When it comes to Volkswagen hot hatches, it’s usually the Golf GTI and Golf R that grab the limelight. However, there’s also another option that shouldn’t be forgotten about – the Polo GTI.
Now several generations in, this sporty Polo rivals the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST and Hyundai i20 N, but aims to be further upmarket. Volkswagen has now given it a mid-life update to strengthen its appeal. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Stylish new look
Volkswagen hasn’t dramatically changed the way the Polo GTI looks, but has introduced a range of subtle updates that make it look both more modern and also sportier.
Changes include new LED lighting, as well as an illuminated radiator grille that enhances the look of the front end. There are new LED rear lights with dynamic ‘scrolling’ indicators, along with new GTI-specific bumpers that help this Polo to look more aggressive.
More technology than before
Volkswagen has also introduced a number of new technologies to the Polo GTI as part of this update, with one of the main additions being IQ.Light Matrix LED headlights, which aim to maximise vision without dazzling other road users.
There’s also a new ‘Travel Assist’ function that enables semi-automated driving, by combining adaptive cruise control and lane assist. Finally, the Polo GTI’s touchscreen now runs on the Volkswagen Group’s latest operating system, allowing for additional connected functions and useful wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
Same strong performance
One thing that Volkswagen hasn’t changed, though, is what’s under the bonnet. That’s because the same powerful 2.0-litre petrol engine remains as before, which kicks out 204bhp and 320Nm of torque.
With its seven-speed DSG automatic transmission, the Polo GTI can hit 60mph in just 6.3 seconds, and reach a top speed of 149mph. This Volkswagen also gets a sportier chassis setup than the standard car, while features like dynamic chassis control and an electronic differential lock add to the sporty feel.
It gets the trademark ‘GTI’ styling cues
Ever since the Volkswagen Golf GTI originally debuted in 1975, the brand’s sporty models wearing this badge have always paid homage to the original with a range of details.
The first is the colour red, which features throughout the interior and exterior of the Polo GTI, on elements such as the red-painted brake callipers, red stripe above the daytime running lights and red GTI badging. The dashboard of the model is also now painted red as standard. Another GTI cue is the tartan-style cross-stitch upholstery, which is something that Volkswagen has been doing for years in its hot hatches.
Generous standard equipment
With the GTI sitting at the top of the Polo range, it certainly gets plenty of equipment to justify its flagship status.
Highlights include an eight-inch touchscreen, large 10.25-inch digital cockpit display and 17-inch alloy wheels, while you also get dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and the aforementioned Matrix LED headlights.
The updated Volkswagen Polo GTI is on sale now, with prices starting from £26,430.Enquire on a new Volkswagen Polo GTI