Friday 9 December 2016

Polo 'Blue GT' pocket rocket keeps you on your toes but price tests your enthusiasm

Published 13/05/2015 | 02:30

The Volkswagen Polo 'GT Blue' has a driver fatigue system.
The Volkswagen Polo 'GT Blue' has a driver fatigue system.
Volkswagen Polo interior

THEY have a 'driver fatigue' system to alert you on this Polo 'Blue GT'.

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Somehow, I don't think you'll need it. Well, let me suggest that if you are being a bit lazy or careless you should not be driving this little pocket rocket in the first place.

This should be a wide-awake drive all the way. Otherwise you are wasting time and money because it costs a bit - though you could argue that for what you get it is not madly priced either. Everything is relative.

The 5dr costs €22,970 which accelerates to €23,750 when the €750 delivery charge is added. And the few extras on my test car added €498 - bringing the overall price to €24,218 on-the-road (there is also a 3.9pc PCP option).

That's decent Volkswagen Golf territory, for example, so you need to be committed, reasonably well off - and alert - to go out and buy one of these.

Under the bonnet is a 1.4TSI petrol engines (1,422cc) which pumps 150bhp (110g/km, €190 road tax) and fairly sizzles.

It gets plenty of help from the sports suspension that sits 15mm lower than the conventional supermini.

Trust me you notice just how 'sporty' this is when you zip across poorer roads.

It also has what they call active cylinder technology. This shuts off cylinders when you are cruising or not asking the engine to work much.

Anyway, it's part of an attempt to improve MPG and lower emissions under the umbrella of what they call 'BlueMotion Technology' - hence the 'Blue GT' name.

I don't think the cylinders got much of a chance to rest in the course of my drives.

Well, maybe about town in traffic. I don't know; these things are seamless.

In fairness this GT was a companionable little functionary on several trips in and out of town.

I could see how you'd mix the mild and the mighty if you owned one.

But functionaries are two-a-penny. Cars like these were made to be driven.

This certainly came into its own up the twisty mountain roads - and flatter but bumpier bog roads - where I got the sense of energy and road-feel feedback that warrants all this equipment and money.

It squirts into action at the hint of a stab on the throttle though there was little or no torque spin on the front wheels.

Maybe I'm getting better at quick starts.

It's a car I liked for its pep and punch as well as its solidity.

But at the back of my mind all the time was one question: who would buy it?

Younger people might like to but could they afford it?

And would more mature drivers be that interested? I'm not so sure.

But I do know these cars have an attraction all of their own. Not that many are bought - for obvious reasons - but they show the level and extent of technology that can be packed into a robust small frame.

People, or should I say, enthusiasts, never seem to tire of talking about cars like this.

Fatigue alert? I don't think so.

Standard spec includes sports front seats, Bluetooth, cruise control, twin exhaust pipes, 17ins 'Montani' alloys, seat upholstery in 'Bluespeed design', 'Front Assist' with city emergency braking, fatigue detection system, multi-function steering wheel, stop/start, daytime running lights, 5ins touchscreen (radio, CD player, aux-in), Hill Hold control, electric power steering.

Extras include metallic paint and rear-view camera.

Irish Independent

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