First Drive

2016 Volkswagen Polo GTI India review, test drive

We get behind the wheel of VW India's hottest hatch ever and unleash its 192 horses.

DETAILS
18
photos

What is it like on the inside?

The GTI’s cabin can be accessed by just two doors, each of which is relatively wider than what Indians are used to. In fact, the doors require more than usual space to open, a characteristic that might prove tricky in tight parking spaces. On the inside, the GTI feels distinctly hot-hatch-ish. You get tartan racing seats (with underseat storage) – a GTI staple – that are large and supportive in every manner, and hold you snugly when you are cornering hard. You face a dashboard that will be familiar to Polo owners – the basic layout and much of the switchgear is similar if not the same, though the touchscreen infotainment system and differently designed instrument cluster are new. The rear seats are accessed by pulling a lever mounted conveniently on the front seats at shoulder level to flip them down. The rear feels claustrophobic mainly due to the smaller windows and poor front visibility on account of the large front seats, but rear kneeroom is actually more than the regular Polo because the back of the front seats has been cleverly scooped out to create a hollow.

For a car that costs Rs 25.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the GTI comes with a relatively shorter equipment list. Features such as keyless entry, an engine start/stop button, rear camera, electronically folding external mirrors, navigation and auto headlamps and wipers are conspicuously missing. On the flip side, you do get paddle shifters, auto start/stop to improve fuel efficiency in traffic, six airbags and the aforementioned touchscreen, with Apple CarPlay.

While it is true that the interiors feel slightly Spartan when you consider its price tag, the GTI’s cabin delivers a true-blue hot hatch experience, what with the three-door layout, fabric racing seats, bright red highlights, flat-bottomed steering wheel and even the exposed-rod seatbelt anchors.

Fact File

Engine

Fuel Petrol
Type 1798cc, 4 cyls, turbocharged
Bore/stroke 82.5 x 84.1 mm
Power 192hp at 5400-6200rpm
Torque 250Nm at 1250-5300rpm

Transmission

Gearbox 7-speed DSG

Dimensions

Length 3976mm
Width 1682 mm
Height 1452 mm
Wheel base 2468 mm

Chassis & Body

Weight 1273 Kg
Tyres 215/45 R16

Economy

Tank size 45 litres
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 211 | Autocar India: March 2017

Check out our exclusive drive of the new BMW 5-series in India, and in a Porsche special, the 718 Boxster. There's also a shootout between the new Hyundai Grand i10, Maruti Ignis and the Mahindra...
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