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Meet the COTY finalists: Volkswagen Polo

By Andy Enright, 30 Jan 2019 COTY

Meet the COTY finalists: Volkswagen Polo

Think COTY is all unattainable exotica? Try an $18k Polo for size…

IT SPEAKS volumes when you’ve left a $200k Audi with 250kW in the COTY car park and the rest of the judges are wondering why the $17,990 Volkswagen Polo 70 TSI isn’t back yet.

Short answer, because it’s one of the few cars here that feature a manual gearbox, it’s skinny 15-inch tyres screech hilariously around the proving ground’s Basic Durability Course and there’s a refreshing joy in finding a car this cheap so much fun. And other Polos are available.

Read next: Wheels Car of the Year 2019: the judging process

Of course, there’s more to the Volkswagen Polo than just driving it like an airport parking valet. We ran the Polo against the pick of its rivals in May last year and its margin of victory was almost embarrassing.

The contents page directed readers to the “Teutonic trouncing’ on page 86 and the Suzuki Swift, Citroen C3, Mazda2 and the Skoda Fabia were given pause to consider that there was a good deal more involved in class leadership than perhaps they’d bargained for.

Read next: Meet the judges of Wheels Car of the Year 2019

I’m not sure I’ve ever been involved in a more one-sided comparo. “It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the best handling, most polished, most spacious, quickest, most economical and best value car wins this test,” we opined, and it’s exactly these qualities that have propelled the Polo into challenging for pole at this year’s COTY.

It excelled at the proving ground, progressing as many big names fell by the wayside. It seemed to have little in the way of an Achilles heel and murmurs began circulating that the Polo could go all the way. To find out if it can claim the big gong, be sure to direct your browser to whichcar.com/wheels on the night of Wednesday, January 30.