a formidable “small” against the Clio and 208

SELF-TEST WEEKEND: The redesigned Polo allows the small 95-horsepower engine to be combined with the famous DSG dual-clutch gearbox. Result: a lively and very pleasant mechanic. With grip on the road and very acceptable comfort. A true small tourer with a line of timeless classicism.

Who remembers? The first Polo in 1975 was a stripped down Audi 50. It had even been so successful that its Ingolstadt sister had quickly disappeared from the catalogue. That’s when Volkswagen, teetering on the brink with the public’s sudden disaffection for old rear-engined War Beetles, was in desperate need of something new. As early as 1973, the Wolfsburg firm had looted Audi, transforming its subsidiary’s 80s with the hoops into Passat. The Polo was essential to attract a more economically limited clientele than that of the Golf, launched in 1974. Above all, it wanted to compete with the new fashionable urban cars such as the R5, the Fiat 127, the Autobianchi A 112, the Peugeot 104 Today 47 years later, we are at the Polo VI and a half, after the last restyling of the sixth version that has refined the front and rear very well.

This Polo is, along with the Golf, the most famous of contemporary Volkswagens. Having grown over the generations, it comes in the form of a small wagon aesthetically very close to its older sister. Result: a balanced car, without frills, typical of the brand’s productions. The bodywork is timelessly classic. This elegance that crosses the ages does not contribute a little to its success.

classic and timeless

Inside, it’s just as rigorous and almost timeless, except for the screen, of course. The finish is good with well-made and carefully placed materials. The set is well presented. And this Polo has better ergonomics than the Golf, lost in the midst of absurd modernism. We find, in particular, a classic gear lever, functional and worthy of the name, instead of the impossible to grasp micro lever of its predecessor. The settings are quite simple. We will simply criticize the stupid obligation to click in two different places to disable the line change alert on each reboot. We will also blame this[…]

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