Now diesel is a win­ner

Polo makes it a dou­ble for V-dub in our Car of the Year, writes Paul Pot­tinger

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car Of The Year -

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.

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