Volkswagen Polo Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

A subtly stylish, small hatchback, the Volkswagen Polo was first launched back in 1975. Now in its sixth generation, it’s a likeable, low-key, 4-door family car with a roomy interior. Its engine can be underpowered at times, but responsive steering makes it a relaxing ride around city streets. The most recent version of the car is impressively lightweight, and there are all kinds of customisation options available. If you care about comfort and want a safe driving experience, the Polo is hard to beat.

Visit the Volkswagen Polo hub to explore available cars and learn more about the model.

What we think about the Volkswagen Polo

It might not be the most breathtaking vehicle to take for a spin, but its smooth handling makes the Volkswagen Polo a solid choice for everyday errands. It’s also ideal for families, with a roomy, comfortable interior that balances style and practicality.



Comfortable and roomy interior


Lots of attractive options


Quiet ride


Not the most fun on the road

The 2018 Polo is a 5-seater, offering a number of different 1.0-litre engines, most of which are petrol-driven. A range of trims – including those offering alloy wheels – are available, but upgrade options are relatively limited compared to other ranges.

Driving performance of the Volkswagen Polo

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

Driving the Volkswagen Polo around town is unlikely to set your pulse racing, although the responsive steering makes it a real breeze to handle around corners. The entry-level 1.0-litre petrol engines aren’t that nippy on longer excursions or motorway trips, but that’s completely fine for young drivers – maybe even a plus. Opt for the higher power of the turbocharged engines and you’ll have fewer practical worries, though you might still yearn for a little more fun from your daily commute. All the Polo engines are noticeably quiet, which complements the car’s subtle, unobtrusive style.

Safety and reliability of the Volkswagen Polo

Our Safety Rating9 / 10

After independent crash testing from Euro NCAP, the 2017 Volkswagen Polo was awarded five stars – aka the highest rating possible. It scored 96% for adult occupancy protection, and 85% for protection of child passengers. The Polo comes with a range of advanced safety technology as standard, including autonomous emergency braking. In terms of reliability, Volkswagen isn’t the best-performing manufacturer, and the Polo model is no exception. Around 20% of Polo drivers reported that they had to get something fixed within their first year of ownership, making it one of the less reliable cars in its class.

Under the bonnet of the Volkswagen Polo

Our Engine Rating8 / 10

Those looking for a high-performance thrill ride should probably look elsewhere, although there are a few turbo-charged options that might satisfy some of your urge for power. The entry-level 79 bhp engine takes around 14.9 seconds to reach 62 mph, though this slow acceleration shouldn’t be a problem for nipping around city streets. The most powerful option is the turbo 108 bhp, which hits 62 mph in 9.2 seconds. It also has a pleasingly full-throated sound, compared to the quieter output of the more basic versions.

What you'll find in the Volkswagen Polo

Our Design Rating8 / 10

Though it’s a small, practical hatchback, the Polo’s quality design makes it seem like a sportier car from a much more luxury class, particularly the newer versions. There’s nothing particularly flashy about the aesthetic, but Volkswagen’s typically exquisite craftmanship turns this basic look into something quite special. Lines and angles are all rendered stylishly, and there are a number of subtle molded details that add an extra touch of distinction to the model, with functional LED headlights being the only less attractive feature.

Comfort and interiors in the Volkswagen Polo

Our Comfort Rating9 / 10

As well as offering plenty of space to safely transport up to five people, the interior of the Volkswagen Polo is smart and elegant to boot. The 2020 version is particularly luxurious in fact, with a solid, supple tactility to all the fixtures and surfaces, and hardly any visible gaps between parts. The car’s dashboard is available in a range of 13 different colours, livening up what is otherwise a typically very minimal black and grey interior aesthetic.

Volkswagen Polo interior dashboard

What features you'll find in the Volkswagen Polo

Our Features Rating8 / 10

An eight-inch touchscreen comes as standard in every recent Polo, and there are customisation options available if you want to bring an extra touch of contemporary class to the cabin. The dashboard’s typical analogue dials can be replaced with a digital display, similar to the Virtual Cockpit fitted in more expensive VWs. Air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity are available, and slightly more expensive upgrades will get you heated front seats or cruise control. If premium sound quality is your jam, the exclusive Beats version features a large 300-watt stereo.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Volkswagen Polo

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

The Polo’s basic entry-level engine provides a decent 51 miles to the gallon, and the slightly more powerful 94 bhp, 1.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine fares even better at 53.3 mpg. This efficient engine also offers pleasingly low CO2 emissions, starting from around 120 g/km. At the higher levels of performance, the fuel efficiency starts to drop slightly, though it’s never less than impressive. If you opt for the 108 bhp version of the 1.0-litre engine, with a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox, the VW Polo will give you around 49.6 mpg.

Running costs of the Volkswagen Polo

Our Cost Rating7 / 10

Getting around 51 mpg, the Polo’s decent fuel efficiency means it will be a relatively cheap vehicle to run. If you’re concerned about the smaller engine size, bear in mind that this makes the car cheaper to insure, as does its impressive safety record. An average 3-year warranty comes as standard from Volkswagen, and you can choose from a number of servicing packs to cut down on maintenance costs further down the line, though this does mean paying a little more upfront.

Our verdict of the Volkswagen Polo

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

For drive comfort, the Polo is one of the best hatchbacks available, with great handling and sleek style. The weak engine could be a deal-breaker for some.