The Volkswagen Polo is fresh from a facelift that will see it out until a new model arrives early next year. While the current generation goes back to 2010, with a significant mid-life upgrade in 2014, it’s still a fresh-looking, well equipped and able car that continues to set the standard in the light hatch class.
The 2017 Polo comes in three variants, Urban, Urban+ and GTI hot hatch.
Starting at $16,990 the Polo Urban is well equipped for a car this size, with standard features including 6.5-inch touchscreen with reversing camera, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, leather trim steering wheel and gearshift, daytime running lights, hill-start assist and 15-inch alloy wheels.
The Polo urban is powered by a tiny 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo engine that produces 66kW and 160Nm and coupled with a choice of six-speed manual, or seven-speed dual clutch automatic which costs an extra $2500.
The Polo Urban+ has the same sized engine but tweaked to produce 81kW/175Nm. Additional features over the Urban include heated front seats with Alcantara (fake suede) trim, colour multi-function display on the instrument panel, fatigue alert, tyre pressure monitor, steering wheel audio/phone buttons, dusk sensing headlights, auto windscreen wipers, climate control air-conditioning, chrome interior bling and 16-inch alloys with low-profile tyres.
The Urban+ also has an optional driver assistance package that adds satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.
Spend more again for the Polo GTI and you get most of the features in the Urban+ with a significant performance boost with a 141kW 1.8-litre engine which produced 320Nm of torque, with the six-speed manual transmission, that’s toned down to 250Nm to suit the seven-speed auto.
The Polo GTI also gets cloth sports seats with the iconic GTI chequered pattern, electronic differential lock for tighter cornering, metal pedals, paddle shifters, adaptive dampers, 17-inch alloys, distinctive red grille stripe and more sporty bodykit including bolder bumper with honeycomb grille and air intakes.
The GTI can also receive the optional driver assistance pack plus an additional Luxury package that adds a powered glass sunroof, more supple seats with Alcantara trim and all-LED headlamps.
- Polo Urban manual - $16,990
- Polo Urban auto - $19.490
- Polo Urban+ manual - $19,990
- Polo Urban+ auto - $22,490
- Polo GTI manual - $27,490
- Polo GTI auto - $29,990
The three variants offer a clear choice between cheap and cheerful runabout, get out of town creature comforts and budget hot hatch.
The Urban+ is brimming with features for the price and is an all-round nice car, however the Polo GTI remains the pick of the bunch for what it offers enthusiasts, especially with the manual gearbox.
- Driver Assistance Package (Urban+ and Polo) - $1400
- Luxury Package (GTI) - $3300
- Premium paint - $516