Archive | Polo 2017-

22 June 2021 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen South Africa produces 400,000th sixth-generation Polo

Volkswagen South Africa has celebrated a production milestone with the 400,000th sixth-generation Polo produced at its Kariega (formerly Uitenhage) factory. The landmark car built on 21 June appears to be a Flash Red Polo GTI – the sixth-generation Polo range has been built at Kariega since September 2017.

Of the 400,000 sixth-generation Polos built at Kariega over the past four years, 326,214 have been exported, the remaining 73,768 cars made for the local market. Polos built in Kariega are exported to all global right-hand-drive markets worldwide (including the UK), while the factory also supplements production for left-hand-drive markets.

‘Proud moment’
‘This is a proud moment for our team, who have proven their dedication to delivering for our customers abroad and in South Africa,’ said Ulrich Schwabe, production director at Volkswagen South Africa. ‘I would like to thank every employee, whether on the production line, in the office or working from home, for continuously striving for excellence. This milestone could not have happened without their contributions.’

So far this year, 61,635 sixth-generation Polos and 10,373 Polo Vivos (Volkswagen South Africa’s entry level model based on the fifth-generation Polo) have rolled off the Kariega lines. In 2017, Volkswagen South Africa celebrated the 1,250,000th Polo built at Kariega, which is situated 1,000km from Johannesburg.

Kariega is just one location where Polos are built. They also roll off Volkswagen production lines at Anchieta in Brazil, Pamplona in Spain – where production began in 1984 – and Pune in India.

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21 June 2021 ~ 0 Comments

2022 Volkswagen Polo order books and configuration open in Germany

The order books for the 2022 Volkswagen Polo are now open in Germany, with the car available to configure at All the core trim levels can be chosen – Polo, Polo Life, Polo Style and Polo R-Line – as well as the Polo Fresh special edition which packs in lots of standard features at a price below the ‘Polo’ base model.

One of the most notable features about the 2022 Polo is the standard ‘digital cockpit’, which is fitted to all models, even the entry level ‘Polo’. Digitised instruments are part of the specification across the board, with the 8.0-inch ‘Digital Cockpit’ available on Polo, Polo Life and Polo R-Line models, the Polo Style boasting a 10.25-inch ‘Digital Cockpit Pro’ set-up. Fully configurable with a choice of three displays, the digital cockpits are operated by the multifunction steering wheel.

Alongside the digital instruments, a 6.5-inch ‘Composition’ colour infotainment system is standard on the Polo and Polo Life. Polo Style and Polo R-Line versions get an 8.0-inch ‘Ready 2 Discover’ infotainment system, with two optional 8.0-inch ‘Discover Media’ and 9.2-inch ‘Discover Pro’ navigation set-ups available as options. Additional features include a windscreen-integrated camera for the dynamic road sign display feature.

Online services
Standard features of the new infotainment systems include Volkswagen’s We Connect (unlimited activation) and We Connect Plus (single year activation) online services. Information about the car can be accessed by smartphone from outside it, from the central locking system status – if the car has been left unlocked, locking can be carried out by smartphone – the driving data and parking location.

Volkswagen’s App-Connect system is also part of the on board technology from Polo Life models upwards, which integrates native smartphone apps, including Apple Siri and Google Assistant functions. App-Connect can also be integrated into the Ready 2 Discover infotainment system wirelessly for the first time, as well as by USB-C connection. The Ready 2 Discover system also has a disabled navigation function, activated on demand via the system’s In-Car Shop. A sign of things to come, as Volkswagen transitions to be as much a software supplier as a car maker?

It’s not just the instruments and the infotainment screens that are going fully digital, though. New Polos ordered with the optional two-zone Climatic air conditioning system have an added layer of digital technology as the functions for this are operated by touch sliders and controls, in a similar way to the eighth-generation Golf and the all-electric ID family. A move for the better? Perhaps. While we’ve not tried the new Polo’s system, the digital controls work well enough on the other cars to which they are fitted.

The new Polo range starts at €15,995 for the Polo Fresh – only available in Reef Blue – which just slots in under the €16,795 entry level Polo. The Polo Life begins at €18,475, the Polo Style priced from €22,475. The – for now, the new Polo GTI is coming – range-topping Polo R-Line starts at €23,475. Visit the online configurator at to see the full range of models, prices and specifications for the new Polo range.

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06 June 2021 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo was the third most popular car in the UK during May 2021

The Volkswagen Polo made a triumphant return to the most popular cars in the UK chart in May, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). With 3,518 Polos registered, the small VW was in an amazing third place, up six positions from April’s figures. May’s boost helped it re-enter the top 10 most popular cars chart for the year-to-date, where it sits in tenth place with 11,802 registrations.

The Vauxhall Corsa has topped the monthly chart for the past few months, but slipped to second place in May 2021, with 3,643 registrations. The Volkswagen Golf took the top spot with 4,181 registrations, the arrival of the newest eighth-generation model now fully embedded in the UK. Volkswagen as a brand is also the most-registered marque in the UK for 2021 so far, its 65,955 registrations beating Ford’s total of 60,464.

Eight-fold increase
In May, the SMMT reports that 156,737 new cars registered in May, which is significantly up from 2020 when retailers were closed because of the pandemic. This total is also almost an eight-fold increase on the same month last year, but is down -14.7 per cent on pre-pandemic May 2019, and -13.2 per cent on the 10-year May average. Once again, superminis – cars like the Polo – remained Britain’s most popular car choice, with a 31.1 per cent share. Total registrations for 2021 sit at 296,448 fewer units, or -29.1 per cent less than the average recorded across January to May during the last decade.

The UK’s top ten most popular new cars during May 2021 and the year-to-date (registration figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Volkswagen Golf: 4,181 (14,979 4th)
2 Vauxhall Corsa: 3,643 (20,024, 1st)
3 Volkswagen Polo: 3,518 (11,802, 10th)
4 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 3,922 (16,752, 3rd)
5 Ford Puma: 3,158 (13,755, 6th)
6 Kia Sportage: 2,956 (13,363, 7th)
7 Ford Fiesta: 2,794 (17,700, 2nd)
8 Toyota Yaris: 2,578
9 Mini: 2,561
10 Audi A3: 2,489

(The 2021 year-to-date top ten most popular cars absent from the May 2021 UK registration figures were the fifth-placed Nissan Qashqai, the eighth-placed Volvo XC40, and the ninth-placed BMW 3 Series with 14,447, 12,449 and 12,354 units recorded respectively.)

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10 May 2021 ~ 0 Comments

New 2022 Polo GTI revealed in official Volkswagen design sketch

Following on from the reveal of the refreshed sixth-generation Polo on 21 April 2021, Volkswagen has fired the starting gun on the arrival of the 2022 Polo GTI by releasing a design sketch of the updated model. The new performance Polo has been billed as ‘sharper, dynamic, and power-packed’.

The 2022 Polo GTI will be revealed in an official online world premiere event at the end of June 2021, and the teaser announcement coincides with the time of the Wörthersee GTI meet, which has been staged at Lake Wörthersee in the Austrian town of Reifnitz/Maria Wörth since the 1980s. The four-day event has again been cancelled in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.

Once a GTI, always a GTI’
‘Once a GTI, always a GTI’ is how Volkswagen describes the loyalty shown by fans of its now legendary badge, and once again, the new Polo GTI will be the sportiest and most ‘premium’ model in the range. It should also play to the traditional GTI strengths of everyday usability with heightened driving dynamics.

We already know that the 2022 Polo GTI will have a small bump in power to 204bhp, up from the 197bhp of the outgoing car which has been off sale – at least in the UK – for some months now. The new car is expected to use the old car’s EA888 ‘3B’ 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine which is essentially a detuned Golf GTI unit. However, the sporty Polo is once again available to order on Volkswagen’s UK website, but is listed as having 204bhp already, hinting that the revised engine is available now.

In prime position
From Volkswagen’s official design sketch, the 2022 Polo GTI looks set to continue the new ‘GTI’ look set by the eighth-generation Golf GTI. Red radiator grille trim once again extends into the headlights – possibly using VW’s IQ Light LED matrix technology as that is already standard on the new Polo R-Line – and the new thinner font ‘GTI’ badge sits in prime position on the grille itself.

The refreshed Polo is already a sharper looker, so the updated GTI will immediately wear a more distinctive suit of clothes, but in VW’s official sketch, there appears to be a deeper front spoiler, a black roof, and similar alloy wheels to the new Golf GTI’s ‘Richmond’ rims, which seem to divide fan opinion… As the R-Line already has a gloss black rear spoiler and ‘diffuser’, the GTI will most likely have sportier versions of both.

Digitised interior
Inside, we expect the new Polo GTI to share the updated standard Polo’s more digitised interior, with a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro instrument display, as well as an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. New haptic touch air conditioning controls also feature in the updated Polo, but one thing the GTI will have over other Polos, is the traditional GTI tartan-panelled seats, most probably the same ‘Jacara Red’ cloth seen on the Golf 8 GTI.

What we don’t know is what gearbox the 2022 Polo GTI will come with as standard. In the UK, the only option on the outgoing Polo GTI was a six-speed DSG automatic – a mooted six-speed manual-equipped car sadly never arrived – but the transmission listed for the 204bhp model in the current brochure details a seven-speed DSG. The plot thickens…

All will be revealed towards the end of next month, and we’ll bring you all the details when they emerge. For now, though, how about taking a look back at where the Polo GTI story began – find more details about the first-ever, limited-run 1998 Polo GTI here, and the first non-limited model here – and we’ll see you at the end of June!

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21 April 2021 ~ 2 Comments

2022 Volkswagen Polo revealed: all you need to know

The covers have been taken off the 2022 Volkswagen Polo, a refreshed version of the sixth-generation model, ahead of its online world premiere tomorrow morning. The biggest headlines are changes to the front and rear ends with new bumpers and LED lights; a more digital interior; and the arrival of a centre interior airbag and Level 2 autonomy, both firsts in the small car class.

What does the new Polo look like?
As expected from Volkswagen, with a model update, it was always going to be evolution, not revolution. The new Polo is still recognisable as the sixth-generation car, especially in side profile where the striking ‘tornado’ line is very much still in evidence, but tweaks to the front and rear ends and a new range of colours and wheels make it look sharper.

At the front, a new set of LED headlights mark out the newest member of the Polo family, linked by a light bar set into the bottom of the grille, similar to the eighth-generation Golf and new ID range. The headlights also have a lower edge at the outside edges for a more varied shape, and along with new bumper infill treatments distinguish the new Polo from the old.

The rear is where the biggest changes can be seen. A new pair of tail light clusters echo those seen on Golf 8 and other new Volkswagens. Now two-piece units, which split when the tailgate is opened, the new lamps have LED tech, progressive ‘swiping’ indicators, and sharper graphics. Giving the rear end a T-Roc look, along with new central badging, there’s no mistaking the new Polo for the outgoing model.

Four new colours also help with differentiation. The brightest, Vibrant Violet, is not for, ahem, shrinking violets, while Kings Red is also seen on the latest Golf GTI. Ascot Grey and Smoke Grey cater for more discerning clientele. Sadly, Energetic Orange, our favourite from the outgoing car’s colour palette, has disappeared. A range of new wheels lift the visuals further.

And what about the interior – is it fully digital?
Volkswagen has resisted the need to make the new Polo’s interior completely and fully digital like that of the eighth-generation Golf, but more digitisation has crept in. Looking very similar to the outgoing model’s cabin, the new Polo’s interior still features a rotary lighting control, but loses the physical buttons on the infotainment system, which now comes in sizes from 6.5 inches to 9.2 inches. The 8.0-inch Ready2Discover and Discover Media, and 9.2-inch Discover Pro systems use VW’s latest MIB3 modular infotainment matrix, with the Ready2Discover unit available with an option to retrospectively activate navigation functions.

An integrated eSIM gives the MIB3 units enhanced functionality and selected We Connect access, with the option of streaming services such as Apple Music, and even personalised Volkswagen ID settings saved in the Cloud for use in other vehicles. Shared with the outgoing Polo, App-Connect Wireless for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also available.

Digitised instruments now come in 8.0-inch Digital Cockpit and 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro sizes, and are standard on all new Polos. If the Climatronic climate control system is specified, operation of this goes digital, too. Volkswagen has come in for some criticism with the latest system in Golf 8, which uses digital slider controls, so the addition of these touch panels could be a controversial move. Situated on the lower centre console where the heating and ventilation controls were before, on the new Polo, all functions are illuminated and below the module are two illuminated USB-C ports and a compartment for wireless smartphone charging where fitted. Above the module is a Golf-8 ambient lighting strip for added style.

What engines power the new Polo?
As with the current Polo, a range of three petrol engines power the new model. Starting with a 79bhp naturally-aspirated unit, a pair of 94 and 108bhp TSI turbocharged engines join it. The trio of three-cylinders share a displacement of 999cc, and as far as PoloDriver can tell, are carried over from the outgoing car. In terms of transmissions, the 79bhp and 94bhp units are fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, the higher output model also available with a seven-speed DSG. The 108bhp TSI comes as standard with the DSG transmission.

The range-topping Polo GTI will have a power bump to over 200bhp (see below), and that’s quite a jump from the 108bhp unit. At the virtual preview of the new model, Dr Hendrik Muth, head of product marketing, Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, stated that while the 1.5-litre 148bhp TSI from the Golf isn’t due to be part of the new Polo range at the moment, it could be introduced later, but he didn’t believe there would be the need.

In selected markets, the CNG-powered Polo TGI will continue. Its 89bhp natural gas and petrol engine, which is good for a 125-mile gas range and combined 89-93g/km of CO2 emissions is shared with the current Polo.

But, will there be a new Polo GTI?
Hold your horses – all 204 of them! Yes, even though the Polo GTI was removed from the UK brochure in late 2020, there will be a new version. Due to be unveiled in summer 2021, the new car will pack a 204bhp punch (7bhp more than the model it replaces), with UK sales starting in early 2022. We don’t expect a change from the trusted EA888 ‘3B’ 2.0-litre four-cylinder when it comes to engine.

What trim levels make up the new Polo range?
The new Polo adopts Volkswagen’s latest trim level nomenclature. For the German market, the car will be available in Polo, Life, Style, R-Line and GTI versions. All new Polos have LED lights, body coloured door mirrors and handles as standard, in addition to a new multifunction steering wheel and lane assist technology . The entry level ‘Polo’ model – there hasn’t been one with that simple a name since the 1980s! – also gets 8.0-inch Digital Cockpit instruments, air conditioning, as well as a 6.5-inch Composition Media colour infotainment system.

Life models gain App-Connect, a centre armrest, a leather finish on the steering wheel and gear lever, a second USB-C port and 15-inch alloy wheels (the ‘Polo’ has 14-inch rims). For the UK market, Life will be the entry level Polo model, and will be unique in that it will also come with the 79bhp engine, alongside the 94bhp unit. Life is also expected to be the top-selling Polo trim in the UK, estimated to take around 70 per cent of sales. The Polo Life 94bhp five-speed manual is forecast to be the most popular variant.

Style models add ‘IQ Light’ LED matrix headlights, a Polo first. Outside, the Polo Style features chrome bumper highlights and 15-inch ‘Ronda’ alloys. Inside, there is the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro instruments, ambient lighting, 8.0-inch Ready2Discover infotainment system, and a Deep Iron-coloured dashpad. Park assist technology is also standard.

The Polo R-Line tops the model range until the GTI arrives. Gloss black highlights and a subtle body kit consisting of front and rear bumpers – with diffuser and chrome exhaust finishers – and a spoiler mark out the new sportiest Polo, and compliment the 16-inch ‘Valencia’ rims. The cabin features the Ready2Discover infotainment system, a Dark Grey dashpad and ‘Karoso’ fabric.

A wide options list includes a Beats Audio sound system, keyless entry, a panoramic sunroof, rear privacy glass, sports running gear (15mm lower than standard) with electronic differential lock and driver profile selection, voice control, and alloy wheels up to 17 inches in size.

How safe is the new Polo?
Firsts for the Polo and for the small car class include a centre airbag and Level 2 autonomous driving functions. Located on the driver side on the side of the rear seat backrest, the centre airbag opens towards the middle of the vehicle in an accident and prevents the driver and front passenger knocking into each other during a crash. A new lap belt tensioner also tensions the seat belt around the pelvis.

Travel Assist – which debuted on the Passat – is available on the new Polo, too, and allows Level 2 driving automation at speeds up to 130mph (where permitted). The IQ Drive Travel Assist system features a bundle of assisted driving functions including adaptive cruise control and lane assist. Side assist and rear traffic alert systems are also available, as well as autonomous and city emergency, and automatic post-collision braking functions. A driver alert system also warns drivers to take a necessary break.

How practical is the new Polo?
With barely any change to the body dimensions of the outgoing model, the newest Polo is just as easy to thread through city streets. Its 4,053mm length, 1,751mm width and 1,446mm height are unchanged, as is its 351-litre luggage capacity. The large 2,564mm wheelbase affords the same interior space as before, too.

When will the new Polo go on sale?
Almost four years into the lifecycle of the sixth-generation Polo, and after being snapped testing in Germany, an updated model was known to be imminent, just perhaps not quite this early into 2021. Advanced German sales of the new Polo start in calendar week 19 – 10-16 May 2021 – with a market launch in Germany at the end of September. UK order books will open in Q3 2021, with first customer deliveries beginning in Q4.

Anything else I need to know?
The new Polo will be built in its traditional plant of Pamplona in Spain (Polos were first built there in 1984), along with Uitenhage in South Africa. Prices will start at around €16,000 when the new Polo hits the German market at the end of September 2021; UK prices and trim specifics are yet to be released. There will be no diesel Polo, which will make little change, as there hasn’t been a Polo TDI in the UK range since 2019.

A best-selling VW with 18 million units sold over the past 46 years, the new evolution of the Polo features a raft of technological and stylistic updates. Over the coming months, will update its pages with a bespoke detailed section about the new model, so keep coming back to find out more about the latest generation of Volkswagen’s perennial and popular small car, and don’t forget to tune into the online world premiere on 22 April at 11am CEST/10am BST.

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