consummate all-rounder in this class. Overall, the Polo GTI is accomplished but not touched with magic. The Golf's legend is safe for the time being.

  • 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

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

  • Front and rear carpet mats with red stitching

  • Lowered sports suspension
  • Galvanished body

  • Volkswagen connect
  • Car-Net App-Connect

  • Power assisted speed sensitive steering
  • Driver Mode Selection with four preset modes - Eco, normal, sport or individual modes
  • ACC - Adaptive cruise control with front assist, distance monitoring, city emergency brake and speed limiter
  • Driver alert system

  • Start/stop system

  • Lights on warning
  • Digital clock
  • Warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts unfastened
  • Multifunction computer plus
  • Active Info Display, 10.3" high resolution TFT dash display screen with customised information
  • Speedo and rev counter, electronic odometer, trip, service interval display and fuel gauge

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

  • Chrome plated air vent surround
  • Chrome instrument surround detailing
  • Gloss black instrument surrounds

  • Battery regeneration during braking

  • Gloss black rear spoiler
  • Extended sill strips flared in black
  • Honeycomb radiator grille with red stripe
  • Unique GTI badging
  • Stainless steel door sill protections with GTI logo
  • Twin chrome exhaust tailpipes
  • Body coloured side sills
  • Body colour door handles

  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear number plate lights
  • LED dipped and main beam headlights with automatic range adjustment
  • Dusk sensor + automatic driving lights
  • Front fog lights including static cornering
  • High level 3rd brake light
  • LED darkened rear light clusters

  • Dust/pollen filter

  • Storage compartment under front seats
  • Storage compartment in rear doors
  • Chrome-plated electric window button surround
  • Chrome-plated electric mirror adjustment switch surround
  • Storage compartment in front doors
  • Black roof lining and sun visors
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • Glovebox
  • 2 bag hooks in luggage compartment
  • Leather gear knob and handbrake grip
  • Jack and tool kit
  • Luggage compartment cover, removable
  • AlumInium look pedals
  • Gear lever gaiter in black trim surround
  • Three spoke leather trimmed multifunction steering wheel with GTI logo and red contrast stitching
  • Luggage compartment with variable load floor
  • Gear change selection via paddle shift on steering wheel
  • Handbrake grip button in chrome effect
  • 2 front cupholders and 12 V socket with cover
  • Centre console storage with open storage compartment

  • 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

  • GTI styling pack - Polo
  • Light and sight pack - Polo

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

  • Front seat backrest storage pockets
  • Folding rear seat backrest
  • Front head restraints
  • Isofix Preparation 2 Rear child seats
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat
  • 3 rear head restraints

  • Remote central locking with 2 remote folding keys
  • Electronic engine immobiliser
  • Remote keyless entry using key fob including Start/Stop button on centre console
  • Alarm with interior protection and deactivation via infotainment system

  • XDS electronic differential lock

  • Driver and front passenger sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors

  • Steel space saver spare wheel

  • CO2 (g/km): 138
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • Noise Level dB(A): 69
  • CO: 0.342
  • HC: 0.044
  • NOx: 0.013
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: 0.0001
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 160

  • CC: 1984
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 6 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Combined (mpg): N
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 39.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 38.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 7.3

  • Generation Mark: 5
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 28E
  • 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: 200
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: GTI+
  • Coin Description: TSI
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - BHP: 200
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 6.7
  • Top Speed: 147
  • Engine Power - KW: 147
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 236
  • Engine Torque - NM: 320
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 32.6

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 215/45 R17
  • Wheel Style: PARKER
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: True
  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: SPACE SAVER
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY

  • Width (including mirrors): 1964
  • Height: 1461
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4067
  • Wheelbase: 2548

  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1125
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.6
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1280
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1780
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 40
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1200
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 670
  • Max. Loading Weight: 500
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 305
  • No. of Seats: 5

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

  • Voice activation for telephone and navigation: £200

  • Park assist steering with front/rear parking sensors: £125
  • Rear view camera: £260
  • Ultrasonic front and rear optical and audible parking sensors: Included

  • Discover navigation - 8.0" colour touch screen navigation/infotainment systems with Car- net guide and inform: £685

  • Body colour door mirrors with integrated indicators: Included

  • Deep iron dashboard pads: £0
  • Velvet red trim in dash and centre console: Included

  • Beats audio system with 6 speakers, digital 8 channel amplifier, subwoofer, 300w total power output: £425

  • 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

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

  • Jacara cloth upholstery: Included
  • Art velours cloth upholstery + heated front sports seats with Microfibre side bolsters: £1,050

  • Composition Media Pack - Polo: Included
  • Winter pack in conjunction with art velour interior - Polo: £10
  • Black roof pack - Polo R Line/ GTI+: £50
  • Winter pack - Polo: £300
  • Smoking pack - Polo: £30

  • Metallic - Reef blue: £575
  • Metallic - Limestone grey: £575

  • Pearl - Deep black: £575

  • Solid - Flash red: £0

  • Special solid - Pure white: £350

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

  • Front sports seat with height and lumbar adjustment: Included

  • Art velour + heated front sport seats with Microfibre side bolsters - Titan black: £1,050
  • Jacara cloth - Titan black/red: £0

  • 17" Parker alloy wheels with anti theft wheel bolts: Included
  • 18" Brescia black diamond turned alloy wheels with anti theft wheel bolts: £350

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.

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