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Volkswagen applies the Golf blow-torch to its fifth-generation Polo

2 Sep 2010

VOLKSWAGEN’S Polo has long played second fiddle to the Golf. And with good reason too, since previous versions of the German supermini have not come within a cooee of the class leaders, never mind its glamourous big brother. But now the carmaker from Wolfsburg is serious about ruling the automotive world, so the fifth-generation Polo has undergone a Golf-style design, engineering and quality makeover to woo buyers away from the excellent Ford Fiesta and Mazda2. Has Volkswagen succeeded? Mostly, as we found out after a week behind the wheel of the mid-range 77TSI Comfortline.
Model release date: 1 May 2010 to 1 March 2013

Previous model


Released: November 2005
Ended: April 2010
Family Tree: Polo

VOLKSWAGEN softened the stark four-eyed look of the fourth-generation Polo released in 2002 with a smoother and friendlier face, as well as a host of refinements and new models designed to build on the driveability advances made over previous editions. The staple 55kW/126Nm 1.4-litre single-cam 16-valve four-cylinder petrol engine lived on from before, mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, in three and five-door body styles, variously under the Club or Match nomenclature. , , Mid-2006 saw a small boost in engine power and torque (59kW/130Nm) for manual models, with a six-speed auto replacing the four-speeder from August 2007. , , Meanwhile, VW released the 74kW/240Nm 1.9-litre Polo TDI in late 2005, in five-door/five-speed manual transmission only, as well as the 110kW/220Nm 1.8-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol GTI, which gained its own niche following. , , From July 2006 a 77kW/153Nm 1.6-litre four-pot petrol mid-range five-door Match was imported to further complicate the already extensive Polo portfolio. , , A minor upgrade from October 2008 saw the series simplified with the three-door Edition 1.4, five-door Pacific 1.6 petrol and Pacific TDI diesel, and GTI. All included a modest specification gain.

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