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Car Reviews

Coronavirus Car Deals: 3 2020 VW Models (and 3 Last-Chance Cars) Worth Interest at 0%

Volkswagen is responding to the virus pandemic with a wave of cut-rate financing across its lineup: 0% for 72 months with no down payment and the first payment deferred for 180 days. While finding hand sanitizer might be more top of mind these days, you might be one those folks caught short and needing a new car. Maybe you were already in the market, have the clock ticking on a lease, need a reliable ride to keep a job or had your current vehicle break at the worst possible time. If, so VW has a deal for you.

But not all VWs are created equal. Here are three 2020s we think are particularly worth your interest at 0%. We’ve also noted three departing VWs for which you have a last shot at 0%,

Related: Coronavirus Car Care: We Had to Get Our Hyundai Palisade Fixed During Shelter-in-Place

As always, you might have to navigate hurdles to qualify for the lowest rate, but you should push back for a comparable deal even so, as it’s a buyer’s market. And for social distancing, many more dealers can do the deal online and deliver the car to you. VW’s financing deal is good on all new 2020 and 2019 Volkswagens through April 30.

Dealer listings on Cars.com show supplies of 2019 versions of these vehicles that are mostly the same as the 2020s, but with one significant difference: The 2019s have  more generous warranty coverage at six years or 72,000 miles. VW’s 2020 models are down to four years or 50,000 miles, though two years’ free maintenance now accompanies that.

1. 2020 Atlas

If you need a family SUV with lots of room and three rows of seats, the Atlas is an excellent choice — and the financing only sweetens the deal. VW’s largest SUV is comfortable, quiet and capable, with near-minivan levels comfort, space and utility. It seats up to seven, with adult-size room even in the third row. In its debut year, the Atlas was Cars.com’s Best of 2018 vehicle and winner of our Three-Row SUV Challenge. It also was our 2020 Family Car of the Year and finished a close third in our follow-up three-row Challenge in 2020, behind only the all-new Hyundai Palisade and related Kia Telluride. A refreshed 2021 model is on the way, but it’s only minimally different. The main change is increased availability for the 235-horsepower, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which becomes available on all trim levels and with all-wheel drive. If you wanted the Atlas’ uplevel engine, a 276-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, there’s no need to wait. 

2. 2020 Tiguan

The Tiguan stands out for all-around excellence in a compact SUV: It has a roomy, quiet cabin with ample cargo room and sophisticated media and safety tech. It offers a well-matched powertrain and sportier driving manners than most rivals. Unlike most compact SUVs, the Tiguan also has a small third row that’s standard with front-wheel drive and optional with all-wheel drive. Its strengths made it the clear winner in Cars.com’s 2019 Compact SUV Challenge as well as in an earlier 2017 Challenge — its debut year as a fully redesigned model. The 2020 model year brought more standard safety tech for the base (S) trim level.

3. Jetta GLI

While the seventh-generation 2020 Golf GTI is a great hot hatch and would-be solid choice for 0%, we’ve already seen the eighth-generation redesign in Europe, and no deal would alleviate buyer’s remorse. In the meantime, however, the Jetta GLI that VW calls a “sedanified” GTI is available for about the same sticker price with the same horsepower and torque specs, optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and standard sport suspension. And the GLI offers those in a sports sedan with more comfort, excellent tech, a bigger backseat and a large trunk. You can read our comparison test between the GLI sedan and GTI hatch here.

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And 3 Last-Chance VWs

In addition to these current models, three VW models with niche appeal could have close-out pricing in addition to the financing deal. The venerable Beetle ended its run with the 2019 model, but if you’re a fan, there still are coupes and convertibles (both endangered species in themselves) listed on Cars.com. There aren’t many of the dressed-up Final Edition, but you easily can find the other trim levels. The very competent Golf SportWagen and its cladded Alltrack version also now are ghosts, but you still have a chance to own one of the very few small wagons offered anywhere — you’ll find quite a few still haunting dealer lots. 

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Car Reviews

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp off-road add-ons push families further into the wilderness

It may not promise the world, but Volkswagen on Wednesday rolled out a list of available off-road upgrades to its 2021 Atlas.

The parts, which include appearance items like front and rear bumpers, extra skid plates for protection, and chunky off-road wheels and tires, add up to more than $3,500, but can be purchased separately.

The Atlas Basecamp add-ons were inspired by the concept car of the same name.

“The public interest and customer enthusiasm sparked by the Atlas Basecamp concept created a strong business case to further explore off-road-themed components for production,” Hein Schafer, VW’s senior vice president for product planning, said in a statement.

The Basecamp add-ons include a front valance ($645), fender flares ($610), rocker panels and skid plates ($730), and rear bumper ($645). Officials at VW say the upgrades can be installed at dealers in four to five hours for $2,500, including Basecamp fender badges.

Chunky, custom wheels made by fifteen52 are $1,000 for a set of four ($250 each), and 17-inch all-terrain tires are sold separately.

VW says the parts will be available in spring 2020.

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Car Reviews

VPCM introduces Volkswagen eShowroom – buy a VW online and from Lazada, with additional savings

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has launched an online showroom in response to the movement control order (MCO) that will go on till April 14, at the very least. Adapting as such is needed as all Volkswagen dealerships nationwide are closed along with other car showrooms.

The online showroom, simply called Volkswagen eShowroom, has the concept of bringing the dealership right to the customer’s fingertips, literally. VPCM has also thrown in special online deals. Of course, the company isn’t alien to selling its cars online, having worked with shopping platform Lazada before. The online deals are also available on VW’s flagship store on Lazada.

“The safety of our customers and employees are our top priority and it is crucial that we each play our part in overcoming this global pandemic. The Volkswagen eShowroom was created to offer our customers an alternative solution for those still interested in purchasing a Volkswagen during the MCO, with attractive deals which we believe will ease the purchasing process for our customers,” said Erik Winter, MD of VPCM.

Click to enlarge

The savings per model is shown above. To take advantage, customers need to visit the Volkswagen eShowroom at the company’s official website, select the model, fill up the online reservation form, select your preferred Volkswagen dealership and click submit. Then, wait for a verification call from Volkswagen Customer Care.

On Lazada, go to the Volkswagen flagship store, browse and click “buy now”. Make a payment of 1% booking fee to secure the deal and you’ll receive an order confirmation via email from Lazada. A Volkswagen Customer Care personnel will contact you for verification and dealership selection. Registration and delivery of the vehicle will take place once the MCO is lifted.

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Car Reviews

Volkswagen to donate RM190 million worth of medical equipment to doctors and hospitals across Germany

The Volkswagen Group has announced that it will be supplying doctors and hospitals in Germany with medical equipment to help frontliners with their Covid-19 battle, a donation totalling to a value of about 40 million euros (RM190 million). Products include face masks, gloves, disinfectants, clinical thermometers, protective goggles, and protective clothing.

It said the medical gears are brought in from China, with the first batch already shipped into Germany. The consignment consisted of 400,000 face masks, 240,000 of which will be used for medical facilities throughout Germany and 160,000 for hospitals and doctors in Lower Saxony. Distribution will be carried out by public bodies.

Volkswagen HR board member, Gunnar Kilian said: “Medical practitioners and nurses in the public health service need our full support in the fight against coronavirus. With our donation, we want to make our contribution – in Germany and especially in Lower Saxony.”

“Lower Saxony is the home of Volkswagen. Our Group has more than 130,000 employees here; many thousands of people are also employed by about 3,500 suppliers. They all rely on Volkswagen. We are helping. Our teams have cooperated in a highly professional way so that we can keep our word. I would like to thank them very much for their efforts,” he added.

The minister-president of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil said the equipment will benefit people working in the health service throughout Germany. Last week, Volkswagen had made a separate donation of 200,000 category FFP-2 and FFP-3 face masks for public health services.

Tags: COVID-19

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Car Reviews

Volkswagen ID.3 Cost Compared With Combustion Engine Car

Costs will matter, especially in the post-COVID19 world. VW says that the ID.3 will be competitive to an ICE counterpart.

Volkswagen puts a lot of effort it o prepare the ground for the market launch of its Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) based all-electric cars, starting with the ID.3 model later this year.

One of the posts is an important cost comparison between the ID.3 and internal combustion engine counterparts in Germany, assuming all the factors (including incentives).

The official conclusion is that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of BEVs will be lower than ICE, and here we will check details (concerning the purchase, operation and resale), provided by the German manufacturer.

Acquisition

The purchase of the new ID.3 can be cheaper than a Golf model, according to Volkswagen, although it requires two assumptions: we are considering the most affordable, base version of the ID.3 (not available initially) and government subsidies (for the German market).

However, even without the subsidy, the price premium for BEV is not that high, compared to what it was like 5-10 years ago. In the future, subsidies will not be required.

“In Germany, the pure electric ID.3 models – available from summer 2020 – will be available at significantly lower prices than the predecessor e-Golf model. While the latter was available from 36,900 euros with a WLTP range of 231 kilometers, the ID.3 “Pure” model is available for under 30,000 euros – and that with a range of 330 kilometers, i.e. almost 100 kilometers more. Also, the ID.3 “Pro” has a range of 420 kilometers, with a purchase price of less than 35,000 euros – still significantly lower than the e-Golf. High economies of scale resulting from the use of the modular e-drive systems and the further development of battery technology make this possible.

The updated environmental bonus, offered in Germany since February 2020, ensures further savings. Pure electric basic models up to a list price of €47,600 (gross) are now subsidized with €6,570 (gross); for basic models up to €77,600 (gross) the lower subsidy rate of €5,570 (gross) applies.

The bottom line is that the Volkswagen ID.3 will be available in Germany from 23,430 €. This is noticeably below the price level of comparable combustion engines such as the Golf Life (see graph). Even the more expensive versions with larger batteries will be very competitive in terms of purchase price. Conclusion: While the purchase of an e-car was previously more expensive than a comparable combustion engine, the picture with the ID.3 is now turning.”

Service life

Comparison of the running costs is easier, as BEVs are well-known for several times lower energy costs (while home charging) compared to fuel to drive the same distance. The maintenance also should be cheaper.

Volkswagen expects that the difference in monthly running costs might be as much as €70, but in general, the company assumes €50 a month or €600 a year.

“In terms of running costs, the ID.3 scores with clear benefits. For example, electricity costs per month are around 40 euros below the fuel costs for petrol or diesel vehicles.

Although the costs of wear and tear are somewhat higher for electric vehicles (especially since optimum range can only be achieved with more costly tires with optimized rolling resistance), these are more than compensated for by lower costs for insurance, vehicle tax and maintenance. For example, the ID.3 does not require an oil change and only needs to be taken to the workshop for inspection every two years – regardless of mileage. In terms of insurance, the ID.3 with its fully comprehensive class 17 level is on average three classes better than comparable combustion engines, which can mean savings of around 200 euros per year, depending on the no-claims class and mileage.

Overall, the ID.3 has a running cost advantage of around 50 euros per month or 600 euros per year over comparable combustion engine models.”

Residual value

Finally, the residual value of ID.3 – it remains unknown for now. Volkswagen forecasts that the residual value will be roughly on a par with ICE counterparts.

The main reason for that will be a growing market for EVs and a slower pace of battery improvement in new models.

“In the past, e-cars were somewhat less stable in value than their combustion engine counterparts. This was partly due to the low market volume (there was hardly a used car market for e-cars) and partly to the rapid development of battery technology. This will change with the new generation of e-cars: Demand for used battery vehicles suitable for everyday use has been rising for some time – a trend that is likely to continue in the coming years. The ID.3’s range and charging capacity are sufficient for many customers, and battery technology will also develop more slowly in the coming years, so that there will no longer be a major discrepancy between new and used e-cars. The eight-year battery warranty (over 160,000 kilometers) offers additional protection.

Experts are therefore forecasting residual values for the ID.3 will be roughly on a par with those of comparable oil burners.”

Total Cost of Ownership

Finally, the total costs of ID.3 in comparison with ICE – a slight advantage for BEVs means that we can drive pleasantly in an electric car, not pay a premium and even reduce environmental impact.

Hopefully, Volkswagen will be able to deliver on its promise and attract customers.

“In the overall balance of acquisition costs and running costs, the ID.3 scores very well. Depending on the model, it is sometimes even significantly lower than what customers have to pay for a comparable combustion engine model. This price advantage is also due to the government purchase premium. In the long term, however, the e-car will be absolutely competitive even without this support.”


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Volkswagen ID.3 Software Problem: 'It’s No Longer A Laughing Matter'

The root cause of the issue is reportedly “too hastily” developed all-new basic architecture of the software plus a lack of programmers.

The rumors about serious problems with the software development for the Volkswagen ID.3 return like a boomerang once again in the German media.

Volkswagen many times repeated that customer deliveries will start without a change in Summer 2020. The official version is that the ID.3s produced currently are equipped with the initial version of the software (stocked in various places as reports show) and will be updated at a later term prior to customer delivery (all at once in many European markets). Sounds like a plan, right?

However, new articles reveal unofficial input from “insiders” that draws a “more dire” image of the situation.

The root cause of the software issue is reportedly “too hastily” developed all-new basic architecture of the software, which we guess is difficult to correct now, under pressure. Various parts of the system “did not cooperate efficiently, leading to dropouts”.

Additionally, Volkswagen reportedly lacks programmers that would be able to solve all those problems. On top of that, some “important managers” departed.

The article is full of sentences like: “It’s No Longer A Laughing Matter,” “It is an absolute disaster,” “We just can’t get the people.”

“Company insiders quoted by the paper apparently consider this an understatement. “It’s no longer a laughing matter,” they write. The car is far from being ready for the market, according to the source. Another source is also of the opinion that the company is “not even close to an industrial production process at ID.3”. VW CEO Diess will definitely have a few cars to show this summer, “but we’ll tinker them by hand so that something is there.” This has nothing to do with series production.”

Well, if even half of those rumors turn out to true, then we should expect:

Quite a surprising move was suggested by the media, that Volkswagen should propose a software alliance with Daimler – and maybe get support. However, Daimler already is in talks on joint software development with BMW.

“A meeting at board level has apparently already taken place without informing the supervisory board or works council. Among other things, it is said, it was discussed whether Daimler and VW could jointly develop an operating system for cars.”

Interestingly, no fewer than several months ago we heard Herbert Diess who said that software (combined with mass volume) will be Volkswagen’s advantage over others.

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Auto News

New Jersey High School Auto Shop Class Is Converting Old Volkswagens to Electric Vehicles

While most traditional high school programs aim to prepare teenagers to be masters in The Subtle Art of College Test-Taking (And Little Else), one West New York, New Jersey shop teacher has created a curriculum that’s both hands-on and impressively forward-thinking. 

In 2005, the elective shop course Ron Grosinger had just started teaching at Memorial High School was dying. The program, which was once taught by six teachers, was helmed by just two and offered little hands-on learning. Grosinger then decided to take matters into his own hands, proposing to school administrators in 2008 a radical curriculum that would see students learn how to convert a gasoline car into an electric car. 

“If you’re teaching students about gasoline cars, that’s basically the equivalent of eight-track players,” said the high school shop teacher. “With the electric car, I wanted to prove two things. First, that we could convert it. Everyone was telling me at the time that it was impossible when really, we just didn’t have the option yet [on a large scale]. Second, and most important, I wanted to prove that kids are super capable. You just have to give them a chance.”

Ron Grosinger with the all-electric 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet.

Grosinger took an intense, two-week EV conversion course in San Diego, bought a 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet with the school’s backing, and set out to instruct a band of students on how to convert it to run on electricity only.

The Volkswagen was apparently chosen for its affordable, readily available parts and low weight, which would keep demands on batteries (and the school board’s wallet) low.

Students started out making mechanical parts with cardboard before graduating to wood and then steel. They learned how to weld, how to work with wiring, and solved unexpected issues. 

“We completely gutted the car and put it all back together,” Grosinger added.

Less than a year in, Grosinger noticed the popularity of his class among STEM-focused and female students. “The girls in my classes are amazing engineers,” said Grosinger. “Through hands-on learning, I hope they are encouraged to maintain and broaden their interest in STEM careers.” The New Jersey teacher says his goal is to have one female student for every male student enrolled in his class. 

The course continued to grow as the years passed and today, the department now staffs four teachers and even offers an after-school automotive program. Grosinger literally and figuratively electrified Memorial’s shop program, a program that’s already produced students who’ve gone on to work in the automotive industry.

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Volkswagen plans short-time work for 80,000 German employees

Volkswagen Group has announced a short-time work period for 80,000 employees in Germany, after the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic forced the automaker to temporarily cease operations of its factories across Europe. A company spokesperson told Automotive News Europe that the reduced hours would be introduced in three plants – Lower Saxony, Hessen, and Saxony until April 3.

According to German short-time working rules, the state will pay a portion of the reduced salaries for workers. Other brand under its wing, such as Audi, Porsche, and its trucks division MAN, have also applied with authorities to implement short-time working in a bid to save costs.

Volkswagen supervisory board member, Bernd Althusmann said businesses of all scales face a disruption that “goes far beyond” the 2008 financial crisis. Althusmann is also the economy minister in Lower Saxony, where VW’s global headquarters is located.

Besides that, the auto giant will provide support for its German dealership network with additional liquidity. It even offered to defer repayment dates, extend credit allowances and make interest rate payments for favourable for its dealers.

While most of VW’s factories in Russia and South America remain shut, the company is slowly ramping up output in China after the government announced that it would lift the lockdown. In the Hubei province, there’s been no new Covid-19 cases for five consecutive days, which means businesses in Wuhan can resume operations soon, albeit based on risk assessment. The easing of restriction will be extended to Wuhan on April 8.

Tags: COVID-19

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VW e-Bulli by eClassics Previews Our ‘Gattaca’-Style Future

The future foretold by the 1997 science-fiction film Gattaca is slowly coming true, at least when it comes to electric cars. The drama set decades in the future featured an enviable menagerie of midcentury classics, ranging from an Avanti to a Citroen DS, all seemingly powered by electric motors. The 1960s aesthetic of the film may not have materialized in the present, but the future imagined by the film with classic cars powered by electric motors appears to be coming true.

The latest exhibit in this trend is the Volkswagen e-Bulli offered by Stuttgart-based eClassics, which offers a 61-kW electric motor tucked away in a restored VW T1 Samba body, providing 82 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque, all sent to the rear wheels. A 45-kWh battery serves up the juice, giving the suddenly silent VW Bus a range of 124 miles and a top speed of 81 mph, with one of the few reminders in the cabin that you’re not in a classic Bus being a modern automatic gear shifter located on the center console.

But that’s just one of the visible changes.

“Compared to the T1, riding in the e-Bulli feels completely different,” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles says. “This is further enhanced by the chassis, which has also been redesigned: multilink-front and -rear axles with adjustable shock absorbers and coilover struts, plus a new rack-and-pinion steering system and four internally ventilated disc brakes contribute to the new dynamic handling being transferred to the road with serene poise.”

A few other subtle changes have been made to the exterior, including LED headlights with daytime running lights, but most of the changes are subtle tweaks to the original instruments, as well as the tech under the skin. And, of course, the interior upholstery is now far nicer than it ever was in the original VW Bus: eClassics has retrimmed the seats and door panels in contrasting orange and white leather to match the paint on the outside.

While the e-Bulli is certainly faster than the original, the top speed isn’t the only stat that will delight EV fans: The electrified Bus will offer 50-kW DC fast charging, which will enable the battery to juice up to 80 percent in 40 minutes. That’s about how long the original 1.5-liter flat-four took to get from 0-60 mph, give or take a few minutes.

“Via Volkswagen ‘We Connect’ the e-Bulli driver can also call up information online by smartphone app or via a PC and a corresponding web portal, such as remaining charge time, current range, kilometers traveled, trip times, energy consumption and recuperation,” VW says. “Music on board comes from an authentic-looking retro-style radio, which, however, is equipped with cutting edge technology such as DAB+, Bluetooth and USB. The radio is linked to a sound system with out-of-sight components, including an active subwoofer.”

The result is a classic VW bus with about twice the power and none of the clatter of the original, along with zero emissions. eClassics developed the model along with VW Commercial Vehicles, and we can’t help but think that the high-set floor of the original VW Bus is perfectly suited to hiding a battery underneath.

VW Commercial Vehicles was planning to show off this EV at Techno Classica Essen in Germany, which has been postponed, but this T1 Bus is not a one-off concept at all. eClassics plans to offer EV conversions of T1, T2 and T3 vans to buyers starting at 64,900 euros, which works out to about $70,200. Of course, you may need to find a classic VW Bus to begin with, and that could be a tall order.

We imagine that Vanagon models from the late 1980s will be much more economical starting points for EV conversions than a Samba, given how valuable those are. Of course, Vanagons in tidy shape aren’t cheap at the moment either, thanks to specialist shops undertaking money-no-object restorations of Westfalias.

What is the world coming to when you can’t find a clean Vanagon on the cheap?

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Car Reviews

Volkswagen Polo review

The Volkswagen Polo shows how sophisticated the humble supermini can get

  • 4.0 out of 5

    Price£14,550 to £22,620

    • High quality interior
    • Composed ride
    • Interior space
      • Not the most fun to drive
      • Expensive for a supermini
      • Disappointing GTI

      The sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo builds on the strengths of its predecessors. It's more like a shrunken Golf than ever, and offers lots of space and tech when compared to its supermini rivals. Put simply, this is the quality option in the class, and nowadays it straddles the gap between regular superminis and premium models such as the MINI.

      Buy a Polo and you’ll be getting into a small car that rides with a similar level of composure to a VW Golf, while the interior feels best in class for quality. It is an expensive small car though, and its chief adversary, the Ford Fiesta, is more fun to drive.

      No matter which Volkswagen Polo you choose, from entry level S to the rapid GTI, you're getting one of the classiest superminis for sale in the UK today. The sixth-generation arrived in 2018, and it brought with it a step up in quality over the old car, as well as a range of efficient engines and some of the latest tech from the larger Golf.

      Indeed, the Polo is now nearly as long as a Mk3 Golf, and it's nearly as wide as the Mk5 version, which means the Polo is one of the roomiest cars in the supermini class. It's a strong selling point in the face of a long list of rivals with their own talents. The Ford Fiesta is the choice for a fun drive, while the Citroen C3 adds personalisation and funky design to the mix. The Vauxhall Corsa and Skoda Fabia are solid, practical choices, while the SEAT Ibiza and Mazda 2 add a sporty edge.

      More reviews for Polo Hatchback

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      But the rivals don't stop there, because the Polo is a quality product, so it could also be considered a rival to premium superminis such as the MINI and Audi A1. Then there's the rest of the supermini ranks, including the Hyundai i20, Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio and all-new versions of the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio.

      To help the Polo compete, VW has fitted it with its latest turbocharged engines. At the entry point to the range there's a 80PS three-cylinder naturally aspirated unit, but we'd recommend going for the 1.0 TSI three-cylinder turbo petrol engines. They come in 95PS and 115PS forms with power outputs of 94bhp and 113bhp. All models are front-wheel drive, with the 80 and 95 engines coming with a five-speed manual, while the 115 has a six-speed manual. In addition, the 95 and 115 TSI engines can be had with VW's quick-shifting seven-speed DSG auto.

      The 1.6 TDI diesel is the 95PS version of the four-cylinder unit, and it's only sold in SEL trim. This is front-wheel drive and comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, with no option to add the DSG box.

      At the top of the range, the Polo GTI comes with a detuned version of the 2.0 TSI found in the Golf GTI. Here it's rated at 197bhp and comes with a six-speed DSG gearbox as standard.

      Trim levels run through S, SE, Match, Beats, SE-L, R-Line, GTI and GTI Plus. All cars come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 2 USB sockets, alloy wheels, all-round electric windows (all Polos are five-door now), and a leather trimmed multifunction steering wheel. Prices start from around £15,000, with the top-spec GTI coming in at around £23,000.

      The Polo has been a longstanding member of the VW fleet, having first arrived in 1975. The original Polo was a rebadged version of the Audi 50 small car. It came as a three-door hatch or two-door saloon called the Polo Derby, while the Polo Mk2 of 1981 introduced a new three-door pseudo estate body. The hatch continued as the Polo Coupe, and this also spawned a supercharged G40 hot hatch, while the Derby saloon was also kept on the books. With a facelift in 1990, the Polo Mk2 remained in production for 13 years.

      By the time the Polo Mk3 arrived in 1994, the supermini class was better defined, so it came in three or five-door hatch body styles, as well as slow-selling estate and saloon incarnations. The first Polo GTI arrived in 1999 as part of the facelifted Mk3 range, while the whole model range was replaced by the Polo Mk4 in 2002. By this time, the estate and saloon variants had fallen by the wayside, although the oddball Polo Dune added off-roader looks to the supermini mix.

      Volkswagen decided to approach the Polo differently from the Mk5 car onwards, released in 2009. The supermini took on a decidedly Golf inspired bent, which is a theme carried over strongly in the latest model. It even sits on a shortened version of the Golf platform, known as MQB A0.

      For an alternative review of the latest Volkswagen Polo Hatchback visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk

      Which Is Best

      Cheapest

      • Name1.0 EVO 80 S 5dr
      • Gearbox typeManual
      • Price£12,125

      Most Economical

      • Name1.0 EVO 80 S 5dr
      • Gearbox typeManual
      • Price£12,125

      Fastest

      • Name2.0 TSI GTI 5dr DSG
      • Gearbox typeSemi-auto
      • Price£17,588
      In this review
      • 1Verdict – currently readingThe Volkswagen Polo shows how sophisticated the humble supermini can get
      • 2Engines, performance and driveThe Polo is safe and comfortable rather than fun on the road, but the 1.0 TSI turbo petrol is a cracker
      • 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsWith frugal three-cylinder petrol engines on offer, the Polo can keep running costs down
      • 4Interior, design and technologySubtle exterior changes cloak a revolution inside, with a completely fresh cabin and impressive infotainment
      • 5Practicality, comfort and boot spacePolo’s 355-litre boot is very competitive for the class, while interior space is good
      • 6Reliability and SafetyVW Polo chalks up an impressive Euro NCAP score, with additional safety tech on the options list

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