New VW Polo GTI Is A Great All-Rounder But Not A Firestarter, Says Review

Hot hatches are meant to be exciting devices that make you take the long road home, and the latest VW Polo GTI wants to be that car.

Packing more power than ever, courtesy of a 2.0-liter TSI engine that makes 197hp (200PS) and 236lb-ft (320Nm) of torque, the new Polo GTI appears to have closed the gap to its Golf GTI sibling by a significant margin.

Zero to 62mph (100km/h) takes 6.7 seconds when fitted with the dual-clutch gearbox, while top speed is a very autobahn-friendly 147mph (247km/h).

Combined with the new generation’s bigger dimensions, the latest Polo GTI also appears to be more competent than ever, taking advantage of the MQB-A0 platform and all the tricks that come with it. These include goodies such as wider tracks as well as adaptive dampers.

Those looking for a proper Fiesta ST alternative however are going to be left with a more mature take on hot-hatches, as the new VW Polo GTI performs better as a one-car-to-do-it-all according to Auto Express.

It’s not that VW doesn’t know how to make exciting hatchbacks, but apparently the new Polo GTI is not the firecracker some hoped it would be.



    polo gti always looked lame compared to fiesta st

  • fabri99

    I think “boring” is the adjective you’re looking for. Why can’t VW pull off a proper B-segment hot hatch? They’ve always done great things with the Golf (both GTi and R), yet the Polo was never quite able to match its bigger sister. I just don’t get it, VW knows how to make amazing hot hatchbacks, can’t they apply the same magic on the Polo?

    • Exactly my thought, Why it seems Golf get all the attention from the engineering department while Polo were left hanging into obscurity.

      Same case happened with Up GTI, a lot of journous expect a Mk1 Golf GTI being reborn but it’s just a souped up small hatchback….

    • OdysseyTag

      I’d have to disagree. The current gen Polo is still arguably one of the best offerings in the segment and I’m sure the upcoming one follows suit. They’re quite well equipped and practical and also offer a broad range of alternatives (Cross Polo, Bluemotion, GTi etc.). They also feel quite premium compared to competitors which is sadly also reflected in their asking price.

      It really (once again) comes down to its predictive, conservative and somewhat uninspiring looks which is at this point quite symptomatic of the brand in general. Seeing as that’s well established – do we have to have the same discussion again and again.

      Cause I don’t think that should take away from what it does right. On a side note, VW did mention the growing significance of the Polo in their roadmap upfront. A few reviewers have noted how it’s size, tech and price are bridging the barrier between it and it’s more accomplished sibling the Golf.

    • Obsequious Lickspittle
  • Hence (possibly) the upcoming R or Clubsport.

  • SteersUright

    VW’s not in the biz of making soulful, fire breathing, memorable cars. They, like Audi, make “Competent” cars. Want a competent do-it-all sporty car? Get a Gti. Want a more competent version, get the R. Always seems to be a trade-off between “competent/clinical” and “soulful/compromised”.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Wish this was available in North America. Instead we get the Atlas.

  • supermanuel

    Polo GTi has never, ever been a firestarter. I don’t know why anyone would expect this one to be different.

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