2018 VW Polo GTI Is Less Fun Than Fiesta ST Yet Somehow Better

The Polo GTI is a car that divides opinions. Some people say it's now the perfect little Volkswagen while others claim it's dull and pointless.
2018 VW Polo GTI Is Less Fun Than Fiesta ST Yet Somehow Better 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
So, which is it? Probably a little bit of both, though the folks who say VW shouldn't have bothered at all probably have a bone to pick with the brand as a whole. All GTI models are predictable, fast, expensive and well built. The Polo is now like that too.

The previous model lacked that certain wow factor. It started out with the wrong kind of engine, an unreliable 1.4-liter, as well as the wrong kind of DSG gearbox. They tried to fix both things with a facelift, but by then, it was already an old car.

This, on the other hand, gets the wet-clutch 6-speed DSG that's much better at shifting, plus a 2-liter turbo making 200 HP and 320 Nm of torque. Mat Watson's UK review puts the performance to the test, and his V-box shows it's faster than officially claimed.

Of course, it's not as fun as the Fiesta ST. You can't adjust the line with the throttle, for example. But while the steering is less tactile in the GTI, it's also not as twitchy. If you want the hot hatch that's easy to drive and inspires confidence, this is it.

The clean but sporty interior is also complimented for its tartan seats and digital displays. And to those who say it's boring, we pose the following question: what isn't at this price? And despite what the critics say in the comments, most people voted that the Polo is sharper-looking than the Fiesta in the video pop-up.

As an everyday all-rounder, this is nearly a drawback-free car. Despite having a 2-liter engine, it emits just 134 grams of CO2. It's also cheap at €23,950, though you will be paying extra for the display, LED lights or adaptive suspension.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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