13 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 2013 Polo R-Line – report one

New contributor John Redfern introduces himself and his car, and tells of the reasons why he bought his 2013 Polo R-Line. Is he happy with it? Read on to find out…

2013 Volkswagen Polo R-Line (John Redfern)

Hello, I’m new! I’m John and I run engagesportmode.com, a website dedicated to the exciting side of motoring life. I’m also a perennial Polo purchaser having owned three of them previously, along with other assorted VAG machinery and – don’t say it too loudly – a Fiat Panda 100HP. But moving swiftly on, my heart has always been with VW’s supermini. I can’t quite explain what draws me to the Polo. For my lifestyle it has always been big enough but not excessive, affordable without feeling cheap and, perhaps most importantly, not a Golf.

So how did I come to find myself owning the R-Line model pictured here? The long answer can be found on EngageSportMode which involved a lengthy saga whilst I convinced myself of the merits of buying new, and then finally managed to pick a car to buy. The condensed answer is that my previous car, a 2006 Polo 1.4 SE, was doing little to excite the enthusiast side of my brain. It was also hardly proving cheap to run; the legacy of an inattentive previous owner and the lacklustre fuel economy of the 1.4 litre petrol engine. In short, it was ticking very few boxes to justify the coveted spot on my driveway!

2013 Volkswagen Polo R-Line (John Redfern)

Following a brief period spent flirting with first the idea of a MINI Cooper Coupé, and then an Audi A1, I found myself at the doors of Pulman Volkswagen in Durham. Test driving a white R-Line in January’s treacherous snowy conditions was a far from ideal introduction to the car, but its torquey engine and refined drive won quickly won me over. It’s fair to say I also loved the looks of the R-Line and the cocooning nature of the interior with its black headlining and tinted rear windows. The decision was made; I wanted one.

I’m not usually a fan of car dealers, but I have to admit Chris Taylor at Pulman changed my opinion massively. There was no hard sell, no attempt to push unnecessary options or accessories, just friendly negotiation to achieve a good deal. Black wouldn’t have been my first choice of colour due to its propensity to show every last mark or bit of dirt. But, if I wanted one sooner rather than later, Deep Black Pearlescent was my solitary option as that was the colour of the only one left in UK stock at the time.


As a result the R-Line also came with no additional extras, just the standard spec it left the factory with. So this means manual air-conditioning, a RDS310 DAB radio with single CD player, iPod integration and Bluetooth phone system. Other R-Line goodies include the GTI-esque bodykit and 16” Mallory alloys on the outside, with sports seats and a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel inside.

Under the bonnet the 1.2-litre turbocharged engine drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox (no DSG here), offering up 104bhp and 129lbs ft of torque. Performance is in warm-hatch territory, with 0-60mph in around 9.5 seconds, though on the road it feels much quicker. The benefits of the downsized motor pay off at the petrol station, with economy consistently averaging 40+mpg despite my lead foot and short commute distance.


In the four months I’ve owned the R-Line, it has proven to be a hugely capable and entertaining vehicle, delivering virtually everything I could have asked for. I’m probably still too deep into the honeymoon phase to start thinking of gripes and complaints, although the black paintwork is already causing consternation with every wash and wax!

I’m looking forward to making more regular updates to PoloDriver.com as my time with the R-Line continues. The itch to start playing and tinkering is strong, so keep visiting the site for further news and updates.

2013 Volkswagen Polo R-Line (John Redfern)

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