I bought my Polo new in March of 2014. This vehicle was intended to be my work hack and general runabout, but over time it became a lot more of a love affair than a rough and tumble run-around sort of gig. It all started when one of my workmates bought a new VW Up!, and I thought to myself, “What a cracking little car.”
I was up for a new car anyway as my VE Commodore was becoming a little long in the tooth. So I went to the local VW dealership and test drove a Polo 77TSI DSG, as I felt that an Up! was a touch too small. I wasn’t much of a fan of the transmission, but I immediately fell in love with the way the Polo handled and how comfortable and quiet it was. I decided on a manual version in a Comfortline, and I signed the dotted line that very day.
After handing over the eighteen-odd thousand dollars and a couple of weeks of waiting, I picked up this little beauty. This was my first European car, so it kind of made me feel a little swanky.
I’ve owned a huge array of different types of cars during my driving life, from Suzuki Jimny’s to HSV’s, and none of them quite had the polish or complete feel that the Polo has. It does have its little issues however; I found the fact that you can’t fully turn the park light off and it’s lack of auto headlights a bit odd. Also, it’s lack of width in the cabin became quite uncomfortable in some cases. Perhaps the oddest bit is the Bluetooth dongle on the dash that sporadically never turns on, and doesn’t connect to any of the phones I’ve ever had. However these are very small complaints, as the Polo has only ever needed repair once in my five years, sixty thousand kilometres of ownership - the water pump had started to leak, so I replaced it. Other than that, it has been serviced by me every six months or ten thousand kilometres.
I am a big car guy, and couldn’t help but modify the little critter. Lowered springs were ordered before I even took delivery, it’s had ten different sets of wheels fitted, an ECU tune done, exhaust and intake modifications, and I’ve changed suspension setups three times. Basically, I made it impractical to be used with my ever-growing family, so it’s now become my weekend, track day and spirited drive car, and I’ve had to replace my initial daily drive with another daily drive. Even if I hadn’t made the Polo a stiff board, it doesn’t fit my child seats in properly and near-on deems the passenger front seat unusable with a rearward facing seat behind it. So at the end of the day, it would have been sold off to buy a bigger car anyway. But guess what, I couldn’t do it, I love this car too much to give it away. I love the look, and I love the feel. It may not be special to anyone but me, but that’s cars though; they can be more than just A-to-B machines.
I’ve since driven a new AW Polo and it addresses all the shortfalls of the 6R, but it just just doesn’t feel as much fun or as playful. I don’t see myself selling my Polo anytime soon as it really has become a part of the family.