Volkswagen Polo beats 1.0-Litre TSI 95 PS 5spd manual 5dr review
The Polo 'beats' special edition gets some funky trim and a punchy 300 watt sound system.
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  • P11D Value/BIK Band: £16,785/19%
  • 5-door, 5-seat hatchback
  • 95ps/175Nm, 1.0-litre 3cyl petrol, 5-speed manual box
  • Economy (comb)/C02: 62.8mpg/103g/km
  • Performance: 10.8sec/116mph

What is it?

THE Volkswagen Polo, one of the long time major players in the supermini world, is now up to generation six, the car you see here.

Polo has been a hugely successful formula for VW, a compact, high quality model that does a lot of what the Golf can do, albeit one size down. More than 14 million have been sold since the original Polo’s launch way back in 1975.

In sketching out the new Polo, VW says its main focus was to create more cabin and luggage space. The Polo also inherits a wave of ‘big car’ safety tech and infotainment systems to up the premium factor.

Volkswagen Polo beats 1.0-Litre TSI 95 PS 5spd manual 5dr review
The red velvet dash pad of the beats special edition

Underneath, the Polo rides on Wolfsburg’s latest MQB-AO small car platform to bring it bang up to date, plus there’s the usual pick ‘n mix of small capacity TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines.

Whether for business or private buyer, best seller is expected to be the 1.0-litre, 95 ps petrol Polo which features across five of the new Polo’s seven trim levels.

Here we look at the funky ‘beats’ edition which gets that engine plus a vibrant red dash centre pad, 16-inch alloys and trick 300 watt ‘beats’ sound system. It’s pitched one trim level higher than the expected Polo SE best seller.

Business buyers will need to know that it comes with a 19% company car tax charge and P11D value of £16,785. Let’s check it out.

Volkswagen Polo beats 1.0-Litre TSI 95 PS 5spd manual 5dr review
The beats decal is on the bonnet and roof and the Polo features 16-inch Torsby alloys

Why would you want to drive a Polo?

  • The Polo has always been a solid, really well-engineered small car package and that formula carries right over to generation six. There’s real integrity in the way it’s built and presented and the way it drives.
  • It’s small but roomy. VW has repackaged the Polo around a longer wheelbase, also making the car longer and wider, so cabin space takes a useful step up.
  • Despite lower overall height, VW is also claiming improved headroom versus the last Polo. Boot space likewise boosts from 280 litres to 351litres, a jump of 25%.
  • It’s super refined. VW’s 1.0-litre three cylinder TSI petrol engine is surely one of the best in the business, smooth, free-revving and blessed with excellent response. Power of 95 ps plus good mid-range torque gives it easy day-to-day flexibility.
  • Sharp, intuitive front-drive handling is another Polo stand out. Car feels well balanced and tracks accurately through corners with limited roll. Quiet and refined and speed, too.
  • Classy interior is functional yet high quality and features redesigned infotainment systems designed to be easier and safer for the driver to use via an enlarged touchscreen.
  • The new Polo is said to be the first car in its class to offer entirely digital instruments. VW’s optional Active Info display then takes it one step further, this high grade system now into its second generation with superior graphics and wider range of functions.
  • ‘Beats’ package adds a bright red dash centre panel and lower console, front sports seats and meaty 300 watt audio system. On the outside, 16-inch Torsby alloys front fog lights with cornering function, plus body stripe also put it on the visual map.
  • Safety assist systems as standard fit include Front Assist, City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring. ACC Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Monitoring are among the ‘big car’ safety systems now available on Polo.

What might put you off a Polo?

Although the Polo body shape is all new, the overall design is hardly that much different than before. Other cars in the sector like the SEAT Ibiza have more visual pep.

VW has made the decision to go five-door only with this generation of Polo. If some might want a more alluring, sportier three-door shape, they’ll need to look elsewhere.

While the Polo comes with a sweet manual box with this 95 ps 1.0-litre engine choice, it’s still only a five-speed unit which might seem a bit ancient in this day and age.

Verdict on the new Polo 1.0 beats 1.0 TSI

No doubt about it. As an overall package, the new VW Polo is a class act. Presentation, rationality and quality have long been Polo hallmarks and those all duly carry over to this latest model as VW also adds more space to make it, in effect, not far off the original Golf in terms of size and outlook. No bad thing considering the Golf has been a huge hit right from day one.

It drives really well, too, with high level refinement and feels front-to-back, a quality product.

That said, the Polo is perhaps not such an obvious UK market company car. VW expects the retail/fleet split to be 70/30 but this with 1.0-litre turbo engine spec and SE trim package out there as the best seller.

Other Polo versions are cheaper, several others more expensive but we think this 1.0-litre, 95 ps petrol model strikes the right balance between price, spec, performance and eco numbers (103 g/km and 62.8 mpg combined).

And should you fancy upping the ante a little for this characterful Beats edition with its designer 300 watt sound system and sportier looks, we wouldn’t disagree with you…

Volkswagen Polo beats 1.0-Litre TSI 95 PS 5spd manual 5dr reviewWhat else should you know about the new Polo?

There are no fewer than seven trim grades with the new Polo, with sporty GTI and GTI+ models still to come (this summer). Here some of the trim highlights:

S
  • Eight-inch composition media infotainment with DAB
  • Air conditioning
  • Front Assist with pedestrian monitoring
SE
  • 15-inch Sassari alloy wheels
  • Car-net App Connect with an additional USB port
  • Alarm
  • Leather multi function steering wheel
beats
  • 16-inch Torsby alloy wheels
  • Front fog lights with cornering function
  • Front and rear carpet mats
  • beats decal over the bonnet and roof
  • Red velvet dash pad
  • 300 watts beats sound system
SEL
  • 16-inch Las Minas alloy wheels
  • Front-centre armrest
  • Discover Navigation
  • 2-Zone Climate control
  • Rain sensor
  • Front and rear parking sensors
R-Line
  • 16-inch Sebring alloy wheels
  • 65% tinted windows from the B-pillar backwards
  • Rear LED tail lights
  • R-Line exterior styled front and rear bumpers and black gloss spoiler
  • Stainless steel pedals
GTI
  • 17-inch Parker alloy wheels
  • GTI styling including red brake calipers
  • Sports suspension lowered by approximately 15 mm
  • XDS electronic differential
GTI+
  • 17-inch Parker alloy wheels
  • 65% tinted windows from the B-pillar backwards
  • Light and Sight pack
  • LED headlights
  • Active Info display
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Keyless entry with stop-start button.

True to form, VW is launching the new Polo with a range of petrol and diesel options but in this day and age, it’s hard to see too much take up for diesel in this class of car. Indeed, VW is predicting that petrol take up will go over 95%. For oil burning fans, there are still two 1.6-litre TDI engines on offer, either 80s or 95 ps and with 74.3 mpg.

New LED headlights replace all Xenon headlights on the latest Polo

Personalisation? VW is offering 14 exterior colours, seven different dashboard dashpad decors, two interior trim versions and eleven seat cover options with this new gen Polo.

Volkswagen Polo beats 1.0-Litre TSI 95 PS 5spd manual 5dr review

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