Volkswagen India has not yet launched cars on the same scale as other manufacturers seem to be doing. They have always explored all possible options on the existing platforms. The Polo hatchback has always been the company’s volume seller. It has been positioned as a premium hatchback in the country.
While other companies are bee lining to make practical and affordable cars, VW group has often keenly listened to its enthusiasts and made something that caters to these passionate consumers. The Polo 1.6 was one such car which still tops the lists of many. The recently launched Polo GT TSI which tries to combine performance and efficiency too hits the right spot.
The group has gone ahead and launched a muscular looking version of its existing Polo hatch. The Cross Polo might not be a total off roader nor does it qualify as a soft roader but it has some interesting updates. Mechanically it remains untouched and produces the same figures as a regular Polo. We take it on rough patches and explore this new offering in more depth.
If one can recollect, Skoda had launched an adventure version of the Fabia called the Scout. It was not particularly an SUV but sported plastic claddings around it to make the usually nimble looking hatch more aggressive. The Cross Polo too does visit the same chapter and comes across as a more rugged looking hatch.
There is no debate that Volkswagen Polo is one of the best looking hatches in India. Its split edge design makes it stand apart from the competition. I have always been in love with the no nonsense looks of the Polo. I would love to own one finished in black matte with all black rims and corso red calipers.
Without getting too much carried away with the design, the Cross Polo sports an unshaved look compared to the smart and dapper looking Polo. Volkswagen has made the Polo look bold with new claddings and altering the dimensions.
While the upper half of the vehicle looks like the normal Polo, the lower half gets the matte cladding. The radiator grille gets single slit design against the dual slit in the conventional model. The lower part of the bumper gets a bash plate and It complements the dark claddings very neatly.
The length, width and height of the Cross Polo have been increased but then the 185/60 R15 tyres looks a bit odd with the overall macho appeal of the vehicle. Also, the ground clearance has been left untouched to 168mm so the overall potential of the Cross Polo won’t be very different. The silver ORVMS and roof rails look funky. The roof rails are the main reason for the increase in height. Cross Polo stickers can be seen on rear doors only. The rear section too gets the Aluminum finished chin guard and black claddings.
The Cross Polo surely looks different and the plastic claddings do their bit in making this otherwise suave looking hatch look rugged. It is difficult to predict if someone would really buy it just for its looks.
The interior trims and lines have been retained. The Cross Polo sports ‘Livon’ Titanium black upholstery which looks sporty. The leather wrapped tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel has audio and phone controls on it. The instrumental panel is simple and has red digits showing all the necessary information. It shows information like trip reading, gear engaged, fuel left, average speed etc.
It has an all black finish with scratch resistant plastic interiors. Front row seats are comfortable with the driver’s seat being height adjustable. The front row has just about sufficient space to accommodate taller passengers. However, the knee room seems congested with the steering adjustments.
The seat fabric quality is not very impressive and feels very basic. The rear passenger’s seats are not very comfortable because of inadequate back support. With a decent legroom and better headroom, the rear passenger space can occupy two normal sized adults and three would definitely be a crowd.
It features a 2 DIN music system with a USB, AUX-in support and a SD card slot. The RCD 320 music system comes with 4 speakers and the music playback quality is impressive. It also comes with Bluetooth telephony and parking sensors as standard features. The automatic climate control air conditioner does its job perfectly.
There are utility pockets on the front doors which can easily hold up to a liter class container. The rear section seats can be made to collapse easily thus increasing the luggage compartment. There is a parcel tray sliced just above the luggage compartment to create a subtle partition. For a compact hatch, it offers generous luggage space.
The Polo has always sat at the premium side of all the B+ hatchbacks sold in the country. It is obvious that after spending such a premium on this hatch, one would be very skeptical about taking it anywhere possible. This is where the Cross Polo enters where it encourages the owners to take it further.
The changes in dimensions are merely due to addition of the matte claddings. The Cross Polo has a ground clearance of 168mm limits all the thoughts of taking it anywhere at all.
It shares its mechanical elements with the conventional diesel Polo. The 3 cylinder 1.2L engine produces 75 PS of power at 4200 rpm while it generates a torque of 180Nm at 2000 rpm. This diesel unit comes with a standard 5 speed manual transmission. Even the Skoda Fabia Scout had the same power train but then how different does it feel in the Cross Polo.
The engine frankly feels a bit let down initially especially since it has a very lazy response. Triple digit speeds show up only after juggling through different gears. The lazy response reduces as it crosses 2000 rpm and then the grumble of the diesel engine takes over. The torque delivery is also impressive and indeed pulls the car very efficiently.
The Cross Polo is not an off roader but then the suspension setup is simply fantastic. It takes on uneven undulations with great ease. In fact while driving across the patchy section on eastern express highway, the Cross Polo showed great confidence and managed to get us out of the potholes without any hassle.
We managed to squeeze out 15 kmpl as the best mileage figure in the Cross Polo. It also gets ABS, Driver and co-passenger airbags as standard features along with parking sensors.
|Turning radius in M||4.9|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||168|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (L)||45|
|New"Cross" Grill and bumpers||Yes|
|Galvanised body with 6 years anti rust warranty||Yes|
|Scratch resistant interiors||Yes|
|Livon Leather Black upholstery||Yes|
|Leather wrapped steering wheel,gear knob,Handbrake lever handle||Yes|
|Climatronic automatic airconditioning||Yes|
|Height adjustable driver seat||Yes|
|Remote control central locking||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable ORVM||Yes|
|RCD 320 2DIN music system||Yes|
|Rear Defogger and rear windshield washer and wiper||Yes|
|Rear parking sensor||Yes|
|Anti Lock Brake System||Yes|
|Dual front air bags||Yes|
|Electronic engine immobiliser||Yes|
|Fog light front and rear||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||1.2 TDI||1.2 Asta|
|Ex- showroom Price Mumbai||775000||800611|
|Turning radius in M||4.9||5|
|Tyres||185/60 R15||185/65 R14|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (L)||45||45|
|Leather wrapped steering wheel,gear knob,Handbrake lever handle||Yes||Yes|
|Climatronic automatic airconditioning||Yes||Yes|
|Height adjustable driver seat||Yes||Yes|
|Remote control central locking||Yes||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable ORVM||Yes||Yes|
|2-DIN music system||Yes||Yes|
|Rear Defogger and rear windshield washer and wiper||Yes||Yes|
|Rear parking sensor||Yes||Yes|
|Anti Lock Brake System||Yes||Yes|
|Dual front air bags||Yes||Yes|
|Electronic engine immobiliser||Yes||Yes|
|Fog light front and rear||Yes||Yes|
The Cross Polo is a rugged looking version of the conventional hatchback. It was recently launched at an ex-showroom price of Rs. 7.75 lakhs. It mainly targets at customers looking for a crossover hatch. The Skoda Fabia Scout has already faced rough waters with a similar treatment.
At Rs.7.75 lakhs, it feels too premium when compared to the 1.2L highline diesel variant which is cheaper by Rs.50,000. Except for the plastic claddings and raise in height, the Cross Polo offers same features as seen on the Highline variant. The tough looking hatch offers a great ride and also an efficient engine but then the engine is not engaging enough. It feels sluggish at lower speeds and gets exhausted in city traffic.
If we ignore the body type then at a similar price one can opt for a 1.5 Trend variant of Ford EcoSport. Not only does it have a bigger engine but also the EcoSport has a more spacious cabin. The EcoSport comparatively will be more athletic. With all the Pros and cons lined up, it is a very obvious conclusion that Cross Polo will definitely appeal to a selected few. It might be a possibility that after a brief period, the company might just pull off its chord from this one.