Volkswagen Polo, one of the most sold cars in the history of automobiles. Decades of market presence and never does it seem to disappoint the rider. Volkswagen Polo GT TSI is for the enthusiasts who like to have a car under 10 lakh that doubles as an office car and a fun rider for your weekend trips. If you are one such you are on the right page.
It has been some years since Volkswagen brought its Polo series to India and GT TSI joined midway and it was the best performance hatch of its time. Does it still hold to it? We will know about it in a while.
Engine and the Gearbox
The engine is relatively smaller in size, on the performance front it is a mere beast. Volkswagen Polo GT TSI has a 1.2 Litre turbocharged Petrol engine that outputs 103 BHP power and 175 Nm. The peak torque kicks in at as low as 1500 RPM and builds up to 4100 RPM. The engine feels punchy and wants to rev more. 0-100 Kmpl takes less than 10 seconds which is great.
The gearbox that is in work with the turbocharged engine is the 7 speed DSG box which is common among Volkswagen and Skoda cars. The combinations of the engine and DSG is well tuned and offers great driving experience.
Design and Build
The carâ€™s design looks ageless. Comparing the outgoing model with any older Polo you can find some similarities for sure. Despite undergoing design improvements, it still carries the trademark Polo design cues. The outgoing model has lasted close to a decade and it is time India get the latest gen Volkswagen Polo.
The chrome line connecting the fog lamps, running across the grill and the rear bumper adds to the boldness to the ageless design. There is GT badge sticking to the back door and the front grill which is catchy than the stickered â€˜GT TSIâ€™ on its side. Volkswagen has thrown in some signature styling for the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI alone. The OVRMs get a black treatment regardless of the colour of the car and a small black spoiler adds to the sportiness from the back.
The interiors get a full black treatment and everything screams quality. Every material used from the plastic in the dash, leather on the steering wheel to the upholstery is nice and well made. There is enough space for storage in the glovebox and along the centre console.
As every Volkswagen car, the quality of fit and finish is top notch. You canâ€™t find a part protruding or misfit throughout the Polo. The paint job is excellent, probably one of the finest in the market.
The car feels gushing with the power to slide through the city roads with ease of the automatic gearbox. After all wearing a GT badge all around is no joke and it stands to the expectation. The DSG offers very seamless shifts and the power is delivered whenever demanded. You get to choose between D (drive) mode and S (sport) mode. D mode is the more fuel-efficient mode that sticks to lower RPMs but feels very adequate to drive around the city from time to time overtakes. The S mode is for the enthusiast in you. Push to the S mode and you can get the joy of riding a Polo GT. The car redlines around 6500 RPM and there is no loss in comfort. The mileage stays around 7 â€“ 10 Kmpl in the city and can max up to 15 Kmpl on the highways.
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Handling and Comfort
The car feels planted to manoeuvre around the city. The suspension is on the soft end and serves good for city rides considering there are sophisticated roads with fewer potholes. The ground clearance is enough for most at 168mm. The ride feels jerky when riding over uneven surfaces of larger holes. The softer suspension gives way to body roll when the powerful engine urges you to put it through the corners. Though it has an Electronic Stability Program, doesnâ€™t feel that planted. Even the steering doesnâ€™t offer the best feedback, but nothing to complain about. The ride feels comfortable even at high speeds without any rattles from moving parts. Engine sounds are less and become little loud around 170 Kmpl which most of us wonâ€™t be pushing ever.
The rear seats are notable downsides of the current gen Volkswagen Polo. There is enough headroom. The seats lack thigh support and the knee room are good at the best provided you are shorter than 6ft. Fitting in the third passenger on the back row is quite a task and you will end up stuffing three uncomfortably. The boot is well off when compared to the competitors. If you want to have more storage space you can put down the back row to make space for the extra baggage.
The feature set though was stellar during the time of release feels little lacking for 2018. The centre console has all media functions including Bluetooth and voice control but not the modern-day Android auto or Apple car play. The sound system is excellent. The steering gets reach and rake adjust, steering mounted media controls are very useful. Cruise control is present and hidden on the windshield wiper control stick.
OVRMs are electronically adjustable and get a rear parking sensor but no camera. Dual airbags are standard across all variants of Polo and it is the same for GT TSI. Regarding driving you get Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Hill Hold Control, Traction Control System (TCS) which is very much appreciable for a car at this segment.
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How does Volkswagen Polo GT TSI fair in 2018?
For the price, you still get one of the best combos of a turbocharged engine and DSG gearboxes in the market but it lacks a fair bit on the features. Competitors like Suzuki Baleno RS offer a much compelling feature set hard to decline. But if you are all about the performance, the stellar built and can compromise on little features of a 2018 car, book a Volkswagen Polo GT TSI straight away.