In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Polo review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

With frugal three-cylinder petrol engines on offer, the Polo can keep running costs down

With either of the 1.0-litre TSI units forming our favourite choices from a performance perspective, the turbocharged three-cylinder options make sense when it comes to fuel economy and emissions, too. Volkswagen claims a best of 50.4mpg for the 94bhp version under the latest WLTP test, with CO2 emissions rated at 127g/km.

Real-world testing by Auto Express has produced a 43.3mpg figure for the Polo 1.0 TSI 95 SE, so the gap between the official figures and what you'll get in everyday driving is narrower. Add the seven-speed DSG gearbox and the figures drop slightly, with maximum fuel economy of 46.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km.

Move to the 113bhp engine, and the addition of the six-speed manual gearbox helps it deliver economy that's on-par with the 94bhp engine. Claimed efficiency is 46.3 to 51.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 124g/km.

As you would expect, the diesel is the most frugal. Volkswagen claims up to 57.6mpg under WLTP tests, down from 74.3mpg under NEDC test conditions, although this difference will not have any impact on everyday fuel economy. CO2 emissions are rated at 127 to 139g/km. Of course, the price tag premium you’ll pay for the cheaper-to-run diesel means you’ll have to rack up many miles over the national annual average for it to make financial sense.

Unsurprisingly, the GTI will be the costliest Polo to run. Volkswagen claims the GTI, equipped with a six-speed DSG auto transmission will return up to 39.8mpg on the combined cycle, with 165g/km of CO2. 

Insurance groups

Basic S and SE models with the underpowered 1.0-litre MPI engine will be very cheap to insure, sneaking into insurance group 1. All cars fitted with our recommended 94bhp 1.0-litre TSI occupy a slot in group 8, with 113bhp cars stepping things up to group 11 or 12, depending on trim. The 1.6 TDI diesel sits in group 9, courtesy of the fact it comes in SEL trim. The sporty GTI and GTI Plus versions sit in groups 26 and 28, respectively.


Predicted residual values for the Polo are impressive, and experts expect it to retain more value the Ford Fiesta. Our pick, the Polo SE 1.0 TSI 95, is the best choice in this regard, as it's anticipated to retain an average of 45% of its value over three years and 36,000 miles.

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