VW POLO 77 COMFORTLINE
Carsguide’s 2010 Car of the Year faces its newest challenger in a contest adjudicated by BRUCE McMAHON and MARK HINCHLIFFE
Polos start at $16,990 for a three-door hatch but the more powerful Comfortline five-door from $19,850 is the best value of the bunch. This is Euro-chic at a great price. Features include air, stereo and power windows plus a raft of driver aids that are not often seen in this mini class.
It’s hard to ignore a 1.2 litre engine, turbocharged of course, pushing out a frisky 77kW for 5.5 L/100km on combined cycle. It has manual or seven-speed auto and misses little from brake assist, electronic diff lock, to audio controls on the steering wheel and electricallyheated mirrors.
This is a handsome machine. The Polo looks and feels refined, with an ordered approach to instruments and controls. But it is a small car inside – the driver’s footwell is pretty cramped and the pedals are a tad small for larger and taller drivers. This is one area where other compacts, such as the Swift, win out.
VW has crammed every last bit of safety gear into the Polo’s six airbags, ABS, brake assist and brake force distribution system. There’s traction control and stability program, aided by a well-behaved chassis and excellent road dynamics. It earns a 5-star NCAP rating.
The small VW is a spirited city runabout, easily mixing it with traffic, slotting into gaps in the traffic or parking lot. Steering response and feel are fantastic, as is this engine and six-speed manual gearbox combination. The optional DSG auto can stop-start at parking speeds.