Now diesel is a winner
Polo makes it a double for V-dub in our Car of the Year, writes Paul Pottinger
IN A remarkable sequel to the Volkswagen Polo’s carsGuide Car of the Year victory, its diesel variant has won carsGuide’s Green Car of the Year.
The 66TDI Comfortline, priced from $22,350, saw off a strong challenge from Toyota’s Camry Hybrid to seal a double for the brand.
The small South African-made hatchback scored 31 points. The $36,990 Camry sedan, the first petrolelectric hybrid made in Australia, scored 28.
The other challengers were both Holdens: the Korean-made Barina Spark city car; and the latest Commodore E85.
Four of the nine judges said the Polo was their first choice.
Judges were asked to consider fuel consumption, type of fuel and availability, CO2 emissions, safety and technology. The Polo was the most frugal car. With VW’s newest smallcapacity turbodiesel, the 1.6 TDI puts out 66kW and 230Nm from 17502500rpm.
This low-down torque gives the little hatch the punch of a bigger engine and enables economical cruising.
The five-speed manual uses as little as 4.0 litres per 100km on the open road and 5.8 in the city for 4.7 litres combined.
The Polo TDI’s emissions are a low 124g of CO2 a kilometre.
Though priced above most cars of its class, the new Polo has greater technical sophistication and badge desirability, and it is almost as roomy as a Golf of the 1990s.
Judge Neil Dowling says it is a ‘‘case of proven diesel technology fighting upstarts with hybrid power’’.
Karla Pincott says: ‘‘The little VW shows that you don’t have to sacrifice style, safety or even driving dynamics for greener fuel figures.’’
Cars Guide managing editor Ged Bulmer is ‘‘pleasantly surprised’’ by the Camry Hybrid, which is ‘‘better balanced, more sure-footed and a superior drive’’.
‘‘As the first Australian-built hybrid it also represents an important dawn for local manufacturing of a technology that will become more widespread,’’ Bulmer says.
Mark Hinchliffe voted for the Spark, saying the $12,490 Barina is ‘‘the right frugal car for our times’’ and a ‘‘complete package with safety features such as six airbags and keen pricing’’.
Little fuel miser: the Polo diesel won the first vote of four of the nine judges to give Volkswagen a double.