Volkswagen Polo (2017–)

What's good

More Golf-like than ever before.

Will carry four large adults in comfort.

Huge boot.

Excellent range of petrol engines. 

Five Star Euro NCAP Rating. 96% adult occupant, 85% child occupant, 76% pedestrian, 59% safety assist.

Report of July 2018 VW Polo 1.0 TSI 95 with DQ200 DSG running to 5,300 miles with good performance and no transmission trouble.

What to watch out for

No three-door option.

Rivals provide better value.

Bumpy ride on larger wheels.

Some of the interior trims feels a little cheap.

Recall notice issued for centre rear seatbelt that might malfunction if all three rear belts used at the same time, but no fix is available.

7-9-2018: Complaint that warning issued by dealer that centre rear seatbelt that might malfunction if all three rear belts used at the same time, but no fix is available. Same problem with MQBa SEAT Arona.

23-10-2018: Further complaint that buyer supposed to be taking delivery of new VW Polo SE today has just received an email from the dealer explaining that the rear seatbelt buckle has a potentially dangerous design flaw. Attached to the email is a letter asking buyer to sign as having acknowledged the fault with instructions not to use the middle seat until the fault can be rectified via a recall at an undisclosed future date. Apparently this fault was discovered in May this year. She ordered the car in April, but has only just been informed the day before taking delivery. What is your advice re this matter? Should she sign the document? This is the same fault affecting SEAT Ibizas and SEAT Aronas. Buyer advised not to sign and to demand return of deposit on the grounds the car is "not of satisfactory quality because it cannot safely carry 5 people."

16-1-2019: Report of new model VW Polo breaking down due to a manfacturing fault: a part had been fitted incorrectly to the starter motor. The EPC light came on out on the road in severely cold conditions and the car was disabled.

2-3-2019: Report of brakes of July 2018 VW Polo causing a severe knocking at low speed in low gears. Dealer replaced the drive shafts which made no difference. "VW now admits this to being a known fault and are supposedly working on a solution, but no time is given for this. The car has been back to dealer three times to no avail. They say they must wait for this solution."

10-3-2019: Report of problems with 2018 VW Polo 1.0TSI 115 DSG. Start/stop intermittently cuts out before the car comes to a standstill, locking the steering wheel. Owner also complains that when tryong to accelerate briskly the revs die momentarily before the car picks up speed. dealer says nothing wrong.

30-6-2019: Reader trying to buy a new South African built RHD 2020 VW Polo 1.0TSI 95 DSG SE told by two separate VW dealers that that order-to-delivery times will be 6 to 9 months depending upon the number of advertised factory options ordered. One dealer told her to limit any factory fit options to a maximum of two to avoid the order being placed at the back of the production queue.

10-8-2019: Report of new 2019 VW Polo 1.0TSI 95 with 2,030 miles suffering engine vibration in 3rd and 4th gears in rev range 1,500 to 2,000."Most noticeable at 1,600 rpm when acceleration any other than very gentle. Can control OK in easy flowing traffic but much worse on incline/hill when more throttle required to maintain speed. Dealer advise to change down sooner: fair enough, but feel this should not be necessary and needs considerable concentration to keep out of 1,500/2,000 rpm range." We recommended the reader to try running it on superunleaded that gives more torque and smoothness at low rpm.

23-8-2019: Report of lag when accellerating away from a rolling start in new 2019 VW Polo 1.0TSI 95 DQ200 7-speed DSG. Improves by using Sport.

26-8-2019: Report of "noticeable wind / blowing noise" on used 5,500 mile 2108 VW Polo 1.0 95TSI. "Drives very well" but "noise increases in strength and tone as speed increases, irrespective of whether the engine is driving it or freewheeling. Starts at low speeds, almost makes me think something is resonating."

22-12-2019: Strange problem of 2018 VW Polo 1.0TSI intermittently cutting out when driver is making a right turn at low speed. It does not stall. It dies. The dealer can’t find a fault.


11-5-2018: Volkswagen has confirmed a technical issue on the new Polo (model year 2018). There is the possibility that in rare situations (e.g. sudden quick lane changes with five passengers on board) and when the rear center seat and the rear left seat are occupied at the same time, the left seat belt lock could be unintentionally released. At Volkswagen safety remains a main priority and the brand has identified a technical solution: a redesigned belt lock fixture, which will prevent this from happening.

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