A brilliant light vehicle capable of covering almost all of your needs. If you're looking for a well-built, economical, handsome light hatch, the Volkswagen Polo will provide you an exceptional package.
Closing in on a year with my 2013 Polo 77TSI Comfortline and the smile has yet to be wiped from my face. After spotting quite a few 'base' 77TSI's around, I wasn't particularly enamoured by the generally conservative design of the Polo. After inspecting a few models with both the Sports and Comfort packages though, I quickly became much more of a fan. The featured 17' rims definitely provide my Polo with some presence in the gym car park.
Whilst the DSG has issues at lower speeds (generally in grinding peak-hour, stop-start traffic), the transmission is exceptionally smooth at higher speeds and pairs well with the punchy turbo engine. Whilst the 0-100km/h times are nothing to write home about, the Polo always feels as though time is flying by - a line that could generally summarise the 77TSI as a whole.
Fuel economy has been exceptional too - I generally have a mix between cross-town trips and short runs, but I've never seen my average fuel consumption top 7L per 100km. A recent trip to Adelaide saw figures drop to 5L per 100km.
VW have done a fine job fine tuning the suspension, with the larger rims and sports suspension making almost no noticeable impact upon ride comfort. For a small city car, the Polo has strong grip through corners and really hunkers down onto the road at reasonable speed. Obviously this isn't a track day special though.
As can be noted with any Volkswagen, the interior is exceptionally well design and manufactured, from the tight gaps to the oft reported 'soft touch' plastics. There are many positive notes regarding the interior (fantastic range of driving positions, clear dials, logically placed controls, large glovebox, great water bottle holders), though there are also a number of minor niggles too (awfully positioned cup holders, no sunglasses holder, odd armrest cubby), however a number of these issues can be seen across the Polo's light car rivals.
Grabbing the optional Comfort Pack is an absolute steal and includes convenient luxuries such as heated mirrors, climate control and an auto dimming rear-view mirror. In addition, the clever split boot design provides secure storage whilst allowing for greater volume.
My only major drawback with the interior would have to be the sparse and basic audio system - modern enough upon launch in 2010 but completely outdated in 2014. Combined with the tacky Bluetooth module, the otherwise strong interior is let down by a few cheap decisions (the speakers themselves though deliver a crisp, strong sound). That said, it remains easy enough to connect your iPhone through the MDI port. Thankfully the upcoming MY15 update will rectify this interior misstep with a new system plucked from the MK7 Golf.
As my first new car purchase, I couldn't have been happier with both the deal I obtained (free servicing for three years with free on road costs) and the fantastic customer service I received (Barloworld Bayside were brilliant). That said - do your research and arm yourself with some figures before walking into any dealership. The more knowledge you have, the more power you hold.
The 77TSI Comfortline certainly isn't the most affordable light car in its class, nor is the design a breathtaking change on a well worn concept. This is definitely a car that needs to be driven in order to assess its true merits and remains a strong contender within the light class category. For a single person or younger couple based in the city or suburbs, the 77TSI will cover almost all of your needs.