At first glance, there’s nothing wildly exciting about the interior design but neither is there anything to offend the eye. It’s typically VW – top quality and functional. The black-and-beige combo looks classy and the switchgear feels great to operate. The interior plastics feel hardwearing and the dashboard texture is not as ‘soft feel’ as we would have liked but the overall plastic quality is a class apart.
The dials are large and legible, the centre console is neatly arranged, and there is a surplus of storage space – from well-thought-out slots beside the handbrake to the massive 294-litre boot. Generous door pockets all round, a huge glovebox and clever hooks on the B-pillars give the Polo’s interiors unmatched practicality. But is passenger space as good? Up front, the driver’s seat with its long seat travel, generous headroom and massive footwell will comfortably accommodate members of the NBA basketball team but short drivers don’t have it good in the base Trendline which doesn’t have seat height adjust. This is especially so because the dashboard is set a bit too high. Also, a dead pedal is missing. The seats are deeply contoured and very supportive with the right amount of cushioning.
Rear passengers though are not as well looked after and rear seat space is not the Polo’s forte. While the rear seat is quite comfy with decent under-thigh support and acceptable headroom (if you are not too tall), you sit lower than usual and kneeroom is quite poor for a premium hatchback. The high waistline eats into the window area and adds to the restrictive feeling in the rear. Sitting three abreast is not as bad as it seems, thanks to the Polo’s decent width.
The Polo comes in three variants. While the Trendline gets only basic features, front power windows, power steering and air-con, Comfortline is only slightly better equipped with power windows all round, metallic paint, body colored door handles/mirrors and split seats. It’s only the Highline that gets a CD MP3 player, rear wash/wipe, multi-function display, remote locking, alloy wheels, fog lamps, ABS and airbags. However, it’s very obvious the accountant’s axe has been liberally wielded on the equipment list. Even on the top-end Highline version, features that we have come to expect like steering-mounted controls, electronic climate control, height adjustable seatbelts and power mirrors are all missing.