Volkswagen Polo GTI full review TopCar — Volkswagen Polo GTI

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Volkswagen Polo GTI

Volkswagen Polo GTI full

July 25, 2011

THE FIRST GTI was a disappointment. It wasn’t great to at, and even worse to drive. The was lifeless, the manual transmission coarse and the old 1.8-litre turbo the Golf 4 GTI had only 110kW and of torque to play with. It was thumped in a Topcar hot hatch in 2007, coming last in a that included the Mini S, Renault Clio RS, Peugeot 207 GTI and the Fiesta ST. Fast forward years and there’s a new Polo GTI in the parking lot. Has Volkswagen to get it right, and more importantly do to the illustrious GTI badge second around?

The new Polo is a conservative aimed at the minds of the +30’s the corporate ladder. Turning flat sides and geometric into a sporty package needs to stir the soul as was always going to be a challenge. All the GTI differentiators are employed, from the them or hate them’ Denver alloys with the red callipers to the honeycomb air inlets in the apron, two red trim strips on the grille and the rear spoiler in colour. The two chrome tailpipes and the GTI at the back reinforce the fact this is the hot Polo. From the the Polo could easily be for its bigger Golf GTI brother, but the wanes as one moves around to the rear. Competitors like the Clio RS, Mini Cooper S, Mito and especially the Citroën DS3 are more appealing.

The Polo launches a massive fight as soon as you open the and get in. Few other small cars can its interior quality. The standard seats are a good blend of and leather trim that hug in a pleasantly reassuring way. The plastics and soft-touch surfaces are dark with brushed surrounding the air vents and chrome on the control knobs. A flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel the package. It all feels very in here. The list of kit included as after you’ve handed R259000 to Volkswagen is appropriately and includes things like pedals, electric windows all electrically adjusted and heated mirrors and ‘Climatic’ aircon. have to pay more if you want a sunroof, rear park control or curtain airbags – the options available for the Polo There is an Aux-in port to your MP3 devices, but unfortunately no USB

connector. Irritating.

The previous Polo GTI was a bit of a slug. one isn’t. It’s quick, as quick in fact as the larger and powerful Golf GTI. that magic power-to-weight which does the trick The Polo hits the scale at Combine that with a 1.4-litre TSI engine and a lightning DSG (dual clutch) transmission and you a mini hot hatch that leave drivers of far larger and expensive sports cars their heads in embarrassment. No, it an error; there really is a 1.4-litre engine under the of the Polo. It’s the clever of direct petrol injection, a which boosts the engine 3000rpm, at which point a takes over that all this tiny engine a force to be reckoned with. is up to 132kW and torque increases to a 250Nm, available from all the way up to 4500rpm. It offers big car performance, the bonus of small car fuel Volkswagen claims 5.9 litres per on the combined cycle. Our test delivered a respectable fuel figure of 7.3 litres per 100km.

Our testing panel all had similar in this department, ranging solid and predictable to surprisingly The steering is quick, aided by an transverse differential lock to traction through the corners. the same system found on the GTI, which prevents of the unloaded wheel at the inside of a by using brake intervention. GTI sits 15mm lower the normal Polo. Add 17-inch stiffer dampers and a tweaked and you would expect the Polo GTI to your fillings the same way a Cooper S or a Renault Clio RS It doesn’t though, which be a good or a bad thing depending on side of the hot hatch fence you It’s not as involving or as communicative as the two mentioned here, but the ride is refined and comfortable. The fact the Polo GTI is only available the DSG transmission, and not the more involving shifter, adds to the more feel of the VW. Personally I would opt for the DSG box every day anyway.

The new Polo GTI is a vast improvement on its better in almost every The testing team all had fun driving it, is one of the most important boxes a hot hatch needs to tick. It similar performance to bigger costing R100000 more, interior quality to match. may fault its rather conservative others might like the it delivers. The same applies to the uninvolving but very refined The Polo GTI has grown up, the same way we its owners have. It’s a hot for guys and girls that sown their wild and are now looking for a car that delivers the of both worlds.

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