Polo
  • Sixth generation of supermini priced from £13,855 RRP OTR (January 2018)
  • New five-door Polo showcases space, safety, technology and comfort
  • Seven model line-up will in time include 200 PS GTI and GTI+

The sixth generation of Volkswagen’s perennially popular supermini – the Polo – which in its previous five iterations has sold more than 14 million examples worldwide, is now being offered in five-door only form to UK car buyers.

The main focus of the new sixth generation Polo is a major increase in cabin and luggage space within larger external dimensions alongside the debut of new engines, sharper design, new ‘big car’ assistance systems, the application of a new generation of infotainment systems and the global debut of the second generation of Volkswagen’s Active Info Display.

The developments in Polo – which has found a home with more than 1.4 million drivers in the UK over the last 42 years – also reflect a new level for assistance systems in the supermini segment. Technologies such as City Emergency Braking with new Pedestrian Monitoring function, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Detection significantly improve safety.

The new Polo, which utilises Volkswagen Group’s new MQB AO architecture, also showcases a charismatic design with more expressive features. The use of the MQB AO underpinnings offers the ability to create significantly more dynamic proportions with a long wheelbase, short body overhangs and a sporty ratio of its key dimensions. The new car is longer, wider, has a lower overall height but improved headroom versus its predecessor.

The exterior design has been made more powerful, charismatic and expressive, while the new Polo’s interior has been fundamentally renewed. Indeed this is a supermini interior without precedent as new Polo has been fully developed for the digital era. It is, for instance, the first car in its class to offer entirely digital instruments – showcasing a whole new generation of Volkswagen’s Active Info Display as an option.

The instruments are arranged on the same viewing axis as the infotainment system, too, with new glass-encased eight-inch touchscreen units standard across the entire Polo range.

Bigger in every dimension but length than the Golf Mk IV – sold here until 2003 – the capacious new Polo offers a boot volume that has grown 25%, from 280 litres to 351 litres, and a wheelbase up by 94 mm compared with that of the previous car.

A variety of the latest TSI (petrol) and TDI (turbo diesel) engines power the new Polo. All are Euro VI compliant.

The five three- and four-cylinder petrol engines range from the naturally aspirated 1.0 MPI with 65 PS to the turbocharged 2.0 TSI with 200 PS. All petrol engines with up to 115 PS belong to the efficient EA211 engine family, while the 2.0 TSI engine comes from the third generation EA888 series notably also seen – in larger output forms – in the new Golf GTI, Golf GTI Performance and the range-topping Golf R. As a diesel the Polo will offer a choice of two 1.6 TDI engines whose outputs are 80 PS and 95 PS respectively. Both four-cylinder engines belong to the EA288 engine family and feature an SCR catalytic converter.

Regardless of fuel choice, all new Polo engines are equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode, while any of the TSI and TDI powerplants with an output of 95 PS or more can be configured with a 6- or 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox, depending on engine choice. Alternative gearbox options include five- or six-speed manuals.

The spectrum of assistance systems available in new Polo further democratises Volkswagen’s progress in technology with features such as Front Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Traffic Alert, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control and Stop & Go function – a first for a car with a manual handbrake – available optionally, or as standard, depending on trim level.

New LED headlights replace all Xenon headlights on the sixth generation Polo, while LED daytime running lights are also standard on the car.

The optional Keyless Access locking and engine starting system, which is also new, can be specified to further improve convenience while Driving Profile Selection allows the choice of one of four programs: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual, to tailor the Polo’s character to the driver’s precise need, and mood.

In the Eco driving mode, for instance, engine control, air conditioning and other auxiliary systems are regulated in a manner that ensures optimal fuel efficiency. In vehicles fitted with DSG, a coasting function can also be used with the Eco mode: if the driver releases the accelerator pedal – for example, on downhill stretches – the DSG disengages and the engine idles. In Sport mode, on the other hand, engine response and shift points of the DSG are configured to be more dynamic and, if specified, tuning of the adjustable dampers is modified.

Every new Polo contains a generous level of standard-fit equipment, in keeping with its position at the head of the supermini segment. Among the highlights, model-by-model, are:

S

  • Eight-inch Composition media infotainment with DAB
  • Air conditioning
  • Front Assist with pedestrian monitoring
  • Automatic headlamp activation with LED daytime running lights

SE

  • 15-inch Sassari alloy wheels
  • Car-Net App Connect with an additional USB port
  • Alarm
  • Leather multi-function steering wheel

beats

  • 16-inch Torsby alloy wheels
  • Front fog lights with cornering function
  • Front and rear carpet mats
  • beats decal over the bonnet and roof (beats only)
  • 65 per cent tinted windows from the B-pillar backwards (beats only)
  • Red Velvet dash pad (beats only)
  • 300 watt beats sound system (beats only)

SEL

  • 16-inch Las Minas alloy wheels
  • Front centre armrest
  • Discover Navigation (SEL only)
  • 2-Zone climate control (SEL only)
  • Rain sensor
  • Front and rear parking sensors

R-Line

  • 16-inch Sebring alloy wheels
  • 65% tinted windows from the B-pillar backwards
  • Rear LED tail lights
  • R-Line exterior styled front and rear bumpers and black gloss spoiler
  • Stainless steel pedals

GTI

  • 17-inch Parker alloy wheels
  • GTI styling including red brake calipers
  • Sports suspension lowered by approximately 15 mm
  • XDS electronic differential

GTI+

  • 17-inch Parker alloy wheels
  • 65% tinted windows from the B-pillar backwards
  • Light and Sight pack
  • LED headlights
  • Active Info Display
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Keyless entry with start-stop button

Meanwhile safety has remained a key consideration for Volkswagen engineers developing the new Polo.

The new generation model has more standard safety features than its predecessor, including Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring and City Emergency Braking. There are now also more airbags than ever before, too, with the addition of a curtain airbag system for front and rear passengers which is designed to protect the driver's and passengers’ heads in the event of an accident.

That extra safety translates into improved ABI insurance group ratings, with the entry-level new Polo 1.0 65 PS 5-spd manual five-door now rated at Group 1E, the lowest grouping available.

Commenting on the arrival of new Polo Alison Jones, Director of Volkswagen in the UK, said: “Our roomy new supermini is packed with new technology. Put simply, the new Polo is bigger and better than ever before.

“It now offers more space inside for passengers and luggage, more advanced technology thanks to the new MQB AO architecture, more safety, more comfort, more convenience and more style than any previous version.

“Efficient engines, a fine balance of ride and handling characteristics, and great refinement complete the mix and, in my view, make Polo the clear choice in the ever-competitive supermini sector.“ 

SUMMARY

New Polo offers premium segment technology: the global debut of second generation Active Info Display; as well as the use of high-end infotainment and state-of-the-art assistance systems

  • Efficient technology: a variety of the latest MPI, TSI (petrol) and TDI (turbo diesel) engines power the new Polo. All are Euro VI compliant
  • The UK petrol engine line-up starts with the naturally aspirated 1.0-litre (999 cc), three-cylinder 65 PS unit, rising through 1.0-litre, three cylinder 75 PS to the turbo charged three cylinder, 1.0 TSI 95 PS and three cylinder, 1.0 TSI 115 PS three cylinder
  • The most potent new Polo is the GTI with a 200 PS 2.0 TSI petrol powerplant mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG. In DSG form only initially, this will debut in UK in mid-2018 and is the most powerful, and largest-engined, Polo yet offered  
  • The diesel engine range comprises two 1.6 TDI units, of 80 PS and 95 PS outputs. Both are mated to five-speed manual gearboxes
  • Gearboxes options for the petrol engines include five- or six-speed manual, or six- or seven-speed DSG units
  • The advanced range of infotainment systems in new Polo has been redesigned, repositioned and fitted with larger touchscreens
  • New Polo features, for the first time, the option of Volkswagen’s latest generation of Active Info Display – a 10.5-inch high resolution TFT dash display with customisable menus and information
  • The spectrum of assistance systems in the Polo further democratises Volkswagen’s progress in technology featuring Front Assist, Blind Spot Detection, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control and a Stop & Go function – a first for a car with a manual handbrake
  • New LED headlights replace all Xenon headlights on the sixth generation Polo, while LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights are also standard
  • Personalisation is elevated to a new level courtesy of 14 bold exterior colours; seven different dashpad decors; two interior trim versions and eleven different seat cover options

UK market information:

  • Polo is the second best-selling car in the Volkswagen range in the UK, with sales of 47,855 in 2017. Golf was the best-seller with sales of 74,605 (77,231 including Golf SV)
  • Total Volkswagen sales in the UK last year, including passenger-carrying CV models, were 208,462 – up 0.69% on 2016. Thus, roughly one in four new Volkswagens sold in the UK in 2017 was badged Polo
  • The best-selling model in the outgoing range is the Match Edition 1.2 TSI 90 PS five-speed manual
  • To date it is estimated* that in excess of 1.4 million Volkswagen Polos, excluding the Derby saloon, have been sold in the UK since the car debuted here in 1975
  • The ‘A0 hatch’ segment, in which Polo sits, accounted for almost 20% of the UK’s new car market in 2017
  • The five-door only new Polo is offered in broadly similar trim levels as before. The familiar list comprises: S, SE, beats, SEL, R-Line, GTI and the new GTI+
  • Best-seller in the new range in the UK is likely to be an SE specification 1.0-litre 95 PS  petrol-engined (TSI) manual
  • The fleet/retail split is anticipated to be 30% fleet/70% retail
  • The petrol/diesel split is anticipated to be more than 95% petrol
  • New Polo opened for order in early October 2017, with first deliveries beginning in January 2018
  • The new Polo is built for right-hand drive markets at Volkswagen’s Uitenhage plant in South Africa

* Confirmed precise UK sales figures by model are not available pre-1980

MARKET INFORMATION

The new Polo competes in the European A0 supermini segment and sits above the up! city car and below the Golf compact hatchback in the Volkswagen passenger cars line-up. The car is a rival to the likes of the Ford Fiesta, SEAT Ibiza, Renault Clio, Peugeot 208 and MINI.

The new Polo has been designed to offer increased cabin and luggage space within larger external dimensions alongside the debut of new engines, sharper design, new ‘big car’ assistance systems, the application of a new generation of infotainment systems.

The Polo model line-up has been designed to offer more choice and bespoke personalisation options than ever. 14 bold exterior colours; seven different dashpad decors; two interior trim versions and eleven different seat cover options offer unprecedented choice for Polo buyers.

The Polo range launches in the UK across four engine and trim waves, beginning in January and running through to November 2018.    

The fleet/retail split for new Polo in the UK is predicted to be, broadly: 30% fleet/70% retail. The best-selling model across all channels is anticipated at launch to be the Polo SE 1.0 TSI 95 PS 5spd manual.

Production
The Polo is manufactured at the Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) plant in Uitenhage.

Uitenhage is an industrial town which lies almost 500 miles east of Cape Town and more than 600 miles south of Johannesburg. Just over half (294,713 m²) of the plant's 520 963 m² area consist of production facilities.

Apart from producing components for the entire Volkswagen Group, the Uitenhage plant currently produces the new Polo, Cross Polo and Polo Vivo (the latter for the local South African market only). In 2016, 123,854 vehicles were produced of which of 69,192 were exported.

Established in 1946, VWSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Aktiengessellschaft (VWAG) in Germany. It is the largest German investment in South Africa and is a major contributor to foreign direct investment, technology transfer and skills development.

MQB A0 PLATFORM

The new Polo uses as its base the Volkswagen Group’s MQB A0 (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix.

The recently-launched MQB A0 global architecture is a development of the MQB strategy, which began with the arrival of Golf VII in 2012 and represented a turning point in the design and production of cars with transverse-mounted engines as it standardised many vehicle component parameters – across brands and vehicle classes – and at the same time, it offered access to new technologies.

The MQB and MQB A0 now covers the following Volkswagen models: new Polo, Golf, Touran, Tiguan, new Tiguan Allspace, Passat, Arteon, Atlas/Teramont and new T-Roc. Thus all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths. It is also possible to produce MQB models of different brands together.

One of the prominent characteristics of the Modular Transverse Matrix is the uniform mounting position of all engines. Two systems integrated in the MQB strategy which play a key role here are the modular petrol (MOB) and diesel (MDB) engine systems.

By introducing these engine series, the number of engine and gearbox variants offered by the Group has been reduced by around 90 per cent, without restricting choice. In addition to standardising conventional internal combustion engines, the MQB also enables an identical mounting position for all current alternative drive concepts without limitations – from natural gas and hybrid versions to pure electric drive.

EXTERIOR DESIGN

The sixth generation Polo has become a more ‘masculine’ car, with a charismatic appearance courtesy of its expressive new design.

The new car’s roof line is longer and more elegant, and transitions into a roof spoiler at the rear. A fine line on the side body runs parallel to the roof line, visually lowering the centre of gravity.

Key detailing includes the new Polo’s long line of side windows – indeed it is the only Volkswagen to have a window line that terminates in a rise at both front and rear. The C-pillar in particular, is now designed to reach forward more and is precisely sculpted, making the car dynamic and appearing to lunge forward, even when stationary.

Emerging from the straight line of the window shoulder is another line that runs towards the front and into the headlights, making the Polo appear significantly longer than before. Other new and important design features follow beneath this.

An arrow-shaped double line, which is known as the ‘tornado line’, is a new design feature defining the Polo. The surface of this three-dimensional tornado line is – in the style of a shoulder section – slightly flared, and it finishes with a sharp downward undercut. The upper of these two double lines starts in the C-pillar and visually shoots forward into the front wings. The second, lower line, on the other hand, forms the undercut. It develops from the 3D graphic of the tail lights and also extends forward into the front wings, where it rises slightly, meeting the upper line.

Front view
The front end of the new Polo is designed to be much more emotionally engaging, dominant and sportier than previously. The headlights, now available with LED technology, together with the radiator grille form the new ‘face’ of the car.

The bumper has also been completely redesigned. The large glass surfaces of the fog lights and turn signal lights are eye-catching from the side, and end outwards in three-dimensionally contoured corners. Between them there are two air intakes: a V-shaped one in the middle, and a narrow second intake that extends across the entire width.

Rear view
The Polo's rear bodywork is clean and very well-balanced. Like the sides and front end it is now even more precise and sharp. A broad ‘shoulder‘ section and new trapezoidal-shaped tail lights (optionally available as LED clusters) are among the highlights. Meanwhile a horizontal line beneath the tail lights now flows into the bumper and also underscores the Polo's width, while a new diffuser is integrated into the bumper.

INTERIOR DESIGN

A new dashboard and cockpit layout makes its way into Volkswagen’s compact models via the sixth generation Polo.

The brand’s designers have made revolutionary, rather than evolutionary, changes here. The focus is firmly on the dramatic growth in the digitalisation of displays and controls, and on connectivity.

The interior team started with the proverbial blank slate, departing entirely from the vertically-oriented dashboard layout of the previous model and developing a bold new horizontal architecture.

Designers took the ‘form follows function’ motto into the new, digitalised, world to create a clear and intuitive interaction between the new Active Info Display and the infotainment systems.

The new dashboard architecture locates the infotainment system much higher than before so that it is in the driver’s direct line of sight. In order for this to happen, and for its display to visually merge with the car’s instruments, the middle air vents have migrated downward.

The result is one visual and control axis with all key control modules – except for the air conditioning unit – integrated on the upper cross-panel of the dashboard. This cross-panel is continued up to the front doors and can be trimmed with various colours, depending on selected options.

The outer air vents are integrated on the far left and right, while located in the middle of the high-gloss black 'island' is the infotainment system screen. The only additional button in this area is the hazard warning light switch.

The simple aim is to create a coherent digital cockpit, which works particularly well when the new Active Info Display is specified.

Arranged on the next level down are the air conditioning functions in the middle of the dash, and the lighting functions on the driver's side. The horizontal dashboard is also slightly angled towards the driver in the middle. Similarly, the centre console with the gear shift grip and the buttons for the various car handling functions are also oriented towards the driver.

Active Info Display
The Polo’s optional Active Info Display is the second generation of Volkswagen’s digital instrument system, distinguished by an 10.5-inch display (diagonal), high-quality graphics (133 dpi; resolution 1,280 x 480 pixels) and a significantly extended range of functions. As a result, the display offers better graphic performance, higher pixel density, greater brightness and contrast, more intense colours and fewer conventional indicator lamps. Using a ‘View button’ on the multifunction steering wheel, the driver can now also switch between three basic layouts, easily and quickly.

The high-quality graphics convey a new look, as Volkswagen has fundamentally redefined fully digital instruments. The interface designers have utilised the digital display to integrate additional information options into the instruments.

The graphics of the round instruments (dials), such as the rev counter and speedometer mirror the appearance of their analogue counterparts. At the next stage, however, the interface designers have departed from the analogue look entirely and created a consistently digital look.

The engineers have developed three basic digital layouts between which the driver can toggle with the ‘View’ button:

  • A view with two dials, one for the rev counter and one for the speedometer
  • A digital view without dials
  • A digital view without dials but with supplemental information. This supplemental information can be configured via the infotainment system.

For example, in the ‘classic’ view with two dials, the readout is organised as follows: on the left border of the instruments is the vertical engine temperature gauge, and on the right border the vertical fuel tank gauge. The left dial shows the rev counter, and the engaged gear is shown in the middle. The depiction of engine speed is interactive, too, thus whenever the next 1,000 rev ‘step’ is reached, it is shown with a large figure. The same applies to the right dial of the speedometer. The current speed is shown as an enlarged figure. This makes it much easier to take in important information at a glance.

Supplementary details can be displayed and customised too. So album covers and song details from the media library can be shown in the middle of the screen, between the two dials, depending on the configuration. Information always displayed in this area includes the outside temperature, odometer reading and indicators for assistance systems such as ACC. And the Active Info Display can be adapted to the respective model so, for example, there are unique graphics for the Polo Beats.

In the Active Info Display’s ‘classic’ view with information profiles, instead of placing information such as the engaged gear in the centre of the rev counter or the precise driving speed in the centre of the speedometer, other data can be displayed. For example, navigation information can be shown in the rev counter while information about the remaining driving time and distance might be shown in the speedometer. In this case, the gear selector lever position display and the precise speed are shifted down to the lower edge of the Active Info Display.

In the ‘digital’ view without dials but with supplemental details, various other pieces of information such as navigation data, details about the assistance systems, on-board computer information and the media library can all be shown. The Active Info Display is, in essence, largely personalised by the driver.

Infotainment and Volkswagen Car-Net in detail
A digital, interactive cockpit has been created via the interplay of the Active Info Display and the Polo’s infotainment system. Volkswagen is rolling out the latest generation of infotainment systems in the new supermini, with a display size of 8.0 inches. The Composition Media (8.0-inch radio-infotainment with CD player) and Discover Navigation (8.0-inch radio-navigation infotainment with CD player) both feature glass screens.

Composition Media: The Composition Media features a touch-screen glass surface for a tablet-like look. In addition to two rotary/push-button controls, the system has eight flat menu buttons. System sound (2 x 20 watts or 4 x 20 watts) is output over up to eight loudspeakers. Along with the SD card and AUX-IN interfaces, it also offers the option of a USB port (compatible with Apple), a Bluetooth connection and a CD drive.

The Composition Media system is also equipped with a diversity antenna array which filters out signal noise for clearer reception.

Discover Navigation: The top spec radio navigation system in new Polo is based on the Composition Media system, and adds satellite navigation. Updates to the navigation software are provided free-of-charge for the first five years. In addition, there’s a licence for Car-Net ‘Guide & Inform’ services which is also free-of-charge for three years.

Volkswagen is also offering an interface to the infotainment system for tablets and smartphones in the form of the Media Control app. Passengers simply connect their tablet to the Discover Navigation system’s WiFi hotspot to unlock control of the radio, all audio and video sources (e.g. USB, CD, DVD, hard drive) as well as the navigation system.

Standard features in the navigation menu are supplemented by an address search function that uses the Internet and can also be used to enter selected search results as destination inputs. Rear seat passengers can also send the calendar events and address book entries from a tablet or smartphone to the infotainment system for use as navigation destinations.

Volkswagen Car-Net
The Polo makes internet connectivity simple, allowing its occupants to be ‘always on’, whenever they choose while in the car. The Volkswagen Car-Net applications ‘App Connect’, and ‘Guide & Inform’ (wide variety of online information) deliver this.

App-Connect allows the Polo to connect with today's Apple and Android smartphones. Along with MirrorLink (Android), App-Connect now also integrates Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ (Google) into the infotainment systems.

Car-Net ‘Guide & Inform’ provides access to a wide range of online services. These include Online POI Search, Online Destination Import, Route Import, Filling Stations (location and price), News, Parking Spaces (location and price), Weather, and Online Traffic Information.

When the ‘Comfort’ phone system is specified, the new Polo offers wireless (inductive) smartphone charging and connection (for compatible phones). 

ENGINES, TRANSMISSIONS AND RUNNING GEAR

The new Polo is offered with a variety of efficient turbocharged engine options: five petrol engines (TSI) and two diesels (TDI). The EA211 petrol engine selection comprises two MPI and three TSI units ranging from 65 PS to the Polo GTI’s EA888 200 PS 2.0-litre unit.

The two TDI engines offer 80 PS and 95 PS respectively. Both four-cylinder diesel engines belong to the EA288 engine family and have an SCR catalytic converter.

All engines are equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode. All of the TSI and TDI engines with a power output of 95 PS or more can be configured with a highly efficient seven-speed DSG.

All new Polos are front-wheel drive, and full gearbox options are five-speed or six-speed manual, or six-speed or seven-speed DSG.

An overview of all powertrains in new Polo:

Petrol engines:

1.0 MPI 65 PS, 95 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.0 MPI 75 PS, 95 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.0 TSI 95 PS, 175 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.0 TSI 95 PS, 175 Nm, 7-speed DSG, front-wheel drive

1.0 TSI 115 PS, 200 Nm, 6-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.0 TSI 115 PS, 200 Nm, 7-speed DSG, front-wheel drive

2.0 TSI 200 PS, 320 Nm, 6-speed DSG, front-wheel drive

2.0 TSI 200 PS, 320 Nm, 6-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

 

Diesel engines:

1.6 TDI 80 PS, 230 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.6 TDI 95 PS, 250 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.6 TDI 95 PS, 250 Nm, 7-speed DSG, front-wheel drive 

Petrol engines in detail

1.0 MPI 65 PS: The 1.0 MPI (Multi Point Injection) with 65 PS is the entry-level Polo engine. Like all Polo petrol engines up to and including the 115 PS unit, this engine is a three-cylinder which produces its power from a displacement of 999 cm3. Maximum power is available at 5,100 rpm. The maximum torque of 95 Nm is delivered between 3,000 and 4,300 rpm. When combined with a five-speed gearbox, the 65 PS engine accelerates the Polo to 62 mph in 15.5 seconds. Its top speed is 102 mph. In the combined cycle, the Polo has fuel consumption of 58.9 mpg.

1.0 MPI 75 PS: The three-cylinder engine reaches its maximum power at 6,200 rpm, and its maximum torque of 95 Nm is available between 3,000 and 4,300 rpm. With this engine the Polo reaches a top speed of 106 mph accelerates to 62 mph in 14.9 seconds. Despite its extra power, the 75 PS engine, that also comes with a five-speed gearbox, is just as fuel-efficient as the 65 PS version returning 58.9 mpg on the combined cycle.

1.0 TSI 95 PS: The smallest TSI (turbocharged) engine in the new Polo has an output of 95 PS at 5,000 rpm. The three-cylinder unit generates torque of up to 175 Nm (2,000 to 3,500 rpm) and accelerates the Polo to 62 mph in 10.8 seconds. Indeed, with a top speed of 116 mph it matches the performance of the original Golf GTI. These figures apply to both the manual gearbox version and the optional seven-speed DSG for this engine. Combined fuel consumption is 62.8 mpg for the manual, while the seven-speed DSG has a fuel consumption of 60.1 mpg.

1.0 TSI 115 PS: The most powerful 1.0 TSI three-cylinder for the Polo offers 115 PS. This engine is launched with a six-speed gearbox as standard and, optionally, with a seven-speed DSG. The turbocharged direct injection engine develops its peak output between 5,000 rpm and 5,500 rpm. The lively four valves per cylinder unit offers its maximum torque of 200 Nm from 2,000 to 3,500 rpm. Like all other engines in the EA211 series it consumes premium unleaded fuel (95 RON). The 0-62 mph time, regardless of transmission, is 9.5 seconds, and the top speed is 124 mph. Economy on the combined cycle is 60.1 mpg (manual) and 58.9 mpg (DSG).

2.0 TSI 200 PS: The most potent Polo GTI yet built, the 2.0 TSI has 8 PS more power than the 1.8 TSI it replaces. The 2.0-litre turbo (1,984 cm3) engine has a compression ratio of 11.65:1. The GTI unit delivers its maximum power between 4,400 and 6,000 rpm. The third generation EA888 engine transfers its maximum torque of 320 Nm to the front axle from a low 1,500 rpm; this high torque figure remains constant up to 4,350 rpm. The new GTI engine will be available with a six-speed DSG transmission at launch, followed by the option of a six-speed manual later in 2018. Performance is, therefore, naturally brisk. In DSG trim the 0-62 mph time is 6.7 seconds, and the top speed is 147 mph. Combined cycle fuel economy is measured at 47.9 mpg. Corresponding figures for the manual gearbox-equipped GTI will be available in due course.

Diesel engines in detail

1.6 TDI 80 PS: This four-cylinder engine, with a displacement of 1,598 cm3, belongs to the EA288 diesel engine series. Like all Volkswagen TDI engines, it develops high torque at very low engine speeds: 230 Nm is produced from 1,500 to 3,000 rpm. Its maximum power is available between 2,700 and 4,800 rpm. The 1.6 TDI, with a compression ratio of 16.2:1, comes with a five-speed manual gearbox. 0-62 mph performance is 12.9 seconds and the top speed is 109 mph. Combined fuel economy is 74.3 mpg.   

1.6 TDI 95 PS: The larger output TDI power unit in the EA288 series develops 95 PS between 2,700 and 4,600 rpm. Both 1.6 TDI engines feature high torque figures of 230 Nm and 250 Nm. Common rail fuel injection ensures smooth and quiet combustion. 0-62 mph takes 11.2 seconds, and the top speed is 115 mph. Economy in manual form on the combined cycle is 74.3 mpg.

Running gear

The Polo is offered with three distinct and different running gear configurations. The new standard running gear is a positive result of the Polo’s switch to the modular transverse matrix (MQB A0).

Sports running gear is optionally available, as is the Sport Select set-up, equipped with adjustable dampers. In addition, all Polo models feature electromechanical power steering and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Standard running gear: This configuration offers agility and excellent comfort combined. In the neutral set-up of the running gear priority has been given to maximum active safety. The front suspension comprises coil spring struts and lower wishbones with a track-stabilising scrub radius and an anti-roll bar. The coil springs include integrated telescoping compressed gas dampers.

The rear running gear consists of a semi-independent twist-beam suspension with an integrated anti-roll bar. Gas-filled dampers and separate springs on the rear axle provide for optimal suspension.

Sports running gear: Here, bespoke tuning of the springs, auxiliary springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars are allied to a body lowered by approximately 15 mm.

Sport Select running gear and Driving Profile Selection: Building on the Sports running gear, in this configuration the driver can vary the characteristics of the adjustable dampers via two modes ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ - activated via Driving Profile Selection. The Driving Profile Selection itself further offers four operating modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. The system enables the driver to make individual adjustments within a defined framework that directly affect vehicle handling. Along with its effects on the ‘Sport Select’ running gear, for instance, the steering, engine characteristics and gearbox control are also adjusted to the profile selected. Driving Profile Selection is also available separately from Sport Select.

CONVENIENCE AND ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS

The Polo can be adapted to its driver’s particular preferences via a large range of convenience systems, including optional features such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Indeed, even the entry-level version of the new Polo is launching with the Front Assist area monitoring system including City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring as standard.

The optional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) can now be activated up to a speed of 130 mph. In conjunction with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG), ACC also offers a Stop & Go function – a world-first for a car with a manual handbrake.

New features for the Polo include the lane change system Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, semi-automated Park Assist system for exiting parking spaces, the proactive occupant protection system and a manoeuvre braking function. The latter automatically protects against minor but often expensive parking dents. The optional Keyless Access locking and engine starting system, which is also new, can be used to unlock and start/stop the Polo’s engine.

Assistance systems

Blind Spot Monitor: This system uses an LED symbol in the outer area of the door mirrors to alert the driver’s attention to vehicles located in the blind spots. When a vehicle is identified, the symbol lights up and, if the driver activates the indicator in the direction of the detected vehicle, the symbol flashes as an additional warning. The system is automatically activated from a speed of 19 mph and uses radar sensors to monitor an area of approximately 20 metres around the vehicle. When the Blind Spot Monitor is ordered, it automatically comes with Rear Traffic Alert, which aids drivers in reversing out of parking spaces.

Rear Traffic Alert: Offered in combination with the Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert takes much of the risk out of reversing from driveways and parking spaces that are at right angles to the road. The system not only ‘recognises’ stationary or moving vehicles directly behind the Polo, but also vehicles approaching from the side which are barely visible to the driver. The radar-based sensor module even detects objects at distances of up to 40 metres and recognises objects moving at speeds of 2 mph or above. If a collision is imminent, the system sounds an acoustic warning. If the driver, or third party in the approaching vehicle, does not take action, or if there is a risk of immediate collision, the Rear Traffic Alert system automatically applies the brakes.

Driver Alert System: This detects waning driver concentration and warns him or her over a period of five seconds with an acoustic signal and a visual text in the instrument cluster that recommends taking a break. If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated once.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System: Statistics from the German market show that around one-fourth of all accidents that result in personal injury involve multiple collisions. The Polo’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps to avoid secondary collisions, or at least reduce their severity. After an initial collision, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System applies the brakes – within system limits – even before the driver can react. This can reduce the severity of the accident and ideally prevent secondary collisions.

Proactive occupant protection system: If the Polo detects a potential accident – such as when hard braking is initiated by an activated brake assistant – the front seatbelts are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt systems. If critical and unstable driving situation is detected – such as severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention – the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) as is the sunroof. This allows the head and side airbags to be braced optimally and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness. As this system is offered in the Polo in conjunction with the standard Front Assist area monitoring system, the proactive occupant protection system also detects situations where the distance to the vehicle ahead is critical, and helps to shorten the vehicle’s stopping distance. In hazardous situations the driver is given a visual and an audible warning and is also warned with a preventative braking jolt.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): Using a radar sensor integrated in the front section ACC allows the driver to specify a target speed within a range of 0 to 130 mph. ACC automatically adapts the speed to that of the vehicle ahead up to the maximum speed setting, while maintaining a preselected distance. Coupling the system to the DSG enables the Polo with ACC to be automatically braked to a standstill behind a stopping vehicle. After stopping, automatic ACC operation can be resumed if the driver re-enables it.

Front Assist area monitoring system: Using a radar sensor integrated into the front end of the Polo, the car continually monitors the distance to vehicles ahead. The system supports the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system, alerting the driver via visual and acoustic warnings and, in a second stage, by a brief warning jolt in the brake pedal. If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to avoid a collision. If the driver does not react at all, Front Assist automatically brakes the car to give the driver more reaction time.

The latest version of Front Assist being offered in the Polo not only detects other vehicles, but also pedestrians who are moving across the driving lane. As soon as a pedestrian is at risk, the system warns the driver and, in a final stage, brakes the Polo – within system limits.

City Emergency Braking: This is an extension of Front Assist. It monitors the space in front of the Polo by radar sensor and operates at speeds below 18 mph. If the driver does not react in a potential crash situation then the brake system is preconditioned, as in Front Assist. If necessary, the City Emergency Braking System initiates hard braking within system limits to reduce the severity of the impact. It also supplies maximum braking force if the pedal force applied by the driver is insufficient.

Convenience systems

Driving Profile Selection: The driver can choose from four programs: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual. In the Eco driving mode engine control, the air conditioning unit and other auxiliary systems are regulated to ensure optimal fuel efficiency. In vehicles fitted with DSG, a coasting function can also be used with the Eco mode: if the driver releases the accelerator pedal – for example, on downhill stretches – the DSG disengages and the engine idles. This enables optimal utilisation of the Polo’s kinetic energy. In Sport mode, on the other hand, damping of the adjustable dampers is increased (with Sport Select running gear), while engine response and shift points of the DSG are configured to be more dynamic.

Park Assist: This automatically guides the Polo into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, and can also reverse the car out of parallel parking spaces. It is activated by pressing a button on the centre console. Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked. If Park Assist detects, via the ultrasonic sensors, a parking space that is large enough (40 cm of manoeuvring room, front and rear suffices), assisted parking can begin. The driver engages reverse gear and only needs to accelerate and brake (an automatic braking function assists in the event of insufficient space). The car takes care of the steering.

Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator: Using the ABS wheel speed sensors as its measure, the system can watch for tyre pressure loss, indicated when the rolling radius of the wheel concerned decreases and the wheel therefore turns faster at the same vehicle speed. The system detects insufficient air pressure and warns the driver. It does not relieve the driver of the obligation to regularly check the Polo’s tyre pressures.

SERVICING

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Polo. They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking. In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys. The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.

In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service. A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 20,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes. An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s lifetime it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

WARRANTY
The Polo has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer. 

TECHNICAL DATA  
PRICES
EQUIPMENT
INSURANCE GROUPS
All lifted from brochure/price list

  • Sixth generation of supermini priced from £13,855 RRP OTR (January 2018)
  • New five-door Polo showcases space, safety, technology and comfort
  • Seven model line-up will in time include 200 PS GTI and GTI+

The sixth generation of Volkswagen’s perennially popular supermini – the Polo – which in its previous five iterations has sold more than 14 million examples worldwide, is now being offered in five-door only form to UK car buyers.

The main focus of the new sixth generation Polo is a major increase in cabin and luggage space within larger external dimensions alongside the debut of new engines, sharper design, new ‘big car’ assistance systems, the application of a new generation of infotainment systems and the global debut of the second generation of Volkswagen’s Active Info Display.

The developments in Polo – which has found a home with more than 1.4 million drivers in the UK over the last 42 years – also reflect a new level for assistance systems in the supermini segment. Technologies such as City Emergency Braking with new Pedestrian Monitoring function, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Blind Spot Detection significantly improve safety.

The new Polo, which utilises Volkswagen Group’s new MQB AO architecture, also showcases a charismatic design with more expressive features. The use of the MQB AO underpinnings offers the ability to create significantly more dynamic proportions with a long wheelbase, short body overhangs and a sporty ratio of its key dimensions. The new car is longer, wider, has a lower overall height but improved headroom versus its predecessor.

The exterior design has been made more powerful, charismatic and expressive, while the new Polo’s interior has been fundamentally renewed. Indeed this is a supermini interior without precedent as new Polo has been fully developed for the digital era. It is, for instance, the first car in its class to offer entirely digital instruments – showcasing a whole new generation of Volkswagen’s Active Info Display as an option.

The instruments are arranged on the same viewing axis as the infotainment system, too, with new glass-encased eight-inch touchscreen units standard across the entire Polo range.

Bigger in every dimension but length than the Golf Mk IV – sold here until 2003 – the capacious new Polo offers a boot volume that has grown 25%, from 280 litres to 351 litres, and a wheelbase up by 94 mm compared with that of the previous car.

A variety of the latest TSI (petrol) and TDI (turbo diesel) engines power the new Polo. All are Euro VI compliant.

The five three- and four-cylinder petrol engines range from the naturally aspirated 1.0 MPI with 65 PS to the turbocharged 2.0 TSI with 200 PS. All petrol engines with up to 115 PS belong to the efficient EA211 engine family, while the 2.0 TSI engine comes from the third generation EA888 series notably also seen – in larger output forms – in the new Golf GTI, Golf GTI Performance and the range-topping Golf R. As a diesel the Polo will offer a choice of two 1.6 TDI engines whose outputs are 80 PS and 95 PS respectively. Both four-cylinder engines belong to the EA288 engine family and feature an SCR catalytic converter.

Regardless of fuel choice, all new Polo engines are equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode, while any of the TSI and TDI powerplants with an output of 95 PS or more can be configured with a 6- or 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox, depending on engine choice. Alternative gearbox options include five- or six-speed manuals.

The spectrum of assistance systems available in new Polo further democratises Volkswagen’s progress in technology with features such as Front Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Traffic Alert, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control and Stop & Go function – a first for a car with a manual handbrake – available optionally, or as standard, depending on trim level.

New LED headlights replace all Xenon headlights on the sixth generation Polo, while LED daytime running lights are also standard on the car.

The optional Keyless Access locking and engine starting system, which is also new, can be specified to further improve convenience while Driving Profile Selection allows the choice of one of four programs: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual, to tailor the Polo’s character to the driver’s precise need, and mood.

In the Eco driving mode, for instance, engine control, air conditioning and other auxiliary systems are regulated in a manner that ensures optimal fuel efficiency. In vehicles fitted with DSG, a coasting function can also be used with the Eco mode: if the driver releases the accelerator pedal – for example, on downhill stretches – the DSG disengages and the engine idles. In Sport mode, on the other hand, engine response and shift points of the DSG are configured to be more dynamic and, if specified, tuning of the adjustable dampers is modified.

Every new Polo contains a generous level of standard-fit equipment, in keeping with its position at the head of the supermini segment. Among the highlights, model-by-model, are:

S

  • Eight-inch Composition media infotainment with DAB
  • Air conditioning
  • Front Assist with pedestrian monitoring
  • Automatic headlamp activation with LED daytime running lights

SE

  • 15-inch Sassari alloy wheels
  • Car-Net App Connect with an additional USB port
  • Alarm
  • Leather multi-function steering wheel

beats

  • 16-inch Torsby alloy wheels
  • Front fog lights with cornering function
  • Front and rear carpet mats
  • beats decal over the bonnet and roof (beats only)
  • 65 per cent tinted windows from the B-pillar backwards (beats only)
  • Red Velvet dash pad (beats only)
  • 300 watt beats sound system (beats only)

SEL

  • 16-inch Las Minas alloy wheels
  • Front centre armrest
  • Discover Navigation (SEL only)
  • 2-Zone climate control (SEL only)
  • Rain sensor
  • Front and rear parking sensors

R-Line

  • 16-inch Sebring alloy wheels
  • 65% tinted windows from the B-pillar backwards
  • Rear LED tail lights
  • R-Line exterior styled front and rear bumpers and black gloss spoiler
  • Stainless steel pedals

GTI

  • 17-inch Parker alloy wheels
  • GTI styling including red brake calipers
  • Sports suspension lowered by approximately 15 mm
  • XDS electronic differential

GTI+

  • 17-inch Parker alloy wheels
  • 65% tinted windows from the B-pillar backwards
  • Light and Sight pack
  • LED headlights
  • Active Info Display
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Keyless entry with start-stop button

Meanwhile safety has remained a key consideration for Volkswagen engineers developing the new Polo.

The new generation model has more standard safety features than its predecessor, including Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring and City Emergency Braking. There are now also more airbags than ever before, too, with the addition of a curtain airbag system for front and rear passengers which is designed to protect the driver's and passengers’ heads in the event of an accident.

That extra safety translates into improved ABI insurance group ratings, with the entry-level new Polo 1.0 65 PS 5-spd manual five-door now rated at Group 1E, the lowest grouping available.

Commenting on the arrival of new Polo Alison Jones, Director of Volkswagen in the UK, said: “Our roomy new supermini is packed with new technology. Put simply, the new Polo is bigger and better than ever before.

“It now offers more space inside for passengers and luggage, more advanced technology thanks to the new MQB AO architecture, more safety, more comfort, more convenience and more style than any previous version.

“Efficient engines, a fine balance of ride and handling characteristics, and great refinement complete the mix and, in my view, make Polo the clear choice in the ever-competitive supermini sector.“ 

SUMMARY

New Polo offers premium segment technology: the global debut of second generation Active Info Display; as well as the use of high-end infotainment and state-of-the-art assistance systems

  • Efficient technology: a variety of the latest MPI, TSI (petrol) and TDI (turbo diesel) engines power the new Polo. All are Euro VI compliant
  • The UK petrol engine line-up starts with the naturally aspirated 1.0-litre (999 cc), three-cylinder 65 PS unit, rising through 1.0-litre, three cylinder 75 PS to the turbo charged three cylinder, 1.0 TSI 95 PS and three cylinder, 1.0 TSI 115 PS three cylinder
  • The most potent new Polo is the GTI with a 200 PS 2.0 TSI petrol powerplant mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG. In DSG form only initially, this will debut in UK in mid-2018 and is the most powerful, and largest-engined, Polo yet offered  
  • The diesel engine range comprises two 1.6 TDI units, of 80 PS and 95 PS outputs. Both are mated to five-speed manual gearboxes
  • Gearboxes options for the petrol engines include five- or six-speed manual, or six- or seven-speed DSG units
  • The advanced range of infotainment systems in new Polo has been redesigned, repositioned and fitted with larger touchscreens
  • New Polo features, for the first time, the option of Volkswagen’s latest generation of Active Info Display – a 10.5-inch high resolution TFT dash display with customisable menus and information
  • The spectrum of assistance systems in the Polo further democratises Volkswagen’s progress in technology featuring Front Assist, Blind Spot Detection, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control and a Stop & Go function – a first for a car with a manual handbrake
  • New LED headlights replace all Xenon headlights on the sixth generation Polo, while LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights are also standard
  • Personalisation is elevated to a new level courtesy of 14 bold exterior colours; seven different dashpad decors; two interior trim versions and eleven different seat cover options

UK market information:

  • Polo is the second best-selling car in the Volkswagen range in the UK, with sales of 47,855 in 2017. Golf was the best-seller with sales of 74,605 (77,231 including Golf SV)
  • Total Volkswagen sales in the UK last year, including passenger-carrying CV models, were 208,462 – up 0.69% on 2016. Thus, roughly one in four new Volkswagens sold in the UK in 2017 was badged Polo
  • The best-selling model in the outgoing range is the Match Edition 1.2 TSI 90 PS five-speed manual
  • To date it is estimated* that in excess of 1.4 million Volkswagen Polos, excluding the Derby saloon, have been sold in the UK since the car debuted here in 1975
  • The ‘A0 hatch’ segment, in which Polo sits, accounted for almost 20% of the UK’s new car market in 2017
  • The five-door only new Polo is offered in broadly similar trim levels as before. The familiar list comprises: S, SE, beats, SEL, R-Line, GTI and the new GTI+
  • Best-seller in the new range in the UK is likely to be an SE specification 1.0-litre 95 PS  petrol-engined (TSI) manual
  • The fleet/retail split is anticipated to be 30% fleet/70% retail
  • The petrol/diesel split is anticipated to be more than 95% petrol
  • New Polo opened for order in early October 2017, with first deliveries beginning in January 2018
  • The new Polo is built for right-hand drive markets at Volkswagen’s Uitenhage plant in South Africa

* Confirmed precise UK sales figures by model are not available pre-1980

MARKET INFORMATION

The new Polo competes in the European A0 supermini segment and sits above the up! city car and below the Golf compact hatchback in the Volkswagen passenger cars line-up. The car is a rival to the likes of the Ford Fiesta, SEAT Ibiza, Renault Clio, Peugeot 208 and MINI.

The new Polo has been designed to offer increased cabin and luggage space within larger external dimensions alongside the debut of new engines, sharper design, new ‘big car’ assistance systems, the application of a new generation of infotainment systems.

The Polo model line-up has been designed to offer more choice and bespoke personalisation options than ever. 14 bold exterior colours; seven different dashpad decors; two interior trim versions and eleven different seat cover options offer unprecedented choice for Polo buyers.

The Polo range launches in the UK across four engine and trim waves, beginning in January and running through to November 2018.    

The fleet/retail split for new Polo in the UK is predicted to be, broadly: 30% fleet/70% retail. The best-selling model across all channels is anticipated at launch to be the Polo SE 1.0 TSI 95 PS 5spd manual.

Production
The Polo is manufactured at the Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) plant in Uitenhage.

Uitenhage is an industrial town which lies almost 500 miles east of Cape Town and more than 600 miles south of Johannesburg. Just over half (294,713 m²) of the plant's 520 963 m² area consist of production facilities.

Apart from producing components for the entire Volkswagen Group, the Uitenhage plant currently produces the new Polo, Cross Polo and Polo Vivo (the latter for the local South African market only). In 2016, 123,854 vehicles were produced of which of 69,192 were exported.

Established in 1946, VWSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Aktiengessellschaft (VWAG) in Germany. It is the largest German investment in South Africa and is a major contributor to foreign direct investment, technology transfer and skills development.

MQB A0 PLATFORM

The new Polo uses as its base the Volkswagen Group’s MQB A0 (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform or Modular Transverse Matrix.

The recently-launched MQB A0 global architecture is a development of the MQB strategy, which began with the arrival of Golf VII in 2012 and represented a turning point in the design and production of cars with transverse-mounted engines as it standardised many vehicle component parameters – across brands and vehicle classes – and at the same time, it offered access to new technologies.

The MQB and MQB A0 now covers the following Volkswagen models: new Polo, Golf, Touran, Tiguan, new Tiguan Allspace, Passat, Arteon, Atlas/Teramont and new T-Roc. Thus all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths. It is also possible to produce MQB models of different brands together.

One of the prominent characteristics of the Modular Transverse Matrix is the uniform mounting position of all engines. Two systems integrated in the MQB strategy which play a key role here are the modular petrol (MOB) and diesel (MDB) engine systems.

By introducing these engine series, the number of engine and gearbox variants offered by the Group has been reduced by around 90 per cent, without restricting choice. In addition to standardising conventional internal combustion engines, the MQB also enables an identical mounting position for all current alternative drive concepts without limitations – from natural gas and hybrid versions to pure electric drive.

EXTERIOR DESIGN

The sixth generation Polo has become a more ‘masculine’ car, with a charismatic appearance courtesy of its expressive new design.

The new car’s roof line is longer and more elegant, and transitions into a roof spoiler at the rear. A fine line on the side body runs parallel to the roof line, visually lowering the centre of gravity.

Key detailing includes the new Polo’s long line of side windows – indeed it is the only Volkswagen to have a window line that terminates in a rise at both front and rear. The C-pillar in particular, is now designed to reach forward more and is precisely sculpted, making the car dynamic and appearing to lunge forward, even when stationary.

Emerging from the straight line of the window shoulder is another line that runs towards the front and into the headlights, making the Polo appear significantly longer than before. Other new and important design features follow beneath this.

An arrow-shaped double line, which is known as the ‘tornado line’, is a new design feature defining the Polo. The surface of this three-dimensional tornado line is – in the style of a shoulder section – slightly flared, and it finishes with a sharp downward undercut. The upper of these two double lines starts in the C-pillar and visually shoots forward into the front wings. The second, lower line, on the other hand, forms the undercut. It develops from the 3D graphic of the tail lights and also extends forward into the front wings, where it rises slightly, meeting the upper line.

Front view
The front end of the new Polo is designed to be much more emotionally engaging, dominant and sportier than previously. The headlights, now available with LED technology, together with the radiator grille form the new ‘face’ of the car.

The bumper has also been completely redesigned. The large glass surfaces of the fog lights and turn signal lights are eye-catching from the side, and end outwards in three-dimensionally contoured corners. Between them there are two air intakes: a V-shaped one in the middle, and a narrow second intake that extends across the entire width.

Rear view
The Polo's rear bodywork is clean and very well-balanced. Like the sides and front end it is now even more precise and sharp. A broad ‘shoulder‘ section and new trapezoidal-shaped tail lights (optionally available as LED clusters) are among the highlights. Meanwhile a horizontal line beneath the tail lights now flows into the bumper and also underscores the Polo's width, while a new diffuser is integrated into the bumper.

INTERIOR DESIGN

A new dashboard and cockpit layout makes its way into Volkswagen’s compact models via the sixth generation Polo.

The brand’s designers have made revolutionary, rather than evolutionary, changes here. The focus is firmly on the dramatic growth in the digitalisation of displays and controls, and on connectivity.

The interior team started with the proverbial blank slate, departing entirely from the vertically-oriented dashboard layout of the previous model and developing a bold new horizontal architecture.

Designers took the ‘form follows function’ motto into the new, digitalised, world to create a clear and intuitive interaction between the new Active Info Display and the infotainment systems.

The new dashboard architecture locates the infotainment system much higher than before so that it is in the driver’s direct line of sight. In order for this to happen, and for its display to visually merge with the car’s instruments, the middle air vents have migrated downward.

The result is one visual and control axis with all key control modules – except for the air conditioning unit – integrated on the upper cross-panel of the dashboard. This cross-panel is continued up to the front doors and can be trimmed with various colours, depending on selected options.

The outer air vents are integrated on the far left and right, while located in the middle of the high-gloss black 'island' is the infotainment system screen. The only additional button in this area is the hazard warning light switch.

The simple aim is to create a coherent digital cockpit, which works particularly well when the new Active Info Display is specified.

Arranged on the next level down are the air conditioning functions in the middle of the dash, and the lighting functions on the driver's side. The horizontal dashboard is also slightly angled towards the driver in the middle. Similarly, the centre console with the gear shift grip and the buttons for the various car handling functions are also oriented towards the driver.

Active Info Display
The Polo’s optional Active Info Display is the second generation of Volkswagen’s digital instrument system, distinguished by an 10.5-inch display (diagonal), high-quality graphics (133 dpi; resolution 1,280 x 480 pixels) and a significantly extended range of functions. As a result, the display offers better graphic performance, higher pixel density, greater brightness and contrast, more intense colours and fewer conventional indicator lamps. Using a ‘View button’ on the multifunction steering wheel, the driver can now also switch between three basic layouts, easily and quickly.

The high-quality graphics convey a new look, as Volkswagen has fundamentally redefined fully digital instruments. The interface designers have utilised the digital display to integrate additional information options into the instruments.

The graphics of the round instruments (dials), such as the rev counter and speedometer mirror the appearance of their analogue counterparts. At the next stage, however, the interface designers have departed from the analogue look entirely and created a consistently digital look.

The engineers have developed three basic digital layouts between which the driver can toggle with the ‘View’ button:

  • A view with two dials, one for the rev counter and one for the speedometer
  • A digital view without dials
  • A digital view without dials but with supplemental information. This supplemental information can be configured via the infotainment system.

For example, in the ‘classic’ view with two dials, the readout is organised as follows: on the left border of the instruments is the vertical engine temperature gauge, and on the right border the vertical fuel tank gauge. The left dial shows the rev counter, and the engaged gear is shown in the middle. The depiction of engine speed is interactive, too, thus whenever the next 1,000 rev ‘step’ is reached, it is shown with a large figure. The same applies to the right dial of the speedometer. The current speed is shown as an enlarged figure. This makes it much easier to take in important information at a glance.

Supplementary details can be displayed and customised too. So album covers and song details from the media library can be shown in the middle of the screen, between the two dials, depending on the configuration. Information always displayed in this area includes the outside temperature, odometer reading and indicators for assistance systems such as ACC. And the Active Info Display can be adapted to the respective model so, for example, there are unique graphics for the Polo Beats.

In the Active Info Display’s ‘classic’ view with information profiles, instead of placing information such as the engaged gear in the centre of the rev counter or the precise driving speed in the centre of the speedometer, other data can be displayed. For example, navigation information can be shown in the rev counter while information about the remaining driving time and distance might be shown in the speedometer. In this case, the gear selector lever position display and the precise speed are shifted down to the lower edge of the Active Info Display.

In the ‘digital’ view without dials but with supplemental details, various other pieces of information such as navigation data, details about the assistance systems, on-board computer information and the media library can all be shown. The Active Info Display is, in essence, largely personalised by the driver.

Infotainment and Volkswagen Car-Net in detail
A digital, interactive cockpit has been created via the interplay of the Active Info Display and the Polo’s infotainment system. Volkswagen is rolling out the latest generation of infotainment systems in the new supermini, with a display size of 8.0 inches. The Composition Media (8.0-inch radio-infotainment with CD player) and Discover Navigation (8.0-inch radio-navigation infotainment with CD player) both feature glass screens.

Composition Media: The Composition Media features a touch-screen glass surface for a tablet-like look. In addition to two rotary/push-button controls, the system has eight flat menu buttons. System sound (2 x 20 watts or 4 x 20 watts) is output over up to eight loudspeakers. Along with the SD card and AUX-IN interfaces, it also offers the option of a USB port (compatible with Apple), a Bluetooth connection and a CD drive.

The Composition Media system is also equipped with a diversity antenna array which filters out signal noise for clearer reception.

Discover Navigation: The top spec radio navigation system in new Polo is based on the Composition Media system, and adds satellite navigation. Updates to the navigation software are provided free-of-charge for the first five years. In addition, there’s a licence for Car-Net ‘Guide & Inform’ services which is also free-of-charge for three years.

Volkswagen is also offering an interface to the infotainment system for tablets and smartphones in the form of the Media Control app. Passengers simply connect their tablet to the Discover Navigation system’s WiFi hotspot to unlock control of the radio, all audio and video sources (e.g. USB, CD, DVD, hard drive) as well as the navigation system.

Standard features in the navigation menu are supplemented by an address search function that uses the Internet and can also be used to enter selected search results as destination inputs. Rear seat passengers can also send the calendar events and address book entries from a tablet or smartphone to the infotainment system for use as navigation destinations.

Volkswagen Car-Net
The Polo makes internet connectivity simple, allowing its occupants to be ‘always on’, whenever they choose while in the car. The Volkswagen Car-Net applications ‘App Connect’, and ‘Guide & Inform’ (wide variety of online information) deliver this.

App-Connect allows the Polo to connect with today's Apple and Android smartphones. Along with MirrorLink (Android), App-Connect now also integrates Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ (Google) into the infotainment systems.

Car-Net ‘Guide & Inform’ provides access to a wide range of online services. These include Online POI Search, Online Destination Import, Route Import, Filling Stations (location and price), News, Parking Spaces (location and price), Weather, and Online Traffic Information.

When the ‘Comfort’ phone system is specified, the new Polo offers wireless (inductive) smartphone charging and connection (for compatible phones). 

ENGINES, TRANSMISSIONS AND RUNNING GEAR

The new Polo is offered with a variety of efficient turbocharged engine options: five petrol engines (TSI) and two diesels (TDI). The EA211 petrol engine selection comprises two MPI and three TSI units ranging from 65 PS to the Polo GTI’s EA888 200 PS 2.0-litre unit.

The two TDI engines offer 80 PS and 95 PS respectively. Both four-cylinder diesel engines belong to the EA288 engine family and have an SCR catalytic converter.

All engines are equipped with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode. All of the TSI and TDI engines with a power output of 95 PS or more can be configured with a highly efficient seven-speed DSG.

All new Polos are front-wheel drive, and full gearbox options are five-speed or six-speed manual, or six-speed or seven-speed DSG.

An overview of all powertrains in new Polo:

Petrol engines:

1.0 MPI 65 PS, 95 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.0 MPI 75 PS, 95 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.0 TSI 95 PS, 175 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.0 TSI 95 PS, 175 Nm, 7-speed DSG, front-wheel drive

1.0 TSI 115 PS, 200 Nm, 6-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.0 TSI 115 PS, 200 Nm, 7-speed DSG, front-wheel drive

2.0 TSI 200 PS, 320 Nm, 6-speed DSG, front-wheel drive

2.0 TSI 200 PS, 320 Nm, 6-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

 

Diesel engines:

1.6 TDI 80 PS, 230 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.6 TDI 95 PS, 250 Nm, 5-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive

1.6 TDI 95 PS, 250 Nm, 7-speed DSG, front-wheel drive 

Petrol engines in detail

1.0 MPI 65 PS: The 1.0 MPI (Multi Point Injection) with 65 PS is the entry-level Polo engine. Like all Polo petrol engines up to and including the 115 PS unit, this engine is a three-cylinder which produces its power from a displacement of 999 cm3. Maximum power is available at 5,100 rpm. The maximum torque of 95 Nm is delivered between 3,000 and 4,300 rpm. When combined with a five-speed gearbox, the 65 PS engine accelerates the Polo to 62 mph in 15.5 seconds. Its top speed is 102 mph. In the combined cycle, the Polo has fuel consumption of 58.9 mpg.

1.0 MPI 75 PS: The three-cylinder engine reaches its maximum power at 6,200 rpm, and its maximum torque of 95 Nm is available between 3,000 and 4,300 rpm. With this engine the Polo reaches a top speed of 106 mph accelerates to 62 mph in 14.9 seconds. Despite its extra power, the 75 PS engine, that also comes with a five-speed gearbox, is just as fuel-efficient as the 65 PS version returning 58.9 mpg on the combined cycle.

1.0 TSI 95 PS: The smallest TSI (turbocharged) engine in the new Polo has an output of 95 PS at 5,000 rpm. The three-cylinder unit generates torque of up to 175 Nm (2,000 to 3,500 rpm) and accelerates the Polo to 62 mph in 10.8 seconds. Indeed, with a top speed of 116 mph it matches the performance of the original Golf GTI. These figures apply to both the manual gearbox version and the optional seven-speed DSG for this engine. Combined fuel consumption is 62.8 mpg for the manual, while the seven-speed DSG has a fuel consumption of 60.1 mpg.

1.0 TSI 115 PS: The most powerful 1.0 TSI three-cylinder for the Polo offers 115 PS. This engine is launched with a six-speed gearbox as standard and, optionally, with a seven-speed DSG. The turbocharged direct injection engine develops its peak output between 5,000 rpm and 5,500 rpm. The lively four valves per cylinder unit offers its maximum torque of 200 Nm from 2,000 to 3,500 rpm. Like all other engines in the EA211 series it consumes premium unleaded fuel (95 RON). The 0-62 mph time, regardless of transmission, is 9.5 seconds, and the top speed is 124 mph. Economy on the combined cycle is 60.1 mpg (manual) and 58.9 mpg (DSG).

2.0 TSI 200 PS: The most potent Polo GTI yet built, the 2.0 TSI has 8 PS more power than the 1.8 TSI it replaces. The 2.0-litre turbo (1,984 cm3) engine has a compression ratio of 11.65:1. The GTI unit delivers its maximum power between 4,400 and 6,000 rpm. The third generation EA888 engine transfers its maximum torque of 320 Nm to the front axle from a low 1,500 rpm; this high torque figure remains constant up to 4,350 rpm. The new GTI engine will be available with a six-speed DSG transmission at launch, followed by the option of a six-speed manual later in 2018. Performance is, therefore, naturally brisk. In DSG trim the 0-62 mph time is 6.7 seconds, and the top speed is 147 mph. Combined cycle fuel economy is measured at 47.9 mpg. Corresponding figures for the manual gearbox-equipped GTI will be available in due course.

Diesel engines in detail

1.6 TDI 80 PS: This four-cylinder engine, with a displacement of 1,598 cm3, belongs to the EA288 diesel engine series. Like all Volkswagen TDI engines, it develops high torque at very low engine speeds: 230 Nm is produced from 1,500 to 3,000 rpm. Its maximum power is available between 2,700 and 4,800 rpm. The 1.6 TDI, with a compression ratio of 16.2:1, comes with a five-speed manual gearbox. 0-62 mph performance is 12.9 seconds and the top speed is 109 mph. Combined fuel economy is 74.3 mpg.   

1.6 TDI 95 PS: The larger output TDI power unit in the EA288 series develops 95 PS between 2,700 and 4,600 rpm. Both 1.6 TDI engines feature high torque figures of 230 Nm and 250 Nm. Common rail fuel injection ensures smooth and quiet combustion. 0-62 mph takes 11.2 seconds, and the top speed is 115 mph. Economy in manual form on the combined cycle is 74.3 mpg.

Running gear

The Polo is offered with three distinct and different running gear configurations. The new standard running gear is a positive result of the Polo’s switch to the modular transverse matrix (MQB A0).

Sports running gear is optionally available, as is the Sport Select set-up, equipped with adjustable dampers. In addition, all Polo models feature electromechanical power steering and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Standard running gear: This configuration offers agility and excellent comfort combined. In the neutral set-up of the running gear priority has been given to maximum active safety. The front suspension comprises coil spring struts and lower wishbones with a track-stabilising scrub radius and an anti-roll bar. The coil springs include integrated telescoping compressed gas dampers.

The rear running gear consists of a semi-independent twist-beam suspension with an integrated anti-roll bar. Gas-filled dampers and separate springs on the rear axle provide for optimal suspension.

Sports running gear: Here, bespoke tuning of the springs, auxiliary springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars are allied to a body lowered by approximately 15 mm.

Sport Select running gear and Driving Profile Selection: Building on the Sports running gear, in this configuration the driver can vary the characteristics of the adjustable dampers via two modes ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ - activated via Driving Profile Selection. The Driving Profile Selection itself further offers four operating modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. The system enables the driver to make individual adjustments within a defined framework that directly affect vehicle handling. Along with its effects on the ‘Sport Select’ running gear, for instance, the steering, engine characteristics and gearbox control are also adjusted to the profile selected. Driving Profile Selection is also available separately from Sport Select.

CONVENIENCE AND ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS

The Polo can be adapted to its driver’s particular preferences via a large range of convenience systems, including optional features such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Indeed, even the entry-level version of the new Polo is launching with the Front Assist area monitoring system including City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring as standard.

The optional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) can now be activated up to a speed of 130 mph. In conjunction with a dual clutch gearbox (DSG), ACC also offers a Stop & Go function – a world-first for a car with a manual handbrake.

New features for the Polo include the lane change system Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, semi-automated Park Assist system for exiting parking spaces, the proactive occupant protection system and a manoeuvre braking function. The latter automatically protects against minor but often expensive parking dents. The optional Keyless Access locking and engine starting system, which is also new, can be used to unlock and start/stop the Polo’s engine.

Assistance systems

Blind Spot Monitor: This system uses an LED symbol in the outer area of the door mirrors to alert the driver’s attention to vehicles located in the blind spots. When a vehicle is identified, the symbol lights up and, if the driver activates the indicator in the direction of the detected vehicle, the symbol flashes as an additional warning. The system is automatically activated from a speed of 19 mph and uses radar sensors to monitor an area of approximately 20 metres around the vehicle. When the Blind Spot Monitor is ordered, it automatically comes with Rear Traffic Alert, which aids drivers in reversing out of parking spaces.

Rear Traffic Alert: Offered in combination with the Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Traffic Alert takes much of the risk out of reversing from driveways and parking spaces that are at right angles to the road. The system not only ‘recognises’ stationary or moving vehicles directly behind the Polo, but also vehicles approaching from the side which are barely visible to the driver. The radar-based sensor module even detects objects at distances of up to 40 metres and recognises objects moving at speeds of 2 mph or above. If a collision is imminent, the system sounds an acoustic warning. If the driver, or third party in the approaching vehicle, does not take action, or if there is a risk of immediate collision, the Rear Traffic Alert system automatically applies the brakes.

Driver Alert System: This detects waning driver concentration and warns him or her over a period of five seconds with an acoustic signal and a visual text in the instrument cluster that recommends taking a break. If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated once.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System: Statistics from the German market show that around one-fourth of all accidents that result in personal injury involve multiple collisions. The Polo’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps to avoid secondary collisions, or at least reduce their severity. After an initial collision, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System applies the brakes – within system limits – even before the driver can react. This can reduce the severity of the accident and ideally prevent secondary collisions.

Proactive occupant protection system: If the Polo detects a potential accident – such as when hard braking is initiated by an activated brake assistant – the front seatbelts are automatically pre-tensioned to ensure the best possible protection by the airbag and belt systems. If critical and unstable driving situation is detected – such as severe oversteer or understeer with ESC intervention – the side windows are closed (except for a small gap) as is the sunroof. This allows the head and side airbags to be braced optimally and thereby achieve their best possible effectiveness. As this system is offered in the Polo in conjunction with the standard Front Assist area monitoring system, the proactive occupant protection system also detects situations where the distance to the vehicle ahead is critical, and helps to shorten the vehicle’s stopping distance. In hazardous situations the driver is given a visual and an audible warning and is also warned with a preventative braking jolt.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): Using a radar sensor integrated in the front section ACC allows the driver to specify a target speed within a range of 0 to 130 mph. ACC automatically adapts the speed to that of the vehicle ahead up to the maximum speed setting, while maintaining a preselected distance. Coupling the system to the DSG enables the Polo with ACC to be automatically braked to a standstill behind a stopping vehicle. After stopping, automatic ACC operation can be resumed if the driver re-enables it.

Front Assist area monitoring system: Using a radar sensor integrated into the front end of the Polo, the car continually monitors the distance to vehicles ahead. The system supports the driver in critical situations by preconditioning the brake system, alerting the driver via visual and acoustic warnings and, in a second stage, by a brief warning jolt in the brake pedal. If the driver fails to brake hard enough, the system automatically generates sufficient braking force to avoid a collision. If the driver does not react at all, Front Assist automatically brakes the car to give the driver more reaction time.

The latest version of Front Assist being offered in the Polo not only detects other vehicles, but also pedestrians who are moving across the driving lane. As soon as a pedestrian is at risk, the system warns the driver and, in a final stage, brakes the Polo – within system limits.

City Emergency Braking: This is an extension of Front Assist. It monitors the space in front of the Polo by radar sensor and operates at speeds below 18 mph. If the driver does not react in a potential crash situation then the brake system is preconditioned, as in Front Assist. If necessary, the City Emergency Braking System initiates hard braking within system limits to reduce the severity of the impact. It also supplies maximum braking force if the pedal force applied by the driver is insufficient.

Convenience systems

Driving Profile Selection: The driver can choose from four programs: Eco, Sport, Normal and Individual. In the Eco driving mode engine control, the air conditioning unit and other auxiliary systems are regulated to ensure optimal fuel efficiency. In vehicles fitted with DSG, a coasting function can also be used with the Eco mode: if the driver releases the accelerator pedal – for example, on downhill stretches – the DSG disengages and the engine idles. This enables optimal utilisation of the Polo’s kinetic energy. In Sport mode, on the other hand, damping of the adjustable dampers is increased (with Sport Select running gear), while engine response and shift points of the DSG are configured to be more dynamic.

Park Assist: This automatically guides the Polo into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, and can also reverse the car out of parallel parking spaces. It is activated by pressing a button on the centre console. Using the indicators, the driver selects the side on which the car is to be parked. If Park Assist detects, via the ultrasonic sensors, a parking space that is large enough (40 cm of manoeuvring room, front and rear suffices), assisted parking can begin. The driver engages reverse gear and only needs to accelerate and brake (an automatic braking function assists in the event of insufficient space). The car takes care of the steering.

Tyre Pressure Loss Indicator: Using the ABS wheel speed sensors as its measure, the system can watch for tyre pressure loss, indicated when the rolling radius of the wheel concerned decreases and the wheel therefore turns faster at the same vehicle speed. The system detects insufficient air pressure and warns the driver. It does not relieve the driver of the obligation to regularly check the Polo’s tyre pressures.

SERVICING

Volkswagen offers customers a choice of servicing regime for their Polo. They can choose Fixed Service or Flexible Service and the appropriate selection is entirely dependent on how the car is likely to be driven and its general use.

The Fixed Service regime is recommended for vehicles that will cover less than 10,000 miles in 12 months and if the vehicle is likely to be used in the following way:

  • Predominantly urban driving, short journeys with frequent cold starts
  • Activities regularly producing high engine loading, for example frequent hill climbs, driving with vehicle fully loaded and towing
  • Driving with high rpm, hard acceleration and heavy braking. In this case, the vehicle will be serviced at regular intervals, at every 10,000 miles or every 12 months

Flexible Service is recommended for vehicles with a daily mileage of more than 25 miles, where the vehicle is driven regularly and on mainly longer distance journeys. The vehicle should be mainly driven at a constant speed with minimum vehicle and engine loading, minimal towing and driven in an economical manner.

In this case, the on-board computer informs the driver via a dashboard display, when the vehicle needs a service. A range of engine sensors electronically monitors the vehicle’s oil temperature, oil pressure, oil level and brake pad wear to establish when a service is needed.

With the Flexible regime, the vehicle can cover typically between 10,000 and 20,000 miles (approx) or 24 months (whichever is sooner) between oil changes. An inspection service is typically due in the third year of ownership or at 40,000 miles and thereafter every second year for vehicles with an annual mileage of around 10,000 miles.

Customers can choose between Fixed and Flexible at PDI (pre-delivery inspection) and though it is possible to change from one to another during the vehicle’s lifetime it can only be done when a full inspection service is due.

WARRANTY
The Polo has a three-year (first- and second-year manufacturer operated, third-year retailer-operated) / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a 12-year body protection guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance which includes European breakdown cover.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer. 

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