Sunday 21 January 2018

Volkswagen ring big changes to 'new' Polo but you can't see most of them

Here in time for the July 142 registration period

Polo supermini interior
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

IT may not look dramatically different but Volkswagen have given their popular Polo supermini a serious under-the-skin revamp.

Due here in mid-summer, in time for the 142 registration period, it does get sharper looks front and rear.

It will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The headlights look more Golf-ish as do elements of the cabin – the three-spoke steering wheel derives from its big brother.

The instrument panel and centre console have also been significantly updated.

Volkswagen claim it is the first in its range to get the second generation touch-screen infotainment system (screens range from 5ins to 6.5ins).

But the real work and change on this sixth-generation motor has been carried out under the surface where they have a range of new driver-assistance systems and a revised suspension.

And there are big changes in where the power comes from.The 3cyl and 4cyl petrol engines have been substantially upgraded or replaced by more powerful and cleaner ones.

A 1-litre 89bhp, 3cyl, is new (in the TSI BlueMotion) with a claimed 68.9mpg and 94g/km emissions.

Tweaked are the 1.2-litre 3cyl 59bhp petrol (claimed 21pc cut in fuel consumption and 106g/km emissions) which is accompanied by a stop/start function and brake-energy recuperation. There is also a 74bhp version.

The turbocharged 1.2-litre 3cyl TSI petrols (89bhp and 108bhp) have also been tweaked.

The 1.4-litre 4cyl with cylinder-on-demand technology in the Blue GT is 10bhp more powerful at 148bhp. And the top performer in this area is the 1.4-litre 4cyl in the GTi which has 12bhp more.

Big changes on the diesel front include three 1.4-litre 3cyl versions with 74bhp, 89bhp and 104bhp.

All have much lower claimed fuel consumption and emissions.

Depending on version, you can have a 5spd, 6spd manual or a 7spd dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

It is not clear how much of that engine menu will be offered here.

But I suspect, given the popularity of the car, that a lot of it will.

They say the suspension is now much better and there is a post-collision braking system.

With higher equipment levels (expect Bluetooth to be standard), you'd expect a price rise but I feel it won't be overly dramatic given the competitive nature of the market.

Irish Independent

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