New Volkswagen Polo GTI Has Everything But The Fun Factor

The new-gen Volkswagen Polo was unveiled last year, and it’s topped by the GTI, which still challenges the likes of the Renault Clio RS and Ford Fiesta ST.

Slotting in the brand’s lineup between the Up! GTI and Golf GTI, the new Polo GTI uses its bigger sibling’s engine, albeit with less power.

The 2.0-liter turbo-four produces 200 PS (197 hp / 147 kW) and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque, bucking the downsizing trend. Naught to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) takes 6.7 seconds and top speed is 236 km/h (147 mph).

Also Watch: GTIs Galore: VW Hot Hatch Family Feud Ends With Near Photo Finish

Besides being fast, the new Polo GTI doesn’t cut back on the practicality of the regular models. Thus, boot space is 351 liters (12.4 cu-ft) with the rear seats in position and over 1,100 liters (38.8 cu-ft) with the rear seats folded down, and rear headroom and legroom is very decent for a supermini.

The interior feels solidly put together and the quality of most plastics is very good. The usual GTI tartan upholstery is there, and so are colored panels that give it a more vibrant feel compared to the lesser Polos.

However, despite looking very good on paper, the new Polo GTI does have some flaws. As CarBuyer noted in their test drive, it’s not as fun to drive as a Ford Fiesta ST. Also, the engine doesn’t feel that punchy, and that might have something to do with the bigger Golf GTI, as Volkswagen probably didn’t want the Polo GTI stepping on its larger sibling’s toes.

The ride is quite bumpy, too, and that would be okay if it was more engaging to drive. Sadly, it is not, so if smiling while behind the wheel is key when choosing a supermini hot hatch, then you’re better off with the Ford Fiesta ST or Mini Cooper S.


  • Matteo Tommasi

    The 351 L boot space is measured counting the spare wheel space as boot space. The real boot space is around 260 L

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    I wonder how many buyers will turn up the wick on it?

    • Honda NSX-R

      Quite a few will

    • Bash

      You will be surprised.

  • Christian Wimmer

    „Fun factor“ is always a subjective measurement. One driver will be bored, the other will be entertained.

    My family‘s ex-1996 Mitsubishi Pajero 2500 Intercooler Turbodiesel with 99-horsepower, a 5-speed M/T and a 0-100 km/h time of over 20 seconds (with poor quality Philippine diesel fuel) was incredibly fun to drive. I still miss that car and have fond memories of it.

    Fun is subjective.

    • Honda NSX-R

      Hell I had fun driving a 2016 Corolla LE with the CVT, but it’d probably be even more fun with a 6MT. Every car is “fun” to drive in a certain way imo

      • Christian Wimmer


    • Mill0048

      I agree completely! I loved my buddy’s 4-door, 2002 Hyundai Accent 1.6 with 5-speed. manual Not sporty by most standards, but a blast to drive and push hard.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Boring as usual.

  • sean tooher

    worst looking polo ever

    • J-Triumf

      You mean best

  • sidewaysspin

    It looks like it doesn’t move.

  • Jason Miller

    It’s like they shrank a Golf. Doesn’t hardly look any different.

Ford Now Betting Big On Level 3 Autonomous Systems

Ford had previously stated that it would mostly bypass Level 3 autonomy and focus on Level 4 development.

Toyota UK Overbooked Supra A90 Edition Orders As Massive Demand Caused Technical Failure

Affected customers will get a free two-year service plan for their regular Supra.

Mercedes-Benz Seriously Considers Building Passenger Cars In Egypt

Mercedes would also support local authorities in other projects by offering their expertise in different fields.

Vuhl 05RR Street Legal Track Car Has Veyron-Beating Power-To-Weight Ratio

The 385hp Mexican-built supercar is now on sale in the U.S. and Europe.

Pedestrian With Anger Management Issues Taught A Painful Lesson

For whatever reason, he got so mad at the driver, he didn’t bother to look where he was going.

Google Maps Starts Showing Speed Limits, Warn About Fixed Cameras

The service is currently restricted to certain U.S. areas, but we guess it will eventually get a full release.

Dashing Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione Is Love At First Sight

The wonderfully-styled Italian sports coupe has less than 600 miles on the clock and is in pristine condition.

813 HP Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate Dips Under 3 Seconds For 0-62 MPH Sprint

After being subjected heavy tuning, this hyper estate has become quicker than some current supercars.

Porsche Exclusive Panamera In Mamba Green Is A Bit Too Flashy For Us

An exclusive sports sedan in a hue like this one is an odd choice, but it guarantees that you’ll be noticed.

Most Expensive Mustang Ever? The $2.2 Million 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

This makes the first production 2020 Super Snake, which sold for $1.1 million, look like a bargain.