Volkswagen Polo GTI Test: To Make Your Polo Look Good

Whether in front of the retro or in front of you, it’s possible to show off your Polo. Yes, but in a Volkswagen Polo GTI. Especially with its 207 horsepower, there’s no doubt you’ll see things retro. Without being a beast, the little sports car, perhaps one of the last of its kind, is very good.

Volkswagen Polo GTI test: lipstick

Let’s start with the good news… then the bad news. The good news is that it’s far too early to mourn the death of the “bombinettes”, a genre that was born at Volkswagen with the sacrosanct Golf GTI, at the end of the 1970s (and has since grown). In fact, the Hyundai i20 N, the Toyota GR Yaris or, therefore, the Volkswagen Polo GTI, prove that there is more left. However, the list of protagonists has shrunk by a drop.

And that’s the bad news… although the upcoming arrival of a new Abarth 500 (100% electric) as well as an Alpine city car based on the production model of the “new generation” Renault 5, too wattagebrings new hope.

In red, the Volkswagen Polo GTI doesn’t lack… brake calipers.

As for the last stand of honor (it’s not even said that the Polo is “short”), the Volkswagen Polo GTI is organized, without bringing out the big game. The beautiful rims of 18 inches (optional) of our test model set the tone. But it is above all the touches of red, even in the headlights, as well as the “GTI” monograms, everywhere, that express the color.

That said, the discreet front and rear “skirts” reflect the image of the car: without excess. An impression reinforced by the fact that the Volkswagen Polo GTI we had on test was equipped with a (beautiful) King Red color (that’s all), which has the effect of “hiding” the famous touches of red. Some will say it’s better… others will remain unsatisfied.

5 body colors are offered on the Volkswagen Polo GTI. Less than “normal” Polo.

However, there is an interesting observation, when we drive a Volkswagen Polo GTI: although the car is discreet in appearance, it is nevertheless noticed, at least by “connoisseurs”. Therefore, it is amazing to see how much impact a simple GTI “badge” (and, no doubt, all the “marketing” work carried out over several decades)…

Be careful, moreover, on the road, not to like people Hurry up to race with you! We’re not saying you can’t rise to the occasion: we’ll see, the Volkswagen Polo GTI knows how to move (very) fast. But that’s not good!

2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI Review

Volkswagen Polo GTI test: five years on

Let’s face it: this title is slightly misleading. Admittedly, this generation of Polo has been in the Volkswagen catalog for five years. However, the Volkswagen city car was only restyled a few months ago and the GTI version benefited from it facelift… which turns out to be very careful.

2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI Review

The car effectively maintains a classic style, straight, clean and flawless, which can be described as cheap but will at least have the advantage of aging well over time. This sentence also applies to the interior where, despite everything, the first signs of age are more visible.

If everything is “clean”, and the ergonomics, as usual in Volkswagen, are clearly not lacking, the interior design, which is also very square, lacks a little elegance. The restyling still brings a new steering wheel, screens with slightly modified graphics or touch-sensitive air conditioning buttons with haptic feedback. But the fact remains that even with the “GTI” monogram on the steering wheel or striped upholstery reminiscent of the first Golf GTIs, the cabin does not exude joy.

We will console ourselves by noting that in addition to its ergonomics, the Volkswagen Polo GTI can assert, in use, a real versatility. Really able to accommodate two adults decently in the back, despite its length (4.07 meters) and its trunk, square, which is 351 dm3, looks very spacious. One thing to note is that before becoming a “bombinette”, the Polo GTI was primarily a city car!

Volkswagen Polo GTI test: excellent

The best way to enjoy the Volkswagen Polo GTI is still behind the wheel. Since the restyling, the 2.0 TSI engine has gained… 7 horsepower (to produce 207 hp) and the “DSG” automatic gearbox (no manual gearbox is available) has lost from 6 to 7 gears.

2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI Review

0 to 100 km/h is reached in 6.5 seconds while the top speed announced is 240 km/h (but we haven’t tested yet!). The car weighs 1,286 kilos, which is good for a useful power-to-weight ratio. Beyond the numbers, the Polo GTI doesn’t betray its surname. Accelerations, precisely linear, are lively and allow you to quickly reach untold speeds. Fortunately, braking is strong, especially in “Sport” mode (an impression reinforced by the grip of the brake pedal, then more firmly).

If we would have liked a slightly more responsive gearbox (we nitpick a bit: it’s already plenty, and the paddles on the steering wheel remain there to control just in case), the stability of the steering wheel and the handling are impeccable which road provides great driving pleasure, especially on the small winding roads of Corrèze.

Failing to be too playful, the Volkswagen Polo GTI is very capable and its engine power is unquestionable.

The Volkswagen Polo GTI has (almost) its quality flaw: it’s great. Maybe too much. It is literally glued to the road, which may not please some people, especially fans / connoisseurs of the “small GTI”, which is sometimes more playful (or maybe, rather!).

However, the Volkswagen does not take its driver as a traitor, and its efficiency also has two other advantages: the ability to stare at everyone at a red light, and to surprise everyone who did not notice that you are driving a Polo . GTI and who would have thought they could overtake (or be overtaken by) a “simple” Polo!

Add to that that it is, contrary to what one might think, not uncomfortable (notably thanks to the controlled suspension of our test model, an option at 640 euros) and the sound of its engine is pleasant (and “boosted”, at least in the cabin, in “Sport” mode), and the Volkswagen Polo GTI looks very endearing. In addition, it doesn’t consume much (about 6.5 liters if you’re light-footed… easily 1 to 1.5 liters more if you’re not!).

Volkswagen Polo GTI test: 31,205 euros, anyway

There is no need to prolong the suspense. Anyway, we’ve just spilled the beans: the Volkswagen Polo GTI costs 31,205 euros; price to which an ecological penalty is added, until the end of the year, of 1,386 euros (it will increase). For comparison, a Hyundai i20 N costs 28,400 euros, a Mini Cooper S (less powerful, 178 hp) asks for less than 30,000 euros and a Volkswagen Golf GTI, in the basic version, claims 42,860 euros. The Polo GTI is therefore not provided, but the price is the same paid by a fairly extensive equipment.

If the Volkswagen Polo GTI, unfortunately, is on the road to extinction (like some of its rivals that are still available, at least thermally), its controlled consumption makes it a highly recommended vehicle in pleasure already, even during ZFE-m (Zones). with Low Emission Mobility), a priori still has some good years ahead of it.

2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI Review

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