It was a very tough call deciding what exactly is the best bit in the new Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TDI. Most of us inclined more towards the clean and modern design of the exterior, while others were more drawn to the technical aspects. Surprisingly, or not, the technical bits were the ones that won. The 1.6-liter Common Rail engine to be more precise. Apart from the fact that our test car was equipped with the lowest powered-version of the said mill, everything else about it was surprisingly good. The noise and vibrations perceived with just about any diesel out there were simply missing from our test car, while the mileage and the "liveliness" also received nothing but praise during our test drive.
The worst part about the latest generation Polo is also one of its best, as antithetic as that may sound. Those beautiful (can you actually say that about a hatchback?) exterior lines are now much too similar to those of the Golf. We understand the whole brand cohesion and all, but we think this is a bit too much. In conclusion, the bad part about the latest generation Polo is its potentially destructive design, since it looks more than ready to cannibalize the Golf in sales.
The five-speed manual transmission on our test car had nothing wrong with it. Sure, the gear shifter looked a bit skinny for our tastes, but other than that, there was no technical shortcoming attached to it. Still, considering that as an option you can also order a 7 (seven!) speed dual-clutch sequential transmission, "five" does seem like an anemic number of gears, doesn't it? Well, that's the ugly thing about the Polo, you can either have it with the "poor man's five-speed manual" or with the "rich guy's seven-speed sequential". Continue reading