Called for higher things: acceptance drive in the new VW Polo

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Acceptance drive in the new VW Polo

Called for higher things: acceptance drive in the new VW Polo-called

The new VW Polo comes in autumn

Source: VW

It’s a fixture in the VW empire, but the Polo simply doesn’t stand a chance against the Golf. That won’t change in the sixth generation either. But at least with the new edition in autumn the gap will be a little smaller again.

Johannesburg / south africa. A certain rivalry among brothers is just part of it. Just like the family-friendly support. It is the same with humans and it is no different with cars. This shows again at VW in these weeks, when the Lower Saxony prepares the generation change of the Polo. Because on the one hand, the sixth edition of the small car is suddenly a bit rebellious and is cheekily rehearsing its talents on the golf course. And on the other hand, he can only make his way up because his big brother is the patron of him. The fact that the Polo is getting closer to the Golf than ever before is primarily due to the fact that it is now also switching to the architecture of the modular transverse matrix (MQB).

"This gives us access to numerous technologies and systems from the compact and mid-range", says the head of the series, Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert, happily looking at the new infotainment generation with large touchscreens and proximity sensors, the optional LED headlights or the many assistants that he can offer in the future. But when the Polo goes on sale shortly after the public premiere at the IAA in Frankfurt in September, you don’t have to make a lot of crosses in the surcharge list to feel the progress.
You can already feel the advantages of the MQB in the basic model, which is not expected to be any more expensive than before and should therefore start at around 12,000 euros. After all, the Polo gets a little more wheelbase with hardly any change in length and therefore noticeably more space in the back seat and, thanks to a more intelligent package, also in the trunk.

The new architecture also has a major impact on driving behavior. Anyone who accompanies the developers during the final tests in South Africa shortly before production is released will therefore experience the Polo as a mature, grown-up car that maintains a stoic calm on the surprisingly good highways in the far south, even at high speeds, that smooths out the poor secondary roads and that even gives a touch of driving pleasure on the few mountain roads.

"Actually, there is no longer any reason to buy a Golf," says the head of the series, Wolpert, against his big brother. If it weren’t for the engines. First of all, the choice of the Polo is significantly smaller because there are only two diesel and six petrol engines at the start. Second, the range is smaller, only stretching from 65 to 200 hp in the GTI. And thirdly, the Lower Saxony mainly rely on three-cylinder engines in the Polo, which for a long time do not sound as confident and solid as in the Golf, but rather annoyingly chatter and play themselves in the foreground in the otherwise whisper-quiet car.

It is not as if Wolpert’s troops didn’t bother with the engines. After all, they are equipping the diesels with SCR catalytic converters for the first time in a small car in the VW group, and there are particle filters for the gasoline-powered engines could voluntarily buy a plug-in hybrid or even an electric version in this price-sensitive class. "But of course the modular system provides that and we can react quickly to new demands."

As readily as Wolpert talks about the technical achievements, he remains vague about the design. The prototypes are still covered with stickers on the outside and curtains because the tension should last until the world premiere in summer. But you don’t need a lot of imagination to realize that the car doesn’t make that big a leap in design on the outside. A few lines appear sharper and the proportions a bit crisper. But basically, even in the sixth generation, the Polo remains an everyday car that wants to please everyone – just like the Golf.

It looks a little different inside. Because the Polo was not inspired by its big brother, but by its little brother. "At Up we learned how to build a colorful and fun-loving car," says Wolpert and proudly talks about colorful consoles that are supposed to give the otherwise elegant but rather dreary cockpit a little pep.

Of course, the star of the philistine in the small car segment does not turn into a sore thumb for the lifestyle group. But Wolpert has another trump card up its sleeve: “Next year, the Polo will also be available as an SUV,” promises the chief engineer, and with it he is riding the next attack on the Golf. After all, an off-road vehicle, the T-Roc, will also be based on it this year. Family management certainly doesn’t make it any easier.

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