Quick car review – 2013 VW Polo 1.2TDi

VW PoloThe mighty Polo, one of the most popular choices of supermini anywhere in Europe. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting that much, since many of the cars motoring journalists pick as brilliant and have strong sales are usually underwhelming. Not the Polo, though. It delivers.

– Lovely materials and sense of robustness. Everything really felt nice, though the centre stack with the fake plastic aluminium was a bit of a let-down.
– Comfort and refinement. Nice and quiet with little noise from the diesel engine up-front.
– I loved that fake floor in the boot. Storage in the front was good too. It was all very practical and well-thought out.
– The engine, though not powerful at all, was as frugal as expected and smooth for a diesel. Suits the car like a glove.
– The looks. Not just good-looking for a German car, or good-looking for a super-mini, it’s good-looking full-stop. Little details like that 3D effect in the rear lights really set it off. I honestly think it looks even better than the Audi A1, which is essentially the same car but more expensive.

– The equipment. Dear Lord, there are discount cupboards sitting on IKEA shelves more generously equipped than this. No USB input, no cruise control, no air-con, not even a fag-lighter. That’s one of the problem with the Germans: anything resembling luxury is a pricey option. An equivalent entry-level Japanese or French car has oodles more features.
– The f**king stupid VAG-group user interface. I’ll explain in the next post.

I was chuffed with the VW Polo. There really wasn’t much not to like about it. However, that not much to like about it would be a deal-breaker for me personally. The Spartan equipment is just too hard a smack in the face when I could get a similarly-priced yet far, far better equipped and equally refined car like a Citroen C3 or Renault Clio. A real pity, since it’s a lovely thing.


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