The six-speed manual’s price makes it the cheapest current-generation Polo GTI ever offered in Australia, undercutting even the discontinued three-door variant, and makes it just $500 more than the previous-generation Polo GTI manual that was last sold here in 2010.
Volkswagen continues to offer the Polo GTI with a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission, which is now priced $450 higher than before at $29,990.
Along with the introduction of the manual gearbox, the other big news is the Polo GTI’s new engine. Replacing the old 1.4-litre turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder petrol engine is a new 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo that’s part of the same family as the 2.0-litre units in the Golf GTI and Golf R hot hatches.
The new engine is best paired with the manual transmission, as Volkswagen’s engineers haven’t been forced to rein in the torque with the manual as they have been with the DSG.
With the manual it produces a meaty 320Nm of torque, though it’s limited to 250Nm with the DSG, matching the peak output of the old 1.4-litre/DSG combination.
With either transmission it makes 141kW of power, which is up 9kW from before.
Despite the 70Nm torque difference, Volkswagen claims both accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds, which is 0.2sec quicker than the old model.
The manual’s combined cycle fuel consumption matches the old DSG’s 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres measure, while the new DSG improves by almost 7 per cent to 5.7L/100km.
New standard technology includes the Composition Media infotainment system with a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen and proper integrated Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming.
Other technical advancements include stop-start engine system and the multi-collision brake safety system, both of which are standard in the 2015 Polo GTI.
The new adaptive suspension that’s available overseas isn’t available locally, however, with Volkswagen Australia opting not to offer it here.
Two options packages introduce a number of features missing from the previous Polo GTI.
The $1700 Driver Assistance package adds the Discover Media infotainment system with satellite navigation, a reverse-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, and a driver fatigue detection system.
The $3300 Luxury package ups the ante further with alcantara/leatherette upholstery, heated comfort front seats, LED headlights and daytime running lights, and a panoramic sunroof.
2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI prices (before on-road costs):
Six-speed manual $27,490
Seven-speed DSG $29,990
Luxury package $3300
Driver Assistance package $1700
Metallic/pearl effect paint $500
1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine
141kW at 4300-6200rpm
320Nm at 1450-4200rpm
0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds
141kW at 5400-6200rpm
250Nm at 1250-5300rpm
0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds
Front cornering foglights
Electronic stability control
Extended electronic differential lock
Dual chrome exhaust outlets
Honeycomb grille with red/chrome strip
Black sports diffuser
17-inch ‘Parabolica’ alloy wheels
Low tyre pressure indicator
Space-saver spare wheel and tyre
Red-edged floor mats
Auto headlights and wipers
Composition Media infotainment system with 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, proximity sensor, CD player, SD card reader, Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming, USB and AUX ports and six speakers
Gloss black trim
Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Sports steering wheel with brushed aluminium inserts
Paddleshifters (DSG only)
Drawers under front seats
‘Clark’ tartan upholstery with red stitching