Volkswagen Polo: New look, new tech, new personality
Volkswagen has taken the wraps off of the all-new Polo at an event in Wolfsburg, ahead of its official debut this fall at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The completely redesigned sixth generation of its small hatchback is the most spacious, stylish and sophisticated take yet on a car that has already sold over 14 million units to date globally. While there still are no plans to bring the Polo to America, this all-encompassing makeover should definitely keep it on the path to success elsewhere.
Now based on the automaker’s Modular Transverse Matrix MQB A0 platform, the new Polo has taken on a more refined character as evidenced by its crisply tailored exterior and more upscale cabin. VW points out that save for being marginally shorter than a Gen IV Golf, the Polo now is literally larger in every other meaningful dimension than that late-‘90s mainstay of the VW family–including wheelbase, track dimensions, people space and cargo capacity. It also borrows a number of tech touches from the latest Golf.
In commenting on the remake, Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand, noted: "The much better proportions create the framework for a grown-up, confident appearance of the sixth generation Polo–charismatic, progressive, contemporary and friendly. We have systematically capitalised on this realignment of dimensions to build a compelling compact car."
Five trim grades
The new Polo is available in five trim grades: Trendline, Comfortline, Highline and a new Beats variant as well as the range-topping Polo GTI model. Even the base Polo Trendline comes with an impressive array of standards that include LED daytime running lights, a speed limiter and VW’s Front Assist area monitoring system with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring. At Highline level, the expanded feature set includes things like a multifunction steering wheel and Park Distance Control while the new Beats edition aimed at younger buyers complements its Dr Dre-blessed 300-watt Beats sound system that’s optional in other Polo models with 16-inch alloy wheels, sport seats and bespoke trim elements.
Enthusiasts will find much to like about the new Polo GTI, starting with its 197-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI 4-cylinder engine that can be mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed DSG automatic. The GTI’s more tautly tuned suspension can be further enhanced with the optional Sport Select chassis that brings adaptive dampers and the 17-inch wheel/tire fitment can be upgraded to an 18-inch alternative. In addition to a bolder exterior treatment, the Polo GTI also can be fitted with full LED headlamps. Buyers seeking a cool look with a bit less cook can opt for the R-Line package.
For those who favor frugality over firepower, the new Polo will offer a range of gasoline and turbodiesel alternatives with displacements from 1.0 to 1.6 liters that develop between 64 and 148 horsepower. That mix includes a new natural gas-fired 1.0-liter TGI that makes 89 horses and the 148-horse/1.5-liter TSI that features cylinder deactivation.
New convenience and connectivity
Last but far from least, the new Polo is introducing a new generation of dash design architecture and modular digital information displays that are destined to find their way into other VW small cars, including some that may end up in America. In addition to positioning the infotainment screen higher in the dash to promote better sightlines for the driver, VW also enhanced the overall level of connectivity and utility in the new Polo. The new car offers touches like wireless device charging, Keyless Access, online access via App Connect Car-Net that supports Android Auto/Apple CarPlay/Mirrorlink and a new We by Volkswagen feature that will kick off with a WePark parking app that allows for convenient cashless-billing in select lots.
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