POLO TAKES A LEAP AHEAD

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Drive Way - Bill Buys

THERE are city cars and then there are city cars like VW’S new Polo, which has just given the tech­nol­ogy graph its big­gest jump in ages.

The car has had a com­pre­hen­sive makeover cov­er­ing en­gine ef­fi­ciency, in­fo­tain­ment, safety and style, all from a mar­ket-hic­cup­ing drive­away price of $15,990.

It now not only looks a lot like a Golf VII but has sev­eral of the lat­ter’s in­te­rior fea­tures, among them its top-notch in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem.

The diesel has been dropped and the range has been pared down to just two mod­els, both with smaller and brand-new, four­cylin­der 1.2litre petrol turbo mo­tors, but with dif­fer­ent out­puts and much-im­proved fuel ef­fi­ciency over their pre­de­ces­sors.

The 66TSI Trend­line gen­er­ates 66kW/160Nm com­pared to the ear­lier ver- sion’s 63kW/132Nm and the 81TSI Com­fort­line has four ex­tra kilo­Watts and the same 175Nm as the pre­vi­ous 1.4litre mo­tor.

But fuel use is down to 4.8litres/100km, a mas­sive drop of more than 20 per cent. Trans­mis­sion in the 66TSI is a five-speed man­ual or the $2500 op­tion of a sev­en­speed dual-clutch DSG, while the man­ual in the 81TSI is a six-speeder.

VW’s Blue Mo­tion Tech­nol­ogy claims the ku­dos for the bet­ter num­bers via fea­tures like start/stop func­tion and brake en­ergy re­cu­per­a­tion.

The Com­fort­line’s in­te­rior is pretty classy and has the Golf’s ex­em­plary in­stru­men­ta­tion and multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel, plus a 12.7cm touch-screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, Blue­tooth, USB, CD player and six speak­ers. No satnav, though.

The base Trend­line doesn’t get all of that, but still comes with the big new safety pack­age that in­cludes six airbags, sta­bil­ity con- trol, ESP, brake as­sist, a five-star crash rat­ing and a fine new steer­ing sys­tem, with elec­tric as­sis­tance.

Plus VW’s Multi-Col­li­sion Brak­ing Sys­tem, which au­to­mat­i­cally brakes the ve­hi­cle to avoid sec­ondary col­li­sions, or at least re­duce their sever­ity.

There are bot­tle hold­ers in the doors, con­sole cuphold­ers, a chill sec­tion in the dou­ble-deck glove­box, ad­justable head­lights, day­time driv­ing lights and a 12-year anti-cor­ro­sion war­ranty.

We drove both mod­els on some wind­ing Queens­land ter­rain and liked the lively na­ture and com­fort of both mod­els and their road man­ners.

Rid­ing on 15-inch wheels with Con­ti­nen­tal tyres, they were quiet and re­fined, with room for four. Vis­i­bil­ity and space were fine.

We gave our Com­fort­line a fair old can­ing down a steep corkscrew moun­tain road in the D'Aguilar Na­tional Park and the lit­tle sweet­heart didn't give us any anx­ious mo­ments.

Best of all, it used just 6.7litres/100km, which quickly dropped to an im­pres­sive 5.4/100km at a more re­laxed pace.

The steer­ing was spot-on and the car went ex­actly where it was pointed.

The Com­fort­line tag starts at $18,290 and there are a cou­ple of packs that buy­ers might opt for.

The $1500 ' driver com­fort pack' adds adap­tive cruise con­trol, driver fa­tigue de­tec­tion sys­tem, city emer­gency brake func­tion, rain-sens­ing wind­screen wipers and a rev­ers­ing cam­era.

Same price for the ' sport pack', which in­cludes 17-inch wheels, dark tinted glass, fog­lights with static cor­ner­ing func­tion, low tyre pres­sure in­di­ca­tor and low­ered sus­pen­sion.

Ver­dict: A rev­e­la­tion in its class.

Classy city con­veyance... VW's new Polo.

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