Used car check: VW Polo - Bonsai Golf with good genes

You have to dig deep into your pocket for a used VW Polo of the current sixth generation.

Used car check: VW Polo - Bonsai Golf with good genes

You have to dig deep into your pocket for a used VW Polo of the current sixth generation. Is the investment worth it? At least at the TÜV, the current Polo makes a largely impeccable appearance.

The VW Polo is one of the long-distance runners in the VW range. The small car has been around since 1975 and has been in its sixth generation since September 2017. The Polo has grown considerably over the years and has become very similar to its big brother, the Golf.

body and interior

Compared to its predecessor, the current generation has grown by 8 centimeters to a length of 4.05 meters, making it only 23 centimeters shorter than the Golf. The wheelbase is 2.56 meters, an increase of 10 centimeters compared to the Polo V. The rear passengers are happy about the increase: the back is also quite airy. Since the Polo is only available as a five-door, it is easy to get into the rear. Incidentally, the seats are much better than usual in the segment. The trunk volume (351 to 1125 liters) is fine.

Visually, the Polo is the Mini-Me of the Golf, and inside you can also recognize a lot from the larger model. Since the Polo VI is integrated into the architecture of the VW Group's modular transverse matrix (MQB), there is also access to modern infotainment systems and digital features, such as a virtual cockpit. Here, too, the Polo does not have to hide behind the Golf, provided the first buyer has invested in these extras. At the end of 2021, the Polo received a facelift, which is visually noticeable through changes to the front and rear lights, among other things.

engines and propulsion

When it came to the range of engines - three- and four-cylinder - VW didn't spill too much at the market launch. The Wolfsburg company initially offered petrol, diesel and a natural gas variant. As is typical for small cars, the focus is on petrol engines. A 1.0 liter three-cylinder naturally aspirated engine with 48 kW/65 hp is the basic engine. Above that are the expansion stages with 55 kW/75 hp and 59 kW/80 hp. With turbo support, the three-cylinder (TSI) has 70 kW/95 PS (since 2020: 81 kW/110 PS), from which the 1.0 TGI acts, a natural gas version with 66 kW/90 PS.

The 1.5 liter with 110 kW/150 hp has one more cylinder. At the top end, GTI fans get their money's worth. The cracker has an output of 147 kW/200 hp, and since the facelift, VW has even gotten 152 kW/207 hp from the 2.0-liter turbo. Of course, the GTI is the fastest in the Polo portfolio. With a top speed of 240 km/h, it surpasses the 65 hp base Polo by almost 80 km/h. However, its standard fuel consumption of 6.3 liters also clearly exceeds that of the other petrol engines. The consume on average between 4.4 and 4.8 liters. The average consumption of the TGI is 3.3 kilograms.

Anyone looking for a small car with diesel will also find what they are looking for in the Polo. The 1.6-liter diesel with 80 and 95 hp is content with an average of 3.6 liters. Like the naturally aspirated petrol engines and the 95 PS TSI, the diesels are linked ex works to a manual five-speed gearbox. Six-speed switches are available for the more powerful petrol engines, alternatively a dual-clutch transmission with six or seven gears. In the meantime, the range of engines has been severely thinned out. Anyone looking for a young used Polo will only find the naturally aspirated 80 hp and the turbos with 95, 110 and 207 hp.

equipment and security

As is so often the case with small cars: If you are looking for something more than basic comfort and also appreciate aluminum wheels instead of steel wheels, you should also keep your hands off the entry-level version (Trendline) with the Polo. Only Comfortline offers air conditioning ex works, for Trendline it was at least an extra charge. Light-alloy rims only come as standard in the Highline equipment line.

The options list was and is long. Those interested in used cars must take a close look at the equipment features of their desired model. This also applies to the safety equipment. In the Trendline, the front assistant with pedestrian detection and the city emergency braking function are standard; in the higher levels, there is also adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning and parking assistants.

The Polo achieved a five-star rating in the 2017 NCAP crash test. Since the facelift, the comfort levels have been called Life, Style and R-Line. "Life" offers more equipment than Trendline, but a new Polo is no longer available from around 14,000 euros like in 2017, but you have to invest at least 20,000 euros.


During its first TÜV main inspection, the current Polo made a largely impeccable appearance, so it can distinguish itself from the not always good appearance of the previous generation and also performs better than the Golf 7. However, the TÜV inspectors often criticize the setting of the low beam.

Conclusion: The new VW Polo was not a bargain and it is not a used one either. You have to pay at least 11,000 euros for a basic model or one with diesel. For better-equipped petrol engines, it starts at around 13,000 euros.