VW Polo Beats

Damien O'car­roll finds a spe­cial edi­tion of VW'S Polo au­rally im­pres­sive.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

The Volk­swa­gen Polo Beats is some­thing that the Ger­man com­pany is rather fond of – a col­lab­o­ra­tion with a (gen­er­ally) non-car re­lated out­side en­tity to pro­duce a unique model in what­ever seg­ment it lands in. Think gui­tar man­u­fac­turer Fen­der (on the Bee­tle Fen­der edi­tion), or rock bands Bon Jovi, Gen­e­sis and the Rolling Stones, all of whom got spe­cial edi­tion Golfs. Yes, re­ally. It isn’t the first time that VW and Ap­ple­owned head­phone maker Beats have col­lab­o­rated – the last gen­er­a­tion of the Polo also got a Beats edi­tion, as did the small Up! city car – but it is the first we have seen here in New Zealand. What sep­a­rates the Beats edi­tion from any­thing else in its seg­ment, or even any other Polo is a thor­oughly thun­der­ous Beats au­dio sys­tem, but more on that later. The Beats edi­tion is based on the en­try level TSI that packs a bril­liantly charis­matic 70kw/175nm 1.0-litre tur­bocharged three­cylin­der en­gine hooked up to a seven-speed DSG trans­mis­sion. On the out­side the new Polo is a hand­some and chis­elled thing that is dis­tinctly a VW. New­found width makes it look low and mus­cu­lar, which is a rare thing in this seg­ment. The Beats edi­tion fea­tures larger 16-inch al­loy wheels and a num­ber of taste­fully sub­tle (thank good­ness) Beats badges scat­tered around the ex­te­rior. Not so sub­tle, how­ever, is the stripe the runs over the top of the car and a vi­brant red dash that dom­i­nates the in­te­rior. El­e­gantly de­signed and well laid out, the in­te­rior is mod­ern and re­mark­ably open and airy. It does fea­ture quite a lot of hard plas­tics, but they are of a high qual­ity and noth­ing feels like it will start rat­tling any time soon. Of course, we do have to talk about the cen­tre­piece of the Beats edi­tion - the truly mighty au­dio sys­tem de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the famed head­phone man­u­fac­turer. Pack­ing an eight chan­nel am­pli­fier and an in­te­grated sub­woofer tucked in the boot next to the spare wheel, the sys­tem is a truly neigh­bour-an­noy­ing marvel of sheer vol­ume and in­ten­sity. Thun­der­ously loud and im­pres­sively clear, the au­dio sys­tem shares its au­dio prop­er­ties with its name­sake head­phones, mean­ing that the bass is big, but the mids are lack­ing, mak­ing it per­fect for pop and hip hop, but not so much for rock. The Beats edi­tion costs $29,990 or $2,000 more than the en­try TSI Polo it is based on. For your ex­tra money you not only get the thun­der­ous au­dio sys­tem, the larger 16-inch al­loys, the red dash in­sert and the sports seats, but also con­trast­ing painted door mir­rors, a high gloss black grille and pad­dle shifters on the multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel, and of course a scat­ter­ing of Beats lo­gos in­side and out­side. While the Beats edi­tion cer­tainly won’t be for ev­ery­one (there is the Polo TSI for that), what you get for your money is deeply im­pres­sive. As im­pres­sive as the ba­sic pack­age hid­den un­der the stick­ers, red dash and pound­ing au­dio sys­tem, that is.

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