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Updated Volkswagen Polo lights up the changes

Semi-autonomous driving technology leads the changes underneath a fresher look

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Significant changes to the front-end lighting and partly-autonomous driving top a list of newly unveiled updates to the Volkswagen Polo.

The revamped version of the supermini, which will go on UK sale in the Autumn of 2021, gets the family look of its larger sister the Golf and Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric car, in the form of an LED lighting strip running right across the front end, just below the upper grille.

All Polos also now have LED front and tail-lights as standard, and the front ones can be specified with interactive matrix technology. And of course the Polo refresh features the favourite update move, subtle styling tweaks in the form of redesigned front and rear bumpers.

Inside the cabin, updates include VW’s ‘Digital Cockpit’ – a new infotainment system that comes as standard with a six-inch touchscreen, while a nine-inch version is on the options list. The driver’s display is now an eight-inch digital unit instead of traditional analogue dials and the steering wheel has been redesigned.

Lane-keeping assist is also standard on all models but significantly VW’s IQ.Drive Travel Assist, which debuted on the Passat, can now be ordered on the Polo. In this system, the lane-keeping works with the adaptive cruise control to provide partly autonomous driving, at speeds up to 130mph. It’s the first time that such advanced driver assistance technology has appeared in a supermini-sized small car.

Where there are no changes are to engines and transmissions – the existing line-up of three-cylinder petrol units with power outputs from 80hp to 110hp has been carried over, with the diesel units being quietly ditched a while ago now. No sign, however, of any electric Polo on the way.

Volkswagen has sold more than 18 million Polos globally in the 45 years since the Mk1 version was launched. 

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.