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Volkswagen Polo - best first cars for new drivers

The Polo is bigger than its predecessor and offers more tech, comfort and refinement

vw polo tracking front quarter

The Volkswagen Polo looks a little tame compared to some of its funkier rivals, but it has lots to offer as a first car for new drivers.

The Polo fits between the VW up! and the Golf, so it’s a relatively affordable first step into VW ownership. That makes it a great intro to a world of peerless build quality, impressive refinement, strong reliability and fuel efficiency – all factors that add up to strong resale values when it’s time to move on.

The 1.0 TSI 95PS returns over 50.4mpg and is relatively inexpensive when bought in SE spec. We are well practiced in driving the 1.0 TSI engine with 94bhp, and it continues to impress in the new Polo. Opt for a DSG gearbox as well and you will be able to hit 62mph in 10.8 seconds. Unsurprisingly, the 1.6-litre diesel returns the best mpg with 55.4mpg although this will only appeal to those doing more motorway miles. 

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The base model ‘S’ comes with electric front windows, autonomous emergency braking, ABS and manual air-conditioning. The Polo also comes with the option of Sport Select, which provides the driver with adjustable and a number of driving modes. While this still doesn’t make it as fun to drive as the Ford Fiesta, you can still have an enjoyable time behind the wheel of a Polo.

On a more practical note, the VW Polo is bigger than before, offering greater leg room in the back, making it a match for the likes of the SEAT Ibiza and Fiesta.

Top 10 best first cars for new drivers 2021

  1. Volkswagen up!/Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii
  2. Kia Picanto
  3. Ford Fiesta
  4. SEAT Ibiza
  5. Hyundai i10
  6. Volkswagen Polo
  7. Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108/Citroen C1
  8. Skoda Fabia
  9. Dacia Sandero
  10. Vauxhall Corsa
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