2014 Volkswagen Polo Review (first drive) – 1.5 TDI got game?

New Volkswagen Polo was launched on 15th July 2014, with new diesel engine and updated cosmetics on both inside and outside. On keener investigation, we see changes in dimensions as well. Lets get to it one by one in our first drive review here.

2014 VW Polo-000 frontFirst impression – 2014 VW Polo may retain silhouette, but every new aspect / replacement is highly conspicuous. First thing that gives it away is single chrome slat on front grille and its twin running parallel on lower air dam that takes a step to go beneath fog lamps. Next you’ll notice boxy black region on front bumper that previously had curvy smiley like edges encasing fog lamps. Lower air dam section bears black horizontal strips parallel to those above constituting grille, instead of honeycomb pattern as seen in older model. Then you may realise that fog lamps look different too. Headlamps in new Polo get two part lamps; one for low beam and both together light up when switching to high. New Polo is certainly a better looker, made more premium, especially in new Orange exterior shade.

2014 VW Polo-009 frontOn more technical note, dimensions of new Polo is not same as earlier version. Height is increased by 16mm, but ground clearance is 3mm lower, and wheelbase is longer by 13mm. Check dimension table below.

Dimensions

Earlier VW Polo

2014 VW Polo

Length (mm)

3970

3971

Width (mm)

1682

1682

Height (mm)

1453

1469

Wheelbase (mm)

2456

2469

Ground Clearance (mm)

168

165

2014 VW Polo-015 interiorsInteriors - Appreciable changes are done here as well. Unmistakable enhancements include rather silver or brushed aluminium like trims surrounding centre console and AC vents and piano black treatment on steering wheel centre and spokes. Instrument cluster gets slightly bigger Multi Function Display (MFD), now in bolder white text instead of orange. Steering wheel is made more sporty by flattening bottom contour, and control buttons are planted on right spoke as well. Latter includes MFD switches and voice command trigger.

2014 VW Polo-016 new steeringSteering wheel hub is made in new shape with thin borderline complementing rest of silver decors. In short new steering wheel manages to look more elegant and athletic, while opinion on dashboard, especially centre console motifs might differ from person to person. It is also to be noted that beige interiors of new Polo is not same as in old one; latest model has better tone / contrast.

While dimensions of new Volkswagen Polo can be seen changed on papers, hardly any change can be felt sitting on rear bench.

Volkswagen Polo interiors seatsEngine – New 4 cylinder 1.5 litre TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection) diesel engine throws significantly higher maximum power of 90 PS, as opposed to 75 PS produced by earlier three cylinder 1.2 litre TDI. Peak torque rating is also evidently bumped up from 180 Nm to 230 Nm. New power plant gives out less noise and harshness compared to previous motor, still engine clutter is heard well in cabin. Gearshifts of 5 speed gearbox coupled to new engine could be made smoother.

2014 VW Polo-001 orangePerformance – Rev hungry throttle response is felt right from low engine speeds; swiftly reaches 2,000 rpm mark where turbo kicks in and new Polo is blasted with great force and spirit. Evenly spread power band kindles you to rev harder and feel the raw power coming out of a race inspiring machine. Wider range of peak torque (from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm) helps manoeuvre better without much of shift changes. In short, new 1.5 litre diesel engine does justice to rest of mechanical abilities of Polo, unlike older underpowered unit.

2014 VW Polo-003 sideRide and handling – Shocks and suspension give just about the same feel as offered by older car. Though it’s a bit stiffer for clean absorption of road irregularities, benefits of Polo’s suspension can be felt while tactical driving, and you’ll be thankful for such tune. Reduced ground clearance may not be favourable for some driving on roads with tall bumps, but its not something to worry about. Steering is just as light as usual; a pinch of heaviness & better feedback would more than compliment Polo’s potential.

Braking - Right amount of bite adds to Volkswagen Polo being a performance hatchback on budget. Stability and grip while braking inspires confidence.

2014 VW Polo-004 rearVerdict – Polo is better to drive solo, not that it is any bad with full load of passengers, but the new racy engine and lower stance will provoke you to pull off mean driving skills that would throw back seat occupants from side to side. At price bracket of Rs. 6.27 – 7.37 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), VW Polo 1.5 TDI is definitely worth the buy. Wait for Polo GT TDI till September if you’re hunger for power doesn’t stop here. Comprehensive review coming soon.

Head to technical specifications, full list of features in each variant, mileage and price list of new Polo here.

Also read – On-paper Comparison review of Volkswagen Polo Facelift vs Maruti Swift vs Hyundai i20

Photo Gallery (30 images)
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