Polo 1.2 TSI DSG - Mint Polo

Photos by Low Fai Ming. Text by Nicholas Low, sgCarMart.

The Polo has gone through a mild facelift just recently. Will it inherit positive attributes from the Golf to become a segment leader?

Most of our first acquaintances with 'Polo' is the minty white candy, which is instantly recognisable from its hole in the middle.

That is, unless, you are born with a 'silver spoon' and plays the expensive team sports that involves riding on horsebacks, or if you have been part of your school's water polo team.

The Polo we are talking about is nothing like those mentioned above. For starters, it does not involve any physically strenuous activity.

On the contrary, you can literally work the supermini without breaking a sweat.

Unknown to many, the first Polos were produced way back in 1975. However, it wasn't until its fourth and fifth generation that these urban hatchbacks became popular on our shores.


Up close and personal

Five years since the fifth generation Polo was launched here, the supermini has received its much-deserved facelift. It will, however, take more than a keen pair of eyes to tell it apart from the previous version.

In fact, by retaining its nippy, bite-sized proportions, the new Polo looks virtually unchanged.

On the inside, the mini hatchback gets a handful of revisions, such as a new instrument console and a 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Together, they feel cleaner, more sorted and is easier to work with than before.

The drive

Propelling the Polo is a turbocharged 1.2-litre unit, which produces 89bhp and 160Nm of torque. While looking unimpressive, those figures give it lively, perky performance in real world driving.

In fact, pedal to the metal, the Polo feels quicker than the 10.8 seconds (0-100km/h) stated in the spec sheet.

At lower engine revs, the four-cylinder unit is surprisingly refined and sedated, so much so that we couldn't tell if the engine's auto start/stop feature has kicked in.

Driven with a light right foot, the cabin is delightfully quiet, with only intrusions of road noise at highway speeds. The puny plant will also reward with a frugal, petrol-sipping fuel economy of 19km/L that is close to the 21km/L claimed by the manufacturer.

On the downside, there's not much fun to be had at the helm. The steering is slightly vague, with little feedback from the tarmac. However, the light steering will please those looking for effortless city driving, which also helps to put the compact car easily into tight corners and parking lots.

Conclusion

Much like its predecessor, the facelifted Polo remains to be well-suited for urban driving with its pint-sized dimensions and fuss-free handling. While lacking a tad in driving involvement, the Polo makes up with its zippy character and low fuel consumption.

Just like the mint candy in our childhood days, the Polo continues to serve as a useful and refreshing way of commute for urban dwellers like us.

Read the original article here.

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