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Next VW Polo – full details

Published: 22 April 2021

► Next Polo details revealed
► With an updated GTI model to follow
► On sale in the autumn

The Volkswagen Polo – the supermini for grown-ups – has been facelifted for 2021. And guess what? It’s a mature, predictable and well-honed look for the long-running small car franchise that’s now in its sixth generation.

Polo fans will appreciate the updated styling that’s bristling with design touches from the Golf 8. Under the skin, there are more changes afoot, including the adoption of an updated infotainment set-up. The good news is that the Polo GTI  returns in 2022, hopefully to cause more of a stir than the current, underrated, hot version.

New look, you say?

Not really, it’s more of the same. Be in no doubt, this is a mild facelift designed to bring the Polo in line with the Golf. So it gets a new front bumper and headlights that look more like its bigger brother’s – with a new LED light bar that as well as the truck-driver-annoying IQ Light set-up that gives the driver such a good view at night. 

Bringing up the rear is a new badging, which follows the current trend of boldly naming the car with a big, central badge beneath the VW badge. That arrangement is flanked by new LED tail lights, echoing – yes, you guessed it – the Golf 8. The Polo will also come with the option of sequential indicators, as found on more prestigious members of the VWG portfolio, and fitting for a car that started out in 1975 as a rebadged Audi 50.

What engines and trims are available?

You get a choice of a trio of 1.0-litre three-pots. The entry-level is a 79bhp naturally-aspirated version, and this is joined by a pair of turbocharged TSIs developing 94 and 108bhp. The most powerful model comes with VW’s excellent DSG transmission as standard. 

Prices and specs have yet to be finalised, but expect the model line-up to mirror the Golf’s. So it’ll start with the Polo Life, followed by the Style and topped off with the popular R-Line trim. 

There’s not much confirmed about the GTI as yet, other than it’s definitely coming back. but expect it to be powered by the old 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, even if it’s not as powerful as the outgoing model.

New tech as well?

There’s plenty. All new Polos come with VW’s Innovision digital instrument panel as standard. The more you spend on your Polo, the larger it is – with the standard version measuring 8.0in, while those plusher models fitted with Digital Cockpit Pro get a whopping 10.25in. 

VW’s touch-sensitive panels are replacing the perfectly good knobs and buttons on some models – so get used to swiping left and right to get all the heat you need. This arrangement is shared with the Golf. But you don’t have to have it in the Polo – buy a model with manual air conditioning and you keep the old-school controls. Hurrah!

Infotainment is handled by a 6.5-, 8.0 or 9.2-inch central touchscreen , and will be offered with Volkswagen’s We Connect system that relays traffic and handles audio streaming. Good too is that wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included, although we hope they’re less laggy than we’ve been finding in the Golf. Adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist is available for the first time in a Polo, too.

This truly is the grown-up supermini.

By Keith Adams

Devout classic Citroen enthusiast, walking car encyclopedia, and long-time contributor to CAR