As promised in my previous post, I’m back to write about my VW Polo.
For starters, the Polo is a hatchback, a size bigger than the Palio. It took me a few days to get used to the car and its features. The Polo comes in Trendline, Comfortline and Highline. My car is the Highline variant. The kit includes RCD 320 stereo (have heard it might be from Blaupunkt, though not sure) with connectivity for USB drive, SD card and Aux In, Bluetooth connectivity for your mobile phones, Steering audio and phone controls, speed sensitive volume, Auto Climate Control Air Conditioning, steering wheel adjust for reach and rake, MID, Central locking with speed sensitive locks, One touch up/down front and rear power windows, driver seat height adjust, front and rear fog lamps, Electric adjustable OVRM, Rear parking sensors and Rear wash/wipe with de-fogger. Mechanicals include 1.2 L 3 cy Petrol engine, front disc brakes with ABS, driver and passenger air bags, 5 speed manual transmission and speed sensitive steering.
Stepping into the Polo gives you a feel good factor. The dashboard is high quality plastic with a mix of beige and Lt. gray (almost black). It has an airy feeling and two tone dash adds a nice touch. Maintenance would be a bit difficult due to lot of beige. The seats are soft and comfortable and the leather wrapped steering and gear knob a joy to operate. The A B C pedals are well spaced and comfortable to use. There is no dead pedal though. Common VW!!!
The front windscreen washers are tucked in under the bonnet giving the bonnet a clean look. The rear boot lid cannot be opened when the key is slotted in the ignition which is a good safety feature. The spare wheel is a steel rim with a thermocol case for the tool kit. First aid kit, spare bulbs and spare fuses along with a warning triangle come in as standard.
The indicator and wiper stalks have a durable feel and the front and rear wipers do a very good job. MID gives you a whole lot of information and the Auto A/C works very well. The stereo does a good job playing your music from various sources. The sound quality is very good considering its an OEM unit. Component front speakers will be a good upgrade, but it would leave the tweeters exposed. I found the quality good and no necessity to upgrade any audio component.
The Bluetooth connectivity is seamless and you can make/receive calls easily, the voice clarity and quality is very good. You can redial only the last number in the call log form the head unit. There is no sync for contacts, hence you will be seeing only the phone number on the head unit display. The unit will also read out and new SMS received when your phone is connected to it.
Once fired up, the engine is quite noisy considering its a petrol. The power on tap is mediocre and will not pump up your adrenalin on any day. The running noise is quite high too(under bonnet cladding would help, though VW has given it a miss. VW, point to be noted!). If you are looking for a driver’s car, this is definitely not for you. Even the Toyota Liva or the Renault Pulse have better power. And if you are looking for a powerful car in this price range, Ford Classic is the one you should be looking at.
The braking is very good and the ABS gives you great confidence and feel. After the horrible brakes in my Palio, this was a huge jump up. So was the ride and suspension. Apart from the engine noise, the cabin is quiet, no squeaks and rattles and the suspension does a very good job. High speed stability is amazing and the steering is a pleasure to use. Gear shifts are precise, effortless and has a slotted feel. Providing Airbags and ABS on all variants is a very welcome move and inspires huge confidence.
Though I have not been driven as a passenger in this car, I hear that rear bench room is decent for two adults and a child, but no three adults surely. Also the rear suspension comfort is good. All four windows come with one touch up/down and the driver gets a lock button to disable the rear power windows (which is good if you have kids).
Any gripes? Well yes. First and foremost, the engine. VW, please, please, please. If not for increasing the engine capacity to 1.4 or 1.5, at least provide a four pot engine to reduce the noise. And as an immediate measure, do provide under bonnet cladding at least.
For this price point, I would expect auto folding mirrors through remote and on lock. Also rear A/C vents are a must for rear passengers comfort.
Start/Stop button, keyless entry and follow me headlamps would be nice to have, at least as optional. Mirror indicators do add to the cosmetic looks but is not a deal breaker at all.
These improvements can make this from a good car to a great car to own. Nevertheless, I christen my Polo as “Our Porsche” and welcome it to our home. Wishing many pleasant miles with you ahead!
Disclaimer: The above article is true to the best knowledge of the author and based on his first hand experience, opinion and preferences.