Owner Review

2016 Volkswagen Polo GTI review

- shares

Okay, I’m not made of money, yet I like cars that are fun. Years ago, I remember reading car reviews in a "bang for your dollar" category, and the Polo GTi came up trumps. I'd previously owned a 2007 9N3 model and had loved it. So in May 2018, when it was time to replace (due to age and mileage), a 2016 model with manual transmission and 14000km popped up in my search through the classifieds. Much to my delight, after testing the car and a full inspection, I departed with $20,000. Snapped up a bit of a bargain. I could not refuse!

Bang for your buck. A two-year old car with 141kW and 320Nm of torque. A well-heeled interior with class-leading fit and finish. Ride and handling quality is high. This car is a fantastic all-rounder. I have found it’s surprisingly good on fuel, considering the performance I get out of it - not that I bought a GTI with fuel consumption in mind.

This car comes equipped with a Sport mode select button. This actually makes a notable difference to the car's suspension, steering and throttle response, and even uses noise simulator for the engine note - unlike some cars, it makes bugger all!

I love the traditional GTI-themed styling; plaid seat inserts, red striping in the grille, red stitching in the steering wheel and gear shifter to boot. It's all classic stuff that doesn’t date!

While I love the car. There are a couple of criticisms.

Firstly, the boot is a little too shallow, but the battery has to go somewhere when you shoe-horn in a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine. I love the "bigger engine, smaller body" combination. It always works well.

Now, my biggest criticism. The stereo’s sound quality. But this goes to nearly all car manufacturers; why put a rubbish sound system in a performance car? It’s not the right thing to do! People who like fun cars also like good stereos! Apart from the sound quality, the infotainment system is fine, easy and logical to use.

There are many features to customise the car. For instance, the cornering lights and headlights turn on when unlocking at night. The latter comes in handy.

But overall, it’s a terrific car for the money.