31 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

The PoloDriver review of 2010

2010 was the first full year of production for the fifth-generation (6R) of the Volkswagen Polo and one where the model became a truly global car, with local production in India and Russia. It also won more major awards than in 2009, and made its international debut in motorsport, with the inaugural season of the Volkswagen Polo Cup India. We look back at both the major Polo 6R developments and happenings over the last year, and also chronicle the main news stories pertaining to the Polo Vivo, the South African entry-level replacement for the CitiGolf. (Bold entries are illustrated by the picture above that particular month.)


  • First new Polo special edition launched: TEAM model available to German buyers. Extra equipment includes TEAM badging, darkened rear windows, automatic dipping headlights, front fog lights with cornering function, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, heated front sports seats, cruise control, RCD 210 radio system with MP3/CD player, and unique ‘Pool’ blue/grey interior trim. Prices start at €14.525
  • Indian-built fifth-generation Polo launched at the tenth New Delhi Auto Expo
  • Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010 motor racing championship announced, using 129bhp TDI Polo Cup cars
  • Autocar pits the new Polo 1.4 SE against the Citroën C3 1.4 VTI VTR+ and Ford Fiesta 1.4 Zetec
  • New Polo wins ‘Golden Angel 2010’ award
  • What Car? crowns new Polo ‘Best Supermini 2010’ and tests £13,030 Polo 1.4 SE five-door against Citroën C3 1.4 VTI 95 VTR+ and the Ford Fiesta 1.25i 82 Edge: ‘The latest Polo shows that you can still afford a cracking motor if you’re on tight budget. Superminis don’t come any better. The Polo is as classy, comfortable and refined as cars from the class above, yet it’s also cheaper and better equipped than rivals.’
  • Autocar drives the new Polo 1.6 SEL TDI.


  • Eibach announces suspension upgrades for the new Polo
  • 11,111,111th Polo leaves the production line at Volkswagen’s Pune plant in India
  • New Polo in the shortlist for World Car of the Year 2010
  • JE Design announce tuning package for the new Polo 6R
  • Polo charges back into the UK’s top 10 best-selling cars list, with 5707 units finding homes in January 2010, putting it in 4th place
  • Official accessories range announced
  • ‘Expect Big Things’ TV commercial announces Polo 6R’s arrival in South Africa
  • First official pictures and details of new 178bhp Polo GTI released
  • First official pictures and details of new CrossPolo released
  • Polo BlueMotion arrives in UK Volkswagen retailers.


  • New Polo GTI and CrossPolo footage released
  • Volkswagen Think Blue Challenge’ iPhone game released, featuring new Polo BlueMotion
  • Polo receives International Forum Design award
  • Polo seventh best-selling car in the UK with 1900 units sold in February 2010
  • Guter Rat award Polo the ‘Best Compact Car 2010’ prize
  • LPG-powered Polo BiFuel announced
  • Volkswagen South Africa launches entry-level Polo Vivo to replace the evergreen CitiGolf. Affordable ‘budget’ Polo based on facelifted Series 4 Polo from 2005 with minimal bodywork and trim changes
  • What Car? tests three-door Polo 1.2 TSI against DS3 DStyle, Cooper and Clio GT
  • Polo is named Fleet News magazine’s ‘Best Supermini 2010’
  • Polo makes fifth place in Europe’s best-selling cars list for February 2010
  • Volkswagen denies 200bhp+ Polo R rumours
  • First new Polo GTI brochures surface
  • German tuners Rieger announce bodystyling kit for Polo 6R
  • ‘Wave’ TV commercial and spectacular concert at the Sun City Superbowl officially launch Polo Vivo in South Africa.


  • New Polo wins World Car of the Year title in New York, beating the Mercedes E-Class and the Toyota Prius
  • Polo ninth best-selling car in the UK with 7580 units sold in March 2010
  • 5,000 advance orders received for new Polo in India, ahead of a market launch
  • New Polo Van launched in Denmark
  • Autoflotte magazine names Polo ‘Best Small Car 2010’.


  • Volkswagen releases further new Polo GTI photos and information
  • Order books officially open for Polo BiFuel
  • Auto Express pits Polo 1.2 TSI against Renault Clio 1.2 TCe
  • Polo sixth best-selling car in the UK with 3653 units sold in April 2010
  • UK’s Autocar and Auto Express deliver their first verdicts of the new Polo GTI
  • Fleet World names Polo ‘Best Small Car 2010’
  • evo magazine publishes online first drive review of new Polo GTI
  • South Wales first drive of new Polo GTI published at pistonheads.com
  • Sailesh Bolisetti takes inaugural victories of Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010
  • ‘For dedicated followers of no one’ advertising campaign launches new Polo in Australia.


  • New Polo Saloon/Sedan has its world premiere in Russia
  • Auto Express publishes new Polo GTI vs SEAT Ibiza Bocanegra twin test
  • New CrossPolo officially hits the road in South Africa
  • Polo seventh best-selling car in the UK with 3721 units sold in May 2010
  • Polo Vivo tops the May 2010 passenger car sales chart in South Africa with 2546 units sold
  • ‘German engineering. Made in India.’ advertising campaign breaks in India
  • New Polo GTI has an exclusive digital market launch on Facebook
  • New CrossPolo launched in Europe
  • New Polo GTI tested by Jeremy Clarkson at Times Online
  • New Polo GTI meets Renault Clio, Citroën DS3, Mini Cooper and Alfa Romeo Mito in the July issue of CAR magazine
  • PoloDriver.com tests Polo BlueMotion and TSI
  • Polo declared the most secure supermini by Thatcham
  • Polo BlueMotion makes WhatGreenCar Car of the Year 2010 shortlist.


  • Polo Vivo tops the June 2010 passenger car sales chart in South Africa with 2471 units sold
  • Polo tenth best-selling car in the UK with 3932 units sold in June 2010
  • Polo Saloon/Sedan launched in India as the Vento
  • Auto Express group tests Polo BlueMotion against Ford Fiesta ECOnetic
  • Bilstein announces B14 sports suspension kit for Polo 6R.


  • Polo Vivo scores post-World Cup new car sales victory in South Africa with 3141 units sold. New Polo in second place with 1505 units
  • Polo ninth best-selling car in the UK with 2897 units sold in July 2010
  • Rumours suggest that Polo cabrio could still be on the cards for production in 2012
  • New Polo GTI driven by Motor Trend in the US
  • Polo sedan debuts at Moscow International Automobile Salon 2010
  • Polo BlueMotion featured in Auto Express test of sub-100g/km busters.


  • New Polo GTI stars at gamescom
  • Polo Vivo remains the best-selling car brand in South Africa for August 2010 with 2958 units sold. New Polo sells 1236 units
  • Polo ninth best-selling car in the UK with 1193 units sold in August 2010
  • New Polo GTI reviewed by CAR magazine online
  • Polo BlueMotion scores 89mpg in ALD Automotive/Total ECO 10 MPG Marathon
  • South African supplier strike hits right-hand drive export Polo production.


  • First new Polo GTI customer car lands in the UK
  • Sales buoyant as Polo Vivo tops South African car sales chart in September 2010 with 1939 units sold
  • Polo GTI appears in UK brochure
  • Polo GTI video tested by onTrack around the 2.7km LUK test track in Baden Baden, Germany
  • Polo 1.6 TDI tops 2010 Total Economy Run in South Africa
  • Polo BlueMotion competes in RAC Future Car Challenge Brighton to London economy run
  • New Polo named as 2011 Wesbank/SAGMJ Car of the Year finalist in South Africa.


  • Polo Vivo leads South Africa’s passenger car march during October 2010 with 2576 units sold. New Polo sells 723 units
  • ABT power upgrades for Volkswagen 1.2/1.4 TSI and 1.6 TDI engines announced
  • ‘Last Tango in Compton’ TV commercial airs on UK TV and is supported by social media marketing campaign on Facebook
  • Polo named Car of the Year 2010 by Drive and Carsguide.


  • Polo Vivo ‘entrenched as South Africa’s favourite passenger car brand’ in November 2010 with 1939 units sold. New Polo sells 1265 units
  • H&R announces new Polo GTI (6R) suspension kits
  • Polo wins Japan’s ‘Best Import Car of the Year 2010-2011’ title
  • Economy-minded Polo BlueMotion launched in South Africa
  • First Australian motoring press reviews of Polo GTI published
  • Polo eighth best-selling car in the UK with 3421 units sold in November 2010
  • Australia’s Best Car Awards 2010 name Polo 1.6 TDI ‘Best Light Car Over $20,000’
  • What Car? magazine pits Polo TSI against Audi A1, Alfa Romeo Mito and Mini Cooper
  • Demand for Polo and Vento strong in India; 2-3 month waiting lists reported
  • ‘Très elegant’: Karl Lagerfeld launches Polo Style special edition
  • Sailesh Bolisetti crowned the Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010 champion
  • Auto Express video tests the Polo GTI against in-house rivals the SEAT Ibiza Cupra and Škoda Fabia vRS.

With the global roll-out of the new fifth-generation Polo, it’s been a busy year for Volkswagen and also for us here at PoloDriver. We would like to thank the loyal readers who have sent us congratulatory comments and best wishes (and those who have found the site a ‘forum’ to talk about the new Polo GTI), and hope that you’ll enjoy the developments and stories coming to the website in 2011. [Click on the ‘Polo 2009-’ and ‘Polo Vivo’ tags in the category drop-down list in the right-hand sidebar of the website to see all entries pertaining to the fifth-generation Polo and South African Polo Vivo respectively.]

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