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Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review

There has never been a better time to get yourself behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo GTI. With a starting price of just $27,790, the all-new VW hot hatch sets the benchmark in the light-car performance segment.

132 kW and 250 Nm from a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine? You bet! Fuel economy of just 6.1L/100km? You bet! How? Not only is the tiny engine turbocharged but it’s also supercharged. Plus, it’s engineered by “ze Germans” and they tend to be a good 10 years ahead of the rest as far as engine development goes.

Compared to the old 1.8-litre turbo Volkswagen Polo GTI, the new one outputs more power (132 vs 110kW), uses less fuel (6.1 vs 8L/100km) and is faster to 100km/h by 1.3 seconds (6.9 vs 8.2 seconds).

Although the outgoing model started at $26,990 ($1,000 less than the new one), it came as a manual. The fifth-generation Australian delivered Volkswagen Polo GTIs are only available with the company’s 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). At first this may sound like a blow for ‘true’ car enthusiast, but having driven a new Polo GTI for over 500km I can reassure you that the manual will not be missed.

Remember, this technology has had time to prove itself. It was originally made famous in the Volkswagen Golf R32 (2003) and went on to find itself in legendary cars such as the Bugatti Veyron. It’s not a gimmick by any means and if you’re unfamiliar with the concept, have a read.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review

From the outside you can differentiate a standard Polo from a GTI thanks to its “honeycomb” grille, new 17″ “Denver” wheels, red brake calipers, chrome tailpipes and a rear spoiler. It also sits 15mm lower and looks rather mean.

Sit inside and you’ll quickly realise why the Polo has won so many awards. Unlike other light cars in the segment, the Polo’s interior feels expensive. Even though it’s not.

Soft touch plastics, great instrument feel, an upmarket ambiance in the cabin and an overall sense of quality will instantly differentiate the Polo from most of its rivals. It’s fair to point out that given the German’s love of all things black, the interior does have a slight darkness to it which might take some getting used to.

As for the GTI version, specific leather steering wheel (with GTI badge), sports seats and a traditionally GTI black roof lining will set it apart.

Facts and figures aside, how does the Polo GTI drive? To find out, Volkswagen Australia brought the automotive media to Adelaide where we would drive from the airport to Collingrove Hillclimb in the Barossa Valley. On our way we took certain sections that are part of the now extinct Classic Adelaide Rally.

If you’ve never driven a Volkswagen with a DSG, it will come as a bit of shock to you the first time. The ferocity by which the Polo GTI changes gears is nothing short of extraordinary. You can either leave it in D, use the steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters or stick it in S and it will hold the right gear and drop down at the appropriate time.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review

Although I am a big fan of using paddle-shifters, I did prefer to leave the DSG in Sport mode as it did a better job than I could. Apart from being near instantaneous in gear changes, the Polo GTI’s gearbox can also work out what angle the car is approaching a corner or hill and drop down to the appropriate gear when needed.

Unlike traditional automatics that tend to wait for you to put your foot down before they drop down a few gears, the DSG (in Sport mode) is always a few steps ahead of you.

Drive it flat-out towards a corner in third. Hard on the brakes as you take the 90 degree hairpin. Plant your right foot to accelerate out and the GTI is long ago in 2nd and waiting in the right revs to power you out. 10 years ago this sort of technology was only found in race cars and supercars. But it’s not perfect. There are annoying things about DSGs too. For example, it takes its sweet time to go from Drive to Reverse (or vice versa), which gets rather annoying if you’re not a patient being.

Speaking of being in the right revs, given the tiny 1.4-litre TSI engine is both super and turbo charged, power delivery is rather smooth. The supercharger does most of the work till about 3500rpm whereby the turbo kicks in for maximum torque.

Given the car weighs under 1200kg, acceleration is smooth and effortless both from a standstill and on the highway. So that leaves us with the biggest question of all: how does it handle?

Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review

Volkswagen doesn’t stick the GTI  badge on something without making sure it’s damn good. The new Polo GTI is no different. Around the tight mountain bends of Adelaide’s country side and the 750m long Collingrove Hillclimb, the little Polo proved itself a worthy sports car.

It goes around tight bends with ease and little to no noticeable assistance from the car’s nanny controls. That’s not to say they may not be helping in the background. Like its bigger brother –  the Golf GTI – the Polo also gains XDL (extended electronic differential lock). The system works by stopping the unloaded wheel at the inside of the curve slipping by applying just the right amount of power to the brake. All of this is done while you’re trying to bend the laws of physics. Essentially, it makes driving a front-wheel drive car seem a bit more like an all-wheel drive.

As for torque-steer, it’s still noticeable at times but it’s in no way off-putting. The only real concern I had with the Polo GTI’s handling was the suspension. Making use of MacPherson front suspension and semi-independent rear suspension, the Polo is a mean little thing. It sticks to the ground and goes around corners like nothing else in the segment. As a result, it also happens to be a bloody hard ride.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review

Driving through Adelaide’s surrounding towns, I could easily feel every bump. The slower I went the harder it felt. This may not be an issue in Germany where the roads are near perfect, but in Australia where politicians drive around in floaty Commodores and have little to no idea, it’s a pain in the back side.

As a day to day affordable light-sports car the Polo GTI is easily the number one choice in the market today. It beats its rivals in class, equipment level, price, performance and handling and pretty much anything else you can think of. Nonetheless, if you do value your ride-comfort over handling and performance then this car probably isn’t for you.

Safety wise the Polo comes with pretty much everything. Driver and front passenger airbags, curtain airbags (front and rear), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist, Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD), Hill Start Assist (HSA),  Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Extended Electronic Differential Lock (XDL), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) and Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP).

If you were after a light performance car under $30,000, what else could you consider instead? The Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart is getting old and the interior is far too underdone, the Ford Fiesta XR4 and Peugeot 207 GTI no longer exist and the Suzuki Swift Sport is set to be replaced soon. So, there you have it folks. The Polo GTI is easily the number one choice when it comes to a new sports car under $30,000.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
  • Polo GTI 3-door 7-speed DSG $27,790
  • Polo GTI 5-door 7-speed DSG $28,990


  • Metallic / Pearl Effect Paint -$500
  • Comfort Package – $500
  • Anti-theft Alarm System -$600
  • Audio Package- $770
  • Bi-Xenon headlights- $1,600
  • Alcantara/Leatherette upholstery – $1,900 **

Volkswagen Polo GTI Specifications.

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Volkswagen Polo GTI Review
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  • Jazrod

    Fantastic! I’m so glad VW have made a 5door, also. Would look great in silver with larger wheels . . .

  • Kaiju Fan

    Comment Removed

    • Stevo

      And now Kaiji Fan brings you his comparison on apples and oranges…

      • Kaiju Fan

        The aim of my comment was to generate discussion regarding the 5 star rating system which is misleading people as to the true safety of their car. Vehicle size & mass matters a great deal, why do I care you ask. Well after being involved in a serious car accident last year, I started doing some research on the topic of crash testing. Me and my wife were very fortunate to survive intact, and beyond all doubt the size of our vehicle played a major role… as well as it’s “5 star rating”.

        Anyway mission accomplished!

        • Igomi Watabi

          Are you advocating, therefore, that large cars should be banned?

          • Kaiju Fan

            I really hope your comment is a failed attempt at being witty.

    • Mitch

      From the ANCAP website, i think people need to realise that being in a big car doesnt mean its safe.

      Polo – 34.96
      Commodore – 33.45

    • Pauly

      The Polo does have a 5 star safety rating. Last time I checked the Commodore was on 4 stars and only recently got upped to 5 stars?

      Bigger doesn’t mean its safer.

      Take a look at those new Chinese cars, they are not small by any means and they have absolutely rubbish safety.

      • Save It for the track

        When the difference between a 4 and 5 star rating can come down to whether or not there is a warning light for the passenger having a seatbelt on, that hardly seems like a good comparison.
        When it comes down to brass tacks, a modern large car crashing into a modern small car will come out better. The laws of physics cannot be overcome by ANCAP ratings. I’m quite sure that 1600kg of 4 star will fair better than 1200kg of 5 star.

        • Claffz

          But at what speed would it be better?
          Yes a large car CAN be safer but alot of ancap is how the occupants are protected from WITHIN the vehicles, the vehicle’s body integrity is consistant if its built well…

        • HP

          It depends on what sort of crash scenario you’re talking about, if you crash into a solid object like a wall or a large tree then the larger mass of the commodore will mean you’ll hit the object with more force.

          It all depends on the circumstances, different cars will be safer in different conditions so it’s hard to decide which one is safer overall.

    • F1MotoGP

      How is is your car is lot to do with design. It does not mean bigger car is safer. On Euroncap website is some example.

      • Jeef Beef

        Actually, EuroNCAP and ANCAP both state that results from vehicles across size categories CANNOT be compared with any meaningful result. The Polo achieving 34.96 compared to Commodore’s 33.45 doesn’t really mean anything. The scores can only be compared to vehicles in the same size category, which I believe is ‘small’ for the Polo and ‘family’ for the Commodore.

        While the Polo is extremely safe for a car of its size, I’d definitely rather be in the Commodore if there was a head on collision. For good examples, search up ‘Fiat 500 v Audi Q7 crash’, ‘Yaris v Camry’ and ‘Fit v Accord’ on youtube. The smaller cars get absolutely OBLITERATED even though each of those cars are rated 5 stars by NCAP or ‘Good’ by the IIHS.

  • http://caradvice.com.au Pom

    VW Australia have really done a great job price wise in the UK the Polo GTI is more expensive (by some margin) than the Mito, DS3 and Clio and exactly the reverse here.

    Perhaps the importers of Renault, Citroen and Alfa Romeo need to stop gouging the public, look at what VW has achieved in terms of brand building with their great pricing and then they might also experience similar success with what are good products. Instead they would rather just take the P**S out of the Australian public and see their stock gather dust.

  • Pauly

    The Polo GTI is reminding me alot of what the Golf GTI used to be like back when it was MK1 and MK2.

    The Golf GTI has grown up abit now and has alot more gadgets on offer:

    – Park Assist
    – Reversing Camera
    – Sat Nav
    – Adaptive Dampers
    etc etc etc

    None of those options you can get on the Polo GTI. Which is by no means a bad thing for people who don’t care for gadgets.

    However going by alot of reports of the Polo GTI’s suspension on Aussie roads, maybe the Adaptive Dampers may have been a good option to offer?

    • average joe

      If you leave out enough things, you end up hitting alot of different people’s deal breakers. For some the active dampers, for some the lack of leather as an option etc.

      They’ll sell well to a different market to what VW has been going for (think big after market extractors), but don’t think the omissions do anything much for where they’re trying to take their brand.

  • Matt

    Is sunroof an option? Why isn’t it in the list?

    • omgpolo

      i hope its still an option! the photos i saw with the panoramic sunroof looked nice!

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      Yep, sunroof is an option.
      I will get pricing for you from VW Aus very soon…

      • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

        $1,700 (MRRP)

        • Matt

          Cheers. This car has indeed the best of both worlds in terms of performance and fuel efficieny. I was actually going to wait for the Honda CRZ, but after looking at this, i think I will get one.

    • Glen

      In UK yes £815

  • Kieran

    Sounds like a great car!

    What I don’t understand, though, is why more and more manufacturers are refusing to offer manual transmission, when so many of these cars – which are more than just the off-the-rack variant – are usually ordered to a customer’s desires?
    Why can’t I have a normal manual transmission Polo GTI if I want it? I know that DSGs are better, but what if I simply like driving with three pedals?
    Why would I not be able to get a manual BMW 520d, if I want? They’re available as manual in Europe…
    Why can I not have a manual Commodore Omega, if I want it? The sports versions are available with manual…

    We’re expected to wait quite a while, in order to get a car with our desired paint and leather combination, with only the optional extras that we want, so who are they to say, “well, no, you can’t have a manual transmission on your car, despite the fact we’re building it to your specification”

    I realise that manual transmissions aren’t popular, but why not have them as a customer-order only option? That way, the people who want it, can have it, but those who don’t care or don’t want to wait, can have an automatic, just like everyone else.

    –End rant–

    • Kieran

      Wow, sorry about the essay…

    • Shak

      When they say they are building a car to your spec, they mean they are chucking on something they developed during the development phase of the cars life cycle. In some cars, certain things are not developed because only a tiny fraction of its market will ask for it, and there is no point in a car manufacturer making something only to not make any profit. The reason manuals are offered on the Sporty Commodore’s is because a considerable chunk of them are private sales, and these people generally want manual. I know mine is. In the case of the BMW, you can get a manual in some 5’ers and 3 cars, but you need to ask very politely to the dealer(im not joking). Most volume car makers will always cater for the mass market, and in the case of the Omega/Berlina Commodores and the BMW 5 Series, they are volume sellers for the mass market, and profit will always win above what 3% of people want.

    • j

      The twincharged 1.4 has no manual transmission in any market. They never made a manual for this engine. Perhaps they needed the computer to control the gear changes to work harmoniously with the superturbo? Who knows?

      • pete

        The Polo GTI uses the same engine as the 118TSI Golf MK6, albeit slightly tuned to get more power, and the Golf does indeed come in a 6 speed manual.

      • Stoney!

        ummm, my 118 tsi golf with the 1.4 turbo/super is a manual!

        • j

          Oh, my bad.

          Then that is a valid point. Why the frak do they not sell it with a manual???

    • Banicks


      I lol’d when they’ve started offering an Auto box in WRX models. Heck even the top line Evo is now “Auto only” according to dealers.

      I couldn’t stop laughing as I was walking out of the dealership that day. They seriously didn’t understand why I was so amused.

  • Hector

    the poor mans Golf Gti

    the Polo looks like a complete pussy on the road. it is for women only.

    • Grammar Nazi

      So blokes need to drive a two-tonne sled to be considered a man?

      I think it’s the least girly-looking light car on the road.

      Oh, and it’s spelled “man’s”. Every time you abuse an apostrophe your penis shrinks a tiny bit.

      • http://internode.on.net Old Pete

        LMAO … penis shrinks … chuckle, chuckle, chortle. Grammar Nazi, you really made my day!

        Hector, did you not look at the photographs?

        • Al Juraj

          Achilles, Hector’s over here!

  • Shak

    CA you declare this car the best car in the class, but by your own reasoning(end of the story), its only the best because its the only car left in its class. It probably is the best by a mile, but the end sounds a bit like an easy win after heaping all that praise on it.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      it deserves all the praise, but yes, it’s the only logical choice.

  • bangel

    This car is going to shake up the small car market , its the hero model in a range that will sell very well .

    The trickle down effect will move the polo sales much higher , but this is so well priced , why bother with a lesser model , they wont be able to get enough .

    Would be interesting to compare size and weight to the original 76 golf gti , must be close .

    • James Cortez

      Sizewise is probably comparable to the 1976 Golf MK1 GTI. Weightwise: The new polo GTI must be a lot heavier!! Hardly any car nowadays weighs less than 1 ton. The first MK1 GT1 is less than 800 KG!!

    • Reckless1

      The new Polo is much larger than the MK1 Golf.

      • pete

        The new polo is of similar size and weight to the old MK3 Golf. Cars are mostly heavier these days due to improvements for saftey and luxury. Cars structures are made stronger, there are airbags, ABS, traction control, DSG gearboxes, airconditioning and more sound damping etc. All add to extra weight these days.

  • Crownleyian

    Great little car indeed, but I have seen reviews on YouTube claiming that it dies not stand up for the GTI badge.

    Polo R in under development now that is going to be a cracker!

    People stop insisting on manual, VW has decided not to develop manual transmission for the Polo GTI. Maybe in the near future.

    Great pricing VW Aus but I’d still go for the Clio RS200 Mitch quicker and better handling.

    Let’s see what VW and Audi will offer in the Polo R and Audi S1 (RS1?).

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      Having driven the Renault Clio RS200, I can tell you that you are right, it’s a better handling car and it does feel quicker than the Polo GTI.

      However, it’s $36,500! Not exactly the same price category.

      As for the new car not standing up to the GTI badge, I am not sure who could say that. It’s the best Polo GTI to date and it feels and drives as such.

      • http://BMW Crownleyian

        Completly agree with you.

        just search the review in YouTube this is what your looking for: “VW Polo GTi review by autocar.co.uk”

        It is His opinion but I can’t wait for the Audi S1 (RS1?) and VW Polo R, they are going to be magnificent.

        • Banicks

          His opinion? Farting noises by the sound of it.

          How does he even know if those cars are going to be great without driving them?

          I don’t believe reviews until I’ve driven something. I believe reviewers even less that speculate on cars they haven’t driven, because it means they already have a bias towards particular vehicle.

          Getting sick of these kinds of comments. But hey, did anyone hear about how awesome the 2013 SS Commo will be!? Not even designed yet, but it will blow everything out of the market.

          • Crownleyian

            If your weren’t so ignorant and if you look at the Review he drives the Polo GTI.

            He mentions at the end that hes is no quite sure the new Polo GTI deserves the GTI badge.

  • Technofreak

    What an awesome little beast!
    …talking the mrs into trading the old MX-5 in…will she take the bait??

    • bangel

      Big call techno , i jump out of my golfy into my daughters mx5 and i just love it , best car mazda makes , soo much fun to drive .

  • Lachlan

    I’ll be interested to see the figures that an APR tune gives this little beast … I’m sorely tempted to test drive one when they are on the market as it looks like a fun smaller car more similar in size to the early Golf.

    It’s a shame the current Golf has ballooned in proportions … must be all the burgers people eat these days.

    • Reckless1

      You mean Bratwurst.

      Germans aren’t into hamburgers like the yanks, even though the dish appears to be named after a German city :)

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      It’s unlikely anyone will tune this in the short term given the 7 SP DSG gearbox has a maximum torque rating of 250Nm, which is what the Polo GTI is stock.

      • Lachlan

        That’s a bit un-VW like isn’t it? Usually you can get a few extra KW and Nm from most of their engine/gearbox combos …

        Still tempted to test drive … bound to be a step up from my Mk IV Golf.

      • Hung Low

        A bit of a bummer that this has no more performance potential from stock!
        Why would anyone build a forced inducted performance variant with such a weak gearbox rating? I am sure they had a stronger version in the parts bin, from the Golf perhaps?

        • http://BMW Crownleyian

          Wait for the Polo R that will have more power!

        • pete

          The DSG suppliers / Licencee\’s for VW are BorgWarner and LuK and the DSG boxes are a wet 6 speed handling 350Nm and the Dry 7 speed handling 250Nm. Audi have another model which can handle 600Nm. Many Car Tuners have exceeded these levels but obviosly the long term reliability would be questionable. If a Polo R is on the cards they would probably use the 6 Speed Wet DSG to cater for the extra torque. Have a read of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-Shift_Gearbox

      • Reckless1

        Alborz, the 6 speed DSG is rated by VW at 350NM, but it can comfortably handle 500Nm, and will handle 650NM before slipping clutches.

        The 7 Speed will no doubt handle 350-400 in a street car without too much drama, providing launch control is not used at every light. (doing that with virtually any street car would see the drive train fail early)

        Chips have already been released for 7 speed DSG cars which up the torque to 317Nm.

        • Bimmerc

          6 speed DSG can handle more torque than specified in short term, not the entire vehicle life for DQ250 (6speed wet DSG)

          For 7speed, I seriously doubt it. can you explain how will this DQ200 (7 speed dry DSG) dissipate those heat generated by 400 Nm???
          Also, torque capacity is clutch character (ie,surface area, material etc.) and it is not relative to electronic, unlike engine power.

          Can you provide the source for “Chips have already been released for 7 speed DSG cars which up the torque to 317Nm.”? Interest to see have does this article say

  • LukasUtopia

    Personally, I would save for either a manual Golf GTI or a Clio Sport. The Clio has a bit more character than this, but the Polo will age better and is probably a bit more ergonomic. The size of this Polo GTI is very similar to the Golf 3, so it’s not that small. But it’s a pretty darn good car for it’s price, perhaps better value than the lesser equipped Polo models.

    • http://BMW Crownleyian


      Love the Renault Clio RS200 Gordini, it looks magnificent. I just hate the Renault cheap plastics.

  • filippo

    Well a Golf GTi DSG didn’t convert me (with it’s hesitation and farty exhaust note) so I doubt this will. My prediction is that European sales will stall so VW will have to produce a manual. I’ll wait.

    • http://BMW Crownleyian

      I think you are right about the Europeans not going for the DSG and eventually VW will introduce the Manual gearbox.

      European just love their manual transmissions especially with road like they have up there, it’s a must!

      But in the other hand might VW be playing a game with it’s customers, can’t forget that the VW Polo R is under development, that’s were the manual will be.

      Maybe something like the New Subaru Impreza WRX having a 5 speeed manual gear box, and the Impreza WRX STI having the 6 Speed gearbox? Marketing strategies?

      • filippo

        Another interesting thing is that the Golf GTi and R are BOTH available with manual transmissions. If VW are so sure of themselves, why don’t they drop the manual option completely?

        • pete

          Historically the performance driver has always been focused around a manual transmission as its “real driving” and hence the option still exists. Unfortunately in Australia the majority of drivers use automatics so Australians moving over to the VW stable will most likely try the DSG and find it more superior to the standard auto’s they have used in the past. This will further perpetuate the decline of the manual in Australia as they are unlikely to switch to manual and there are now manual drivers swapping over to DSG too, which is sad for me because I’m a manual man. (Go check with you VW dealer and they will tell you that the majority of their sales are DSG.)

  • macca

    very good technology and efficiency. the only downsides I can see are the lack of standard parking sensors (rear can be purchased), and the requirement for 98RON fuel – would much prefer 95 as a baseline (the spec sheet says 98 recommended, but doesn’t specify anything lower). 95 is obviously advantageous if there is a shortage on 98, not to mention the 14 cent addition 98 commands over standard petrol (thou not a deal breaker due to the excellent economy).

    • Al Juraj

      Well, only stupid people need parking sensors for such a small car. It’s also understandable it requires 98 octane because the engine is both turbo and supercharged. And you said it yourself. The excellent efficiency justifies the better fuel on the menu.

    • pete

      Macca you will probably find that the logbook / petrol cap will indicate that 95RON can be used. The engine will just adjust to prevent knocking. Since this is the same engine used in the the MK6 Golf 118TSI and all the Golfs, including the GTI and Golf R, have been rerated to use 95 as standard, it should all be good using 95. The 98RON recommendation is probably there as the engine has been tuned, based on 98RON, up from 118kW to the 132kW so 98 will net the best performance.

  • Geek

    In regard to Crash ratings I just want to apply a bit of highschool science. Kinetic energy is defined as half the mass x velocity squared. All crash test are done at a particular velocity for all size of cars irrespective of their mass. This means that a 1200kg car will genrate a certain impact force at the fixed speed of the test(lets say 50kmh). The structure may return a 5 star rating based on this level of impact force. If you increase the impact force then it may no longer perform at the same protection level. A heavier car say 1600kg will generate a higher force at the same speed (50kmh) but its structure may still be able to protect to a high level (say 5 stars). The problem comes when the higher force produced by the bigger cars kinetic energy comes into contact with the smaller car. The larger car is imposing 33% more energy into the smaller cars structure. So the small car will already be at its 5 star rating at 38kmh when the large car can be at 50kmh. This is simplistic but it shows that mass wins irrespective of the star rating. Obviously you are still better off in a 5 star car and better yet in a heavier 5 star car.

    • http://BMW Crownleyian

      Testes are the same for everyone!

      Cars are now made to crush and leave the cabinet intact.

      But it does seem you have it all sorted out in your own world there….

      • Nath746


        • Hugespud

          you know, the ones you lose when you are in the small 5 star car in a crash

          • Jabba the Hutt

            Geek your formula works when applied to a heavy car hitting a lighter one but it works the other way when hitting a solid object : ie; a concrete block. There is simply more energy for the block to absorb in a heavier vehicle. Bigger isn’t always better. Same applies for hitting a power ploe or large tree. The larger car has a better chance on initial impact of actually breaking the tree/pole but if it doesn’t then the intrusion is likely to be greater.

  • Lachlan

    I don’t dispute your calculations, but I think if we all applied that rationale we would all be buying 5 star Hummers (if there is such a thing) – or basically the heaviest vehicle we can find that offers a 5 star rating … I think a push away from large heavy vehicles would be great – ie. less energy required to move the vehicle for starters, therefore more fuel efficient etc. etc.

    Australia has a love affair with big, inefficient cars – and it seems that some people erroneously equate driving them to being hung like a horse and being more of a man than small car driving blokes – who by the comments on here and elsewhere are perceived of as girly metrosexuals.

    I want you all to know it’s untrue. I’m packing ten and a quarter inches, have fourteen wives who I impregnate on a regular basis, beat up any bloke who disagrees with me, built my house with my own two hands, hunt, shoot and fish – and I drive a Golf – and for the metrosexuals out there, I have great skin and hair, listen to the Stereophonics and watch arthouse cinema regularly.

    • kennyboye

      I am sure you will still look great and be the most popular patient on the rehab ward after some tosser hits you in his landcruiser with a bullbar…..

      • Lachlan

        That’s when I’m walking back to my car right? – it’s just envy that makes tossers want to hit us hung, good-looking guys when we walk back to our hot hatches …

        • kennyboye

          Good One!

  • Crownleyian

    Yes yes the same men that accelerate on a strait line, and are too scared to take on the curves…
    The Men with their Commodores/Falcons that get all pissed off when they are overtaken by a light vehicle.

    I Love those “Men”

    It’s called ignorance…

    • Radbloke

      Which basically makes you ignorant, as you’re lowering yourself to their level by paying out on them. Some people need bigger cars than others, how is it your problem?

  • Andy

    Any chance of knowing what time the Polo did at Collingrove?? Thanks

    • Alborz Fallah

      Best time of the day was a 40.xx – however that was with little to no preparation and only one actual run per journo.

  • Save It for the track

    As has been reported in various media, and as I have mentioned before, when a vehicles rating can be knocked down to 4 star simply because it is missing a warning light for a passenger seatbelt, that in my opinion diminishes the meaning of a 5 star rating.
    To me crash ratings should be just that, about how a vehicle does in a crash, not if it has warning lights for stuff that any half decent driver should be paying attention to anyway.
    Bringing it to another comparison, I’m sure that a 1600kg 4 or 5 star car will do better in a tangle with a 10 ton truck than a 5 star small car. It’s fairly damn obvious really. I’d like to see at what score levels the star ratings kick in.

    • Nightshifter

      I don’t agree, “Save It for the track”. If the manufacturers can still get 5-star rating omitting the various warning lights, then they would just have less reasons to care about having them in the car.

      It’s not that hard to understand that you and your passengers are more likely to get injured in an accident in a car without the warning lamps because it’s more likely that you or your passengers will forget about wearing the seat belts. You might have the good habit of wearing the belts but your passengers might not.

  • Al Juraj

    They did test a 4-star Camry head-on with a 5-star Yaris and the latter’s result was rather pitiful. It’s the same with the Smart car and Mercedes C-Class.

    • Nightshifter

      It is not fair to compare a bigger car’s safety rating with a smaller car by comparing how well they fare in a scenario where the bigger car crashes head on into the smaller car. This is because the bigger car is exerting more force to the smaller car than the smaller car is exerting to the larger car.

      If I’m not mistaken, this is exactly why crash tests are not done this way but have them drove towards the same type of barriers and have the same type of carts carrying the same weight drove into the car tested(on side impact test)

      As such, a 5-star Yaris will likely fare better than the 4-star Camry when they crash into the same truck at the same speed!

      By driving a larger car on the road, all you are doing is being more of a threat to the other motorists on the road because your car is heavier and will cause more damage on a crash. You are not 1 bit safer unless the larger car actually has a higher safety rating.

  • http://www.carmio.de/ Autoteile Preisvergleich

    I just love this car. Its the perfect car for youngster.

    • Radbloke

      I don’t know too many youngsters that can splash that kind of cash on a car.

      • Banicks

        You don’t know many youngsters then mate.

        200sx imports go for 20k ballpark – then they spend another 10k upwards of on modifications. Thats above ballpark for stock standard polos. Not including insurance and what not for under 25s!

        • talk then think

          Yeh and they take out a 25k loan just to buy it.

  • LukasUtopia

    Europeans like more manuals because, apart from within their condensed cities, their roads outside the cities have very few traffic signal lights – and so less stop start traffic outside the city perimetre (not like the flattened out subburbier surrounding the capital cities of Australia). Once outside that city perimetre they just focus on their enjoyment of more engaging manual transmissions on sporty cars.

  • MK

    How does it sound?

  • Jeef Beef

    For some reason this appeals to me much more than a Golf Mk. VI GTI. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen far too many of those on the road already.

    Identical performance in a tighter package, with less weight and costs less dough compared to its bigger brother? Sounds awesome to me. I’ll bet it’ll easily take a Golf GTI in the twisties simply because of the low down thrust of the supercharger and its agility from being only 1.2 tonnes.

    Lack of manual is a bit of a let down, but I’ll still take one in white thanks. The red brake calipers will compliment well.

    • Al Juraj

      The Polo GTi is not an overachiever, but rather the Golf GTi is underperforming. It’s outran by rivals such as the Focus XR5, Mazda3 MPS, Subaru WRX and Lancer Ralliart. It needs to have more power for the same money. Over 10K more than its smaller sibling is absolutely unjustifiable.

  • tuzii

    no leather means not going to sell at the best rate,
    no leather vw’s are hard to sell.

    thats the reason why i lost interest on this car.

    • bangel

      Sure would you like it in cream sir , bloody hard to keep clean ,i would rather have an ECU up grade than leather sir .

    • Say no to no-leather VWs

      Hard to sell? LMAO at that one!

      • bangel

        Dead cow has no appeal , give me gadgets , i love my tartan .

  • Daniel

    When is it released?

  • Paul

    It will be great to see them on the road, the more the merrier, maybe Australia will experience a real GTI revival.

    I had a MKIV GTI and it was great to drive, a smidge fat, but saved my life in a hard prang with a side barrier at 110klm, I think this little beauty will be my new Year prezzie, its great to see VW bring out a really powerful and nimble GTI.

    Well Done VW, it doesn’t get any better really.

  • Phil

    Had a look at the 5 door today while my 9n3 GTI was being serviced – there’s a big fail for VW with this model and that is boot space. They’ve inexplicably put the tools in two separate foam containers, one under the space saver spare and the other on the left side above the spare wheel well, so the boot is shallower than on the lower-spec models which do get a full size 16″ spare. IMO the bootspace on the new GTI is less usable than the old one, which had a full size alloy spare.

    • Phil

      Apparently the reason for the bootspace limitation is the relocation of the vehicle battery into the spare wheel well. Would it really make enough difference to the handling to justify the compromise in storage space and the loss of the full size spare?

  • Al Juraj

    Th base price of $27,790 is $1,000 more than its predecessor, which had a manual. When VW normally charges two grand or so to upgrade to DSG, introducing a stick shift will lower the price even further. You can’t be any happier beating bogan sixes for just over 25K!

    • Denzo

      $25K? LMAO. GO to a dealer with $35K and tell how much change you get! Lucky if you see a couple of grand..

      Just like a GOLF R is $48990 right? No again, once you walk in order it, pay onroads and throw a couple of options on, try more like $60K+!!

      Dont mean to bite your head off at all, but keep it realistic please. You might give someone hope that they might actually be able to get one of these for just over $25k.. which they wont even if they buy a dead stocka.

      A Ford Falcon actually is $33K driveaway. That is realistic. But premium cars have high premiums to get them on road!

  • Ted

    Would love one of these cars, but the 5 – 6 months wait through an order, will make me buy a different brand. Not only the wait is an issue, but dealers will not budge on price either.

  • Dave

    Good review, I just upgraded from a 2007 Polo GTI and was lucky enough to pickup a new 5 door GTI a week ago, despite first being told by the dealer we wouldn’t get one until June.
    You won’t get much change out of $35k with all the onroads included but it will definately be worth the wait.
    In comparision to the old model, the interior is much more upmarket, very much like the Golf with flat bottom steering wheel and radio/MFD buttons. In fact, the entire car feels more solid and ‘Golf’ like.
    The performance is streets ahead of the old model, it is so smooth and even though I am taking it easy while I run it in, the acceleration is significantly better than before. The old model lacked power below 3500rpm but the new one really takes off from any part of the rev range.
    I have always had manual cars and couldn’t even think about an auto before, but since I had to compromise with my wife to get an ‘auto’, I have been completely converted to DSG. Use the manual mode whenever you want, then auto when sitting in traffic. Unlike any other auto I have driven, the DSG will kick down a gear as soon as you want, not wait for revs to fall before selecting a lower gear.
    I haven’t taken it on a proper windy road yet, but it certainly feels like to handles better than the old model.
    The only negative I can give so far is that the boot space is significantly smaller and no longer comes with an alloy spare. The battery has been moved as the engine fills up so much of the engine bay, but there is a lot of wasted space below the floor.
    This car provides so much bang for your buck it is rediculous. Do yourselves a favour and at least test drive one.

    • Maz 6 ( now GTI mk6)

      Congrats Dave!
      Had our second test drive yesterday, what a rocket huh.
      My few negatives are
      1. steering felt a bit vague ( not much feedback) when powering off at take off….almost felt like too much power through the front wheels,
      although I do drive it’s big brother and that has great feedback.
      2 the lack of boot space is a real conch for me
      3 no air vents for the back ( nit picking) but one of us sat in the back with the air con on and it was hot back there compared to the front…..then again it was a stinking hot day (high 30)

      The one positive to test drive in this heat is …..as turbos prefer cooler
      temps and low humidity for optimal performance, this car still impressed us in this heat with the a/c almost on max and climbing hills and and few twisties.

      Worst news will be the ridiculously long wait…..all coming through are already sold, next lot due approx June- Aug, many orders against those, then after that looking at Nov/Dec!
      So if we order soon because we want some options, bi xenons,, leatherette/suede, audio, we may be looking at Nov/Dec delivery!

      So, you are very lucky and enjoy the ride :-)

  • Matt

    I test drove it with 4 blokes including myself with the air cond on full blast and the car still pulled and corned quite remarkably well. Had a second test on another day with just 2 people in it and was even more inmpressed!

    In the end, I ordered a black one which is due to be delivered mid-May.
    Options-Pearlescent paint, Bi-Xenons, Audio pack, Comfort pack, sunroof, bluetooth & tint.

    It’s worth the wait…

    • Terminator

      This car is a massive fail I feel sorry for anyone who buys/bought it.

      • Crownleyian

        This car is in no way a fail.

        It is one of the best light cars in the market just missing it from the Renault Clio RS 200.

        Even that the Clio RS 200 is not the same price range they are in the same category.

        Like I have said before great car the Polo GTI, remarkable piece of Engineering the Renault Clio RS 200 Cup, way ahead of the Polo.

  • Not Convinced

    Great review; great sounding car.

    BUT I just can’t get my head around the 1.4 litre buzzbox bit. Sure it packs a punch but doe sit sound like a buzzsaw on the highway? How many K’s before you’re looking at major engine repairs due to wear?

    • Adam

      Modern 1.4’s are fine on the highway, let alone this car with a turbo and supercharger means it’s barely ticking over at highway speeds.

      • Glen

        2400rpm at 70mph means it is relaxed and economical. Great combination when dab your foot and off it goes!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZRD675YSHUJUVQS67YTHHDLMN4 Olly

         The car has a lot more moving parts and hence will suffer from more component wear based failures.  How many k’s before that turbo needs rebuilding?  60K? 100K?  Superchargers also need rebuilding and new belts how long for those?  For forced induction you need to do religious oil and coolant changes, and letting turbo’s cool down before switching them off.  It’s a lot of faff really, the original GTi didn’t have any of that so it was trouble free for longer, and maintanance costs were less you didn’t have to worry if you got to a highway servo and they didn’t have high octane.

  • GeekamaX

    When I saw the 2011 V-Dub Polo I was impressed, but when I saw the Polo GTI I fell in love. Now I am 17 and looking for a job ;P.

  • http://n/a Pamela

    By consensus of all the comments published herein, I am impressed greatly by what the Polo GTi is, even with those delightful options included which would, for me, take the purchase price to some $40,000, these little beauties are worth every cent. We, my husband and I, have a MKIV Golf GTI DSG which cost $62,000 – it is fabulous, delightful, and an absolute pleasure to ride in. It has Leather, ACC, Park Assist, Sat Nav with Dynaudio, and all of these items add to the ownership pleasure. It is very economical, as long as Hubby doesn,t get too heavy footed. We purchased this one March 2010 (after a 4 month wait), BUT would have chosen an optioned-up POLO GTI if they had been avaiable at the time. Nevertheless we reckon these are all wonderful cars which can, and do delight, with every drive. So, whatever you may choose, I reckon you will not be disappointed.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZRD675YSHUJUVQS67YTHHDLMN4 Olly

       I’m not sure I could bring myself to spend $62K on a Golf, probably because I feel they’re no longer in the spirit of the GTi.  Too big, too heavy and too expensive.

  • David

    As a matter of interest, anyone know the kph/1000 revs for this engine? I expect it like a banshee at highway speeds? The problem with a good small engine is that it will always work harder than a good big-ger engine and inevitably wear more quickly. There’s also the issue of comfort at highway speeds. I have a Focus [excellent car] and a six – always prefer the bigger car on the highway – less work and more relaxing.

  • Sal

    April 2012 and still long waiting list and if Dealers have one in stock due to an order cancellation they charge more than recommended drive away price by VWA.

  • Brooksview

    I have had mine for almost 2 weeks. I did not test drive it. I bought it on what I had reviewed on it. I drive just over 200km’s a day. A mix of hills, windy bits and open highway. I can only say that this car is good, bloody good. The refinement, the looks, the ease of overtaking, stopping, handling, and the auto trans is unbelievable. I was lucky to get the only white 2 door in Australia and waited only a week for delivery from NSW to SA. I have taken a few people for a ride in it, and they are blown away with it’s performance, price, and what it has to offer. I was going to get the diesel, but I am glad I didn’t. I promise you will not be disappointed if you get one.

  • F1orce


  • AmirR

    Had this baby gti for 9 months now. So far very pleased with it. Its really fun to drive in tight and twisty corners. For normal commuting, it can be as laidback as you want it to be. Yep. Those hard set ups can be quite a handful but after sometimes you’ll get used to it.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZRD675YSHUJUVQS67YTHHDLMN4 Olly

       I’d be interested to know how much services cost and when the first “major” service is.

Volkswagen Polo Specs

Car Details
6R MY11
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$10,230 - $11,630
Dealer Retail
$11,750 - $13,970
Dealer Trade
$8,100 - $9,300
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
230Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
66kW @  4200rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
4.6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1000  Unbrake:530
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
195/55 R15
Rear Tyres
195/55 R15
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber
Rear Suspension
Torsion bar, Trailing arm, Coil Spring
Standard Features
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
15 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Hill Holder, Traction Control System
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Trip Computer
Engine & Transmission
Electronic Differential Lock
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Premium Sound System
Metallic Paint, Sports pack
Leather Upholstery
Comfort Pack
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Inner Guard
Country of Origin