Used Volkswagen Polo (Mk5, 2009-2017) - What should you look for?
The Polo’s reputation for quality is undermined by a poor showing in our Driver Power satisfaction surveys
Common used Volkswagen Polo problems
Not all models have a front passenger airbag that can be switched off, so if you carry small children in the front of the car, make sure you find a Polo with this feature.
Particulate filters in the exhaust can get clogged on diesels that aren’t driven often, so consider buying a petrol-powered model if you don’t cover that many miles a year.
Some owners have found the headlight lenses on their cars have been heat-damaged by the daytime running lights being on for long periods of time.
Check that the brake discs aren’t worn or warped by feeling for juddering under braking. Some owners have found that the discs wear quickly on their Polos.
There have been five recalls for the Polo Mk5, including one for the emissions problem that has affected many 1.6 TDI VWs. The first campaign was in December 2014 because a cracked filter could lead to fuel leaks. Two months later some cars were recalled because of the possibility of an airbag going off for no reason.
In August 2015 some Polos were recalled because the front seats could fail in a collision. The last campaign was in June 2016 because the child locks on the rear doors could fail.
In this review
- 1Used Volkswagen Polo (Mk5, 2009-2017) reviewThe ageing Volkswagen Polo is still a front-runner in the supermini class, but rivals are cheaper
- 2How much will it cost?Engines return excellent economy, and residual values are among the strongest in class, offsetting the Polo’s high price
- 3How practical is it?The VW Polo isn't the most practical supermini, but it's not at all bad. Stick with the five-door version though
- 4What’s it like to drive?A wide range of excellent petrol and diesel engines work well with the refined manners of the Polo
- 5What should you look for? - currently readingThe Polo’s reputation for quality is undermined by a poor showing in our Driver Power satisfaction surveys
- 6What do owners think?The Mk5 VW Polo struggled in our Driver Power surveys, but owners did like the fuel economy and running costs