New Volkswagen Polo 1.0 Petrol 2018

The latest incarnation of the supermini.

So, 2018 is off to a good start for Volkswagen in the UK. The Polo’s popularity shows no sign of warning – even though the car is in its sixth-generation. Sales are looking good, even though the little hatchback has been around since I can remember. In fact, I’m surprised it’s only up to Mk.6 – it feels it should be MK.16!
More than 14 million Polos have been made since it was first ushered in, way back in 1975.  And that means the range has become comprehensive. Well, VW needs to keep its punters spoilt for choice, seeing as the Polo is its second best-seller after the Golf.
Volkswagen tried to get me into what it predicts to be its most popular 2018 Polo – the 1.0 TSI, with 95PS. But I like an underdog, so I took the keys to the tiny 1.0 65ps model instead.
Unlike the 1.0 95PS, the 65PS Polo isn’t assisted by a turbo. Nope, its tiny petrol engine is boosted by you – in other words, how quickly you can change gears and how much you stamp on the gas pedal. It’s hard work, but fun, to get this variant up to speed.
The three-cylinder 1.0 MPI unit is as entry-level as you can get, and it hasn’t got many frills – or thrills. But, so what? The model is £1,300 less than the 95Ps 1.0 TSI version, and it’s bargain-basement to insure. If you go for the S or SE trim, the 1.0 65PS Polo is only a group one rating. This and its official mpg of 60.1 makes it a cheap car to run.
Once worked up into a lather, the Polo feels refined, and it certainly coped with the potholed roads around Woburn. I’d go as far to say that the ride quality is superior to that of the excellent new Ford Fiesta – which is saying something. That said; it’s not as entertaining to pilot as the Blue Oval’s machine, but the Polo’s comfort levels just rain on the parade of everything else the Ford has to offer.
The small VW’s cabin is conventionally neat and tidy, and it utilises Volkswagen’s characteristic soft-touch plastics. This makes it feel like one of the poshest motors in the supermini segment.  
SE trim, as driven here, is anticipated to be the most sought-after level, boasting a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-inch infotainment screen and autonomous emergency braking. However, at this point in the range, there’s still lots of kit left on the options inventory, such as parking sensors and cruise control.
The new 2018 Volkswagen Polo’s trump card, though, is that it’s roomier than the Fiesta - well, in the boot department anyway. Its load capacity is 351 litres, compared with the measly 292 litres found in the Ford. But more surprisingly, the new Polo’s big boot surpasses some cars in the class above, including the Focus, which only offers 316 litres.

Pros ‘n’ Cons

  • Refined √
  • Comfortable √
  • Efficient √
  • Cargo Capacity √
  • Slow X

Fast Facts (Volkswagen Polo 1.0 MPI SE – as tested)

  • Max speed: 102 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 15.5 secs
  • Combined mpg: 60.1
  • Engine layout: 999cc three-cylinder petrol
  • Max. power (PS): 65
  • CO2: 108 g/km          
  • Price: £14,435

Written by motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay.

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