Build quality – that’s what this car stands for. Every nut and bolt on the Polo gives you the impression that it’s been stress tested to carry the weight of the Qutab Minar – just in case it ever needs to be moved by a VW I suppose…
At the end of the day, there really is something to be said for German engineering. The lap time, after all, doesn’t lie.
The Polo simply turns in sharper, holds its line better, and corners flatter than absolutely everything here. You just get the sense that it’s engineered to a higher standard than the other machines in this test. There’s an integrity to the machine that’s missing in every other car. A solidity that translates to the way it goes down the road – or, in this case, the track.
The Polo was refreshed recently with some minor styling tweaks, an engine that was shrunk from 1.6 to 1.5 litres, and a flat bottom steering. The styling works pretty well – it looks Teutonic – while the engine is very refined and linear in its power delivery. The steering wheel, meanwhile, is fantastic! It feels like something out of a Lamborghini. And it’s quite handy when you wield it too. The response is extremely sharp and accurate. Sure, the ride is a little harsher than most of the other cars here – but that’s the price you pay for good handling. And it’s not uncomfortable by any means.
The only thing that would prevent me from buying a Polo is VW’s dealer network – or lack thereof when compared with the likes of Maruti or Hyundai. As far as the actual car is concerned, it drives the best – plain and simple. Sure, it may not be as entertaining as a Swift, or as comfortable as an i20, but for purposes of going quickly this is the best machine here. Dynamically, the only down side is a horrid shift linkage – especially when you’re trying to change gears quickly. The solution to this problem, of course, is to buy the GT TSI that has more horsepower and a lightning quick dual-clutch automatic gearbox to boot. If I can find a VW dealer I can trust, that would be my perfect daily driver – the entire car just oozes Germanic precision and attention to detail. And if it’s efficiency you’re after, there’s the GT TDI.
So, there you go – with the Polo, VW has you covered!
- VW Polo 1.5 TDI
Engine: 1,498cc / 4 Cylinders / 16 Valves / Turbocharged
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 89bhp @ 4,200rpm
Torque: 230Nm @ 1,500-2500rpm
Price: Rs. 8.74 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Delhi)