Volkswagen has added a limited edition variant to Polo’s line-up christened Polo AllStar priced at Rs 7.51 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Available on the Highline variant, it gets cosmetic upgrades and additional equipment. Additionally, it also comes in a new paint option-Silk Blue colour. Features including 15-inch diamond cut multi-spoke alloy wheels, AllStar badging on the B-pillars, scuff plates adorn exterior. Inside, it arms rear AC vents, adjustable driver side arm-rest, aluminium finished pedals, new upholstery and striping in the centre. Under the skin, it continues to draw power from the 1.2 litre petrol and 1.5 litre diesel engines from the standard version.
Polo has received a couple of revisions in its itinerary so far, but the most recent facelift involved subtle cosmetic touch ups and a downsized diesel engine displacing 1498cc. Styling has never been a problem with Polo, it has in fact matured with time keeping up with the rivals in the segment. Alterations made to the mechanical build up include a changed suspension enabling a better run on erratic roads. Pricing is on a higher side but with this assortment of features, performance and handling, Polo’s price justifies its worth
DESIGN AND STYLE ‘
Few people would deny that this is one of the most modern looking and stylish hatchbacks in the market. The styling is sporty, but understated and mature at the same time. It’s a balance that none of its rivals have struck so far.With a length of 3,971mm, width of 1,682mm and height of 1,469mm, the Polo is just the right size for an urban hatchback.The Polo’s design is clean with a nearly flat shoulder line, a few chiseled touches along the body panels and gently beefed up wheel archesAt the front, the slim grille has been given touches of silver, while the large VW brand emblem rests at the centre of it. Flanking this on either side, the sharp headlamp clusters add to the aggressive image of the front.
A thin chrome garnish runs across the top of the air dam, adding a subtle premium touch.The bonnet gets two creases down its length to add an aggressive touch. These creases seem to begin where the A-pillars end.Arguably, the Polo is best viewed from the side. The design is lean and the windowline kink creates a swooping effect that leads to the front.We’re happy to note that 15-inch ‘Estrada’ alloy wheels have been well-designed and you won’t feel the need to change them.The Polo looks rather cute at the rear thanks to the square tail lights. The Germans have been obsessive in their need for cleanliness in design and apart from the minimalist badging, the VW logo itself has been utilized to double up as a lever for the tailgate.
COMFORT AND CABIN ;
Step inside and for someone who has driven the outgoing model, it all looks familiar. The dashboard layout is the same, but the dual-tone beige and non-reflective black colour combination is new. The new desert beige upholstery is bright and spices up the interior. The Golf-style flat-bottom three-spoke steering wheel looks like it belongs to an expensive car and is excellent to hold. The steering wheel gets buttons that control the audio system and the multi-information display. The MID controls on the steering wheel allows you to keep your hands on it all the time as its placement earlier was on the column stalk and the button was fidgety to use. The instrument cluster retains the two large dials with tachometer on the left and speedometer on the right. In between lurks the change – the multi-information display gets easy-to-read white fonts and the new function which shows the maximum speed is 250kmph, which we found a bit cheesy. The centre console and steering wheel boss get brushed aluminium surrounds adding to the premium look. Every bit inside the Polo you touch exudes quality, when it comes to the interior fit, finish and quality the Polo is right up there. Everything seems to be well put together and the interior is the best-in-class. The integrated audio system is compatible with USB, AUX-in, SD card, can pair with your Bluetooth devices and play your CDs too. The sound quality is decent and one won’t be disappointed with this system. It can take voice commands and the call quality with the phone paired to the audio system is good. The front driver’s seat with height adjustment and the telescopic steering wheel makes it easy to find an ideal driving position. The seats are supportive and are comfortable over long drives. We cribbed about the lack of sufficient lumbar support in the outgoing model which seems to have been fixed, but it can be better. The rear seat remains a weakness of the Polo. It hasn’t changed a single bit, the new specification sheet reads the Polo has a wheelbase longer by about 13mm, which aids the legroom getting a minor improvement complemented by the scooped out front seats. Seating three abreast is a task and the headroom is not the best-in-class, the Swift in comparison has a higher set rear seat and feels a little more comfortable than the Polo. The Polo boasts the largest boot capacity in the class at 294litre followed by the Hyundai Elite i20 at 280litre.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
VW’s turbocharged 94bhp 1.0-litre engine deserves to be the range pick. Although that doesn’t sound like much power, it easily handles town work, pulling strongly from low revs and willingly revving when you need a turning of speed to dart through traffic. Head out onto faster roads and you’ll need to work it harder, but it never feels out of its depth.
There’s a further turbocharged petrol with more power, as well as two non-turbo 1.0-litres below them, but we have yet to try any of those at this very early stage. For those who want more punch, a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol is available (which you’ll also find in the Volkswagen Golf) and a 2.0-litre turbo is exclusive to the range-topping hot hatch GTI coming in 2018 – although we haven’t driven these, either.
Of the two 1.6-litre four cylinder diesels on offer, we’ve experienced the lesser 79bhp version (a more powerful 94bhp is available, too). We’d avoid this and stick with the turbocharged 1.0 petrol, because the diesel feels extremely flat at low revs and, even when pushed hard, it feels pedestrian in terms of performance in and out of town.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The ride is firm, typical to a Euro-spec car and I couldn’t find any potholes in Germany to comment on how good or bad it can get on the broken roads. But over a few ruts and joints, the suspension seemed pretty silent. The braking is sharper than the outgoing Polo and has a progressive and predictive feel to it. The steering setup has improved as well and weighs up well even at autobahn speeds. I’m guessing the new Polo has the same level of confidence around the twisties too.We will find that out when we have a longer drive in the supermini. I’m not sure when or where that will be, just the way Volkswagen isn’t sure if and when the new Polo will come to India. The MQB platform that gives the new Polo its matured drivetrain and handling, also comes at a price that has Volkswagen India worried. But I hope they crack the problem soon, for the new Polo promises to be a cracker of a supermini that seems poised to surpass benchmarks set by its predecessor.
2016 Volkswagen Cross Polo comes with safety features like dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), central locking, seatbelt warning, crash sensor, power door lock, child lock, front and side impact beam, engine immobilizer etc.
Polo is better to drive solo, not that it is any bad with full load of passengers, but the new racy engine and lower stance will provoke you to pull off mean driving skills that would throw back seat occupants from side to side. At price bracket of Rs. 6.27 – 7.37 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), VW Polo 1.5 TDI is definitely worth the buy. Wait for Polo GT TDI till September if you’re hunger for power doesn’t stop here. Comprehensive review coming soon.Head to technical specifications, full list of features in each variant, mileage and price list of new Polo here.