VW Polo 1.6 TDI

15 May, 2009 3:47pm Sam Hardy

Does smallest diesel work in the latest supermini star?


The Polo doesn’t feel like it’s simply a smaller version of the Golf. The newcomer is brilliantly built and good looking in its own way. This entry-level diesel version may not be a hot hatch, but it still offers a great blend of performance and fuel economy. And while a Fiesta is more fun to drive, and provides a bit more all-round sparkle, the Polo’s quality and premium big-car feel shines through.

When it comes to giving buyers choice, VW’s new Polo is tough to beat! As well as an extensive line-up of petrol powerplants – including the cracking 1.2-litre TSI turbo model we drove here – there’s an all-new diesel engine, too.

Replacing the 1.4 TDI and the noisy old 1.9-litre TDI unit is a fresh 1.6-litre TDI common-rail motor from the latest Golf, available in 74bhp or 89bhp form. It’s the less powerful of these that’s expected to be the biggest seller, so Auto Express got behind the wheel to see how it performs.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the VW Polo

Before you even start the engine, it’s hard not to be impressed. Even though the new Polo is longer and wider than its predecessor, and packs enough safety kit for an anticipated five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests, VW’s engineers have managed to make it nearly eight per cent lighter than before! The stylists deserve a pat on the back, too – the Polo’s look may owe much to the Golf, but it is smart and sophisticated in its own way, and appears distinctive on the road.

Twist the key, and the smooth diesel powerplant underlines this. Gone is the rattle of the old units, and in comes some real refinement. In fact, if it wasn’t for the 1.6’s slightly gruff engine note, you’d be hard pressed to tell it was a diesel at all.

With only 74bhp, it’s no flier off the line – 0-60mph takes around 14 seconds – but the 195Nm of torque provides a broad spread of urge and strong mid-range acceleration. It’s also remarkably quiet when cruising at high speed. The icing on the cake is fuel economy of 67.3mpg and CO2 emissions of only 109g/km.

Under the skin lies VW’s new small car platform, which is also set to underpin Audi’s forthcoming A1. It’s not as much fun to drive as a Ford Fiesta – while the steering is precise, it lacks feedback and, compared to the petrol model we tried, the weighty diesel engine blunts agility. However, what the new Polo does boast is a big-car feel. And that’s its greatest strength. No model in the class comes close to offering such a truly premium experience in a small package.

Rival: Ford Fiesta
If you want a supermini that puts a smile on your face, the brilliant Fiesta is it. Drivers will love its engaging dynamics and stylish looks – although there’s not a great deal else to choose between the Ford and the VW.

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read reviews for this car and liked its appearance.
Have driven many different TDI type diesels since 1985. VW Jettta, Audi 80, Polo SDI, Nissan Patrol and Jaguar 2.0 D plus VW Golf plus TDI.
Bought this car for miles per gallon return.
Have tried very hard with very conservative driving and cannot beat 38 mpg urban. Very careful rural drive maxed out at around 51-52 mpg.
Hve drive other vehicles listed abouve and driving style still produces near book returns on MPG. Spoke to VW very lack lustre response. " take it in for diagnostics" Sounds like old flannel.
Anybody else equally unimpressed.


I have the same experience with this 1.6CR TDI engine in the Seat Ibiza Sport - my figures on very conservative driving are very similar to yours - a fraction of the book figures. I too have never had a problem matching or exceeding book figures in other cars I have owned. A word of warning - don't drive it too carefully as the DPF filter will block - when the warning light comes on you need to "give it the beans" for a while to clear it - if you don't it becomes a dealer job to regenerate the filter or replace it at huge cost. Last time it took 22 miles at 3000 rpm to clear it! I am therefore "not impressed" with this engine and it failure to deliver anything near it promised economy which like you is why I bought it. If it is any consolation, Seat's response has been equally lack lustre - 3 months of correspondence and hassle and they have now agreed to take it in for tests and to see what mpg they can squeeze out of it on a test run. However, i am not optimistic as Seat UK wrote to me and said that they thought a 30%+ variation from the published figures "is acceptable" - I don't!!!

I purchased the 1.6TDI polo for its economy, but alas so far the best it has done is 59mpg and usually high 40's per gallon.
The DPF filter is frustrating as mentioned if you drive the car carefully and for short journeys you have to give it some welly to clear the filter, not good as it doesn't do much for fuel consumption. I will be keeping my eye on MPG and contacting the dealer and VW if things don't improve, so far only impressed with ride and reasonable power curve.
So far not totally sold on it!!

Bought the Polo 1.6 tdi on 1st March 2010. Although book says 65 mpg combined did not really expect to get that but DID expect to get more than the 43-47 mpg getting now. Bought the car because it was meant to be economical but am really, really disappointed, so much so that I don't even want to drive the damn thing. Have been back to the garage but they say I have to wait until the car has done 6000 miles before taking things any further. Believe me if things don't improve I will be going back to VW but I do fear that they have got me over a barrel now that they have got my 14 grand which I feel I've been conned out of!! Don't buy this car if your looking for economy! I'm a careful lady driver who's had over nine new cars over the years and never experienced this problem before. I agree wholeheartedly with previous "disgruntledowner" review of 25/12/09.

I am also very disappointed with the fuel economy on my new Polo, it gets no where near what VW claim, when I bought this car it was a choice between a Fiesta and a Polo, how I wish I'd bought the Fiesta. After waiting 20 weeks for delivery of my car I am really sorry I bothered.

Has anyone who has the new polo 1.6TDI 75 experienced surging. When we drive it slowly, say approaching a roundabout, and take the foot off the brake the car shoots forward. It is almost impossib le to drive this car slowly in a traffic jam as it just wants to go at its own speed. This is very disconcerting. Also, for the most part when the foot is taken off the accelerator the car doesn't slow down but continues as if it's in cruise control and sometimes goes faster!

Have had it back to the VW garage and at first they told me to drive it in a lower gear and said it was a characteristic of the car. We've had it independently assessed and have been told that there is a fault with the engine system. Am still battling to get it sorted out. We just wondered if anyone else had any problems.

Purchased my new Polo 1.6TDi on 1 Mar 2010. Had trouble with the DPF filter and surging. When mentioned to garage they told me this was normal. Seems like car 'choke' stuck on and runs away with you when approaching roundabouts/junctions. The car went back into VW Garage 2 weeks after purchase (DPF filter light on). Ditto beginning of April - they said they are awaiting software update. Beyond a joke - two and half months. Don't buy this model - Sweepy30 15 June, 2010.

I also have polo 1.6tdi 75 ps and have noticed recently that it also surges when slowing down also dpf light has come on after short runs
Give me the old 1.4 80ps any time

I totally agree with Janice, Sweepy and Trev I too have experienced surging on the Polo 1.6 tdi. I have taken it back to the vw garage twice and have been told there is nothing wrong with it and I should be driving in a lower gear. I have been driving for over 40 years, and have had seven new cars and have never had this problem before. I must admit I didn't like being told how to drive! Even in second gear the car has a will of its own and decides to surge away just like it is in cruise control. Any advice on what I do next before I feel I could have an accident!

Yes , our 1.6 TDI is the same. It "runs away" on tight corners - dangerous to drive in my opinion. Filter blocked at 600 miles - needed revving hard. Only getting mid 40 's mpg. Now Engine management warning light is on and car is in dealership (3 days).Waiting or a new sensor of some kind and on test run another light came up so it now needs another part.So much for VW quality. My 1998 2 litre diesel Rover which I scrapped NEVER broke down, was safe to drive and did 48 mpg.We are going to hammer the dealer about our POLO. Currently relying on our 1994 Land Rover for transport - No Engine Management system on that.

Update on previous message.Polo has now been in main dealers for 6 days.They cannot sort out engine management problem and have had to contact VW Germany for help........

I have had one of these 1.6TDi Polo DPF since early Feb 2010 on a 59 plate, one of the first to roll of the production line. Mine is a lease car which I use for work, short and frequent journeys only. I pay for the car through my salary and get a subsidized rate from my employer. The car has been into the dealer 7 times because of dpf and limp-home mode lights coming on.

To say that this is frustrating is understating the whole thing. Like everyone, I have been told to drive for 20-25 minutes at 2K revs in 4th gear. I work in a rural environment and cannot do this safely. I sent a letter to VW who have just replied to tell me that this is normal for the car.

Does anyone want to help me set up campaign to highlight this?

I am just about to email Mr Clarkson and Co, not sure what that will achieve, but worth a try.

Can I also add that the POLO 1.6TDi is no longer available from VW. What does that say? VW recall surely?

Can I also add that the POLO 1.6TDi is no longer available from VW. What does that say? VW recall surely?

I want to join the protest. I've had my Polo 1.6TDI since April and wish I hadn't. Like everyone else, I can't get more than about 47mpg out of it and I'm tired of trying to coax a few extra mpgs.
65 combined? Pah! My old 1986 Passat 1.6 TDI could do 60Mpg on a long run but it went for scrappage.

There's no point in slowing down for speed bumps in the Polo either. Today I approached a nasty speed bump and when I took my foot off the brake, the car surged forward and we hit the bump fast. I hope the warranty covers the suspension. Further testing confirmed the urge to surge which I have to admit, I had previously thought was something to do with my driving technique!

I see from other comments that VW is less than sympathetic when in fact there is clearly a problem. The poor fuel consumption is a simple matter of misrepresentation and the surge might be a potential safety hazard. Imagine taking your foot off the brake and then 'surging' onto a pedestrian crossing. Who would believe that you weren't in control?

It looks to me as though I'd better go and see what Toyota will give me in part exchange.

If anyone makes a breakthough with VW, please let us know!

I have exactly the same problem, Ive had the TDI since March and its been into the garage 3 times, had the vw breakdown out twice as if you cant get the filter light off the heater plug lights flash then the engine cuts out and wont go past 40 miles per hour. I took it back 2 weeks ago after the breakdown guy turned the light off and got it working, I told them I wanted a refund as 5 incidents in 5 months is totally unacceptable for a "brand new" car, got given a courtesy car until they had checked it over. They told me the software update had now been done and it would never happen again, I refused to have the car back and they said they would give me another brand new car with the software update already on but I would have to wait another couple of months until it was made as there were none identical to mine available now. They said I would have to have my Polo back until that one was ready as my Polo was now fine with the update, I said I didnt want another Polo so they said I needed to speak to the manager there to discuss this. I agreed to take the car back until I spoke with him, that was Saturday, guess what the lights back on, I have a meeting with the manager tomorrow. The sales guy said if the light came back on I would be well within my right to throw the keys at them, refund is the only option they have now.

I have exactly the same problem, Ive had the TDI since March and its been into the garage 3 times, had the vw breakdown out twice as if you cant get the filter light off the heater plug lights flash then the engine cuts out and wont go past 40 miles per hour. I took it back 2 weeks ago after the breakdown guy turned the light off and got it working, I told them I wanted a refund as 5 incidents in 5 months is totally unacceptable for a "brand new" car, got given a courtesy car until they had checked it over. They told me the software update had now been done and it would never happen again, I refused to have the car back and they said they would give me another brand new car with the software update already on but I would have to wait another couple of months until it was made as there were none identical to mine available now. They said I would have to have my Polo back until that one was ready as my Polo was now fine with the update, I said I didnt want another Polo so they said I needed to speak to the manager there to discuss this. I agreed to take the car back until I spoke with him, that was Saturday, guess what the lights back on, I have a meeting with the manager tomorrow. The sales guy said if the light came back on I would be well within my right to throw the keys at them, refund is the only option they have now.

I have exactly the same problem, Ive had the TDI since March and its been into the garage 3 times, had the vw breakdown out twice as if you cant get the filter light off the heater plug lights flash then the engine cuts out and wont go past 40 miles per hour. I took it back 2 weeks ago after the breakdown guy turned the light off and got it working, I told them I wanted a refund as 5 incidents in 5 months is totally unacceptable for a "brand new" car, got given a courtesy car until they had checked it over. They told me the software update had now been done and it would never happen again, I refused to have the car back and they said they would give me another brand new car with the software update already on but I would have to wait another couple of months until it was made as there were none identical to mine available now. They said I would have to have my Polo back until that one was ready as my Polo was now fine with the update, I said I didnt want another Polo so they said I needed to speak to the manager there to discuss this. I agreed to take the car back until I spoke with him, that was Saturday, guess what the lights back on, I have a meeting with the manager tomorrow. The sales guy said if the light came back on I would be well within my right to throw the keys at them, refund is the only option they have now.

I've noticed "surging problem" too, but I've solved it very simple - just need to smooth disengage clutch pedal... Try it on your own.


Lee88 states above that the 1.6 TDi is no longer available from VW.
Is that really true?
What are they offering in its place?
Anyone happy with another engine, gas or oil?

I purchased a new polo 1.6 TDI 75 around 6 months ago and have also been dissapointed by the fuel consumption - i'm getting the same as other posters, around 44mpg.

I was a little alarmed to read that the 1.6TDI had been pulled and indeed it does look like the 75bhp model is no longer listed as an option on the vw uk site ...


In its place is a 1.2TDI 75bhp while the 1.6 90bhp still seems to be an option ...

Can anyone confirm or shed any light?? !

I live & purchased the car in Ireland, and there also seems to have been some changes to the Irish site, the 1.2 TDI is now listed on some pages (not to be confused with the blue motion engine) & the 1.6TDI on others.

My car is going back to the garage tomorrow, it's cut out quite a few times for no obvious reason and can be very 'chuggy' at least once a day... I've had no problems with the DPF so far.

Love the look of the car, and driving it, but worried that there is something wrong with this engine/model...

I posted a long moan on VW forum and now i've read this. Glad i'm not alone!!!!!!!!! What a poor engine!!!!!!!
I've had the same problem as one or two other people - low and lumpy tickover then a sudden burst of faster tickover - then the darn DPF light comes on. Then you have to undo all your careful driving and fuel economy and give the thing a blast up the motorway! I am seriously fed up with this Polo and the dealer is completely uninterested. The fuel consumption is poor at low 40's to the gallon, nowhere near the 67 claimed, not even above 50! Car has done 3500 miles and the dealer keeps saying "wait until it's done 6000 miles". Absolute rubbish, my mum bought a brand new BMW 120d and the thing returns 55mpg from the day it rolled out of the show room. Am on the brink of selling this Polo, it's slow, especially with the a/c on, and fuel consumption poor in its class. Been back to dealer with DPF light on - gave me an information sheet about driving it hard up the motorway to get rid of the light, and also been back about the lumpy tickover. Not interested!
Wish I kept my Polo 2006 1.4 diesel 3-cylinder 80bhp model which never missed a beat. Can't believe how disappointed I am with this car. Waited 4 months for it and it's a complete let down mechanically. Interior and exterior excellent by the way....

i have had alot of issues with my leese car doing the same currently in limp home mode !!!!!! and at work tomorrow am stuck for 3 years until contract expires !!!!

So my Polo has gone back to the dealer for the third time - oddly enough, i'm not having problems with the DPF, in fact no engine warning light has ever come on. It's cut out a couple of times since we got it, and in the last few weeks its gotten a lot worse, cutting out mid drive, after a gear change etc. It can chug along on start up or after a gear change, so much so that you have to hit the accelerator to keep the car going, then when the engine finally does kick in, the car surges forward.

I'm really not happy and don't want the car back to be honest.

Can anyone confirm whether the 1.6 engine has been withdrawn? I'd like to be able to throw that at the dealer in my hunt for a new car, not that I want to get the same engine again, even if they do sort the current problems, i'm still getting nowhere near the advertised fuel economy.

i purchased the polo 1.6 diesel after scrapping my car on the government scheme.I had to wait 20 weeks for this car,so after weeks of waiting my shiny new car arrived![never had a new car] this was in june.After driving the car for two days I was aware the car seemed to drive itself and surge forward especially in second gear.I took the car back to the dealers and explained the problem.I was then upset that after them keeping the car for three days they said all was fine.It was a charateristic of that model and to drive in a lower gear!
At this point they told me about the dpf filter,and that the car is only good for long distance journeys,not stop start ones which is exactly what I do.Hence due to this the filter has blocked three times,so I have to waste time and diesel going on journeys just to get the light to go out!This is totally stupid as I'm using so much diesel and also not get miles per gallon that they say{I know when the filters blocked as the car chuggs alot] having researched about the dpf filter if it blocks and it's under warranty that's fine ,if not the fee mabe£1000.I was hoping the car maybe recalled especially as there has been numerous complaints.the model also has been discontinued.I am totally over a barrel,I feel the polo doesn't serve it's purpose.It's dangerous to drive,not economical,and the reputation of vw being reliable well.....
I feel dont want the car anymore and wish I had got the petrol model,as let's face it the exterior and interior are lovely.Vw dont want to know,What about watchdog. anyone agree?

well having posted a comment only yesterday,my car broke down today.The warning lights came on and I had to call roadside assistance filter totally blocked .A very helpful man arrived after two hours and added the new updated software to the car.luckily I wasn't far from home!He did say that I shouldn't get any more problems with the filter blocking completly however the light may flash on the dash occasionally.This still means driving the car at 2000rpms for approx 20 mins.I didn't expect all of this hassle with a brand new car.I also wasn't made aware about the filter when I bought the car.VW haven't been honest .I think they know there are issues with this car.Do you think they would swap my car over for a brand new petrol model? Or where do I stand on a refund after 16 weeks? can anyone advise me please?

Well after 16 days, we finally got our polo back from the dealer on Friday. It took a new ECU, lamda sensor and ultimately fuel injectors to get it back on the road. Fuel Economy has improved, a long journey around Ireland at the weekend got us 930km from the 45 litre tank. It feels like a different car and finally lived up to my expectations, handling 80mph on the motorway with ease, very quiet inside, feels like a much bigger car. I'm still not quite getting the advertised fuel economy, will be interested to see if it improves further over the next few months.

The fuel injectors proved to be the problem for me, perhaps they are the wider problem across this 1.6 TDI engine.

i bought my new polo in March 2010. and from the start had problems with surging stalling dpf light coming on all the time, and after only about 90 miles on the clock. i have taken it back to lookers at northallerton n. yorks several times and they just make me feel like a silly woman who does'nt know anything evan though i've been driving 38yrs and its the 3rd polo i've had. yesterday was the latest visit going again this morning after having read the reviews. they reckon that they have not come acrooss this before???? also i seem to be getting low 40s to the gallon and not 67 that they claim.the car has now done 4,400 miles

Following my previous comments about surging and the particulate filter, my car once again had the filter light on.Even after driving for 15 mins in 4th gear it did not go off,in fact another light came on (glow plugs I think) and this restricted speed/power.Just crept to VW garage where I was told that I was driving it incorrectly!!! I passed my test in 1962.... Following a Full AND FRANK discussion I got a loan car.The garage could not get my car to accept an upgrade (that is ANOTHER upgrade).After 6 days they had to hook my car up via the net to VW Germany to download a futher update.Since then - one week it has run better with no surging.Will comment further shortly. The 1.6 TD1 75 has been withdrawn from the POLO but will be used on the new "cross" version.Good name that! Most owners are VERY CROSS. I have little confidence in this car or VW. By the way, the particulate filter is NOT under warranty so if you ruin it the bill will be £1200. The sevice engineer told me this.Nice to know that even VW dont trust the car.

I've had the 1.2 TDI Polo in India for 3 weeks. 3 days back, I felt a strange knocking sound; This happened at about 1500 RPM when the car was picking up speed as if I was in an incorrect gear. For the record it happens at lower RPMs in all gears, even reverse. When idling, the clatter was normal. The service guys are telling me that VW has told them to upgrade my software. Upgrade the software for a car that was produced about 1.5 monts back? I just hope like hell this solves the problem. I've put a good amount of my hard earned savings to get this car. I was wondering if any of you had a similar experience where the car knocked at lwer RPMs as if to indicate that the load on the engine was too much despite the fact that the corect gear was selected.

I spent over £17,000 on a new Polo 1.6 Diesel in May 2010.. I paid in full 20 weeks BEFORE the car was ready. I picked up the car in the middle of September. All the above complaints have occurred after 200 miles. I bought this car because I only do short journeys! This car is NOT for short journeys.

I was not told about having to do long journeys. I have an app to see the manager and sales person who sold me the car who knew about my disabilities and yet said nothing about having to do long journeys. WERE ANY OF YOU GIVEN THE INFORMATION ABOUT HAVING TO DO LONG JOURNEYS WITH THIS CAR??????? I need proof that this is a common mistake. Thanks.

The Sales rep is already being dishonest about what he did say to me and Consumer direct says it is my word against his!

Each time it goes wrong I call the RAC. My car has been updated but still has problems with surging and cutting out whilst driving. Can you imagine being on the motorway and it cuts out at 70mph?? The RAC say I have 2 faults in the engine but they cannot tell me what they are until it happens again. Now I do not want to get into my car. I am devastated I bought this car because it is the CAR OF THE YEAR!

Also last week after shopping, I was stuck in Tesco's for almost 2 hours as it would not start, it was dead. Then all of a sudden it came to life again.

I thought I would have peace of mind for 20 years, instead it's the worst car I have had in 35 years.

Things are moving due to writing direct to VW head quarters. I think we should all write to them including calling Consumer direct. If we don't get anywhere, we have a good case to take this further.

VW Head Quarters UK
Yeoman's Drive
Gr Linford
Milton Keynes
MK14 5AN

Consumer's Direct: 0845 4040 506

Since the second electronic update in November the Polo has run better regarding surging but runs rather rough sometimes(noisy engine). No improvement in fuel consumption - NOTHING like 60 plus mpg. Give it a bit of a blast once every 2 weeks to keep filter clear - rediculous I know but I cant afford to ruin it at £1200! Difficult to do in 8 inches of snow!! Car has only done 3000 miles - service manager says it has to have done at least 5000 miles for best economy....... Any more problems and I will contact VW Milton Keynes.

Mine is still running well since the fuel injectors were replaced, no real improvement in fuel economy though, and i've clocked up around 10,000k at this stage. One major positive however is its road holding in the snow, it powers along like a 4 wheel drive, just leave it in second gear, take your foot off the acelerator, and it climbs pretty much any hill, ice or no ice, very impressive for a small car.

My car had to go yet again (4th time) back to the garage today. I was told that the surging is the car telling me to take it on a long run. I bought the car for short runs only. VW have said if I am not happy in a weeks time, they will make me another new car (PETROL) and that I can keep this one until the new one is ready. I cannot see myself being any more happier in a weeks time. I have only done 400 miles and my car has broken down 4 times in 3 months. Ridiculous for a brand new car costing as much as two cars. I wrote to VW headquarters and this is why I am now having help to solve my problem.

AnnaMaria...I've had my 1.6 TDI Polo since April and although it hasn't broken down yet, I still can't get more than about 47mpg out of it under any circumstances. It's such a disappointment when I could have spent a little more for something more practical/larger that does say 45-ish mpg. I'm going to follow your lead with VW in Milton Keynes and ask them if I can take the car up to them so that they can demonstrate to me how to get the 60 mpg they advertised. If they can't/won't do anything, then its definitely going....

I took delivery of my 1.6 last May.

My experiences have been pretty similar to those outlined above. The filter lamp lighting, car running roughly, pitiful fuel consumption figures (etc.)

On Friday, the glow-plug warning started flashing intermittently (when the engine was off load and engine braking (its self a problem as mentioned above)) . Before I could get it home, I also had another lamp alight that told me there was an engine management problem. It was only then I decided to hit the web and found the comments here (and elsewhere). At least I know now that there appears to be genuine issues with this model of Polo and it has cleared away doubts I had of not knowing how a VW diesel should “feel” – This is my first VW!

My perception is that I have been nursing this car from day 1 - I have been driving oil burners since the early 90s, and had 2 from new. By comparison, this one just doesn't feel right at all.

I really don't buy into this "wait until 6000 miles" nonsense either. My previous experience with both my other diesel cars from new is that, yes, they do increase fuel consumption slightly as they age, but the increase is nowhere near the difference between what I am finding with the Polo (high 30s/ low 40s !!) and the published VW figures. Because this car is my "winter weather" car only, I won't have exceeded the 6000 mile by the end of the warranty period - Which would be convenient for VW if I was daft enough to fall for it!

Anyway, I have penned a letter to my local VW garage and CC’d VW HQ. I want a documentary "paper trail" down before the warranty period expires! In some respects I like this car a lot, It looks great, and is well built, but it’s about as useful as a “choccy teapot” to me if the fuel consumption and filter issues can’t be resolved .

I thought VW was going to solve this problem for me but that was short lived. VW wanted another £2300 to make me a new petrol car! They should have offered me a refund or a new car for free, why should I pay for their incompetence and mistakes? They told me that my car has gone down in value by £6000 in the first 4 months and therefore i need to pay the above amount to have another a petrol car made. They should have done something about it when it first broke down.

I will post Watch Dog this link. It would help if we could all contact Watch Dog personally, perhaps some of you already have. Let's hope we can resolve these issues soon.

Wow, thank you so much, I thought it was just me! I bought my polo brand new in March 2010, 1.6TDI, was a toss up between a VW and Fiesta, boy I wish i'd gone for a Fiesta! the filter light was on constantly for the first 6 months and i like many of you was not told it was only for long journeys. My filter light was on when it went for the first service and some wise guy at VW Plymouth decided to turn it off and now it rarely starts first time, a new car and it rarely starts first time! Well it went back to the garage in Plymouth who can't find anything wrong, so I sat it out for another few months and decided to take it to another Devon VW garage, only the same problem and they make you out to be stupid! So now, am without my car once more, whilst car goes to a third dealership in Devon and I have told them I dont want it back until its fixed! Also my heated mirror control is broken and does not work! Anyone else having problems there? I just want a new car that starts first time, dont think that's asking too much is it??

i am thinking of letting my daughter have my polo and upgrading to the 1.6 d but reading all the reviews its put me off, im really impressed with my 1.4 why did they ever ditch it?, and the 1.2 probably would not have enough power, ummmm

Have been reading through the postings and am really disappointed with the economy that seems to be the norm. Especially as I've got an Astra VXR and with careful driving I'm managing to get 36.5 on a commute to work - which is a mix of motorway and A roads into the middle of manchester....
Used to have a Focus ST and could never get that above about 25.
I really wish there was some way to hold manufacturers to accounts over their average MPG figures, some seem to be honest and accurate, others just seem to be works of fiction.
Hope you all have end up with a happy resolution to your Polo woes..

Looking at reviews as I'm thinking about a new car and have to say these many posts about the tdi polo is terrible.

Unfortunately it seems to be par for the course for modern diesels used in town driving - they're just not suitable for stop start short journeys.

Exhaust gas recirculators, turbos with variable geometry, DPFs etc are all technologies which do not agree with town driving. Given diesel is an oil and it produces soot which sticks to engine parts and clogs them up, the modern diesel is really only suitable for drivers who cover lots of miles. With lots of motorway driving none of these technologies should 'soot up' and should run trouble free for a long, long time.

Can't believe that VW sell these cars on the pretence that they're usefull as town cars - they're not!

As for the mpg claims - another shocking falsity which borders on fraud.

Well, 3 months on and the car is now a year old.

It’s still not working properly, still in and out of the dealers. Absolute farce! To their credit, the low MPG issue was actually verified by the dealer and the ECU given alternative software. I have been told that it was now returning upper 60’s MPG combined - which is brilliant.

I haven't been able to verify this though because after 14 miles of use after re programming , I got a warning light up (not the DPF). The car is back at the dealership for the 4th time. Since I first posted in Feb, the car has spent 7 weeks at the dealer.
As an aside, I have been contacted by a Watchdog Researcher. It seems they are considering doing a programme on the mis-selling of cars fitted with particulate filters. Might be worth anyone who feels they are in that category contacting them. My view is that the problems with the 1.6 75PS Polo go far deeper than usual PDF problems - It’s a bodged product without a doubt.

The car returned from the dealer. I drove it “to the book” for 180 miles of mixed “A” roads, and dual, with a very small component of urban. I complied rigorously with gear change indicators, low acceleration / braking (etc etc). For my pains, I returned another mid 40s MPG - The car has reeked of burning on a couple of occasions - obviously it's doing active regenerations - probably why the fuel consumption is pitiful.

How the hell the dealer reckoned they were getting upper 60s MPG with this car God only knows. That looks like a load of old “pokies” to me! I’m not unrealistic in my expectations, but I would have expected mid 50 MPG as a minimum without having to engage “special” driving techniques, from a car with combined MPG figure of 68.

I can’t prove what's going on, but my perception is that VW have a very badly implemented DPF arrangement on this car. DPF technology is a PITA its self, but the shortcomings of it appear to be amplified by VW on this car.

In summary an extremely poor offering from VW, if someone could be bothered to get an independent engineering report completed, VW could probably be “nailed” for mis representation of fuel consumption figures on this vehicle.

As far as I’m concerned though, life really is too short. This punter has had enough. I'm trading in the car for a petrol vehicle - not sure which one yet, except it's not going to be anything VAG! This is the first and last VW I will ever own!

Well, I ended up buying a Fiesta Zetec (petrol). So far, so good. It does "what it says on the tin" MPG wise, ride and handling are excellent and, so far, no warning lights.

The full disaster of my Polo ownership is detailed here :-


Goodbye, and happy motoring.

I have a 59 plate white polo tdi, got it on lease a yr an hlf ago,looks georgous when was delivered after waiting months for it. But not impressed with it, the 1st time the dpf light came on i dint know what to do so the whole engine cut out so had to crawl at 10mph to Lookers for it to be repaired(embarrassing in a brand new car) they then told me it was how i drive it and i was to blame, and the lease ppl said they will fix it this once but next time im to cover the cost, there advice was to drive in 4th gear at over 50 mph to clear it out!! so i know have to drive ona weekly basis driving like a looney on the motorway to clear it out as the dpf light comes up weekly,i work community so do about 40 miles a morning but short house to house drives!!the lease company never warned me its not suitable even thou they were aware of my type of work, so im now stuck with it for another yr n half,driving like a looney on the motorway wasting diesel n adding miles onto the car!!!! and then to make it worse the engine wouldnt rev one morning and stalled everytime i tried to build speed to get it into 2nd gear,had to reset the engine management by switching the car on/off several times!!! I had the same car before but 06 plate and was alot better, built up speed quicker and no problems at all, none of this silly surging which sometimes scares me esp trying to do my round in the snow over xmas which nearly caused me to crash!!!
Roll on when this 3 yr lease contract is over, lovely car to look at but shite to drive!!!!!

Good grief! I was thinking of changing my 9-y-o Golf TDI for one of these but I'll be thinking again! I had no idea the 1.6 diesels were held in such low regard - I see them all over the place. Not one good word to be said for them, it seems. Can these comments really be representative of owner opinion?
Another thing: what on earth happened to the Polo 1.2 TSI? It seems to have disappeared from the VW site car configurator. Anyone know why?

I think the the VW Polo1.6 tdi 75 ps should be renamed the VW CRAP because that just about sums this car up
Have owned this model since April 2010 and to be honest the worst car I have ever owned.I have just had it recalled for a software update. what aload of b******s the car has had SURGING Dealer said it was the way I drove it. DPF light coming on said I needed to give it a hard drive down motorway MPG nothing like the brochure claims.Just had new software update and starting the car now is terrible. Now back at dealership having diagnostic check over. Buy another VW you must be having a laugh I think its time to go back to a Ford

I just bought my Polo in December 2010. I experienced only minor issues for a while... Then, a month ago, I had a scary accident!
I was turning the car in my own yard, in small movements, to change its position. I was within 15 ft from a wall; I wanted to advance no more than 3ft. and I barely pressed the gas pedal. The car "run away" in a sudden, unexpected, forceful acceleration and I hit the wall; I brushed the wall, as I was also turning. Nevertheless, the front of the car was damaged, along with the AC radiator. My passenger pulled the hand brake and I turned off the key to stop the car! The car dealer repaired the car, but found nothing wrong with the mechanics of the car, but cannot explain the sudden acceleration; they said it's normal to get to 1,300 tours, quickly, after start. It was much faster!. I am afraid to drive this car again, so I left it to the dealer, pending more discussions. Any ideas on what I could do next? At first, everybody thinks that It's only my fault. I have driven cars for 30+ years and I never had such an incident.

I took my car into the dealer for its standard 2nd service. They mentioned there was a software upgrade needed and it would be done at the same time as the service.
On arriving to pick the car back up, it wouldn't start ( the car has always started 1st time ) . They got the mechanic out and it started for him ( always the case ). After driving 1/2 way home I stopped for food, when I came out the car would not start. I called the RAC, while waiting for the RAC I tried to start the car 4 times - it wouldn't start. When the RAC arrived it didn't start on 1st attempt - then it started ( no jumps or any gadgets attached ). The RAC towed me home. On arrival at home I turned the ignition off, tried to start it again and it wouldn't start. The following morning the car again would not start. RAC came - initially it didn't start, then it started. The car is now back with the dealership.
Has anyone encountered similar starting problems after the software upgrade.

I have read all the posts above and having owned the 1.6 TDI 75 since March 2010 I'm totally disillusioned with the vehicle.

It's currently with the dealer re my previous post - intermittent starting problems. ( trev69 this sounds the same problem you encountered in your post 26 September, 2011, 4:58pm - did you get this sorted ? ).

My question - has anyone managed to get a refund from VW or the car changed for another model ? There are clearly issues with this model. If you buy a TV from an electrical retailer & it continually breaks down you are given a refund or a replacement. Why are things different with cars.


We have a 2010 Polo 1.6 SE TDi 75BHP with around 10k on the clock. It has suffered from surging, cutting out, various dashboard lights and no way does it do anything like the stated MPG.

We bought it 2nd hand from VW dealer and within days it had to go back as it was running poorly (no lights on dash.....YET!)

Dealer "reset the software" and off we went. 3 or 4 weeks later the DPF light came on, on the morning school run. By the evening the main error light was on and the car was in limp home mode.

Back to dealer. ANOTHER software update!!! (Yeah right)

So far after only a few months of ownership it has been back to the dealer at least 4 times to be reset. Between visits, every 3 or so weeks, it has to be driven at 2000RPM until the DPF light goes out.

This is a seriously flawed car. Why should we have to work around a problem that VW should have sorted. Where we live it's not easy to get out of town and drive at any speed for any distance and why should we anyway? It's inconvenient, burns VERY expensive fuel and it shouldn't be necessary in this day and age.

And the dealer is no real help either. OK so they keep resetting the light but then they state they will charge us when the warranty runs out in 18 months AND if the DPF needs to be repalced it's not covered under warranty anyway - I have never known such appalling service from both the dealer AND VW. We just want our money back.

We're more than happy to involve Trading Standards, Watchdog or whoever will help us either get a refund or a replacement car that does not have all these problems.

Message to VW UK..



As stated above, I got rid of my 1.6 75PH Polo after a year of hassle, but I'm alarmed that these wretched cars are now hitting the second-hand market without the fundamental issues having being sorted out during the new car warranty period.

Watchdog have a current thread open on DPF's, it would be well worth dropping them a line and getting them to extend the general investigation to this more specific problem.


In November 2010 i purchased a polo 1.6 cl tdi and by reading all the reviews it has realy made me sick because of the way this car is driveing from the first week that i became the owner it has been back four times for a change of clutch and the left front wish-bone this was bent and was veering to the left, also it surges in all gears and is a total danger in traffic but nobody wants to know about this problim the dealer blames the driver.

This car cost me totaly with trade in 15,500 euro on the 14th November 2010 with 23790 klms at present it has just 42000klms,I have tryed to get a deal from the Dealer as i no longer want to keep this car because of the way it
drives and now the clutch has to be changed again for the 5 time. also i was sold this car on the 14th November 2010 and was not told that that model was withdrawn from production in September.
I would appreciate if i could get an email from anyone that had or has a 2010 1.6cl tdi polo as this would be the only way that we owners of the problem car's might get something done.

I can be contacted at, Ahelliott@gmail.com.

Many Thanks, Troubled polo.

Tempting fate I know but try a DS3 1.6 Hdi next time

My wife and I bought our V.W Polo 1.6 TDI in February 2010. After 300 miles we reported the surging problems to our dealer Crawley Volkswagen,who advised us to call out V.W breakdown to check it out. Their agent (RAC!!!!) on being told of the problem stated this was normal,that when the cars speed drops to 1000 revs the surge will come in.!! He stated that this was because V.W did not wish the car to stall !!! Not happy after a couple of thousand miles reported the problem again to Crawley V.W whose chief mechanic took the car out for a trial, confirming what the RAC had informed us.The DPF lights have lit up many times since purchase,the car now having done 10k miles,so had to do many miles to extinguish it.(Where is the economy in that!!) I was a police driver for many years and have never texperienced such problems as this surging,and believe that it is dangerous VOLKSWAGEN HAVE A DUTY OF CARE TO US POLO OWNERS,BUT WILL NOT OWN UP TO IT !!
Obviously as soon as we can afford it we will be getting rid of the car.Unfortunately for Volkswagen they are going to lose many future owners for ignoring this issue.This was the first and will be the last V.W we will ever buy. I only wished that WATCHDOG could take up our case. The surging is downright dangerous,and akin to the problems experienced by owners of certain Japanese cars in the USA.( Although those problems were throttle related )Come on Volkswagen,get your act together and own up to and recognised the problems experienced by all the above owners.

Hi, Can any of you listed above got any updates to your problems? have VW got on top of their software problems or are you still having trouble?
Reaseon to ask is that i am thinking of getting either a1.6 TD SEL 90 Polo or a 1.2 TSI petrol and as I have been driving diesel for the last 20 years favour the former, BUT your comments have put me off the diesel. Thanks.

Well my Polo 1.6 tdi will be two years old in April and time for a change. Thank God !!. This the worst car I have ever owned ie surging .dpf light coming had software update done in September 2011 thats when starting became a problem
In reply to PhilG 22nd October about starting its no better. had diagnostic check done and according to service engineer he could find nothing wrong Roll on April when I change it for something else Anything than a VW Polo diesel

I can only comment on how pleased I am with this little buzz box. The fuel economy is returning on average 57 MPG. It has been as low as high as 68 MPG. I cover approx 28,000 miles a year and most journeys are over 30 miles. (Australia for you) I purchased the car in June 2011 and it is a 1.6 TDI DSG 66KW.
THe DPF light has never come on but I assume that is because I drive these distances. Great little car!

I really think you should all learn how to properly drive modern "european" diesels and stop complaining about the car.

The fact is all the pathetic greenies out there have pushed for low emissions. This is where the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) comes in to cut down on soot (it collects it and them burns it when the engine is hot enough). The problem is if you don't go for long or hard runs they clog up (it never regenerates because it never gets hot enough). This isn't a problem over in Europe because they gun it on the autobahns. Here in Australia we are constantly stuck in peek hour traffic which can cause these problems but most of the time its because everyone is going pathetically slow! Maybe you should stop been grandmas and actually "drive" so that it can clean itself out normally.


Also would probably help if you actually read the instruction manual and saw that when the DPF light comes on you should push the engine to get the cobwebs out...its just a friendly reminder that you are driving like a douche again...

This doesn't mean gunning it to 5000rpm everywhere but 3500 in first and second would be nice.

The fact that me and all my other friends who have these 1.6TDI Polos and done more then 40,000km without a single problem means that you all are driving them wrong.

Key specs

Price: £13,250 (est)
Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl diesel
* Power: 74bhp
* Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
* 0-62mph: 14 seconds
* Top speed: 106mph
* Economy: 67.3mpg
* CO2: 109g/km
* Equipment: Four airbags, traction and stability control, hill-hold control, climate control, alloys
On sale: October