Feels robust

K Shivraj
Sunday, 20 May 2018

Replacing the 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, the new Volkswagen Polo 1.0 weighs 14kg less, but could do with a better kit and more space

Volkswagen has launched the new Polo with a 76bhp, 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. Replacing the 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, the Polo 1.0 weighs 14kg less. Producing 95Nm of torque when compared to the 110Nm of the 1.2-litre petrol engine of the earlier model, the new car, however, does not look much different. Weighing 1044kg, the Polo can be described as one of the most elegant, if not contemporary looking cars in its category. The next generation model is out in Europe, and should soon find its way to India. 

Not the most spacious 
Coming to the Polo 1.0’s features, the dual head lamps and the 16-inch dia alloys add to its subtle and elegant looks. The Highline-spec Polo, which is also among the top trim levels, comes with an all-black theme. Measuring 3971mm in length and 1682mm in width, the Polo is clearly not the most spacious in its segment. But what works in its favour is its robust feel; which is typical of a German car. The doors shut with a re-assuring thud, and via a three-stage action. 

The front seats of the car are very comfy. The driver’s seat comes with an armrest. It, however, tends to come in the way of shifting gears when moving. The quality of various trim parts and the upholstery is the best that a car in this segment can offer. The fit and finish standards are also top notch and the kit includes dual airbags, ABS, EBD, auto-dimming mirror, cruise control, one-touch up and down power windows, rear air-con vents, climate control, rear wash and wipe, parking sensors, and a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and sat-nav. 

The same cannot be said of the rear though. Those sitting at the rear are bound to feel that they could do with some more leg, shoulder and head room. Three are a squeeze, and good for short journeys only. In terms of storage, the glovebox is big and the boot is among the best in its segment at 284-litres. 

Keeps up with city traffic
The performance put out by the naturally aspirated engine, like that of the earlier car, is not exactly effortless. There seems to be some delay in the way the engine responds to throttle inputs; for the engine to pick it up and deliver. Not the most energetic car in its segment, the Polo keeps up with city traffic and does a good run. Quiet and refined at idle, the car continues to feel refined even as revs rise. That is when the engine is not pushed hard. Push it hard and a thrum typical of a three-cylinder engine is heard.

Taking a little over 17 seconds to clock 0 to 100kmph, the Polo, out on the highway, calls for planning to overtake. The mid-range provides power, but it simply does not feel too punchy enough. Closer to the 6500rpm redline the Polo exerts a good pull. It hints at power building up in a linear manner, but getting to that level takes time. The new, five-speed gearbox has short throws and feels precise in its action. 

Verdict
Said to offer 7 to 10 per cent higher fuel efficiency over the 1.2-litre engine, the Polo 1.0 rides and handles very well. The steering weighs up well with speed and feels pleasantly direct. The brakes exert a good bite and slow down the car quickly. When compared to some of its competitors in the segment, the Polo 1.0, priced at Rs 7.02 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, appears to lack in performance. Besides, it is also not the most spacious and does not offer the most kit in its segment. 

Pros: Robust feel, ride and handling
Cons: Space, kit
 

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