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Volkswagen Polo 2020 Review: Prices, Specs, Mileage, Offers & Pics

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Car Reviews

By Rahul Hans - Automotive Journalist Mar 27 2020 Share this blog

Volkswagen’s Polo is the car that started the premium hatchback space in India. First showcased at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show as the 5th generation model, the Polo has been manufactured in India since 2009. It was launched in India in 2010 and to this date, it is Volkswagen’s best-selling car. Since then, Polo has received many updates and iterations like the compact sedan called Ameo, a mid-size sedan called Vento, a crossover called Polo Cross and a more powerful Polo GT (TSI/TDI).

Hatchbacks have dominated and driven growth in the Indian car market for decades now. But as India’s automobile industry isn’t what it was a decade ago, it seems to have drifted away from hatchbacks, towards the compact SUVs. Hence, car manufacturers have done many changes to their current line-up to lure the aspirational Indian customers and Volkswagen’s Polo is a perfect example of that.

2020 volkswagen polo rear view

Volkswagen Polo comes with a new set of features as well as a brand new 1.0-Litre 3 cylinder petrol engine. The direct rivals of the VW Polo arethe Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai Elite i20 and Honda Jazz. But when we talk about the consumer hatchback space, you won’t find many German carmakers selling cars in this segment. Polo then is one of the few German-engineered cars you can buy under Rs.10 lakhs.


What we like

  • A well-built hatchback
  • Excellent ride and suspension
  • Neutral handling and mature road behaviour
  • New engine option is quite frugal
  • Generous boot space


What we don’t like

  • Lack of features
  • New 3-cylinder engine weakest in the segment
  • Cramped rear-seat space
  • Service cost still higher than the competition


What’s new in the VW Polo

  • 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine
  • Cruise control
  • Rear AC vents

In how many varients is Volkswagen's best selling hatchback available in?

The Volkswagen Polo is available in three engine options, the petrol variant is a 1.0-litre MPI 3-cylinder engine, a powerful 1.2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine, and the diesel unit is a 1.5-litre TDI, 4-cylinder engine. These two engines come with 3 variants namely, Trendline, Comfortline and Highline Plus. The price of Polo starts at Rs. 5,87 lakhs and goes up to Rs. 7,77 lakhs.

Variant

Trendline

Comfortline

Highline Plus

Price                         (Ex-Showroom)

Rs. 5.87 lakhs

Rs. 6.82 lakhs

Rs. 7.77 lakhs

Features 


Door mirrors with turn indicators

All features of Trendline and:

All features of Comfortline and:

Sunglass holder 

Ambiente lights

Automatic climate control

Single folding rear seat backrest

Electrically adjustable OVRMs

Electrically foldable OVRMs

Dead pedal

Power Windows, all doors

 Rear AC vents

Flat bottom steering wheel

Rear defogger

Touchscreen Infotainment system

Central locking

Speed-sensing auto door locks

Anti-pinch power windows

Dual front Airbags

Cooled glovebox

Rear parking sensors

Volkswagen has bestowed each of the three trims with a healthy bundle of features which differ in creature comfort features. It is good to see that VW has not bargained with safety features and even the base variant gets a healthy dose of safety.


Which variant should you opt for?

According to us, the best value for the money variant is Comfortline as just for Rs. 6,82 lakhs (Ex-Showroom) it provides you with all the basic creature comforts necessary and comes with dual airbags. The difference between the top of the line Highline plus and the Comfortline line is almost Rs. 1 lakh.


Also Read,

How does Volkswagen polo fare against its most fuel-efficient rival?

How does the German take on its Korean rival?

Honda Jazz has the most spacious cabin, can it still win over the precision German?


What is the source of performance in the 2020 Polo?

Powering the Polo is Volkswagen’s all-new 1.0-litre 3-cylinder motor which pushes out 76hp and 95 Nm of torque. It is mated to a smooth-shifting 5-speed manual transmission. These figures are certainly the lowest in the segment, hence don’t expect any blistering performance from this motor.

2020 volkswagen polo 1.0L engine

In order to deal with the lower power and torque figures than the earlier engines, Polo has shed around 14kg of weight. Despite the weight shedding, its engine falls behind the segment in terms of outright performance. The power delivery is linear but throttle response does not feel eager. The mid-range is also not punchy and the highway overtakes will involve some planning in advance. What helps is the smooth-shifting gearbox which is a delight to use.

The refinement level of the 3-cylinder engine is very impressive and not much of engine vibrations creep into the cabin. The engine is quite silent at idle and gets vocal only at higher RPMs. But if you are the power-hungry type, then there is always room for the much more powerful 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder pot that will give you the chills.

Models

Volkswagen Polo

Hyundai Elite i20 

Honda Jazz

Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Price            (Ex-showroom)

Rs. 5.87 Lakhs

Rs. 5.53 Lakhs

Rs. 7.45 Lakhs

Rs. 5.97 Lakhs

Engine

1.0-liter MPI Inline-3 Naturally aspirated

1.2-liter Kappa Inline-4 Naturally aspirated

1.2-liter i-Vtec Inline-4 Naturally aspirated

1.2-liter K-Series VVT 4-cylinder

Transmission

5 Speed Manual

5 Speed Manual

5 Speed Manual

5 Speed Manual

Power 

75 bhp @6200rpm

83 bhp @6000rpm

89 bhp @6000rpm

83 bhp@6000rpm

Torque

95 Nm @3000rpm

115 Nm @4000rpm

110 Nm @4800rpm

115 Nm @4000rpm

On the spec sheet, Honda Jazz has the highest power output of 89 bhp while the VW Polo is the least powerful. Baleno and Hyundai i20 share the same power. Even with the lowest power and torque figures, the VW Polo’s urban drivability is quite adequate.


How quick is the VW Polo from 0-100?

Volkswagen’s Polo takes a painstaking 16.5 seconds to reach 100 kph from a standstill. This is not very different from the earlier 1.2L petrol engine. As you might have already judged it with the power and torque figures, this is no mean machine category. VW Polo is, in fact, the slowest in its category in terms of outright acceleration. Once you tap on the gas pedal, you feel a bit of delay in the power delivery. There is no surge of power in any span of the rev band and the build-up of speed is very gradual.

VW Polo then stands for the premium experience it provides to you as a car rather than getting into the performance niche. But we think, Volkswagen should have still given it more power as the Polo is slower than cars like the Alto K10, Kwid &Tiago, which are a segment below!

Models

Volkswagen Polo

Hyundai Elite i20 

Honda Jazz

Maruti Suzuki Baleno

0-100 kmph

16.00 sec

13.99 sec

12.9 sec

12.3 sec

Engine

1.0-liter Inline-3 Naturally aspirated

1.2-liter Kappa  Inline-4 Naturally aspirated

1.2-liter i-Vtec Inline-4 Naturally aspirated

1.2-liter K-Series VVT 4-cylinder

As can be seen in the comparison, the fastest car is the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. The VW Polo is almost 4 seconds slower than the Baleno and manages to only come last in this comparison. This is gravely due to its underpowered engine which is an instant turn down for a well-built car like the Polo.


How sure-footed are the handling characteristics of Volkswagen Polo?

Where the Polo lacks it makes up for most of it in the ride and handling department. Once you put your hands on the steering wheel, you will appreciate its meaty feel. Once on the move, the steering is light at slow city speeds, making it easy to manoeuvre in the city. As the car picks up speed, the steering weighs up enough, which inspires confidence to chuck it into some fast corners. The steering is direct and adds a fun factor to the way Polo drives. Volkswagen has turned the steering quite well for the city as well as highway use. The turning radius of 4.97 meters is par for the course, and it will be easy to park the Polo in tight parking spaces.

2020 volkswagen polo cornering

The suspension has also been well-tuned by VW for Indian conditions. The ride quality feels mature and Polo does not get unsettled even on pothole-filled roads. The body roll at corners is minimal and the suspension does its work of keeping the passengers comfortable, quite silently. Once on the highway, at triple-digit speed, Polo feels very planted and stable. Grip levels are strong; push hard and Polo will slowly understeer but in an entirely predictable manner. The suspension on the Polo is neither too stiff nor too soft (still might be on stiffer side for some) and it moves with the composure of a much larger car. The ride quality is better than many of its rivals and you would not find yourself complaining much about the way it rides or handles.  


How well-modulated are the brakes on 2020 Volkswagen Polo?

Volkswagen Polo comes with disc brakes at the front, drum brakes at the rear and ABS (which is standard). The brake pedal feels and braking performance is extremely good and confidence-inspiring. Be it in the stop and go city traffic or at triple-digit speeds, Polo feels sure-footed. Under hard braking, Polo maintains its line and remains stable without much drama.

2020 volkswagen polo ventilated disc brakes

As the ground clearance is unlike some of its tall body competitors, there is a minimal amount of nose-dive. The ground clearance of 168 mm gets the job done for the most part and the car provides you with a balanced character of accessible performance and control.

Model

Volkswagen Polo 

Hyundai Elite i20 

Honda Jazz 

Maruti Suzuki Baleno 

Front Brakes

Ventilated Disc

Ventilated Disc

Ventilated Disc

Ventilated Disc

Rear Brakes

Drum

Drum

Drum

Drum

Curb Weight 

1015 kgs

1080 kgs

1042 kgs 

865 kgs

Even though Polo is not the lightest car of its segment, it provides better braking performance than all its rivals. This is due to the abrasiveness of material used for the brake pads and shoes. All of the competitors comes with ventilated discs upfront to dissipate heat better and thus result in overall efficient braking.


How fuel-efficient is the 2020 Volkswagen Polo?

As VW has introduced an engine keeping the Indian buyer mindset in mind, mileage figures were one of the prime factors in the engine’s development. Polo is the second-best in its segment in terms of mileage. It is still beaten by Maruti Suzuki Baleno which is really the queen here when it comes to fuel-efficient engines. 

Model

Volkswagen Polo 

Hyundai Elite i20 

Honda Jazz 

Maruti Suzuki Baleno 

Mileage(kmpl)

18.7

18.6

18.2

22

Fuel Tank   Capacity(L)

45

40

40

37

Range(km)

841.5

744

728

814

Even though Polo has shed 14 kgs and now has a 3-cylinder engine it is not able to match Baleno’s mileage. This is due to Polo’s heavier curb weight of 1,015kg and, well, we all know hoe Maruti Suzuki manages to curb down on its weight!

How has the Volkswagen Polo changed in looks, over time?

The styling of the Polo has always been and still is, timeless. Volkswagen has really come up with a design that does not require many changes every time a new model is launched. Volkswagen Polo unmistakably looks very European and the design is straightforward German! It is a no-fuss look and comes across as understated.

The design itself exudes a feeling of solidity. There is an absolute lack of quirkiness which are present in some of its rivals. The wide headlamps & big fog lamps dominate the VW-Golf inspired front while the flared wheel arches bring some muscle to the car. The lower stance gives it a wide car appeal and in a market of tall body cars, it’s refreshing to see the Polo with its low slung stance.

Model

Volkswagen Polo 

Hyundai Elite i20 

Honda Jazz 

Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Curb weight 

1015 kgs

1080 kgs

1042 kgs

865 kgs

Length

3971 mm

3985 mm

3955 mm

3995 mm

Width

1682 mm

1734 mm

1694

1745 mm

Height

1469 mm

1505 mm

1544

1510 mm

Ground clearance 

165 mm

167 mm

165 mm

170 mm



Wheelbase 

2469 mm

2570 mm

2530 mm

2520 mm

The Volkswagen Polo is neither the longest nor the widest car of its segment, but in no way, it looks like a small car. With mediocre proportions, it still provides you with a big car feel. With almost a decade-old design, Volkswagen polo is not a fresh and striking looking hatch. We are expecting the new facelift model to arrive next year.

How does one of the most premium cabin in its segment feel like?

Just like Polo’s exteriors, the interiors look understated and exude a certain level of solidity. Due to the low swung stance of Polo, it is not easy to walk into the cabin and you would have to duck down a bit to get in. Once you step inside the cabin, you would not feel like you have come into something unusual or unfamiliar. The all-black dashboard design has been kept plain and simple. The Polo’s cabin feels well-screwed together. We could not find any uneven panel gap or anything that was loose on the inside. The buttons feel built to last and everything is within arms reach.

Model

Volkswagen Polo 

Hyundai Elite i20 

Honda Jazz 

Maruti Suzuki Baleno 

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

There are no soft-touch materials on the inside but the interiors feel durable and fully capable of handling abuse. The focus has clearly been on functionality rather than style. Considering the price of the base variant, the quality of the parts is pretty good.  All-around visibility from the inside is good if not great as looking around for following traffic or big obstacles is easy. The cabin feels airy due to large windows at the front as well as rear.

2020 volkswagen polo dashboard
Coming to the front seats, the lateral support from the driver is excellent and you sit deep into the front seats. Seats have a good amount of bolstering and you won’t be tossed around even in sharp corners. The seat material is neither too soft nor too firm, it feels just right. The seats provide you with a good amount of support and long journeys will not be a problem in Polo. The dashboard is set on the higher side and you sit lower than you sit in other cars. For shorter drivers, this could be a cause of worry as the driver's seat height adjust is available only on the top variant.

The rear seat space is still cramped as no changes have been done to its dimensions. The competition leaves the Polo far behind in terms of rear-seat leg space and comfort. Under thigh support on the rear seats is not enough, especially for long journeys. Seating 3 at the back is quite possible but not easy, as the shoulder room at the rear is not adequate. 

Model

Volkswagen Polo 

Hyundai Elite i20

Honda Jazz 

Maruti Suzuki Baleno 

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Though the rivals provide the space that the Polo doesn’t, Polo gets a better interior quality than most. The only car that can match Polo’s interior quality is the Elite i20 and moreover, being a German there is little to question about its quality factor.


What are the various creature comfort features on offer?

While Polo has never been a torchbearer in terms of a number of features, it provides you with all the necessary features that a 2019 car should have. Though, it lacks essentials like keyless entry, push-button start, and even a reverse parking camera.

2020 volkswagen polo steering wheel controls

The various features on offer are listed below and most of them are tapped only for the top-end variants.

Creature comfort Features:

  • Auto-dimming IVRM
  • Automatic Rain sensing wipers.
  • Reach and rake adjustable steering wheel
  • Audio control on steering wheel
  • Cooled glovebox
  • Touchscreen Infotainment system 
  • Cruise control
  • Rear AC vent


How well-specced is the infotainment system?

Volkswagen Polo comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with Android Auto and Apple car play. The screen is a tad bit smaller than the leaders of this segment but feels adequate for everyday use. The resolution is acceptable but the screen is not bright enough for use under direct sunlight.

2020 volkswagen polo infotainment system

It comes with voice commands for making or receiving calls. It feels fluid to use and is quick to respond. The 4 speakers’ audio system sounds crisp and has good bassy performance.


Infotainment Features:
  • 6.5” Touchscreen Infotainment system
  • Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity
  • Bluetooth, FM, AM
  • 4 Speaker Audio System
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity 


How spacious is the cargo space in Volkswagen Polo?

As the VW Polo is smaller in terms of physical dimension than most of its rivals, it was only obvious that it will come last in terms of boot space. You will still be able to haul two large suitcases but there won’t be any space left for your handbags!

Model

Volkswagen Polo 

Hyundai Elite i20 

Honda Jazz 

Maruti Suzuki Baleno 

Cargo Volume(L)

280

285

354

339

A parcel tray is provided to differentiate cabin seating from the cargo compartment. The cargo floor is also neatly laid out which hides the spare tyre and emergency toolkit beneath it. The tyre-walls, however, steal a bit of cargo volume as it protrudes inwards into the compartment.

2020 volkswagen polo cargo space

The Honda Jazz is the clear winner in terms of boot space with its cleverly designed boot. It is even easier to keep the luggage in and out of the Jazz.  The bottom two performers, the VW Polo, and the Hyundai Elite i20 stand neck-to-neck with each other in terms of boot capacity.

What are the various safety features on offer?

There is not much to talk about the safety features of the VW Polo as not much has been updated by Volkswagen here. VW Polo continues to come with only dual front airbags when the segment has already made a shift to offer 6 airbags on the top variants. The Polo might not offer much in terms of safety features but it is surely far ahead of its rivals in terms of structural rigidity.

2020 volkswagen polo rigid chassis

It is built according to European car standards and comes with a high-strength steel chassis. The doors are also embedded with a cross-member to aid in side-collisions and keep the passengers safe and sound. 


The VW Polo safety features on offer include:

  • Speed-sensing door lock
  • Dual airbags
  • ABS
  • Rear Parking Sensor
  • Driver Seat Belt reminder
  • Emergency Exit

How does Volkswagen Polo stand up against its long-standing competitors?

Volkswagen Polo vs Hyundai Elite i20

The Hyundai Elite i20 is one of the oldest cars in the segment and has been one of the main rivals of Baleno since the very launch of the latter. The facelift of Elite i20 in mid-2018 and the car also received some safety upgrades with its top-spec variant getting 6-airbag setup.

2020 hyundai elite i20

Hyundai Elite i20 surely has more power and punch in the engine department and is also more spacious than the VW Polo. It also comes with better features and safety package. But the Polo fights back with its better overall cabin quality and superior driving dynamics.


Volkswagen Polo vs Honda Jazz

The first-ever Honda Jazz was rolled out in India in 2009 and was one of those cars that revolutionized the premium hatch segment in the Indian Automotive market.It has the most powerful engine in the premium hatchback in the sub-10 lakh segment.

2020 honda jazz

Honda’s Jazz has the most spacious interior and comes with an acceptable level of cabin quality. But the cabin looks dated in many ways and is no match to the cabin quality of the VW Polo. Honda upgraded the car infotainment system to 7” touchscreen display which calls it Digipad but the VW Polo’s infotainment is a tad bit better and comes with more features. Polo also looks better than the Jazz and has better driving dynamics.

Even after 10 years, how does Volkswagen Polo stand strong?

VW Polo has completed 10 years of sales in India and has come a long way since its inception. But a lot has not changed in terms of design and features, which might be a deal-breaker for some. But VW Polo has long stood for something that no other competitor has been running after. In a segment where most cars are all about fuel efficiency, features, and cheap affordability, Polo has stood differently.

We do see Volkswagen trying to run after the same agenda as well but without compromising Polo’s core qualities i.e. premium driving experience and rock-solid build quality. VW Polo is then a car that you should buy if you are looking for a superior all-around driving experience, rather than outright performance or features. 

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