Overall, the Polo is a very classy and economical small car. My vehicle was purchased in 2011 (when I was still on a provisional drivers license) and I decided to option a few of the additional packages: Audio, Comfort and Sports.
These contained non-essential features that I considered to be important at the time of purchase including perks such as touchscreen audio, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and 17-inch alloys. Unfortunately, in 2011 Bluetooth was not part of these additional packages and only available as an accessory, which I didn’t bother with. I understand that this and many of the features that I optioned in back in November 2010 when the vehicle was ordered, are now standard features on current-year models.
I have since driven other Japanese- and Korean-built vehicles in the Polo’s class and I have to say that the Volkswagen is superior to these in respect to overall ride quality and handling.
Steering feel is quite relaxed and not as direct as I would like, but overall the Polo offers a very smooth and easy city drive which I still enjoy and appreciate three years on. The manual transmission is extremely smooth and shifts beautifully, helped by the well-shaped leather-bound gear stick. The Polo’s interior exudes quality overall, however, recently I have noticed a couple of minor squeaks and rattles from inside the cabin.
One main issue I have encountered with the vehicle is an intrusive engine rattle that occurs randomly and intermittently during acceleration. Through some online research, I understand that this issue is common amongst other Polos. I have raised the issue a number of times with the Volkswagen servicing team, however they have been unsuccessful to date with fixing the problem. Whilst I don’t consider this to be a major issue, as the car still gets me from A to B in comfort and the rattle doesn’t impact engine performance (as far as I can tell), I do find it annoying and I’m worried that it could result in further problems down the track.
Notwithstanding this, I would still consider myself to be happy with the overall experience and performance of my vehicle. I don’t travel great distances day-to-day and the Polo serves my needs well in this regard. I should note however that if I were in the market for a small/light car in the future I would be expanding my horizons to other brands as long term reliability is a concern for me, especially considering the above mentioned engine rattle issue.
I would recommend that Volkswagen extend their warranty program to at least five years in addition to the recently introduced capped-price servicing arrangement, to allow for further peace of mind. I should also note that my next scheduled service is set to cost over $600, which I consider to be excessive for this vehicle segment.