What is it?
The Volkswagen Polo is a car we like here at Autocar. It might be quite a serious little thing, but it drives well, handles tidily and goes about the business of being a car with little in the way of fuss or bother. When we road tested the sixth-generation version of Wolfsburg’s supermini early last year, we didn’t like it quite enough to award it five stars, but four and a half isn’t a bad innings.
That car was the 1.0 TSI petrol model. It had a turbocharged 94bhp three-cylinder motor under its bonnet, driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. It wasn’t quick, but neither were its rivals, and its 129lb ft meant it felt strong by the standards of the class. Flexible, too. It earned its keep, in other words.
This particular Polo is that car’s little brother, and it replaces the 1.0 TSI with a 1.0 Evo engine. It’s still a three-cylinder unit, only it doesn’t benefit from any form of forced induction, so you’ll have to make do with 79bhp and 68lb ft - the latter arriving at 3750rpm. Even by the standards of the wider supermini class, that seems a touch, well, underwhelming. It’s available in both SE trim and our Beats-specification test model, and it's £715 cheaper than the 94bhp equivalent.
Elsewhere, though, it’s business as usual. It still has a five-speed manual ’box, driving the front wheels. MacPherson struts still make up the Polo’s front suspension, and a torsion beam continues to be employed at the rear. In £16,795 Beats specification, the Polo's cabin still feels a cut above the rest of the class in terms of premium appeal, and it’ll still seat two adults in reasonable comfort in the second row. You’ll have to pay an extra £675 if you want the snazzy Discover Navigation system that was fitted to our test car, and climate control is also optional, at £415.