In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Polo review - Reliability and safety

The VW Polo chalks up an impressive Euro NCAP score, with additional safety tech on the options list

The Volkswagen Polo’s high level of perceived quality is matched with strong safety features, culminating in a full five-star rating from Euro NCAP in 2017.

Volkswagen’s Front Assist setup is standard on all models, enabling automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, as is a Driver Alert system. It monitors the driver, and warns them to take a break if erratic driving patterns are recorded. Front and rear parking sensors are also included, while cruise control is standard for Match and United-spec cars, and optional for Beats and SEL versions.

Elsewhere on the options list, Blind Spot Detection with rear traffic alert is available, as is Park Assist, which automatically steers the car into a space – the driver only has to operate the brake and accelerator. 

The Polo didn't feature in our 2020 Driver Power satisfaction survey, with Volkswagen itself finishing a disappointing 19th out of 30 brands.

Warranty

Volkswagen provides a three-year/60,000-mile warranty but it’s worth investigating the small print. Years one and two are manufacturer cover with unlimited mileage, while year three is a 12-month/60,000-mile retailer warranty. Should you exceed 60,000 miles in the first 24 months, the manufacturer warranty will remain valid but the extra year will no longer be available.

An extended warranty is available for a fee, offering cover up to a maximum of five years or 90,000 miles. Body protection is good, the Polo’s internal body sections and panels covered against rusting through from the inside for 12 years. The paintwork is covered for just three years, though.

Servicing

Volkswagen offers two servicing plans. The Fixed Service plan is recommended for drivers who will cover fewer than 10,000 miles a year, predominantly driving their Polo in urban environments and stop start traffic. The Flexible Service plan is aimed at drivers regularly chalking up more than 25 miles a day with plenty of motorway miles per year. 

Most Popular

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?
Petrol pump
News

E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?

E10 petrol is up to 10 per cent ethanol and is available at UK fuel stations now as part of the bid to cut CO2 emissions
1 Sep 2021
What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven
Skoda vRS range
Skoda

What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven

To mark 20 years of Skoda’s vRS badge, we rounded up some of the performance cars from the past two decades that have worn the subtle green badge
17 Sep 2021