The New Polo, Same but Different

Roughly three quarters of the Namibian public must be in good spirits. A new Polo has been launched in the Land of the Brave. It seems so soon, but does the new Polo bring anything new to the table?

First impressions are certainly a bit blaseacute little else seems to have been done, other than a little tidying up. There’s some chrome, LED headlights and a redesigned lower air dam along with an overall two millimetres of length, the rest is pretty much Polo a la 2010.

It’s not that the original design was bad, but four years down the line and its age is starting to show. On the inside, it’s just as much a game of spot the difference, with the main dials now sited in ‘3-D tubes’ and the centre console reworked to look much like the latest Golf’s.

It’s subtle but effective far superior to that of the Fiesta. The layout remains simple and elegant with a touch of richness to the controls that only the Germans can add. As per usual, standard items are few and far between. Base models have no Bluetooth, USB, curtain airbags, cruise control or PDC, but all can be purchased as an add-on. Step up a model and Bluetooth and USB come standard, but composite media remains an optional extra. A service plan does come standard this time round.

So, has the manufacturer carried out a very modest update of the Polo? Well, yes and no.

Inside the engine bay, is a turbo charged 1.2 TSI motor. The Trendline gets 66kw while the Highline puts out 81kw. This engine is happy to rev and has a chirpy burr when pressed harder. It’s no ball of fire off the line, but it cruises happily and its five-speed manual gearbox is light and precise.

One would expect the motor to scream at higher revs as is the case with most small capacity turbo charged motors, but engine noise is well controlled and barely a whisper inside the cabin.

There’s enough power for moderate overtaking manoeuvres, but don’t expect to be winning any robot to robot races with this little lump.

The VW Polo dealt with lump-strewn roads with ease and has that grown-up feeling of refinement expected of a VW. It handles corners in a competent, capable manner but with none of the fun or verve of a Ford Fiesta.

Volkswagen may have pulled off a comprehensive update of the Polo under the bonnet, but it needs some fire to the suspension setup.

Nothing inherently wrong with the way it handles which is exactly what’s amiss. It’s bland and does not inspire excitement perfectly fine in the city centre, urgh on the track.

As an all-rounder, the new Polo is acceptable. It needed more than a slight redesign to compete with the current top of the crop Fiesta. What it’s got going for it is what swings people VW’s way anyway: great ergonomics, well thought out design choices and a comfortable city ride. This will, however, not be enough to sway those trying to decide between the new Fiesta and Polo.

Source : The Namibian