2014 Volkswagen Polo 1.5 Review
Volkswagen have updated the Polo as a part of its mid life renovation. It gets refreshed exteriors and interiors but then there is more to the new Polo apart from cosmetic add-ons.
The three cylinder 1.2L diesel engine in the earlier Polo always faced the brunt due to its flat power delivery. Many believed that the Polo, even though was a great looking car, couldn’t prove its true metal cause of this engine. This also reflected in its sales numbers.
All of that is supposed to change as the good guys at Volkswagen have decided to revive and update this popular model. It now looks sharper and brighter than before. They have given it a new 1.5L diesel engine. We couldn’t wait for VW to give it to us and instead asked for it ourselves. Did the new Polo impress us? Here is our review.
I have always loved the minimalistic styling of the Polo. It has a tamed aggression in its design with sharp and precise looks. The new Polo does not get a lot of new additions but subtle upgrades from the earlier version which make it look smarter.
The headlights have more detailing inside with a redesigned reflector and a jewelled finish. Twin circular headlights look better than its earlier iteration. New front bumper gets different fog lamp housing. There is a neat chrome strip which runs along the width of the bumper engulfing the lower half of the fog lamps. It gets a triple blade radiator grille with the lowest one done in chrome unlike in the earlier version where the top two blades were in chrome.
There are changes in its dimensions too making the new Polo a bit longer and taller. The wheelbase has also been increased from 2456mm to 2469mm. This has been done to increase space in the rear passenger area. It also gets new 15inch 10 spoke TOSA alloy wheels which look elegant. It continues to get body coloured door handles and external mirrors.
Lights at rear have been changed and the gate now looks broader and fuller cause of the curvy design. It gets a new rear bumper with a broader section around the number plate. The new lines on the bumper give a wider look to the overall rear profile.
The first thing that you would notice inside the new Polo has to be its sporty steering wheel. The flat lower steering wheel feels like it belonged to a performance sedan. It might be a small addition but then totally worth it. The three spoke steering wheel has got a lot upmarket this time as the horizontal spokes have a winged design and are finished in piano black.
Moving on from the performance steering wheel, the instrumental cluster has been retained except for an important update in the central function display. Bidding farewell to the functional red display it now gets brighter and more lucid digits which appear more engaging. All the basic information on this multi function display can be accessed with steering mounted buttons. This has replaced the buttons mounted on the indicator lever.
The central console now gets a brushed aluminium surround around the 2 DIN music system as well as around the AC controls. One can stream music via Bluetooth in this. There are USB and Aux-in connectivity options too in addition to the memory card slots. It gets four speakers
Rest of the layout remains similar except for the minor addition in space in the rear. It has freed some more breathing area but remains tight on space. Beige fabric seats are seen on both rows. The cushioning on rear seats are on the flatter side thus no joy for passengers sitting here on long journeys. Polos have always sported a driver centric design with maximum focus in the front.
While all are busy downsizing, Volkswagen has upped the game by getting the meatier 1.5L diesel and plonking it in the new Polo. It has got the performance numbers up for sure. The new engine has also helped the Polo to reduce earlier concerns.
Firstly, the vibrations of the smaller three pot has completely vanished and at idling speeds the engine feels more rev friendly. The addition of a cylinder has made the engine more balanced and thus the vibrations have gone increasing the confidence of this new heart.
Talking numbers, the new Polo’s refined 1.5L diesel engine which is a descendant of its bigger 1.6L engine produces 90PS at 4200 rpm and 230Nm at 1500 – 2500 rpm. So the good news is, numbers have gone up and thus performance has increased but then the mileage has got a tinge down.
We are not complaining about the lower mileage because, the drop is not substantial. Since the torque ratings are higher, the suffocation of the lower displacement has gone down with loads of torque to play with even at lower engine speeds. The new engine generates the heavy torque band at 500rpm less than the peak of the earlier engine.
City roads and on highways, the engine runs smoothly. Instead of making the throttle do a touchdown to get peak performance, a gentle push is sufficient to make the new Polo going. The lag in response has completely gone. Even the ride and handling has been improved with this new unit. So not just in the low and middle range, it delivers as impressively on the higher redline range too.
|Power in PS / RPM||90 / 4200|
|Torque in Nm / RPM||230 / 1500 - 2500|
|Wheel base mm||2469|
|Fuel tank capacity L||45|
|Tyre Spec||185/60 R15|
|15-inch, "TOSA" alloy wheels (Set of 4)||Yes|
|Front centre console including 12V outlet||Yes|
|Sporty flat-bottom steering wheel design||Yes|
|Leather-wrapped steering wheel with chrome accents and piano black finish||Yes|
|Leather-wrapped gearshift knob and handbrake lever handle||Yes|
|Anti-pinch power windows||Yes|
|ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)||Yes|
|Dual front airbags (driver and passenger side)||Yes|
|Steering wheel with controls for audio, Bluetooth and Voice Command||Yes|
|Rear parking sensors||Yes|
|Monochrome multi-function display (MFD) includes travelling time, distance travelled, digital speed display, average speed, fuel efficiency||Yes|
|CD/MP3 player with USB, Aux-in, SD card input and 4 Speakers||Yes|
|Rear windshield wash and wiper||Yes|
|Remote-controlled central locking||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||Highline||Asta 1.4 CRDI||ZDi|
|Price (Ex Showroom Mumbai)||Rs. 759,065||Rs. 804,052||Rs. 702,898|
|Power in PS/RPM||90 / 4200||90 / 4000||74 / 4000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||230 / 1500 - 2500||220 / 1500||190 / 2000|
|Gears||5-speed Manual||6 MT||5 MT|
|Wheel base mm||2469||2570||2430|
|Fuel tank capacity L||45||45||42|
|Kerb Weight (Kgs)||1158||NA||1080|
|Tyre Spec||185/60 R15||195 / 55 R16||185 / 65 R15|