The revised VW Polo, which first appeared last year, gained a 59bhp three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine. But now Volkswagen have released a rather more powerful version with 108bhp – impressive, if not quite the 110bhp that the name suggests. How does that work in this supermini?
In urban areas the 1.0-litre triple has the urgency you need on occasion, but there’s no question you have to work for it since peak power is around 5000rpm and that’s where you’ll need to be. Stirring the six-speed gearbox to keep everything boiling works well, and out on the motorways the tall top gear means you can just lollop along in a relaxed manner that not many cars of this size can manage.
It’s also amazingly quiet, indeed at idle you could be forgiven for thinking it had stalled, yet even when working at main road speeds it remains refined and peaceful. The handling matches that, with a ride that is more that of a larger car than a supermini. Steering is light and direct and the turning circle is tight, again a boon in towns.
The Polo is, we think, a good looking car, yet it’s also practical with the five doors offering easy access. Inside you soon spot the luxuries imparted by the R-Line spec. The whole cabin feels high quality and comfortable, with a high perceived value to it all.
The spec also includes parking sensors, cruise control, sports seats and good infotainment system. So it’s a small car that often acts like a bigger car, which is an attractive combination when linked to fuel consumption of more than 65mpg with a claimed 99g/km of CO2.
But you are paying a premium for this model, which perhaps doesn’t sit as easily when you look at the £11,300 starting price for a base Polo, or the £15,795 of a fully specc’d Ford Fiesta Titanium. It depends on what you value most.
Volkswagen Polo R-Line 1.0 110
Engine: 3 cyls, 999cc, turbocharged, petrol
Power: 108bhp at 5000-5500rpm
Torque: 147lb ft at 2000-3500rpm
Gearbox: 6-spd manual
Kerb weight: 1135kg
Top speed: 122mph
Economy: 65.7mpg (combined)
CO2/tax band 99g/km, 14%Reuse content