Volkswagen Polo: Desperately needs a makeover!

Timeless is how we critics always regard as any Volkswagen or Skoda offering’s design, for all the cars within their portfolio are designed with cleaner lines and little-to-no bling. This not only makes them timeless but also gives the manufacturer an opportunity to take the lazy route and merely update its cars. While all the modern-day cars undergo a significant facelift in 3-4 years, Volkswagen has kept the Polo unchanged for a decade, with only a few updates given over the course of time. So measly to say, if you line-up the first Polo to be sold in the Indian market with the one you see above, only some minor differences will be visible.

In the international markets, however, the Polo has already received a generation-upgrade with new exteriors and interiors. In the Indian market, Volkswagen is reluctant to do so given the new Polo is more than 4m in length and the taxation story is a bit different here.

Now the car you see above was recently given a mid-life facelift, with few tweaks to the exterior and interior, and one noticeable change on the equipment front. So, the India-spec Polo definitely needs a makeover. But we jump onto any conclusions, let’s hear what’s new with this one.


Sure, the design is dated now, but the Polo still looks good thanks to the clean timeless design. With the facelift, the front bumper is revamped and the alloy wheels are now bigger in size. The overall silhouette remains unchanged and the car still measures 3,971mm in length, 1,682mm in width, and 1,469mm in height. The wheelbase is 2,469mm and the ground clearance is 165mm. The kerb weight for the base-spec variant is 1,015kg. The fuel tank and the boot space capacities are 45-litres and 295-litres, respectively.

Engine options, as of early-2020, are a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol for the entry-level models – good for 75bhp and 99Nm of torque – which comes mated to a 5-speed manual, a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol – 103bhp and 175Nm – which only comes with the GT TSI variant and is mated to a 7-speed DSG, and a 1.5-litre diesel, which is available in two states of tune – 89bhp and 230Nm in the standard car and 108bhp and 250Nm in GT TDI – which also comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

In the BS-VI era, Volkswagen is expected to revamp the whole line-up with the 1.2-litre turbo-petrol said to be replaced by a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol, while the diesel will be axed out altogether.


At 20.14km/l, the Volkswagen Polo, with the diesel engine, is the most frugal of the lot. As for the petrol derivates of the Polo, the 1.0-litre mill is good for 18.78km/l and the turbo-petrol GT TSI is good for 17.21km/l (all figures ARAI-claimed).


Once inside, it’s extremely easy to mistake the new Polo with the older one, for there are simply no changes to the cabin. The only change in the equipment list is the inclusion of Volkswagen Connect, which allows users to identify the car’s location, track various statistics, and fuel costs. The rest remains unchanged, as you get a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay/Android Auto, cruise control, steering-mounted audio controls, climate control, and electronically retractable and adjustable ORVMs. On the outside, the only change in the equipment is the inclusion of 16-inch alloy wheels.


The Polo, as of early-2020, comes in seven shades, namely, Sunset Red, Reflex Silver, Candy White, Carbon Steel, Toffee Brown, Lapiz Blue, and Flash Red. Sufficed to say, the Polo looks the best in the Sunset Red shade.


All the details regarding the Volkswagen Polo, namely, the engine, specifications, variant wise equipment, colours, dimensions, interiors, and exterior details are extensively covered in the brochure.

Variants and Prices

As of early-2020, the Volkswagen Polo is available in eight variants, with three variants for the petrol-manual, one variant for the petrol-DCT and four variants for the diesel-manual. The prices start at Rs. 5.87 lakhs for the Trendline 1.0L (P) variant going all the way up to Rs. 9.89 lakhs for the GT TDI variant (both prices ex-showroom, Delhi). For the variant-wise on-road prices, visit us at autoX.

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