June 24, 2024

Seiyu Cafe

You Rather Be Automotive

The Volkswagen Polo – Don’t Leave it on the Shelf

In many ways, the Volkswagen Polo is like a Sodastream machine, or a toasted cheese sandwich maker. I make this comparison completely aware of how daft that sounds, but let me explain myself. Every household owns a kitchen appliance that has long since been forgotten about, left on a shelf or at the back of the cupboard, doomed to gathering dust for the foreseeable future. You know however, that one day you’ll get the urge to have a toasted cheese sandwich, or a Sodastream drink and for a while you will fall madly in love with that appliance all over again, even if just for the briefest of times. The Volkswagen Golf reminds me of a forgotten appliance; it is always capable of putting a smile on your face, but for some inexplicable reason you’ve forgotten about it.

The VW Polo has a magnificent pedigree and each edition has continued to live up to the successful legacy that began way back in 1975. Recently though, there have been a few distractions if you were in the market for a hot new hatchback. The New Ford Fiesta has been making waves in the industry and the Vauxhall Corsa is taking its fair share of the supermini market. Amongst others there are the Fiat 500, Toyota Aygo, Suzuki Splash, Mitsubishi Colt and the Seat Ibiza, all making valid cases for their existence. All of a sudden, everybody seems to have forgotten about the Polo. That is until you drive one again.

The distinctive feel of the VW Polo has remained throughout its 30+ year tenure, except now there is pin-point steering, a great choice of diesel and petrol engines and the reliability rarely afforded to motorists; the kind of reliability the Volkswagen owners are used to. The precision engineering has won Volkswagen the enviable reputation for their economical and ecological engines, all of which aren’t exactly short on performance either.

The Polo is also a pleasant place to find yourself; the firm but comfortable seats, the excellent driving position and all the mod cons you will expect from a quality firm like Volkswagen. For a while you will be cursing yourself that you ever forgot about the driving experience the Polo provides. Alas, this feeling will eventually come to an end and you will again be distracted by the Fiestas, Corsas and the Aygos of the world. The Polo will begin to gather dust again. So why does this happen?

It can be explained simply as the ‘Wow Factor’. The Fiesta’s sexy new looks are bound to attract loads of supermini customers and the Corsa’s sporty looks will perform equally well for Vauxhall. Both of the aforementioned cars have a bit of pizzazz about them that continues to attract the punters. The Polo, well…erm…doesn’t.

This is the only area where the Polo falls down and although essentially it is only a cosmetic issue and the car buying public should perhaps not be so shallow, it may contribute to the Polo being overlooked as a viable option. The reliable German engineering and smooth ride hardly screams excitement, but long after the Fiesta’s snazzy new metallic paintwork has peeled off, the Polo will be providing reliable, powerful, hassle-free motoring.

The Sodastream may be in the cupboard at the moment, but I get the feeling it’s due a revival.