Introduction – Volkswagen Polo Highline 1.6 Petrol Review
Europe’s largest car manufacturer Volkswagen launched its Volkswagen Polo 1.2 in Feb of this year. The Volkswagen Polo 1.2 was an instant success and consumers in India were demanding a more powerful engine in the car. Volkswagen Group in India took heed to this and commissioned the manufacturing of the Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline at their plant in Chakan, near Pune. This plant is one of only 5 in the world to produce the new generation of Volkswagen Polo Mark V. In September of 2010 Volkswagen finally released the 1.6 Polo with a larger engine making it more powerful and quicker. The Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline now has a bigger 1.6 liter, 4 cylinder engine that produces 104 horsepower and 153 Nm of torque.
')">The Petrol model Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline in India is a premium hatchback and boasts of some impressive styling perfectly blended with superior comfort, fuel efficiency and most of all safety. Volkswagen has always manufactured cars that were top of the line when it came to safety and the Polo 1.6 Highline is no different. The Volkswagen Polo is a very important car for the Indian market as the effect of its sales will have a much longer lasting effect. The Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline Petrol is presently available in Delhi for a price of Rs. 6.16 Lakhs, but prices will vary depending on location in India. If the Polo continues to be a success then it could mean the start of a good relationship between Volkswagen and India and this can only be beneficial for the Indian consumers.
Performance – Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline Petrol
The Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline is one of the most powerful cars in its range and probably only faces some stiff competition in the power category from the likes of the Skoda Fabia, Volkswagen Vento and Honda City, although the Honda City and Vento are priced higher and the Skoda uses most of the same components of Volkswagen.
The Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline comes equipped with a 1.6 liter, inline 4 cylinder, petrol engine that is calibrated for optimum performance and fuel efficiency. It delivers a maximum of 104 horsepower and a maximum torque of 153 Nm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission that is quick and easy to use making it a lot of fun for any driver. The Polo has a good acceleration and mid-range pick-up is also commendable. It is a small, zippy, nimble vehicle and these attributes make it a very enjoyable car for drivers even in city traffic.
Moving quickly in and out of traffic is very easy in the VW Polo and it also comes fitted with a good suspension. The front uses a pair of McPherson struts with stabilizer bars and the rear is fitted with a semi-independent trailing arm that makes it smooth for the driver and passengers even on rough and uneven roads. A change in the suspension for Indian models is the softening of the shock-absorbers to suit Indian road conditions. The height of the Polo has also been increased by 16 mm for Indian versions as Volkswagen have taken into account Indian roads and their ability to test out not only suspension but height of some of the most able cars. Braking is also really good in the Polo as the brakes do their job very well. The front is fitted with a pair of disc brakes while the rear gets a pair of drum brakes.
The Polo is a very capable dynamic vehicle and does not mind being thrown around corners with vigor at high speeds. It grips the road using its 15 inch tyres which wrap around 15 inch alloy wheels. The stability of the car is also very good with the steering wheel also feeling light and easy for the driver to make quick sudden movements. Fuel efficiency in the Volkswagen Polo 16 is also very good and it gives 10.5 km/l in the city and 15.0 km/l when driving on the highway. The 1.6 Polo greatly improves on its acceleration and gets from 0-100 km/h in a brisk 11.1 seconds.
The Volkswagen Polo used to be the smallest car in Volkswagen’s line-up and around 30 years ago that was exactly what it was – small. The new Volkswagen Polo is nothing close to what it used to be in terms of dimensions. The Volkswagen Polo 1.6 is as big now as some of the earlier model VW Golf vehicles and boasts a longer wheel base, wider stance and higher roofline making it much more comfortable for all five passengers.
The exterior of the Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline Petrol is beautifully styled with the right creases and lines shaping the car. The amalgamation of crisp lines and smooth curves give the Polo a much more aggressive look than it has had for a number of years now and the styling is much more symbolic of the iconic Golf.
The front end has the large VW logo emblazoned in the middle of the stylish grille and the wide slanting headlights flank the impressive grille. The rear of the car comes as a bit of a disappointment and seems very plainly designed when compared to the front and side profiles.
The interiors of the Volkswagen Polo are typically what Volkswagen tends to offer, which is a combination of functionality and superior quality. The combination of the two tone interiors really sets of the inside of the car and the dash is also adorned with a good mix of durable quality looking plastic and softer trims. The inside is very ergonomically styled and the buttons and knobs are positioned for ultimate driver comfort.
The interiors have been peppered with numerous storage spaces and slots all the way from the center console to the boot of the car. The front seats are very comfortable and provide sufficient back and leg support to ensure that any drive is comfortable no matter how long. The front cabin is one of the most spacious in its class and six-foot plus drivers will find it absolutely no problem to fit in.
The rear of the car is a bit different to the front in terms of space. The rear could have definitely done with a bit more leg room but then Volkswagen has focused on enlarging the front cabin and for this the rear has had to pay a price. Saying this, the rear seats still offer all the support needed as well as good head room and width. It is relatively easy for three passengers to sit at the back comfortably.
The Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline Petrol is the only version of the 1.6 Polo that comes standard with an audio player that supports CD/MP3 player, rear wiper, leather seats, central locking, multi-function display, alloy wheels, fog lights, dual front airbags and ABS.
Pricing and Recommendations
The Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline is one that Volkswagen are watching quite intently in India and will ultimately decide the car manufacturers fate in the country. If the car manages to sell quickly then Volkswagen will get a great return on its investment in India.
The Volkswagen Polo is undoubtedly German engineering and VW is hoping to provide this at an affordable price to consumers in India. VW has also maintained a good fuel economy with the car which is essential for this market and it competes very well with its rivals on this front.
There are a few drawbacks to the Polo though and the lack of certain essentials will not please potential buyers. The electric steering feels a bit unresponsive at times and at higher speeds would ideally feel better if it was a bit tighter. Starting at a price of Rs.6.16 lakhs the car is a bit higher priced than the Skoda Fabia and may seem overvalued.
Although the Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline Petrol does not set a standard for value for money that is not the reason one should buy the VW Polo. This is a premium hatchback and is really well styled, is contemporary and offers a solid comfortable ride that is absent from other hatches.
Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline Petrol India Specifications and Price
Vehicle Category: Hatchback
Engines (standard) : 1.6 L, inline 4 cyl, 104 HP, 153 Nm torque
Drivetrain: 5 passenger, Front engine, 5-door hatch, FWD
Transmissions (standard) : 5-speed manual
Curb Weight: 1896 kg
0-100 kph: 11.1 secs (est.)
Mileage city/hwy: 10.5 / 15.0 kmpl
Base Price: Rs.6.16 Lakh (est)