spacer.png, 0 kB

Our Newsletter

spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
Welcome arrow Articles arrow Car Reviews arrow Rallying to the Cause
Rallying to the Cause PDF Print E-mail

The all-new Volkswagen Polo 1.2T

by Jeff Heselwood


The World Rally Championship is just that: various rallies in places as far apart as Finland and Argentina; Portugal and Australia; Mexico and Poland.  In recent rallies it has been the Volkswagen Polo WRC that has dominated in the hands of 2013 champion, Frenchman Sébastien Ogier, while Jari-Matti Latvala won his home event in Finland in August, also in a VW Polo.
While the Polo WRC is all-wheel drive, the road-going version drives through the front wheels and features a 1.2 litre turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. This is an all-new Euro 6 unit, replacing the previous 1.4 and, although on paper it looks relatively slow, behind the wheel it feels as quick as any similar model. Furthermore, it is remarkably economical: Volkswagen claims a combined fuel consumption per 100 km of 4.7 litres, a 19 per cent drop over the previous model.  In addition, VW says that the Polo is the first car in its segment that fulfills every aspect of Euro 6 emission standards.
Despite the Polo being an entry-level model within the Volkswagen line-up, it is a surprisingly sophisticated vehicle.  The car boasts electronic stability control (ESC), a parking sensor, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and cruise control.  While in Hong Kong these driver aids may be deemed unnecessary, it is somewhat comforting to travel knowing that any potential accident is likely to be avoided. When tested for safety by Euro NCAP, the Polo achieved the much coveted 5-star rating.
Volkswagen says that it is determined to maintain the lead in the automobile industry in providing class-leading safety features. Coupled with its rigid body that gives drivers and passengers a feeling of safety and confidence, there is a new multi-collision brake system which was first used on the latest Golf.  This system was awarded the ‘Yellow Angel’ innovation award by Germany’s ADAC in 2012.  Research by ADAC shows that approximately 25 per cent incurred more than one collision with other vehicles or objects.  Volkswagen’s multi-collision brake is a system that applies the brakes to prevent or mitigate a subsequent impact when a vehicle has been involved in a collision.
Mated to the 1.2 litre engine is a standard seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox.  Engine output is 90 bhp (up from 85 on the previous model), with torque output at 160 Nm at the low engine speed of 1,500 rpm and remaining pretty constant all the way to 4,500 rpm.  These figures produce a standstill to 100 km/h time of 10.8 seconds.  

Superbly Equipped
A sliding electric sunroof, electric windows and mirrors, as well as the afore-mentioned parking sensor make this little VW more of a luxury motor car than visual identification suggests. Leather steering wheel and shift lever, fabric seats, reading lamps front and rear: all contribute to the innate comfort of the little Polo.
The car is equipped with the latest infotainment system with a 5-inch composition colour touchscreen.  In addition, the Polo Comfortline comes with 16-inch wheels.  The Comfortline also offers Bluetooth connectivity and a front-seat armrest with storage box.  There is also a space-saver spare tyre, not that punctures are a frequent occurrence with modern motorcars.
Furthermore, the new Cornflower blue body colour is used for the first time on Hong Kong Polos.
Safety features include front and side airbags for the front seat occupants, while the passenger’s can be de-activated if required.  Seat belt tensioners are fitted, while there are ISOFIX locations in the rear.  There is a tyre pressure monitoring system and a hill-hold control.


Driving Experience
For a car that has such compact exterior proportions, the VW Polo feels spacious and highly desirable.  To drive, the Polo is exciting but wholly safe and reliable.  But, as mentioned, it actually feels quicker than the numbers suggest.  Acceleration is immediate and the handling is precise.  Basically, it goes where it is pointed.
On the short but congested drive, from Volkswagen’s Wanchai showroom down to Cyberport, accompanied by a delightful lady from Volkswagen Hong Kong, every traffic condition imaginable was encountered.  Heavy traffic, open sweeping bends – road works of course – and some empty roads where the Polo could be given its head.  The compact VW coped with
everything admirably.
Visibility in all directions is another plus where the Polo scores, whether to the rear via the excellent door mirrors, or ahead through the lightly tinted windscreen.  Overall, the Polo gives you a feeling of confidence and security.
It’s no comparison with Ogier’s or Latvala’s Polo WRC, which is infinitely quicker and more stable under difficult conditions: gravel, Tarmac, wet, dry, but the road-going Polo is undoubtedly a superb entry-level motor car; ideal for a young couple for weekend outings and maybe even a new offspring.
The Volkswagen Polo TSI Comfortline sells for an attractive $179,880.  There is a slightly cheaper option, the Trendline, which does not have all the excellent features of the Comfortline. Go for the top one; it is definitely worth it

spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
© 2019 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
spacer.png, 0 kB