Volkswagen Polo – The 2020 model gets a new engine

Volkswagen Polo - The 2020 model gets a new engine

When Volkswagen first introduced their stylish-looking Polo hatchback, back in 2012, the car drew customers to showrooms. Despite its underpowered petrol engine, it managed to find many buyers – and over the years – the Polo has witnessed multiple updates, yet one can easily tell this is a Polo, even from afar. The basic silhouette of the car remains the same, but tweaks have been carried out for the headlights, tail lights, wheels and the front bumper. Even the interior hasn’t been tinkered with much yet, but Volkswagen cars still believes that, in the Polo, a successful formula does exist. Customers have loved it for its solid build, good handling and peppy performance – particularly in its GT guise. For 2020, out went the 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine coupled to a DSG auto ‘box, and in came a 6-speed torque-converter transmission synced to a 1-litre turbo petrol. Over the last generation or so, the Polo has been offered with eight engines, each with a different capacity. The new 1.0-litre TSI motor we’re about to talk about is an award-winning engine, and managed to bag a trophy for International Engine of the Year for its technologically-advanced packaging, making it both, fuel efficient and powerful.


The Volkswagen Polo has some crisp lines to show off, like always. Up-ahead, the bumper is from the GTI model and the headlights get a smoked-out look. The design remains proportionate even after all these years and exudes the typical German car-like feel. A lot of Polo enthusiasts still appreciate the way the car looks; in fact, this is a very common car in the performance tuning scene in India, with lots of buyers giving it bigger wheels, lowering the suspension and giving it the 3-door GTI hot hatch appeal. The big, multiple-spoke alloys fill up the wheel arches well and when you move to the rear, you’ll notice a faux diffuser on the lower half of the bumper, giving it a sporty, performance hatch-like look. The large tail lamps light up efficiently at night.

Inside talk

Even on the inside, the Volkswagen Polo hasn’t been touched; however, some added features do make its way inside. The overall design of the cabin is functional, tidy and solid – just the way German cars ought to be. We wouldn’t call the 6.5-inch touchscreen system big, but we’ll have to admit that the display quality and touch feel are good – it’s a rather effortless experience, and Apple CarPlay works well in sync with it. The instrument cluster has a sporty look to it; however, it’s far from being modern like the ones seen on the latest hatchbacks. The white-on-black should’ve instead been black-on-white – we don’t remember seeing these kinds on cars today. The other detail we like about the Polo is its flat-bottom steering wrapped in leather. The Polo’s build quality immediately becomes evident the minute you shut the door; there’s that hushed thunk. Then the buttons too, feel like they’re made to bear the fidgeting of kids. Quality levels are so good, it makes you wonder why cars above its segment still don’t match up.

The cabin features a grey-on-black theme. Look around and you will notice chrome accents and the seats get a black finish. The driving position is fantastic, the steering can be adjusted for reach and rake and the seat base is broad, comfortable and supportive. The rear continues to disappoint with legroom – and with the launch of new models like the Altroz and i20, the Polo’s rear bench is best suited to children. The bolstering isn’t bad, under-thigh support is good; so is the reclined backrest. You also get rear AC vents. Open the hatch, and you’re welcomed by 280-litres of boot space, which is decent. While certain features have been done away with, there are features like voice commands, one-touch power windows, a cooled glovebox, cruise control and a cooled glovebox.

Petite but punchy

The Volkswagen Polo, with its new engine, is capable of hitting a top speed of 190kph. The 1.0-litre TSI motor pulls well from low speeds, which makes driving in cities a slick exercise. Strong acceleration can be felt only post 2500rpm. Although there is stiffness over bad roads, bumps are taken in its stride and ground clearance is good. Volkswagen Cars just doesn’t seem to seem to be giving up on its little hatchback.  Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX.