The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Volkswagen Polo Highline 1.2L Petrol

By for Volkswagen Polo 2009-2013 from Haldia 2011-04-15 17:06:45.0
15 people found it helpful. 13879 ViewsWrite Review
4 ⁄ 5
  • Appearance
  • Performance
  • Comfort
  • Value For Money
  • Fuel Economy
  • Overall Satisfaction

Pros : Looks, Engine, Handling

Cons : Noisy, Pricey, Limited Dealership network


This Sunday, i got the oppurtunity to test drive a Volkswagen Polo 1.2L Petrol Highline version. The Polo looks equally great from the front, back and from the sideways. It is low slung and looks like a sports car indeed, particularly in those red and white colors. It has a large glass area and the black and beige two tone interior make you feel that it indeed has a lots of space. The highline comes with 15 alloy wheels. Built quality is great. Slightly better than Ford Figo, but not as great as Fiat Grande Punto. Polo's interior is two tone and looks pleasant. But doesn't feel luxurious like the Hyundai i20. I felt that the interior quality matches with Ford Figo but with a much better fit and finish. Perhaps the two tone effect may give you a feel that its has better interiors than Figo. I just felt that the plastic quality on the highline isn't looking that premium. The front seats are awesome. They just hug you in your driving position. Steering adjustment is available and is a good feature. The A pillar doesnt block your view during a right turn. However, the dashboard is a bit high and if you are short and looking for the trendline and comfortline versions without the driver seat height adjustment feature. You must be careful in those jam packed traffic sessions. There is sufficient space for 2 people at the rear. But the large hump protruded from the bottom makes the 3rd passenger uncomfortable in the rear seat. The boot is big too. First i drove this car without a/c and the windows open. I started the engine..... and asked the salesperson whether it is a diesel or petrol car. Because, It's quite noisy with the windows open. Close the windows and its silent inside. But the gear level, dash still vibrate slightly. I just felt like driving a diesel car. But this is a petrol one.The 1.2L petrol engine, has good pep in it. Unlike the Old 1.3 Swift (i didn't drive the K series yet) and the new i20, this one has good pickup at low speeds. You can drive happily in the 3rd gear at city speeds. One thing worth mentioning is the gear box is super smooth and the in gear acceleration is great. The engine pulls cleanly in every gear. Even with the A/c on and 4 people onboard, this car cleanly pulled up to 140 kmph and I just felt that it can reach 160 kmph easily. Brakes are superb with great feed back. The ride comfort is good for both driver and the rear passengers - Good suspension. Straight line Stability is awesome and you will still feel confident even at 140 kmph. It behaves well at curves and corners too. But it doesn't talk too much to you like the Figo and Punto. Electric Power Assisted Steerings can never match the feedback of the Hydraulic Steerings - Period. But, the steering is very easy to use while parking and in traffic for its lightness. Now the bad part is the engine lliterally roars like hell once you cross that 5000 rpm for power.  The sales person says that, it is a sporty tone. I just asked myself, does that sound sporty?? You feel that the Figo and i20 are more refined than Polo in the engine department. The road noise can be felt from the bottom on bad roads. Bottom insulation is poor. i20 has the most silent cabin. The test drive car was fully r_ped. the tyres saythat the car has already travelled atleast 30000 km, All sorts of rattles and squeaks can be heard  from doors, dashboard, bootlid, rear B pillar.  The rattles and squeaks may be because of the abuse caused to the demo car but those upteen number of test drives. I just told the sales person that You just don't know how to create a good impression of a product to the customer. What i liked: Looks, Built quality, two tone interior, good glass area and overall view of the road, Superb A/c, good low end and mid range  pick up (0-120 kmph) even with A/c, What i didn't like: Simply it is noisy (Both engine and cabin), A/c blower is also noisy (except in level 1) and It's pricey.... Except the Trendline, no other version is value for money. Surprisingly, the best and worst part of the Polo is its Engine itself. Take a test drive to check whether it impresses you or irritates you?  Other irritating facts are For Trendline and Comfortline variants, Volkswagen doesn't allow you to upgrade to 15 wheels, alloys, they don't allow after market rear power windows, Fog lamps, remote locking, music player. And they don't even offer these accessories themselves for these variants. If you do so, it voids the warranty. Hell what is a premium car without those accessories. It is clear they are more interested in branding than numbers. But they are selling a cheap car than their own Fabia (which really feels a premium car) at a far higher price. Some people buy cars for A to B travel, some are Value for money oriented, some treat their car as a status symbol, some decide upon the looks, some decide on the ride and handling and some decide on power. i am a VFM guy.Except for its looks and the hype as a German car, Polo doesn't worth the money when compared to its competition. If you have enough dough, Go for Hyundai i20 or Fabia instead. Finally, It's purely my personal opinion. Take a comprehensive test drive before you decide.

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  • rohit v |19 Apr,2011 11:54:15 PM

    Indeed, you have put forward very true and detailed review of the Polo. Could you please elaborate on the average you are getting in city n highway. Also tell about the service experiences at the volkswagen service outlets.

  • TVS Kumar |21 Apr,2011 10:54:47 AM

    I didn't buy this car. However, based on feedback from my friends, this car is as expensive as a Skoda to maintain. By the way, How can they gain profits by selling few cars??? Expensive service and spares.. isn't it..? Finally i bought a Ford Figo 1.4 TDCi (Diesel) Titanium @ 6.25 lakhs on the road kolkata with all the accessories and alloys and fog lamps fitted. This is 52,000 cheaper than the Volkswagen Polo Highline 1.2 petrol

  • asim parayane |21 Apr,2011 01:22:35 PM

    If you are looking for a small luxury car, than swift is the best among all the available options like i20 , fabia , polo , nissan , figo ,punto. If you dont want to go for swift as it is now too common , than polo would be a good option. i dont recommend figo or punto as the brand name associated with them is not any impressive. i20 is not value for money, its too expensive than its wonth of. fabia is not good in handling and maintainance as it is skoda car.

  • Kumar TVS |23 Apr,2011 10:59:55 AM

    Maruti Swift is a good car. Except for its good engine and the largest service network, it is by no means a Luxury car. Neither its built quality, Fit and Finish, Interior quality and Safety matches with i20 and Fabia. By the way Fabia has better road manners than Swift. Take a test drive.

  • Jai |31 May,2011 10:41:04 AM

    This car is pathetic poor service network and high cabin noise... it sucks!!!

  • Neeraj Kumar |03 Jun,2011 11:05:35 AM

    Hi Guys, I am willing to buy Polo Highline petrol 1.6 litre. I am a great fan of this car as I have lived in Germany/Switzerland for many years. This car really stays on top of competition along with Golf and has been king in segment for last 20 years or so. Please advise as in India people are more concerned Value For Money. Trendline/Comfortline don't have even basic security features like Airbags and ABS but are still ahead insale compared to Highline. I am very confused at the moment

    stanley |01 Aug,2012 09:53:55 PM

    dont go for the 1.2 i am using it.its a waste of money i went for it for brand value and germany its not worth i heard 1.6 is ok but not sure. better take a test drive . the engine is silent when u press the accelerator its very noisy sounds like a diesel car [1.2] vw is spoiled its brand value in india

  • CarDekho Team |03 Jun,2011 11:15:15 AM

    @ Neeraj - The Polo 1.6 comes with all the features that you mentioned and so does the Highline in 1.2 Diesel and 1.2 Petrol. Do not be confused if you have decided on getting a VW Polo go for it without any hesitation.

  • kavitha |14 Jun,2011 05:58:45 PM

    i want to buy a small car with good mileage and good facilities within a budget of rs.4.50 lakhs also with good looks(petrol only). pls help!

  • TVS Kumar |20 Jun,2011 09:26:30 AM

    @ Kavitha For 4 member family and for good mileage: Hyundai i10 Kappa 2 Magna Maruti Estillo VXi ABS is also great Value for money in your Budget. If your use is less and space is of more concern then Figo suits your budget. Take a test drive of all of these.

  • Ashish |24 Jun,2011 10:49:53 PM

    Kumar, First of all, great effort towards the review. Actually I had a VW in US where I fell in love with the German Technology. In fact if you compare all the German engines then you would find the same thing with all of their brand names. My friend had an Audi and it used to make more sound than my VW for a petrol version. And your concern for the price of spare parts is equally justified. But in India I have noticed another thing that companies like Honda which are known for their value for money are ripping people's pocket for a cheap product like Honda Civic. This car is priced so heavily for an average engine and technology that I feel Polo's Trendline(Consider German Technology is not cheap)worth is completely justified. I would trust Suzuki - because of their years of operation and initiation in India and trust Hyundai for their competition but I feel Americans lack automobile technology and the commitment. Companies like Ford, GM and Chrysler have only made cars which can only out run their own Warranty period and not the competition, that is the only reason they are finding it hard to survive in their birth place amongst Japanese, Germans and South Koreans. I have driven a VW Polo in India and I liked the customer service and the car a lot. On the contrary I felt that Hyundai has so much market now that they are hardly bothered if a customer or two will leave their premises a little unhappy. Anyway thanks once again for your awesome review, it was totally worth the read.

  • prasad |21 Jun,2013 04:55:27 PM

    i want to purchase a car at a range of 10 lakh pl suggest me which one is better for low maintainance cost with milage, value for money oriented etc........

  • mandar |20 Oct,2013 04:07:03 PM

    Dear Team I am planning to buy my first car and very much confused as to whether to go for grand i.10 asta (o) ( brand new launch) or Volkwagen Polo 1.2 (P) Highline.. My friend took a test drive for me ( as i am still learning). After taking test drive he felt that, Grand i.10 is a typcial korean version with good pick up in first and second gear also ( may be beacuse the cars are lighter than polo) and less noicy... As regards Volkwagen, he felt that two problems with engine ( i.e.slow pick up in 1st and 2nd gear and too much noicy engine).. In my view Interior wise and feature wise ( rear A/c vent, Button Start, electronic side lamps etc) Grand i 10 is classy when you compare the same with the price for which it is launched.. When it comes to polo 1.2 Petrol Highline, German thinking is really royal as the vehicle is more heavy and sterdy as compared to Grand i10.. ( automatic climate control, leaser velding technology, collapsable engine are good features which are absent in Grand i10) After considering length, breadth, height and wheelbase comparison, i felt that logically Polo should have better leg space room than Grand i 10. ( except Polo is little short in height and hump below the rear passenger seat, will make a person sitting in the middle seat, little uncomfortable) Ofcourse for Polo, milage is also a problem as compared to Grand i 10 as even official city average is less by around 2km/ltr and Price-wise it is costing me more by around 18,000-20,000 after making all the capital budgeting... Kindly advice me, which one i shoould go.. as I am totally confused now.. One more thing, I got excellant treatment at Volkswagen showroom where salesman spent around 2 hours with me explainaing all the features in detailed manner as against hyundai, where there was no one to even show me the car properly..

    Sampath Reddy |13 Nov,2013 03:39:45 PM

    Mandar, I am not sure about comfort stability and driving experience in Grand i10. however Polo is a superb car. as you have experienced you would get good response from showroom and service men at VW. I own a VW Polo 1.2 Diesel high line. I am extremely happy with it. you would not find any difference between Polo petrol and diesel in driving. only the difference is in cost of the car and fuel cost and fuel economy. coming to FE, Polo Diesel returns around 16-20 in city and 25-28 in highways. if the cost difference is only 20K, its negligible.

  • ojas |24 Jan,2014 12:58:53 PM

    I am planning to buy 2010 Polo 1.2 Highline....having done 24000 kms ...my question is that is it worth to buy that car for 3.5 L and is there any problem in the car or engine and does it has expensive spare parts .

  • Praveen |17 Mar,2014 11:44:39 AM

    hi i have polo 1.2 petrol and on slope i found my car gear knocking in AC making sound i need to actually apply accelaration to max to get car up..this was not steep but than even i found pickup very bad my car has now complete 42000 KM. PLease advise is there i need to do something with the cluth like half or accelation part. what could be the issue.

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 Comments Volkswagen Polo 2009-2013

Volkswagen Polo 2009-2013 review scorecard

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