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.
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.
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.
Car group tests
- Vauxhall Corsa vs Renault Clio vs Volkswagen Polo
- Volkswagen Polo vs Volkswagen Golf
- Ford Fiesta ST vs MINI Cooper S vs Volkswagen Polo GTI
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 entry-level models come 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. If you want satellite navigation, it's standard on United models and above.
The 10.3-inch Active Info Display is available as an option for all trim levels, with the exception of United-spec cars. The crisp display sits behind the steering wheel, replacing the physical dials with digitalised, customisable instruments and mapping.
In this review
- 1Volkswagen Polo reviewThe Volkswagen Polo shows how sophisticated the humble supermini can get
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Polo is safe and comfortable rather than fun on the road, but the 1.0 TSI turbo petrol is a cracker
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsWith frugal three-cylinder petrol engines on offer, the Polo can keep running costs down
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingSubtle exterior changes cloak a revolution inside, with a completely fresh cabin and impressive infotainment
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Polo’s 351-litre boot is very competitive for the class, while interior space is good
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe VW Polo chalks up an impressive Euro NCAP score, with additional safety tech on the options list