10 December 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 2013 Polo R-Line – report three

Polo R-Line owner and 2014 Guild of Motoring Writers Breakthrough Blogger winner John Redfern reflects on 15,000 miles and almost two years of ownership with the small black car from Wolfsburg and finds a friendly, fun and stress-free companion

2013 Volkswagen Polo R-Line: John Redfern

After 15,000 miles, the Polo R-Line is proving to be a reliable and dependable car to drive. As someone who foots the bill; this is great. But, as someone who also has to write about it, the R-Line makes this particular task a lot more difficult.

It’s quite scary to realise that come January, I’ll have had the R-Line for two years already, with just another 12 months before the end of its Solutions PCP deal. In fact, the latest statement from Volkswagen Financial Services has just dropped through the door today.

As it stands, based on current market trends and values, it looks like I’ll have a nice chunk of equity to use for the R-Line’s replacement come 2016. More of that later though.

Since my last update, Volkswagen has released the revised 6R (F) (6C? – RG) version of the Polo, as covered extensively on PoloDriver.com. Fortunately, the changes to the exterior were relatively minor for a Polo facelift, meaning I don’t feel too much like I’m driving the out-dated model.

Warm hatch ability
It has brought in a new version of the 1.2 TSI engine – as found in the R-Line – packing an extra four horsepower under the bonnet of the updated car. Hardly a huge increase in power, but then the R-Line has always felt punchier than what the official numbers suggest.

In fact, the recent colder weather has made the R-Line’s TSI unit feel rather spritely, to the point of almost bordering of warm hatch ability. Joining motorways and pulling away from roundabouts have resulted in a fairly sizeable smile across my face, with the R-Line nipping through traffic and opening up gaps with ease. Commuting isn’t meant to be this much fun!

More impressive is the upsurge in fuel economy the R-Line appears to be experiencing, despite the more ‘enthusiastic’ driving style. MPG has been nudging over 50 regularly; based on the DIS display at least.

I’ve also been managing a good 350 miles before the fuel warning light appears. That’s an improvement of some 50 miles since my last update for PoloDriver.com, and an extra 30 miles than what it had been achieving more recently.

Minimalist attitude
What could be the cause of this new minimalist attitude to fuel consumption? The TSI engine being fully run in could well be one answer. With 15,000 miles on the clock, it’s reasonable to expect that the engine is now fully bedded in and on peak form.

In addition, with the recent drop in petrol prices, the R-Line has been benefiting from regular tanks of Shell V-Power Nitro+ petrol. This combination has seemingly been enough to endow the R-Line with more power and better fuel economy. Who needs a hybrid, eh?

More importantly, who needs to replace a car that still seems to be doing everything they can ask of it? Well, me, really. As much as the R-Line may do all I need, there are areas where I’d want it to do more – such as being quicker. Or having a sport mode, so it at least fits with the name of my own website (www.engagesportmode.com), for a start.

Thankfully, Volkswagen may have the answer with the latest Polo GTI. You can find the full details here on PoloDriver.com, but the idea of a 1.8 TSI engine, six-speed manual gearbox and the optional ‘Sport Performance Kit’ is very appealing.

The latter includes the all-important ‘sport button’ which changes the steering weight, accelerator response and suspension settings. I’m literally hanging on the edge of my seat waiting for the announcement on pricing, so I can begin harassing my local Volkswagen dealership.

Until then, I’ll be perfectly happy behind the wheel of the R-Line. It has its second annual service to look forward to in January, and there’s also the need for some new front tyres soon. That spirited driving style had to come at a cost somewhere I suppose.

But, with 15,000 dependable miles down, the R-Line probably does deserve some new shoes for doing everything just so very, very, well.

Want to know more? Follow John on Twitter at @EngageSportMode or visit www.engagesportmode.com

2013 Volkswagen Polo R-Line: John Redfern

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