POLO TAKES A LEAP AHEAD
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.