VOLKSWAGEN POLO 77TSI COMFORTLINE
The current Polo arrived halfway through 2010 and a few months later was crowned Carsguide Car of the Year. Now it’s falling behind in terms of media and entertainment kit. An updated model arrives late this year. This one is light on standard features but undercuts the RS at $19,240 (DSG $21,740).
This is premium car quality in the light car class. It has aged well, with elegant exterior design, tough stance and one of the most refined cabins you’ll find in this category. Use of space is good, with just enough rear legroom.
This Polo has a 1.2-litre direct injection turbo four (77kW/175Nm). Sure, the Barina has 26kW more but the Polo is 200kg lighter. VW says the Polo takes 9.7 secs for 0-100km/h. The six-speed manual is excellent and the seven-speed DSG shifts fast. VW claims the Polo drinks at 5.5L/100km in combined driving.
The Polo has a five-star ANCAP rating. As with the Barina there are six airbags. disc brakes all-round, ABS, traction and electronic stability control and electronic brakeforce distribution. The Polo also has a hill start brake. The Comfortline comes standard with a full-sized spare.
The Polo is an enjoyable drive. That 1.2-litre turbo looks small on paper but feels responsive to the pedal and grunty in the metal. The handling is great with the car reassuringly planted in the corners. The ride can feel a little springy with the rear torsion beam suspension but is still smooth. The steering is a little heavy but accurate.