The least costly Polo, the Urban, comes with cloth seat trim, and a monochrome display in the instrument panel. It rolls on 15-inch wheels, and has the less powerful of the 1.2-litre turbo engines.
Spend more for an Urban+ and your seats are trimmed in Alcantara (fake suede) and have heaters. You get the more powerful engine, a colour display on the instrument panel, and buttons on the steering wheel for operating the audio system and your phone. Headlights switch on automatically when it’s dark, and the windscreen wipers operate themselves when it rains. The air-conditioning will maintain a set temperature. Splashes of chrome break up the sombre hues of the cabin. And 16-inch wheels, wrapped in significantly wider and shallower (lower profile) tyres, add some grip on dry roads.
On the safety front, a Driver fatigue monitor in the Urban+ assesses your use of the steering wheel over long journeys, prompting you to take a break if it concludes you might be falling asleep. And a pressure monitor lets you know early if a tyre is going flat.
For about $1800 you can add a Driver assistance package to your Polo Urban+, which brings you satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, Adaptive cruise control (which can reduce your set cruising speed to match slower cars ahead on the highway, resuming automatically when the way is clear), and autonomous emergency braking.
Spend more again for the Polo GTI and you return to cloth trim but get most other features of the Urban+ and some modifications aimed at improving performance, most notably the much stronger, 1.8-litre engine. Sport Select suspension permits you to stiffen the car’s ride from the driver’s seat (a button switches between two damper settings). There are 17-inch alloy wheels (with tyres of the same width as on the Urban+ but slightly shallower). An electronic differential lock improves control and drive for hard cornering.
Inside, metal pedals add a hint of race car pizzazz, as do the gear shift paddles on the steering wheel in auto GTIs. The patterned seats are more heavily bolstered, to hold you in place better for fast cornering. External changes include unique bumpers, and side skirts.
The Polo GTI too can be optioned with a Driver assistance package, which includes parking sensors front and rear, and satellite navigation (but not Adaptive cruise control or auto braking). There’s also a Luxury package, which brings you a powered glass sunroof, more supple seats with Alcantara trim, and more efficient, all-LED headlamps.