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In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Polo review - Reliability and Safety

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, with a 96 per cent score for adult occupants. 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 alerts them to take a break if erratic driving patterns are recorded.

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

Buyers can build on the standard Front Assist package with city autonomous braking by specifying the full PreCrash suite. This detects hazardous driving situations and attempts to minimise danger, by pre-tensioning the front seat belts, closing the electric windows and deploying the brakes if necessary. Adaptive cruise control is standard on the Polo GTI Plus, and optional on SE cars upwards.

The Polo didn't feature in our 2019 Driver Power satisfaction survey. However, Volkswagen finished a middling 17th out of 30 brands, with over 20 percent of owners reporting a fault with their car.

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. 

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