The VW Golf was arguably one of the most popular compact cars on Australian roads for several years fighting hard with the Mazda 3 and the Hyundai i30 in the same market space. Interestingly all three of those brands had a little brother model available that we were surprised to see were not a popular. The days of the family vehicle being a large salon type vehicle such as a Commodore or a Falcon are gone as consumers are drawn to vehicles with more space, easier to park, lighter fuel costs and a small carbon footprint.
The little brother to the Golf is the Polo and has not been as popular as expected. The only thing that springs to mind is the space inside. The Polo is a little squishy but aside from that there is very little to fault.
Things to be mindful of if you considering buying one
The base model is a three cylinder one litre turbocharged engine, if your putting that through an automatic transmission there is very little get up and go. In my opinion one litre just isn’t enough. Acceleration is poor at best and its won’t be winning any Mario cart races. The GTI model does come with far more grunt but it will cost you if you want to move up into the world, this does bring us to our next point, the price
The poverty pack of the Polo with minimal features will set you back around $21K with no on roads. Add on roads to that and its the most expensive vehicle in its class by a long stretch.
You will also need to factor in servicing costs. The cost of any European vehicle is far more expensive than Japanese or Korean counterparts. Below is a graph comparing the pricing of the Polo with three of its competitors in its class.
Mechanically the Polo is too new to tell if there is any dire mechanical issues however if your looking for an automatic the Polo does still run the DSG transmission. This particular transmission is problematic. It has been greatly improved in recent years however we estimate that up to fifty percent of DSG owners are still experiencing problems with them.
Drivability and creature comforts make the VW a leader compared to its competitors in the same class. A Yaris might cost you $8K less than the VW but the VW runs rings around it when comparing comfort, handling and styling.
The body styling does have some dangerous similarities to a Holden Viva which for me is a bit like doing a little vomit in your mouth whilst in a elevator and being forced to swallow it again. For me, this means I move straight on the Golf as a preferred vehicle option however thats due to my own experiences with the rubbish that is the Holden Viva.
Overall I can’t actually fault the Polo. Its rather expensive to both own and maintain but is a beautiful little car. It is a bit cramped inside which is why I believe people are drawn more to the Golf. You can read more about the Golf by clicking the link below
VW Golf Review
I cant really see any reason why one shouldn’t own a Polo provided you can budget for it. As with all European cars it can add up.
I’d encourage you to look at the Golf as an alternative. Whilst it will cost you more, the three cylinder one litre engine is a deal breaker for me, it just needs more low end power particularly in an automatic.
We have covered the reason for this dramatic difference in service costing in the article shown below.
Why are European cars more expensive to maintain?