Car Review: Volkswagen - Polo  Series (4 stars)

The Volkswagen Polo is a luxurious, refined supermini - not fun to drive, but smug to sit in.

The Volkswagen range is full of stalwarts these days - most of the significant new models the company has introduced in the past ten years have really been offshoots of the core iconic models. The Golf, the Passat and the Polo are firmly established in the industry as segment-leading in their quality and refinement.

You know what you're getting with a Volkswagen - they represent eminently sensible motoring. You know you won't be getting a particularly driver-focused model unless you go for a hot GTI or R-badged variant, but you will be getting a dependable, refined vehicle that will fulfil your needs and not disappoint.

And so it goes with the latest Polo - it is perhaps strange to call it a supermini these days. Superminis in general have to grown to the size that family cars were twenty years ago, and the city car class has grown up to replace them. If you're not looking for any MPV-style gadgetry and gizmos then something like a Polo would even be sufficient for a small family.

The Polo doesn't seek to thrill the driver on the move, it's not that sort of car - but it does feel supremely planted and very competent. It has the maturity of a much bigger car, happy to cruise on the motorway or dart around town. The steering turns the car nicely enough, but there doesn't feel like there's any mechanical connection there for the driver.

The cabin is very hushed for a supermini, though, and the quality is on a par with something that another manufacturer would be happy to sign off in a car two segments higher. The refinement and luxury at this level is almost peerless, although the Polo will no doubt be under ever increasing pressure from the Audi A1.

By far the best engine available for the car out of the economy-focused range of motors is the 1.2-litre turbocharged and supercharged TSI engine, which offers a magnificent blend of power and impressive economy. The diesels aren't that great and neither are the normally-aspirated petrols.

There's no major revolution here, then, simply the same Polo equation that many owners have come to love over the years. Having said that, the fact that this bigger Polo is lighter than its previous-generation self is cause for minor celebration, and a sign that the tide is turning on the idea that more is always better.

Volkswagen Polo StatisticsCar Reviews

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