In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Polo review - Interior, design and technology

Subtle exterior changes cloak a revolution inside, with a completely fresh cabin and impressive infotainment

From a design standpoint, the sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo is an evolution of the fifth-generation car, and while it lacks the sharp flair of the SEAT Ibiza or the Mazda 2 it’s a neatly designed supermini. However, it looks more like a Golf than ever, especially because it's grown considerably in width.

The chunky, signature Volkswagen front end features C-shaped LED daytime running lights, which are standard across the range. The new lights form an angular signature, feeding directly into the front grille. The rear end has a more squared-off look, and is much more in tune with the previous generation car – the tail-lights and tailgate are pretty much the same shape as before. 

S, SE, Match, Beats, United and SEL cars all make use of the same standard bodykit, although the S only comes equipped with 14-inch steel wheels. The Beats version gets distinctive badging, a decal stripe running from front to rear, plus unique 16-inch alloy wheels. R-Line cars get a sporty bodykit inspired by the Polo GTI. SE cars and up can be specified with a glass panoramic sunroof for around £900. 

While the business-as-usual shape means that the VW Polo isn’t quite as eye-catching as some rivals, you can’t fault the level of the fit and finish. Tight shut lines are a sign of its quality, plus the classless looks mean it will appeal to a broad cross-section of customers. An enormous paint colour palette and roster of optional alloy wheels means that you’ll be able to make the Polo your own. 

In contrast with the subtle exterior redesign, the interior is wholesale change. The new dashboard layout is dominated by a large, sweeping angular panel, which allows the Polo’s myriad of infotainment options to sit neatly in the centre of the cabin. As you’d expect, material quality and fit and finish is right at the top end of the class, and the interior itself is fairly customisable.

The flagship addition is the availability of a fully digital instrument panel – Volkswagen’s 10.3-inch Active Info Display is definitely big car tech. The interior can be customised with Dashpad packs – available in a trio of colours, while the Polo Beats sports a vibrant and youthful interior colour scheme as standard. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

New generation infotainment is a headline feature of the Mk6 Polo, and even the entry-level S model comes equipped with a Volkswagen Composition 8.0-inch media touchscreen unit. Unsurprisingly, it’s slick to operate and boasts pinpoint sharp graphics. With a system this good as standard, it’s easy to see why the Polo has earned its upmarket reputation.

Bluetooth connectivity is standard, along with a DAB radio, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are part of the Car-Net App-Connect function, offered on SE models and above. If you want satellite navigation it's around £650 extra on lower spec models, while SEL models come equipped with this as standard. 

The 10.3-inch Active Info Display is standard on the Polo GTI Plus, and optional on all other models except the entry-level Polo S. The crisp display sits behind the steering wheel, replacing the physical dials with digitalised, customisable instruments and mapping.  

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