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Volkswagen Polo GT TDI And GT TSI Facelift Review – Ageless Fun

Volkswagen recently launched the facelift of Polo, which now makes it even sportier than ever. This statement is a bit undermining. There was never a time that Polo wasn’t sporty. My friend from Germany is the among the costliest hatchback in its segment. But, with Polo, neither money nor practicality is associated. What’s associated is just – Performance.

So moving forward, we had the new Volkswagen Polo Facelift GT TDI as well as the GT TSI for our review. The facelifts just get cosmetic upgrades like new graphics, refreshed body-kit type bumpers and dual-tone alloy wheels. Some sporty additions include a glossy black rear spoiler, contrasting blacked-out roof, GT Line graphics on the side, and faux diffusers on the rear bumpers. Inside the cabin, there aren’t any changes. We had the newly added Sunset Red Colour which completes the “Hot Hatch” look. I guess, we have talked about its design elements, need more? Let’s hop on to hear more about the Volkswagen Polo Facelift in this review.

Performance

Let me start the review of Volkswagen Polo facelift with the GT TDI first. Under the hood, you have a 1.5 Litre four-cylinder diesel pot, which puts out 110 BHP and 250 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 5-speed gearbox. Too much power for a small car, you think? Yes, but that’s the game. 

The free-revving engine has torque spread out all over the range. Till the time it reaches 2500 RPM, the engine remains calm and offers linear power delivery. Even if you are at low-speeds and higher gears, Polo manages to pick up without constant downshifting. Its just its nature keeps you always at an exciting RPM. 

2500 RPM. That’s when the turbo kicks in and you have a sudden rush of power. In one second it turns from calm to aggressive. Reaching triple-digit speeds is an easy chore for the Polo GT TDI. I would not reveal the top-speed that I touched because I am afraid that someone might read it and send a challan at my home. (Haha)

However, despite all these positive notes, the engine is not that refined. There are decent vibrations even while idle. The Polo GT TDI is also a noisy car. Try revving up slightly and you will hear the roar inside the cabin, with all windows up. 

Talking about the smooth running, the 5-speed manual gearbox is smooth. Although, the clutch is a bit on the heavier side, which might pose a problem to few. The gearbox is perfectly synchronized with the engine, leaving a grin on every upshift. 

Moving on the performance review of Volkswagen Polo GT TSI, its more fun than the GT TDI. One simple statement. The 1.2 Litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine puts out 104 BHP and 175 Nm of peak torque, with a 7-speed DSG gearbox. Oh boy, I love DSG gearboxes. 

The minute you press the accelerator, at that very time, the power rushes in. Literally, there’s no turbo lag at all. Even if you press the accelerator slightly, the Polo GT TSI is not shy of rushing ahead. Although, you are so excited with this hatch that you will frequently be putting your foot to the ground. 

That said, the turbo-petrol unit is well refined as there are very few vibrations creeping in even at high speeds. While travelling at low speeds, the engine stays very calm and quiet. I couldn’t do a mileage test on this, because there was no way I was going easy on the pedal. However, through most of the quick sprints and some time in the traffic, the GT TSI offered me a mileage of around 9 kmpl. That can easily go up to 11-12 kmpl if you drive sensibly. 

The 7-speed DSG gearbox is a boon in these speed runs. Most of you might think that I have pressed the accelerator fully, so there should be some jerks. Let me tell you, the jerks were very minimal. Sometimes, I did not even feel when the gears were moving up. Another thing that the Polo comes is Sport Mode. With this, you start seeing the Polo keeping its gears in control and revving up till the red line. 

Handling And Ride Quality

The Volkswagen Polo Facelift is an excellent handling machine. You have a light flat-bottom steering wheel, which takes sharp cuts with slightest of turning the wheel. Correct me if I am wrong, but I found the Polo to be a bit oversteer-y. Its just that the material on the steering wheel is too slippery. As said earlier, the ride quality is pretty sorted out. In the GT TDI, there are vibrations felt as you revv up quickly. Since it is small, it manages to get in most of the tight spots. However, the absence of a rear parking camera, small rear windscreen and the side mirrors create a bit of discomfort.  

Comfort, Suspension And Braking

The suspension setup of the Polo is stiff, but it manages to soak most of the undulations on the road. If you are high speeds, the suspension gets noisy and every time you hit a sharp bump, there’s an equally sharp noise from the suspension. Trust me, you do not want to hear that sound from an expensive car like Polo. 

I like how the seats managed to make me cosy and accommodating. At the back, the space is very limited for three people. Moreover, the seat is reclined which disturbs the knee space. The summary is that Polo is comfortable but not spacious. The braking of the Polo is on point, offering decent confidence to me. 

Interiors And Features

Inside the cabin, you are greeted by an all-black dashboard and similar colour seats. The design language inside the cabin is nearly the same over the years, but it is still easy to the eyes and not at all cluttered. 

Features onboard include touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Rain Sensor Wipers, Halogen headlamps, Traction Control (GT TSI), twin-pod analogue console, automatic climate control, dual-beam headlamps and rear parking sensors. Segment first features include cruise control, Hill Hold Control (TSI) and ESP (TSI). Yes, it misses out on some important features, but here, its all about performance and not practicality. 

A special shoutout to the racing design bits inside the cabin. Do not miss out on the steel pedals, flat-bottom steering wheel and the old-school analogue RPM meter. 

Verdict

Drawing to the conclusion of the review of Volkswagen Polo Facelift GT TDI and GT TSI, it is one of the very few cars in this budget that focuses on the driver and not on the passengers. Its definitely a performance-oriented car that actually skips the practicality part. For a petrol-head like me, that’s all. As for the Polo GT TDI, it goes for Rs 9.88 Lakhs and the GT TSI for Rs 9.76 Lakhs (ex-showroom prices). The prices are a bit higher than its competition. After all these things I only have one thing to say – The Best Driver Oriented Car That You Can Buy Under 10 Lakhs.