No More Achilles heel - Volkswagen Polo (2014)
VW's Polo looks specifically German from every angle & performs mightily on every aspect. In today's car market, companies cannot afford to overlook the downsides. Roll back to 2010 when Polo was launched with ground breaking driving dynamics, great build quality & affordable price tags surpassing all the rivals. Although the former car was bit low on features. But noisy & languid diesel unit proved to be Achilles heel for Polo. With stagnancy in performance and no major breakthrough in innovation, the car was feeling a high heat from its rivals. With entry of new Polo, VW focused the efforts on loopholes with entry of 1.5L TDI diesel engine and phasing out sobbing 1.2L old diesel engine unit.
Design, Features & Safety
The noticeable changes on exterior part are the chrome lines on nose grill & on bumper grill, double barrel headlamps with black detailing looks enchanting, redesigned fog lamps with turning indicators. On the back side rear bumper is redesigned however, changes inside tail lamps are not easily distinguishable.
Moving inside, leather wrapped new steering wheel flat at bottom is the attention seeker with metallic highlights and shiny black patches on which audio & call controls are mounted on steering. Dashboard is designed on two tone color (matte black & beige) along with chrome is used abundantly on gear lever, center console & on steering wheel. Moreover, entertainment system is upgraded and it gets access to SD card, AUX, & USB . Other than these gauges are still same.
When it comes to front seats which are very comfortable but passengers on rear seats will feel cramped. Build quality is solid and cabin noise insulation is also felicitous. Furthermore, on safety parameters it is good to know that all variants of Polo are equipped with Dual front airbags & ABS only found in mid & high end models.
Engine & Power-train
Biggest change in Polo 2014 is under the hood. Petrol engine is still the same 1.2L 3 cylinder inline which was powering the outgoing model. Earlier, thing which was holding Polo back in its segment was the 1.2L 3 cylinder diesel engine which is now replaced by a new 1.5L TDI 4 cylinder inline which is clearly a big leap in terms of power & torque in comparison to old motor. If compared old diesel engine was producing power of 75ps & 180 Nm of torque but the new 1.5L is churning out 90ps@4200rpm with loads of torque of 230Nm@1500rpm-2500rpm which is way ahead of its rivals. Old engine felt very unrefined, noisy & sluggish which wasn't bolstering Polo's driving dynamics.
Power delivery is very uniform and without any turbo lags or sudden surges of power. New TDI motor has good low range & superb mid range grunt though lacks a bit in high end grunt. Clutch is a bit heavy to use but, the beefy torque range helps a lot and makes car much easier to drive even on start-stop traffic.
Suspensions, Performance & Efficiency
Suspensions are revised in this new model, as well as they are tweaked for better driving experience. Old model was also good at handling all the bumps and uneven surfaces, but some sharp potholes needed to be thwart. However, tweaking helped a lot in improving drive-ability and now these suspensions can handle all the uneven surfaces on road nicely.
As petrol engine is same so there is no changes in performance the power delivery is very linear but, there's an emphatic rise in diesel's performance with the help of new 1.5L TDI which accelerates from 0-100kph in 12.3 secs which is gigantic difference compared to former one which does the same in slack 16.4 secs.
Bigger engine with power and torque has certainly not made car suffering from low fuel efficiency moreover, Polo diesel offers an overall mileage of 19kpl. On the other hand, petrol unit returns an overall efficiency of 15kpl.
New Polo has set new standards in its segment especially in terms of driving dynamics, build quality, & safety. Petrol engine is refined and delivers a decent efficiency with linear power delivery. Facelift has also helped VW look much prettier then old model. But the trump of Volkswagen in this segment is the Polo diesel with 1.5L TDI - 4 inline cylinder diesel engine which is a substantial leap ahead over the previous engine & fortifies drive-ability, ride, handling & stability of car. Whether its highways or crawling city traffic, the engine has got enough grunt that never feels out of breath on highways, and meaty torque that lets you amble around without working on gears and that is responsive enough for quick overtakes in city. So, if rear seat legroom is not a big issue in your aspect definitely you can invest your funds on this car specifically for diesel version which is a great combo of performance & efficiency.
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