Volkswagen Polo GTI – review of a reliable and stylish hatchback
Author: Valeria Filinovich 11.05.2020 Time to read: 5 minutes 5,175 views No comments yet
Five-door hatchbacks have been in demand since their introduction. These conveniently versatile and often affordable vehicles can be used for both city driving and trips to the cottage. One of the brightest representatives of this segment is the Volkswagen Polo GTI. Let’s consider the characteristics and main features of this reliable and relatively inexpensive car.
The Polo GTI belongs to the category of B+ class hot hatchbacks designed for everyday use. The sixth-generation 2017 Polo GTI was a reliable car with a larger interior, more engine power, increased range and a DSG automatic transmission. The stylistic line refers to current Volkswagen models, and the design was developed by Klaus Bischoff.
Photo of Volkswagen Polo GTI in red
Specifications of the Volkswagen Polo GTI
|Number of doors||5|
|Cargo area, l||204|
|Type of gearbox||automatic/mechanical (2018)|
|Number of gears||6|
|Maximal speed, km/h||237|
|Acceleration to 100 km/h, sec||6.7|
|Fuel Consumption, l/100 km||5.9|
|Torque (at 1500 rpm), n.m.||320|
|Engine displacement, cm³||1984|
Polo GTI three-door (rear and side views)
The 2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI differs from the traditional models of the Polo family with some signature features. On the radiator grille, you can see a horizontal strip of red, going into the headlights and curving in the type of bands of running lights. There is a GTI logo on the radiator, and the bumper includes special decorative elements in the form of the letter “C”.
At the stern of the car there are parking lights with a colored LED element. There is also a spoiler with two sections, and a diffuser with exhaust tips. The GTI index is on the trunk lid.
As standard the hatchback is equipped with 17-inch wheels Milton Keynes. If necessary, you can pay extra for Brescia 18-inch wheels. On the inside, the rims are coated in gloss black paint, looking great with the red calipers.
Several new body enamels have been developed for the 2019 Polo GTI, among which Flash Red, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Pure White, Reef Blue Metallic and Grey Metallic were particularly attractive.
Volkswagen Polo GTI interior
The Volkswagen Polo GTI has passive and active safety systems to keep the driver and passengers healthy. The safety kit may vary slightly from configuration to configuration, but the basic elements are present in all cars. The effectiveness of the measures can be evaluated by the results of crash tests, available in the public domain.
When designing the car, the manufacturers were guided by the provisions of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, which regulate the driver protection equipment in the event of a front or side impact, the operation of warning systems and emergency braking. The main safety features on the VW Polo GTI:
- ABS system for braking modes (emergency and normal), controlling brake fluid pressure;
- Airbags for driver and front seat passenger;
- Three-point seat belts for all seats (height-adjustable);
- Adjustable head restraints (2 in the front and 3 in the rear);
- Audible warning message if driver’s seat belt is not fastened.
Optional front disc brakes, directly affecting the vehicle’s handling. The electronic immobilizer protects the car from theft.
Polo GTI in black
Competitors and analogues
On the market it is possible to find both cheaper and more expensive analogues. The most similar to Polo GTI in its parameters is five-door Renault Clio RS sold in Germany for 23,400 euros. The Peugeot 208 GTI is a little bit more expensive with the price starting from 24,000 euros. Opel Corsa OPC for 24,900 euros and Toyota Yaris GRMN for 31,000 euros can be attributed to the same category.
Volkswagen Polo GTI uses a two-liter turbocharged engine, which advantageously distinguishes it from its counterparts that were satisfied with inflated four. The motor produces 200 hp and functions together with a six-band DSG robotized gearbox. The 2018 VW Polo GTI is equipped with a manual.
The Renault Clio RS also has 200 hp (260 Nm), but it is fitted with a pre-selective transmission. Other competitors such as the Peugeot 208 GTI (208 hp, 300 N-m), Opel Corsa OPC (207 hp, up to 280 N-m) and Toyota Yaris GRMN (212 hp, 249 N-m) are equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.
Volkswagen Polo GTI is quite heavy for its class, as curb weight reaches 1355 kg. In this regard, acceleration to 100 km / h realized for 6.7 seconds. At the same time, the maximum speed of 237 km / h is considered one of the highest in the category. Clio RS with a weight of 1,204 kg reaches 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds, reaching a speed of 230 km/h. The Peugeot 208 GTI with its weight of 1,265 kg gives it the top speed in 6.5 seconds. But the fastest in the segment is the Toyota Yaris GRMN which reaches a hundred only in 6.3 seconds. It is possible due to smart dynamics of a car and weight of 1135 kg.
Opel Corsa OPC with its 1200 kg of curb weight loses all competitors, accelerating up to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. At the same time the top speed is standard for this segment – 230 km/h.
Volkswagen Polo GTI (side view)
Advantages and disadvantages
The Polo GTI has about the same advantages and disadvantages as the standard Polo model. Advantages:
- Reliable undercarriage, capable of after 30-40 thousand kilometers of mileage to fully maintain the original condition.
- Low gasoline consumption about 6-7 l/100 km with the use of all the possibilities of the engine for a dynamic movement.
- Comfortable interior without unnecessary details.
- Capacious luggage compartment.
- Unpretentiousness and simplicity in maintenance with minimum expenses for repair or purchase of spare parts.
- Easy to start in a cold up to -30 with auto-start button.
- Nice appearance.
- High ground clearance.
- Lack of warm-up rpm may cause some inconvenience when using in the cold period.
- Noise insulation system requires improvement, as in the standard version of its capabilities may simply not be enough.
- Long clutch, because of which it is difficult to start smoothly at a traffic light (the problem is solved by updating the firmware).
- The engine roars at over 3 thousand rpm.
- Simple interior, not able to surprise the connoisseurs of comfort above average.
- The external location of the trunk button makes the car not too secure from intruders.
- The seats are not very comfortable for long journeys.
As a result, the company has managed to create an affordable, reliable and economical car, which when driving on the highway and even can consume about 4-5L/100km.
At the same time, the model is quite comfortable, even taking into account the price segment in question. Most of the disadvantages can be eliminated by updating the firmware and some modification of the body without serious investment.
Three-door Polo GTI (front and side views)
Prices and video
In Russia, the Volkswagen Polo GTI was not sold, just like the standard Polo hatchback. You can buy the new car in Germany for a reasonable price of 23,900 euros. Such an amount allows the car to successfully compete with other cars of a similar class and configuration.
Volkswagen Polo GTI is definitely worth its money. It is a convenient, functional and comfortable enough car, capable to serve faithfully for many years.
Test-drive Polo GTI can be seen in this video:
From all sides to examine the new VW Polo GTI 2020 can be seen in this video:
Test Drive: Winning a rally-marathon in a Volkswagen Polo GT sedan
The base Polo GT costs 827,000 rubles, with a DSG “robot” – 70 thousand more. You can save 33,000 rubles and buy a Highline version with the same 1.4 TSI engine: it has standard bumpers, but a number of options are available without paying extra.
If you call yourself a rider, get in the body. We test a sport version of the Kaluga Polo in conditions of sports, having applied for the amateur rally-marathon “1000 Wurst”. We have chosen the version with a six-speed “manual”. There are not many differences from the usual Polo: bifurcated exhaust note, a micro spoiler on the trunk, 16-inch wheels and xenon headlights with old-fashioned spotting of LEDs from the European Polo GTI of 2010. Black roof (quality factory painting), stripes-appliques. In our case the main thing is not the tires, but to drive.
In addition to the small exterior mirrors (with power folding!) There is a rearview camera with average picture quality. Rain and light sensors, auto mode of all window lifters also you will not often find in a budget segment.
Driving in an amateur rally is required strictly within the limits of traffic rules. But if you think it’s boring, try to keep 90 km / h in some snow-covered dirt track, winding through the woods of Yaroslavl region. The point of such races is to observe the set schedule very precisely and at the same time to figure out where to go. The marathon “1000 Wurst” is four years old, I started in the first one. It’s nice that it’s one of the few rallies for everyone, standing up to the competition with quests and club races. Record fifty crews were not afraid of very complicated rules and suddenly came winter.
Cellular grille and bumper decor, 16-inch wheels, tinted taillights, spoiler and dual exhaust – all this is proper only for Polo GT. Only the first 300 buyers will get glued stripes on the hood and trunk lid for free.
“As soon as your hands rest on the leather of its sport steering wheel and the 125-horsepower engine roars under the hood, the world will change…” – promises Volkswagen’s signature website. It does not deceive. As soon as the driver applied for the race (the entry fee varies from five to nine thousand rubles, depending on the experience and location of the crew), the October snowfall began. In a suddenly changed world, we had to quickly search for winter wheels. The GT is the first and only Polo with 16-inch shoes.
Pastor and flock: Alexey Menshenin, the inspirational leader and organizer of the “1000 Wurst” marathons, holds a pre-start meeting for the participants. The main message – the more you think about it, the less you have to rush the roads to make up for your mistakes.
The stabilization system was in sport mode both days, because the traction control algorithm is too strict for winter. The pilot has a GPS-meter for kilometers and speed, and the navigator has a scientific calculator, a watch and a head.
Pavel Pavlovich Karin never touches the steering wheel, having nobly volunteered to be a debutant navigator. But his world also turns before his eyes – with each page of the road book, in which the organizers encrypted 800-kilometer two-day route. From seven o’clock on Saturday morning to late evening on Sunday we don’t live by our own time, but by the time of the judges, and synchronization of clocks also falls on Pasha. Rally is in fact a competition for accuracy, not speed. Although, for the sake of accuracy, of course, sometimes you need to “pump up” the speed. Especially in winter, when any overtaking on talus and snowy ground is an exam of one’s driving skills.
A steering wheel from older Volkswagen models is good with adjusted arrangement of buttons, but not beveled rim. Audio system with color touch screen pleases with intuitive tuning of radio: step of change of frequency depends on speed of knob rotation.
The first “special stage”, humorous slalom on the closed area round a unique cone, removes half of our with Polo GT sports ambitions. It turns out, that the system of stabilization is not switched off completely, and one can forget about sprawling and skidding. Even a part of zeal melts away at attempt to brake with the left leg – electronics not simply cuts off traction, but also does not allow resuming it for about two seconds after releasing a brake pedal. Therefore, we drive further, as automobile sportsmen say, in a whisper. As to a summer cottage. As in a Polo sedan.
The variable speedometer pitch surprises: why does one third of the scale occupy an unnecessary range up to 40 km/h? The temperature gauge of antifreeze is wrong, when warming up it shows 90º, when only 72º according to external adapter ELM327. The glovebox is bare and pops off loudly, with a bang.
Boom! Boom! This suspension, not unlike the usual Polo, noted as the rally route left the near Moscow suburbs, turning to graders and dirt roads. In the capital the sedan pleases with rounded smoothness of movement, only on cracks and joints it slaps the tires excessively, shaking the passengers. But as soon as abandoned provincial roads begin, the lack of power capacity comes to the fore. The sports steering wheel is inappropriately beveled at the bottom, which with the lazy, neo-sharp steering mechanism gets in the way. But low and transparent effort on a steering wheel pleases as well as accuracy of responses. However, there is no difference with usual Polo of GT here.
If you drive fast, the unambiguous drift of the front axle dominates, and the skid, if you provoke it, is immediately extinguished by the stabilization system, which is not switched off to the end. It was necessary to yank the disk “handbrake” for the sake of this photo. The clearance is 163 mm, as at usual sedan Polo.
Special thanks to the judges of the rally. These hardened people (with kids!) get wet and freeze for two days for the pleasure of the participants. It’s a pity, that the specific character of a marathon means a short communication with judges – after hundreds of kilometers of driving one would like to say a few words with each other.
It’s difficult to start because of the lack of torque, but at speed the engine is quiet and tractive, stubbornly accelerating the car from 1400 rpm to more than five thousand. There is no drama in acceleration, as well as sports sound or sharpness of response. But our Polo GT differs from the atmospheric versions by “diesel” confidence that there is always something under a pedal. One – we easily bypass one rival, two – some more. Wait, shouldn’t everyone drive at the same average speed?! Soon we realized that, having been caught up with shooting the video at the start, we had missed the information about the decrease in average speed because of the snowfall. We had met the dry standard, but in the end we got five minutes penalty for outrunning.
The only difference between the seats and the mass versions of Polo is the checkered fabric “a la GTI”. There is no lumbar and side support of rigid front seats. The back row lacks a plafond of illumination.
The marathon “1000 verst” is more humane among similar events. There is no need for racing helmets, licenses and other “tuning”, which sometimes makes such rallies funny for others. The main thing – attentiveness and calmness. These are just the main qualities of Pal Pal Palitch, so, in the evening of the first day, we still found ourselves leaders of the protocol! We didn’t get lost once and found all the photo controls: at the checkpoint you have to take a picture with the landmark depicted in the road book. Usually on the second day everything essentially starts all over again, so we make a smart tactical decision to go to bed at 8pm, when the hotel is just picking up the corkscrews.
If in the budget segment the luggage compartment of Polo looks rich, for Polo GT priced under a million rubles at least cargo hooks and trim on the underside of the back cushion are begged for. The spare wheel has remained 15-inch.
Polo GT briskly starts up in light morning frost and pleases with effective heating of windshield and washer jets. The interior is heated up not quickly: there is no electric afterheater in a heater, as well as on other Kaluga Polo, though it is really necessary for small-volume turbo engine. A winter jacket and boots accentuate the weaknesses of ergonomics: a little bit short of steering wheel reach – either shoulders or legs get tired at dinner, it depends on what you sacrifice while choosing a sitting position. But side windows get dirty moderately, not worsening visibility through cramped mirrors, and wiper zone is excellent by the standards of budget segment.
Regular Bridgestone T001 tires are put only on GT and belong to the premium-comfort segment rather than to the sports one. The steering wheel is heavier when parking, and the damping of minor bumps is worse and noisier.
To keep beginners interested, the complexity of the race increases toward the finish line. The climax is a tangled section with set average speeds, where the turns do not have a precise reference by kilometer. The route must be unraveled by the nuances of the image of the position in the road book: is there a tree or a road sign on the right side? As a result, we get into a “trap” of the organizers, wander, rushing on the bare ice to catch up late… And at the finish line we learn that absolutely everyone got lost, and we’re still the best, though among the worst. Luck, victory!
The windshield heater destroys the ice in just a few minutes, with the timer turning it off even later than the rear window threads. The driver’s wiper doesn’t go up, resting against the hood. The capacity of the washer tank is a decent 5.5 liters.
It is difficult to win an amateur rally from the first time. However, Pasha’s example says, it’s possible. The next race “1000 Wurst” will be held already on February 25-26 in the Moscow and Tula regions.
According to the rules such competitions are called rally of the third category. If there is sport in Polo GT, it’s of the third category. In normal life, sedan good tractability and efficiency: on slow road hauls on-board computer sometimes showed an average consumption of only 5-5.5 l/100 km at a constant speed of 80-90 km/h. On the other side of the scale is much more complex construction. In addition to the turbocharger and inlet phase shifter, the engine has an adjustable oil pump, two cooling circuits with a couple of thermostats, double radiator, additional electric pump and so on. Not to mention the version with the DSG transmission.
The Polo GT lacks emotion. Looking at external décor and feeling parallels with GTI, you want sharp steering, refined controllability, drama at speed… And there is a comfortable and tractable, capacious and roomy sedan.
The main thing – no silent and torquey motor will not transform Kaluga Polo into German Golf. Hard plastic of door panels will still be hitting your elbows, and noise isolation will make you raise your voice. Doors in general seem to be empty. They slam like a garbage can lid, do not protect from outside noises and poorly protect from cold. When driving on the highway, you have to raise the temperature of the climate control by a couple of degrees compared to the traffic mode. The knowledge that you’re unlikely to buy something more tractable and roomy at the same time for that kind of money is warming, but not warming.
|Model||Volkswagen Polo GT|
|Number of doors/seats||4/5|
|Length of track, front/rear, mm||1457/1500|
|Curb weight, kg||1223|
|Gross weight, kg||1740|
|Cargo volume, l||460|
|Type||gasoline, direct injection, turbocharged|
|Location||in front, transversely|
|Number and arrangement of cylinders||4, in line|
|Number of valves||16|
|Working volume, cm³||1395|
|Max. power, hp/rpm||125/5000-6000|
|Max. torque, Nm/rpm||200/1400-4000|
|Front suspension||independent, spring McPherson|
|Rear suspension||half-independent, spring|
|Front brakes||ventilated discs|
|Ground clearance, mm||163|
|Maximal speed, km/h||198|
|Acceleration time from 0 to 100 km/h, s||9,0|
|Fuel Consumption, l/100 km|
|– city circuit||7,5|
|– country cycle||4,7|
|– combined cycle||5,7|
|Fuel tank capacity, l||55|
|Standard equipment||Volkswagen Polo GT|
|Isofix child seat mounting|
|Power steering mechanism|
|Tilt and yaw adjustment of steering column|
|Heated electrically controlled exterior mirrors|
|Driver seat height adjustment|
|Heated front seats|
|CD radio with MP3 support|
|Optional equipment of the test vehicle|
|Bixenon headlights||56 990 rubles|
|Heated windshield||Comfort Package, 19 990 rubles|
|Multifunctional steering wheel|
|Immobilizer||Full Prepare Package, 13 990 rubles|
|Anti-theft alarm system|
|Bluetooth Hands Free System||Multimedia Package, 35,990 rubles|
|Rear View Camera|
|Side airbags||Safety Package, 23 990 rubles|
|Parking sensors front and rear|
|Dynamic Stability System|
|Electrochrome interior mirror||Technique Package, 23 990 rubles|
|Price of basic configuration, rubles||826 900|
|Price of the tested car, rubles||1 001 840|
Technics Pavel Karin, Nikita Gudkov
The four-door Polo is built on the chassis of the hatchback Polo of the fifth generation (the PQ25 platform). However, the wheelbase received an increase of 82 mm, and ground clearance is increased by almost 7 cm. Suspension is traditional: McPherson in front and twisting beam in back. The same units can be found in a number of models of Volkswagen concern. The rear brakes depend on the version: the sedans have drums.
The 1.4 TSI turbo engine from the EA211 series is economical and environmentally friendly, but complex in design. The block and cylinder head are made of aluminum, the liners are cast iron. The crankcase is also made of aluminum, with integrated oil passages and an oil filter installed here. The engine has two cooling circuits plus a water intercooler, two thermostats and a variable capacity oil pump. Fuel injection (accepting AI-95 gasoline) is direct. The output is 125 hp and the torque is 200 Nm. This is more than in many two-liter atmospheric engines.
The suspension for Polo GT wasn’t specially readjusted, but springs are the most “heavy” category, taking into account the 40 kg increased curb weight (for the version with manual gearbox).
Behind the scenes
The most dramatic moment of the test was a frantic search of winter tires at the end of October. A set of 15-inch non-spikes Continental Viking Contact 5 from my Ibiza saved us. Not once did we regret the choice. Many would not agree, but my experience shows: if you have a head on your shoulders, a quiet non-spike tires Scandinavian type in Moscow conditions is more pleasant and preferable to the studded, and the city do not fall down. Our victory is the proof to that. Thanks to Asbis for the video recorder Prestigio RoadRunner 525.