The solid build of Volkswagen’s baby shines through. Also, is there a better driving hatch out there?
Often it’s the small things. Like how well the key fob has been put together.
The millimetre’s perfect fit, the slick matte finish, the functionality of the buttons, the tiny red pilot light, the high gloss chrome hoop, or the manner in which the spring loaded key flips open. The attention to detail in the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI is just extraordinary.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: Just the right weight, and the steering is pretty accurate too.
Of course, once you get in there’s the fantastic door shut. Or should I say ‘thunk’. And it’s a proper German car THHUNNKK. Then there’s how well the knobs on the centre console function. Smooth and slick, but with well-defined steps, turning the knob feels like you are using a click wheel; it’s so good.
The tactile experience continues as you place your hands on the wheel. The shape of the wheel is just right, the leather-lined rim has a hand-stitched seam at the centre and then press one of the buttons and that feeling of being in a car that’s crafted with plenty of attention to detail is even more evident. Even the hollow stalks function with a slickness that is difficult not to appreciate. In these areas, the Polo has no real competition. European built quality: Will we ever see it again on a hatch of this size?
GERMAN BUILD: Near perfect fit and cabin elements feel solidly put together.
This month, I also experimented with higher octane fuel. Now, telling the difference between two fuels is usually extremely difficult. But here the jump to 100 octane is sufficiently large. While I wasn’t sure when I drove it initially, I did notice that the mid-range felt a bit tighter and the boost came in stronger. Replacing the stock air filter will surely help, and then I plan to check in-gear acceleration times between the two fuels with our V-Box. Will let you know how that goes.
NO ELBOWING: Elbow box fouls your elbow, there’s no good place to put it.
A few months on, I think I sort of appreciate the strengths of the Polo even more. The extra weight of the steering, the manner in which the engine rips through the rev range, the planted feel at speed, the manner in which it dives into corners enthusiastically. No hatch today drives as well. I still go out and drive just for the heck of it.
Wish the front seats were a bit more comfortable though – especially the base, which is a bit flat. And even though I’m used to it now, I feel the gear lever is too stubby, and that effects leverage.
TWIST AND SHOUT: Adjustable mirror knob alignment is off by 90 degrees.
But what a transformation the 1.0 TSI engine has made. Still look forward to driving this car, even after something several times more exotic.
Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI long term review, first report