Volkswagen Polo test. Now a liftback
The Volkswagen Polo model, produced since 2010 and in 2020 received a new version, is one of the leaders in sales in Russia. According to “Autostat”, last year the Polo was among the top five most popular new cars in our market with the result of 58,455 units. The model conceded in sales only to Korean competitors in the face of Hyundai Creta and Kia Rio, and also to two domestic models LADA.
The new Volkswagen Polo, which has been produced since 2020, is now not a sedan, like its predecessor, but a liftback. And, in fact, the Polo has become a cast of the Skoda Rapid, which was released a year earlier and about which we have already reported.
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In the design of the body of the new Polo can be guessed family features inherited from its predecessor, but in general, the car has become more modern and interesting externally. And here we can see exactly the same shape of a body from Skoda Rapid in exterior of novelty, that is not surprising, and also the German received similar by form LED taillights. In the rest models look different, Rapid more youthful and impetuous, and Polo such a conservative and slightly serious.
The front of the Volkswagen Polo has a corporate grille with straight silver lines, which smoothly pass into a pretty good LED headlights projection type with the function of all-weather lighting. The rear of the car is straight, which makes it very different from the Rapid, with a large brand logo that is the trunk opening handle, and there is also a rearview camera hidden underneath.
Look at the pictures of cars, in my opinion, there is a matter of taste and preferences, as there is its own charisma and Volkswagen Polo, and Skoda Rapid.
As for the interior of Polo, it certainly became much more interesting and modern than it was in its predecessor, and very attractive for its segment. But the interior of new items, unlike the exterior, almost one-to-one transferred from the Skoda Rapid. The main differences are only two – it is another form and pattern of the plastic decorative trim on the front panel and a different steering wheel. Speaking about a steering wheel in Polo it is convenient, with controls on it in the form of buttons. True, visually and in terms of convenience of control the new steering wheel in the “Rapid” looks more interesting. On the other hand, Volkswagen is aimed more at the adult audience, for whom large buttons will be clearer and more comfortable than the new-fangled rollers in the Czech car.
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There are no questions about the quality of materials and assembly of the novelty, all plastic in the cabin is hard, but not cheap, and the one that is in sight, even with a visually pleasant texture, so it is only tactile to recognize inexpensive material. There are also no questions about assembly, at least in the test car everything was assembled in good faith, and there were no crickets while driving.
I get quite comfortable at the wheel, mechanical seat and steering wheel adjustments were enough even with reserve. Probably the only thing is that seats are a little bit narrow, and the central armrest is small, so it is not possible to share it with front passenger, but it is a compact class, so one should not expect more. Armchairs have pleasant to the touch and rather practical cloth upholstery, they are medium in firmness. Seats profile is good enough, the backrest has pronounced side support, but it lacks lumbar support, and after 3 hours on the road in them you start to get tired. View from the driver’s seat is not bad, upsetting only small side mirrors, I would like them to be a little bigger. Auto-dimming cabin mirror gives good visibility to the back, but this is in the case if you do not have adult passengers sitting behind.
Polo has quite a lot of pockets and niches, but they are all tiny. Only a 0.5 bottle fits in the doors, you can only put a 0.2 cup holder in the front cup holder, because the console hangs too low over it. The only normal cup holder is at the back of the passengers, the driver can also use it, but he will have to twist his arm to take a bottle/cup from it. But there is a glove compartment of considerable size in the car with illumination.
Behind myself with 187 cm height I sit down, not to say that comfortably, but I fit, knees resting on the back of the front seat, fortunately, it has a special recess under the fabric. The child is seated behind me without any questions and quite comfortably. But there is only a problem, Germans have left the same uncomfortable location of Isofix, as well as in Rapid, under too narrow slots in cloth, so you have to sweat a lot while mounting the seat.
The trunk in new Polo is big for this class of cars with capacity of 530 liters. And if to fold separately backs of a back sofa from the saloon which form a small step, we will receive 1460 liters of useful space. Besides there is a hatch in the trunk for long loads, and there is a full-size spare wheel hidden in the basement. The luggage compartment door is not electrically operated, while this option has not reached the lower price segment. To open the trunk, you have to lift the large logo on it, seems convenient, but I’m afraid in bad weather you’ll have to get your hands dirty. A small rubber handle on the inside right side is used to close it, and since the liftback has a big door, you have to put more effort to close it right away.
Media system in the test car was with an 8-inch touch screen, in the base it is 6.5 inches. The brightness and contrast of the display, as well as responsiveness, is quite good, a pity, the resolution is a little low, only 800×480 pixels. The system is comfortable and beautiful, and the speed is quite acceptable, special brakes during the test did not notice. The media system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (only through the wire), so that the question of navigation can be closed immediately, as standard here is not. And also the system allows you to watch the data on-board computer, of course, play music from external sources, and picking up album covers, and radio, loading beautiful icons of radio stations. For quick navigation on the edges of the screen are touch buttons, but the volume control is made in the form of a classic knob.
To connect devices in the new Polo there are two connectors Type-C in the front of the cabin, two more (optional), only for charging, available for rear passengers. Modern gadgets are charged from the on-board network of the car rather quickly, well, it is nice that Volkswagen has put modern and already quite relevant USB-connectors. The disadvantages are that the recess at the bottom of the front panel is very small and it is impossible to place a large smartphone there, and even the Apple iPhone 12 mini fits in there only partially.
Cabin without air conditioning and other solutions in the interior of VW Polo:
In their model Polo VAGovtsy for Russian buyers provided for 4 options of equipment: Origin, Respect, Status, Exclusive. In this article, we will take a closer look at the interior in each of the configurations.
Such kits in the segment of budget cars are sometimes slang termed as “drums”, hinting at the emptiness inside. But the price tag of exactly these versions will be displayed in the ads, luring potential customers to the showrooms.
Although the photo of the Orijin’s interior looks quite decent, it won’t have climate control or even air conditioning. It seems that Volkswagen has peculiar ideas about the climate in Russia. And, curiously enough, installation of the climate and, in general, additional options or equipment, are not officially provided in this complete set at all.
It seems that the only purpose of this version is the opportunity to declare rather modest initial price for the car under Volkswagen brand. To find it on sale is problematic.
Nevertheless, some plushies in Origin did give:
- athermal interior glazing with a greenish tint;
- height adjustment for the driver’s seat;
- power windows;
- remote central locking;
- heated rear window;
- multi-mode washer and wipers;
The driver receives an empty steering wheel, analog speedometer and tachometer with a board computer screen on the dashboard (although, its backlighting is chosen so cleverly, that from afar you can suspect fully digital), multimedia with a 6.5-inch monitor with 4 speakers around the cabin and supporting Bluetooth / App-Connect.
But the mirrors will have to be adjusted manually. But the pockets in the doors are left. Seat trim in all versions is fabric, but in the two older versions has an individual design. Rear seats can be folded in parts, the ratio of which is 60:40.
Safety systems have been supplied as standard for modern cars in this price range:
- front airbags;
- stabilization system;
- tire pressure control.
Much the same as the base, but there are some hints of comfort:
- heated front seats;
- electrically adjustable and heated mirrors;
- air conditioning;
- heated washer nozzles.
In addition, it is possible to put in for a fee:
- climate instead of air conditioning;
- windshield heating;
- rain and light sensors;
- parking sensors on both sides;
- multi steering wheel;
- anti-theft system with a volume sensor and its own siren.
This version will change the color of fabric on the seats and the texture of the front panel. Standard equipment will be:
- rear armrest;
- climate control;
- heated multifunction steering wheel;
- Cruise control;
The list of available additional equipment will be significantly expanded:
- virtual dashboard;
- rear windshield wiper;
- rearview camera;
- heated rear seats;
- multimedia with an 8-inch screen;
- USB for rear passengers.
At the end of 2020, Volkswagen began to offer a separate “Sport” package for the upper trims. As for the interior, it includes:
- seats with enhanced side support;
- pedal pads and sills;
- tinted glass at the back;
- black headliner;
- decorative inserts and red stitching of some interior elements.
In addition to its own pattern on the fabric of the seats and the front panel, the interior is complete with digital 10-inch dashboard and 8-inch multimedia screen, illuminated legroom, armrests front and rear.
In addition, all kinds of heating will be standard, except for rear seats (“Winter” package), and parktronic. But even in the maximum configuration will have to pay extra for:
- rear windshield wiper;
- rear view camera;
- USB for rear passengers;
- heated rear seats;
- and even plastic locks in the trunk.
The last item frankly surprises – it is not so technologically difficult and expensive thing to force the buyers of “Maxima” to pay additionally, and the price of a set of plastics in 5 900 rubles does not seem justified.
Another thing is hidden behind WV emblem – rear view camera. The thing, certainly, is useful and practically not polluting in operation thanks to such decision.
Results and conclusions
Polo in maximum configuration is quite comparable in level of equipment and can compete with the competitors in corresponding versions. Some advantage in price (about 1,3 million rubles) is explained by taking out of the complete set a part of additional equipment, standard for top versions of competitors. The approach, to say frankly, is for the amateur.
The minimal kitting is much more interesting, first of all, by the price. Officially it is 878 thousand roubles, but in some dealers, taking into account discounts and state programs, one can find the Orijin for 700 thousand roubles. But the margin is not high and one will need a certain amount of luck in search.
Yes, a complete set at a level of grandfather’s Zhiguli, but it drives. And quite not bad at all. Certainly, there will be those for whom the fact of moving in space is much more important than accompanying comfort.