9N Polo Series II
1 Nov 2005
By CHRIS HARRIS
VOLKSWAGEN addressed one of the few big criticisms of its smallest passenger car with the first facelift of its 2002 Polo.
It added a turbo-diesel variant to the line-up which includes a choice of 55kW or 74kW 1.4-litre petrol engines in either three- or five-door configurations.
The 1.9-litre turbo-diesel develops 74kW/240Nm and comes with ABS as standard.
All three models have improved standard equipment, including semi-automatic air-conditioning.
Meanwhile a Polo GTI hot hatch unexpectedly went on sale in Australia, just two days after its international debut at the Tokyo Motor Show. Australia was the first market to see it.
Powering the front wheels is a 110kW version of VW's long-serving 1.8-litre 20-valve turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Its 210Nm torque top plateaus out from 1950rpm. However, with an extra 30Nm, the also-new Polo TDI model trumps the GTI for torque.
The Spanish built GTI's 1.8 turbo is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. No automatic will be offered for now. VW's acclaimed twin-clutch DSG will not fit into the Polo's drivetrain configuration.
With a brake upgrade, 15mm drop in ride height and retuned suspension components, the GTI should have the dynamic aptitude to match the exterior styling.
Based on the newly released Series Two version of the three-year old fourth-generation Polo, the GTI adopts many of the design details that differentiate the bigger Golf GTI from its more mundane siblings.
These include a cross-mesh grille that's ensconced by a blacked-out, front chin-spoiler-deep surround, five-star alloy wheels (wrapped by 16-inch 205/45 series tyres) and a rear spoiler.
Inside there is bespoke GTI instrumentation, bolstered front seats and leather-trimmed steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake handle, while aluminium-look pedals are also included.
Standard features include six airbags, anti-lock brakes with brake-force distribution, electronic stability control and a low tyre-pressure indicator.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
When it was new
14th of December 2005
First drive: VW's newest hip pocket rocket
An Audi turbo four transforms VW's sedate Polo into a value-packed GTI mighty-mouse
9th of December 2005
First drive: VW's dinky new diesel
Australia's cheapest turbo-diesel starts right here: with VW's Polo 1.9 TDI hatch
25th of October 2005
Diesel Polo heads a raft of new VWs
Revised VW Polo range now offers a diesel, while Sydney also hosts an updated Beetle