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Expert Rating

Volkswagen Polo

(2017 - present)

Expert Rating

New car score:

76
%
A

Used car score:

79
%
A

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

75
%
B

Safety Rating:

76
%
B

Eco Rating:

68
%
A

Reliability Rating:

81
%
B

Running Costs:

78
%
A

How are our Expert Rating scores calculated?

Expert Rating

New car score:

76
%
A

Used car score:

79
%
A

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

75
%
B

Safety Rating:

76
%
B

Eco Rating:

68
%
A

Reliability Rating:

81
%
B

Running Costs:

78
%
A

Summary


The Volkswagen Polo is a small supermini-class five-door hatchback. The current model was launched at the end of 2017 and has become one of the best-selling cars in the UK.

The Volkswagen Polo has received generally good scores from the UK media, but there is more variation between the best and worst scores than for the Ford Fiesta. It is generally praised for high levels of build quality and general refinement.

There is a hot-hatch version called the Polo GTI, which has a 55% rating that the regular Polo easily surpasses, most reviewers concluding that the Volkswagen Polo’s mild-mannered maturity is not the perfect fit for a hot hatch spin-off model.

The Polo’s Reliability has been questionable. In its 2021 reliability survey, What Car? ranked the Volkswagen Polo second-worst for small cars, above only the Ford Fiesta, and the eighth-worst reliable new car on sale. This was a fall from 2020, where it had been ranked 15th out of 22 cars.

A facelifted model arrived in the UK in Autumn 2021, with minor upgrades to trims and specifications.

As of January 2024, the Polo holds an Expert Rating of 76%, which makes it one of the top-ranked small cars on sale.

Key specifications


Body style: Five-door hatch
Engines: petrol, diesel
Price: From £18,855 on-road

Launched: Winter 2017/18
Last updated: Autumn 2021
Updated model due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

The Car Expert

+

Auto Express

+

Autocar

+

Car

+

Car Keys

+

Carbuyer

+

Carwow

+

Company Car Today

+

Honest John

+

Motoring Research

+

Motors.co.uk

+

Parkers

+

The Sun

+

The Sunday Times

+

Top Gear

+

What Car?

+

Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall score: 5 stars
Date tested: March 2022
Read the full Euro NCAP review

Adult protection: 94%
Child protection: 80%
Vulnerable road users: 70%
Safety assist: 70%

Notes on safety rating

The Volkswagen Polo was originally tested by Euro NCAP in November 2017 and awarded a five-star rating. The facelifted 2021 Polo was tested in early 2022, which saw it awarded a fresh five-star rating in Euro NCAP’s tougher new tests.

Eco rating


Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

No eco rating

As of January 2024, the Volkswagen Polo has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. If the Polo is selected for assessment by Green NCAP, we will publish the results here.

Reliability rating

MotorEasy logo 600x167

Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

The Volkswagen Polo has a good reliability score, according to exclusive extended warranty data provided to The Car Expert by our partner MotorEasy. This covers both the current-generation Polo range and previous models.

There are two main areas of concern for the Polo – its engine and suspension. Engine repairs can be expensive, with an average repair cost of around £800, while suspension faults usually cost around £300. Also of note are a few gearbox problems, for which the average repair bill was more than £1,400.

If you’re looking at buying a used Volkswagen Polo, make sure any extended warranty you purchase covers all of these potential problem areas.

Running cost rating

Clear Vehicle Data logo close crop

Monthly cost of ownership data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by Clear Vehicle Data

Fuel consumptionAverageScoreVariationScore
Petrol models49 mpgC46 – 51 mpgB – C
CO₂ outputAverageScoreVariationScore
Petrol models123 g/kmA118 – 139 g/kmA – B
Diesel models127 g/kmA127 – 127 g/kmA – A
Insurance groupAverageScoreVariationScore
All models9A1 – 50A – F
Service and maintenanceCostScore
Year 1£129A
Year 2£380A
Year 3£611A
Year 4£820A
Year 5£1,119A
Overall£3,059A

The Volkswagen Polo has a running cost report that’s mostly good. Insurance and road tax should be very cheap, as should scheduled servicing costs for the first five years.

The only disappointment is the biggest running cost of all – fuel consumption. A score of ‘C’ is average, which is disappointing for a supermini-sized hatchback. By comparison, the Toyota Yaris gets an ‘A’, representing a significant annual saving.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Volkswagen Polo has received

2020

  • What Car? Awards – Best Small Car

2019

  • UK Car of the Year Awards – Best Supermini
  • What Car? Awards – Best Small Car
  • Carwow Awards – Little Legend Award
  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Best Supermini

2018

  • World Car of the Year Awards – World Urban Car of the Year
  • FirstCar Awards – Safe Car of the Year
  • Tow Car Awards – Best Ultralight Tow Car
  • Carwow Awards – Little Legend Award

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Volkswagen Polo, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Audi A1 | Citroën C3 | Dacia Sandero | Ford Fiesta | Honda Jazz | Hyundai i20 | Kia Rio | Mazda 2 | MG 3 | Mini hatch | Mitsubishi Mirage | Nissan Micra | Peugeot 208 | Renault Clio | SEAT Ibiza | Skoda Fabia | Suzuki Swift | Toyota Yaris | Vauxhall Corsa


More news, reviews and information about the Volkswagen Polo at The Car Expert

Limited-run Volkswagen Polo GTI Edition 25 on sale in August

Limited-run Volkswagen Polo GTI Edition 25 on sale in August

Five of the safest new small cars on sale

Five of the safest new small cars on sale

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Top safety scores for Lexus, Renault and Volkswagen

Top safety scores for Lexus, Renault and Volkswagen

The best-selling cars of 2021

The best-selling cars of 2021

Updated Volkswagen Polo GTI goes on sale

Updated Volkswagen Polo GTI goes on sale

Britain’s best-selling cars, October 2021

Britain’s best-selling cars, October 2021

Britain’s best-selling cars, September 2021

Britain’s best-selling cars, September 2021

Britain’s best-selling cars, August 2021

Britain’s best-selling cars, August 2021

Britain’s best-selling new cars, July 2021

Britain’s best-selling new cars, July 2021

Britain’s best-selling new cars, June 2021

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Britain’s best-selling cars, May 2021

Britain’s best-selling cars, May 2021

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The Volkswagen Polo has received generally good media reviews, with praise for its high levels of build quality and general refinement.Volkswagen Polo