The Volkswagen group entered India a few years back and made a name for itself with its Skoda brand and range of vehicles. Exactly 3 years back, its small, premium hatch was the most awaited car of the season, the Skoda Fabia. Once again the VW group have another car which claims to be the most awaited car since its launch at the Auto Expo 2010 attracted a lot of buzz, the VW Polo.

VW PoloSo just like the whole nation we were very keen to take a detailed test drive of the Polo. We could lay our hands on their 1.2 lt petrol top end variant. Read on to find how the new car unfolds...

Exterior:VW Polo
VW brings to India the latest 5th generation VW Polo with a design that is clean, minimalistic and classy! We tested a red coloured car and it looked striking to say the least. I always maintain that looks are subjective. Having said that, this car I believe has a fair bit of a universal appeal. Not many in my opinion will complain about the way it looks. The clear head lamps and simple rear light cluster with the prominent VW badge that doubles as a boot release. The top end variant comes fitted with front fog lamps and alloy wheels which add a distinct character and contribute to the style quotient of the car. A lovely package as the looks go we’d reckon.

The minimalistic yet elegant theme continues here as well. You will not find flashy futuristic toys and gizmos in the cabin here. Only built to last solid quality interiors. The quality of the plastics is very good and one of the best amongst the small cars in India and on par with the Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia.
The fabric quality is good and beige in colour in line with the dual tone beige and black cabin.VW Polo

All variants come with telescoping steering column adjustment as standard. The steering feels good to hold and is quite direct as well. Finding the perfect driving position was very easy. The Polo and the Skoda Fabia are essentially based on the same platform and hence very similar spacing inside.The leg room and knee room for the front row is decent but the rear is a little crammed. The Polo does sport of a very generous boot.VW Polo
The top end variant does not come with climate control or electric mirrors or steering mounted controls or bluetooth connectivity which was a bit of a let down. VW says that they have had to do away with these features in order to keep costs down.
The fit and finish is top notch too! The doors shut with a distinct click that was seen in the Fabia as well!

Engine and power-train:VW Polo
We drove the 1.2 lt 75 bhp motor. The engine has a fair bit of torque at a much lower rpm, 110 Nm of torque at a comparatively low 3750 rpm as compared to most petrol cars and hence provides good acceleration for ease in city driving conditions. You will be amazed at how quickly the car races from a stand still to 60-70 or even 80 kmph due to the same. But show the car a tough highway grind and you will see it run out of steam slightly beyond the mid 120s. So, very good drivability in the city but found wanting for more power on the highway. Urgent overtakes will require you to downshift. The gear throws are short. The lever is ergonomically designed and the slotting is quite fantastic and effortless.

Ride and Handling:
The Fiat Grande Punto is in our opinion the undisputed leader in this segment closely trailed by the Skoda Fabia. The VW Polo is as good as the Fabia but somehow not as sorted as the Grande Punto. The steering is quite direct with decent feedback and good cornering manners. There is very little body roll when you give the car a real sharp corner and it maintains a tidy line. The ride is quite good. The suspension soaks up the bumps nicely and makes being driving around in the back a good experience as well.
VW Polo
Overall evaluation:

The most awaited car of the year. The initial booking numbers have shown that people are willing to pay a price for the German engineered product and quality.

It is a lovely car! German engineering and quality, made in India, offered at a premium. A word of caution though. Be prepared for a slightly higher cost of ownership.


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