A reader will drive the Volkswagen Polo home for a weekend

Text by Deborah Tan, Material World.

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The new Volkswagen Polo is for the woman who is confident in her own skin and is practical with her money. Deborah Tan takes the car out for a test-drive and finds it is perfect for the urbanite lifestyle.

From what I've gathered, based on comments left on car forums and websites, the guys hate it. They say this facelift isn't really much of a facelift. In fact, one comment has even gone as far to say you need an x-ray to detect the differences. Many reviewers seem to have mixed feelings about the car and, we know, anything short of an all-out adoration really just means "meh".

 

Having owned the older version of the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI, the facelift immediately apparent to me … because it's finally giving me what I want in a Polo! If you are or were a Polo owner, you'd agree with me that you sometimes wished your car looked like a tinier version of its more famous sister, the Golf. Back at my condo's carpark, I often walked towards a red Golf hoping it was my car, until the husband would say, "Wrong car… You wish that was yours, don't you? Haha!" Yes, I did indeed. And this latest iteration of the Polo has one of the things the Golf has that I really wanted on my old Polo - mean-looking grilles on the front spoiler.

The new look is sportier

As much as I adored my old Polo, I had always found its appearance slightly sedated. The new Polo has a chrome inlay in the radiator grille, giving it a wider, more dynamic appearance. When you are car owner, every shiny bit matters. The air intake grilles, located below the radiator cover, also sport a new look - replacing the honeycomb-patterned cover are the outwardly slanting slates that the Golf has. The new Polo also has fog lamps - not that we need them in Singapore but they have the effect of making the car appear bigger.

Now, you may say, "Look, if you had wanted a Golf, why didn't you just buy one? Why did you buy the Polo?" Ok, here's why: first, I wanted a Volkswagen. The brand has always stood for quality and having test-driven many of its cars, I love the handling and the experience. Whenever friends ask me which car should they consider buying, I always point them to VW. Second, I wanted a stylish hatch that wouldn't bankrupt me and the Polo was the pocket-friendly answer. But a true VW fan will always dream of owning a Golf and until I can afford one, I'm happy to own a Polo that resembles it. The new Polo is perfect for this.

The new Polo is a great urban car

I do not harbour dreams of executing any spectacular stunts on the road. Neither am I the sort who endeavours to overtake an Audi R8, just to prove a point. My time with the new Polo was extremely enjoyable. I was most certainly impressed by its fuel economy. I managed to reach an astounding 20km on a litre of fuel. After 3 days of driving the car around (my test drive was over the Christmas season), the tank remained close to full.

What I found most pleasant, driving the new Polo, was how quiet the engine was. At times, I found myself so disconcerted by the silence in the car that I would look at the dashboard to check if the car was indeed still working.

The display screen placed at the centre of the dashboard add a high-tech, expensive look to the new Polo. The screen not only serves as an entertainment system, it also shows an analysis of your driving style and behaviour, and offers suggestions on how you can drive more efficiently. I'm proud to say that I'm a pretty economical driver! Check out my scores below!

In the urban environment, the car is a zippy ride, a pleasure to drive and very easy to park. I have no illusions about the space the Polo has - if you are hoping it will ferry a family of four plus bags of groceries, a bike, AND some IKEA flatpack furniture, you are being unrealistic and should probably look at driving the Caddy or Sharan instead. The Polo is for the singleton who gives friends the occasional lift and uses the back-seats more for her shopping, shoes, Macbook and the occasional niece/nephew.

The Polo is a reflection of a lifestyle - it is the car for the person who treasures her independence and mobility, and knows just where to put her money.

Verdict

For my level of usage, lifestyle and budget, I'll be quite happy with a ride like the new Polo. I love, love, love how fuel-efficient it is - this is definitely the biggest draw for me.

Read the original article here.

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