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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Polo - MPG, CO2 and running costs

Frugal three-cylinder petrol engines help keep Volkswagen Polo running costs down

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£20,945 to £26,945
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The 1.0-litre TSI is our favourite choice from a performance perspective, and it also makes sense when it comes to fuel economy and emissions.

Volkswagen claims a best of 54.3mpg (on the combined cycle) for our preferred 94bhp version under the latest WLTP test, with CO2 emissions from 118g/km. This is the version we drove in our twin test against the Hyundai i20 and SEAT Ibiza, with the Polo returning 41mpg. It was the lowest figure of the three in the test, though the Ibiza only achieved 41.6mpg, while the i20 trumped them both by hitting 45.2mpg.

However, several hybrid options are available in the small car class that offer even greater efficiency, the most efficient of which is the Toyota Yaris, with an economy figure of 68.9mpg. During our own testing, we saw an average of 65mpg, maintained through a lot of urban driving.

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Add the seven-speed DSG gearbox to the Polo, and its stats drop slightly, with a maximum fuel economy of 51.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 125g/km – the same as the non-turbo 79bhp 1.0-litre. Move to the 109bhp engine with its seven-speed DSG auto, and it delivers economy of 50.4mpg with CO2 emissions from 128g/km. The GTI is the least efficient Polo, managing 43.5mpg and with emissions of 147g/km.

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If you avoid the GTI, the company car tax won’t be so bad. However, hybrid rivals like the Yaris (mentioned above), Honda Jazz, and Renault Clio offer lower emissions, and will cost you less to run in  BiK (Benefit-in-Kind) tax. Then, there are a few fully-electric alternatives in the form of the MG4, Peugeot E-208, and Vauxhall Corsa Electric that have even lower company car tax costs.

Insurance groups

The entry 79bhp model will be very cheap to insure, sneaking into group 3 on the 1-50 scale – also making it a candidate for anyone looking for a cheap to insure first car. All cars fitted with our recommended 94bhp 1.0-litre TSI engine occupy groups 9-10, with 109bhp cars stepping things up to group 12. Those are all lower than hybrid competitiors, with the entry-level Yaris in Icon trim sitting in group 13, while the Honda Jazz starts from group 19.

The price for opting for the 204bhp GTI performance model is an insurance rating of group 23.

You can get personalised car insurance quotes fast with our comparison tool powered by Quotezone...

Depreciation

Our expert data suggests the VW Polo should hold onto around 48 to 51 per cent of its original list price over a typical three-year/36,000-mile period of ownership. In comparison, the Vauxhall Corsa is a little behind that, retaining between 45 to 46 per cent (the Corsa Electric is down to 38 per cent) over the same period.

If you want a supermini that holds on to its value even better, go for the Audi A1. The best-performing model in the range is the 30 TFSI Sport, maintaining almost 61 per cent of its value.

To get an accurate valuation on a specific model check out our valuation tool...

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 Life 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,875

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 Life 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,875

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI GTI Edition 25 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £31,045
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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