Additional space gives new VW Polo the feeling of a more expensive model

The new VW Polo.
The new VW Polo.

Is Messi better than Best or Maradona? Is Sexton as good a Jackie Kyle? Joe Canning or Joe Cooney?

We all have our opinions and that, at the end of the day, is all that really matters. Comparisons are part and parcel of life and we are all prone to making them. Some are fair and others can be intuitive when making important decisions, like buying a new car.

Drivers in the market for a small compact hatchback car have a wealth of choice these days, and it is extremely difficult to know what is available from every brand. It is also fair to assume that buyers in this bracket are not overly wealthy and their choice has got to be right for them from the beginning.

Volkswagen launched the new Polo in December of last year and while this is the sixth generation, it is an entirely new car from the ground-up and is only available as a five-door. It is the most mature Polo ever with a simple but striking silhouette, clean lines and a proper grown-up stature.

Ford Fiesta, Opel Corsa, Kia Rio, Hyundai i20 and Honda Jazz are all in the same bracket. Many will make the comparison with the Fiesta, and that’s to be expected given the battle between the two over many years.

This week’s test car is the Polo Comfortline with a 1.0-litre 65hp petrol engine and many extras compared to the entry-level Trendline. Items such as a multifunction steering wheel, 15” Sassari alloy wheels, cruise control, 8-inch ‘Composition Media’ radio system with six speakers, App Connect, two USB interfaces and Air Conditioning show how well specified this car is.

One-litre, three-cylinder engines delivering, in some cases tremendous power, are all the rage these days as car makers try to come to terms with increased pressure from governments to reduce CO2 emissions. Some of these engines are incredibly impressive and match old 1.6-litre diesels for power and torque.

The 1.0-litre 65hp version in this car needs to be tested to see if it offers enough for the buyer. I my view, it’s not quite up to the mark in terms of pulling power and lift when you drop a gear and need to get on.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune