The Volkswagen Polo facelift (known internally as the Polo GP) will go on sale sometime in May 2014. The big news is that it will come with VW’s downsized-for-India 1.5-litre TDI engine under the hood. Essentially a smaller-capacity version of the EA189 1.6 TDI motor, this 1.5-litre engine will now allow VW to collect a tax saving on the car and get rid of the less-than-ideal 1.2-litre, three-cylinder diesel engine.
The 1.5 TDI engine will come with two power outputs – 89bhp and 104bhp – and these will replace the 1.2-litre TDI and the 1.6-litre TDI, respectively, making the Polo much more attractive. The standard Polo will get the 89bhp engine, whilst the more powerful 104bhp variant, expected with a variable-geometry-turbo (VGT), will power the Vento saloon and the 2014 Polo GT TDI. Power delivery on the less powerful engine is likely to be much smoother and more linear, making the driving experience much better.
On the outside, the Polo facelift gets some beautifully executed mid-life upgrades. The headlights now get hexagonal LED elements, a chrome strip at the bottom of the grille links both headlights, and the chin of the car is all-new. There are fewer changes around the rear, but the car does get an all-new bumper and tail-lights.
Volkswagen has also worked on the insides of the car, which now look really attractive and are sure to be a huge draw. However, it's not clear how many of these changes will make it to the Indian market. That said, the new upmarket steering wheel, new centre console with a new colour display and new air-con controls lift the ambience of the cabin considerably.