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Volkswagen adds upmarket appeal to new Polo

Class dispute: Volkswagen’s new-generation Polo light car has grown enough in size to allow its storage capacity to rival vehicles in the segment above including the Ford Focus and Mazda3.

Prices to kick off from $17,990 BOCs for sixth-gen, 1.0-litre three-cylinder Polo

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Volkswagen logo1 Feb 2018

By TUNG NGUYEN

VOLKSWAGEN Australia has lifted the lid on pricing and specification of its new sixth-generation Polo light car with all three launch variants powered by a 1.0-litre three pot and landing in showrooms in March from $17,990 before on-roads.

The initial line-up will include the base 70TSI Trendline, 85TSI Comfortline and special Launch Edition – all propelled by a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine in varying states of tune – with a flagship 147kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo-four GTI and Beats edition arriving mid-year.

Although the 110kW 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine available in some overseas markets is not slated for a local debut, Volkswagen Australia general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger did not rule it out entirely.

“Not at this stage, don’t rule it out though,” he said.

“We’ve got the 1.0-litre three in two different tunes and in the 85TSI version I think it’s worth remembering it puts out 200Nm – and it’s not five minutes ago the Golf was doing 92kW and 200Nm in the one that was only superseded in the middle of (last) year.

“So that’s certainly enough to be going on with, and then of course, mid-year we’re getting the GTI.”

The 70TSI Trendline kicks off at $17,990 for the five-speed manual with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission-equipped version rising to $20,490.

Outputs in the entry-level Polo reach 70kW of power and 175Nm of torque, the former available from 5000-5500rpm and the latter coming in from 2000-3500rpm.

Fuel economy in the Trendline is rated at 4.8 litres per 100km in the manual and 5.0L/100km in the automatic, while both front-wheel-drive hatchbacks will accelerate from zero to 100km in 10.8 seconds.

Standard equipment on the Trendline includes 15-inch steel wheels, a leather steering wheel, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and Bluetooth compatibility, cloth upholstery, front cupholders, height adjustable front seats and heated side mirrors.

Moving up to the 85TSI Comfortline shifts pricing to $19,490 for a six-speed manual and $21,990 for the seven-speed DSG, but outputs from the engine increase to 85kW/200Nm, helping to drop the zero-to-100km/h time to 9.5s.

However, the rise in power is matched by a rise in fuel consumption to 5.1 and 5.0L/100km for manual and automatic versions respectively.

On top of the gear included in the Trendline, the Comfortline adds 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers. An auto-dimming rearview mirror, a centre armrest, a chrome-highlighted radiator grille and comfort cloth interior.

The Launch Edition adds another $1000 on top of the asking price of the 85TSI Trendline, on which it is based, but also includes 16-inch wheels, wireless phone charging, front foglights, and tinted rear glass and tail-lights.

All new Polos come packaged with a low-speed autonomous emergency braking system that works at speeds up to 30km/h and can detect upcoming vehicles, objects and pedestrians.

Additional standard safety features include a reversing camera, six airbags, cruise control and low-pressure tyre monitoring system.

Comfortline and Launch Edition buyers can also opt for a $1400 Drive Assistance package that adds adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, park assist and power folding side mirrors.

The standard exterior colour is Pure White, while the metallic colours of Reflex Silver, Energetic Orange, Limestone Grey, as well as the peal effect Deep Black, cost an additional $500.

Launch Edition variants are limited to Pure White, Energetic Orange and Limestone Grey.

As reported when the sixth-generation Polo was first revealed in June last year, the German light hatchback is now built on Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB platform – which also underpins the Golf small car and Tiguan mid-size SUV, as well as Audi’s TT sports coupe and the Skoda Superb large sedan and wagon.

The shift to a new architecture has grown the Polo to nearly the same size as the fourth-generation Golf small car, measuring 4053mm long, 1751mm wide and 1448mm high with a 2548mm wheelbase.

The increased dimensions gift the new Polo with a 351 litre boot capacity – rivalling hatchbacks from the segment above including the Mazda3, Ford, Focus and Subaru Impreza – and with the split-fold rear seats stowed, storage volume swells to 1125L.

Stock of Volkswagen’s soon-to-be-superseded Polo have kept sales low with the brand finding 6515 new homes for its light car last year, a 20.4 per cent drop over 2016.

However, Mr Pottinger said there should be enough stock of the fifth-generation light car to keep customers going until the arrival of the new Polo next month.

“It’s going pretty quick because it’s a really good deal now and it’s been in runout for a long time, but there should be enough to see us out,” he said.

The arrival of the new Polo is expected to give the German car-maker a lift in the sub-$25,000 light car segment against the likes of the market-leading Hyundai Accent, Mazda2, Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz and Suzuki Swift.

“Rivals of the Polo continue to offer obsolete naturally aspirated engines and four-speed automatics – to say nothing of plastic steering wheels,” according to Volkswagen.

Volkswagen Australia general manager of product and marketing Ben Wilks said more upmarket equipment included in the sixth-gen Polo has matured the light car past its competitors.

“Even the entry-level manual Polo 6 features the Golf’s elegant, flat-bottomed leather wheel with multi-media controls,” he said.

“That literal touchpoint is emblematic of the Polo having graduated from its class not only in terms of physical growth, but in sophistication.

“The Polo 6 is obviously more upmarket than rival cars. We’re talking less than $18K for fixtures such as a soft-touch dash top, wide touchscreen and dual USB charging ports.”

2018 Volkswagen Polo pricing*
70TSI Trendline$17,990
70TSI Trendline (a)$20,490
85TSI Comfortline$19,490
85TSI Comfortline (a)$21,990
Launch Edition$20,490
Launch Edition (a)$22,990
*Excludes on-road costs

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