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Car reviews - Volkswagen - Polo - range

Overview

VW targets Toyota and Mazda with its keenly priced Polo light car

Volkswagen logo7 May 2010

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

AS Volkswagen continues its relentless drive to world domination, its steely gaze has been turned towards the littlest model in the Australian range – the Polo. Long overlooked by many as being too pricey and without the pizzazz of other baby Euro or Japanese rivals, the new, fifth-generation version of the 35-year-old supermini has suddenly matured with a Golf-like vigour, to provide a seismic shake-up of the upper light-car segment. Hitherto unheard of refinements like direct-injection petrol engines and DSG dual-clutch gearboxes finally make it into the baby-car realm, and the Polo is poised to finally lead after years of languishing in the doldrums. Fiesta, Mazda2, Jazz and co, your lives have just become a whole lot harder now.
Model release date: 1 May 2010 to 1 July 2014

Previous model

Polo Series II

Released: November 2005
Ended: April 2010
Family Tree: Polo

VOLKSWAGEN softened the stark four-eyed look of the fourth-generation Polo released in 2002 with a smoother and friendlier face, as well as a host of refinements and new models designed to build on the driveability advances made over previous editions. The staple 55kW/126Nm 1.4-litre single-cam 16-valve four-cylinder petrol engine lived on from before, mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, in three and five-door body styles, variously under the Club or Match nomenclature. Mid 2006 saw a small boost in engine power and torque (59kW/130Nm) for manual models, with a six-speed auto replacing the four-speeder from August 2007. Meanwhile VW released the 74kW/240Nm 1.9-litre Polo TDI in late 2005, in five-door/five-speed manual transmission only, as well as the 110kW/220Nm 1.8-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol GTI, which gained its own niche following. From July 2006 a 77kW/153Nm 1.6-litre four-pot petrol mid-range five-door Match was imported to further complicate the already extensive Polo portfolio. A minor upgrade from October 2008 saw the series simplified with the three-door Edition 1.4, five-door Pacific 1.6 petrol and Pacific TDI diesel, and GTI. All included a modest specification gain.

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