2024 Volkswagen Polo Review

By Alexi Falson on 14 Jun 2024
image for 2024 Volkswagen Polo Review
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Impressively practical cabin
  • Outstanding driving dynamics
  • Fuel-efficient turbocharged three-cylinder engine
  • Excellent abilities in flagship GTI trim
  • Base model misses out on some key safety features
  • Rising price tags
  • Manual option removed from Australia
  • Firm suspension package on country roads
Volkswagen Polo GTi Specs
    • 40L
    • 150
    • 4390 / 1450
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
The Volkswagen Polo is one of the most famous names in the world of small hatchbacks.

Five decades since its launch, the Polo has gotten bigger, safer and more expensive than the original, while retaining the fuel efficiency and user-friendliness around town that make it a great city car option.

For 2024, the Volkswagen Polo lineup remains relatively unchanged, though has received some much-needed safety equipment upgrades that were temporarily missing from the spec sheet.

How well does the 2024 Volkswagen Polo stack up against its rivals, and carry on with traditions that have made it one of the world’s most popular small, city-focussed hatchbacks? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Volkswagen Polo Competition

Volkswagen Polo

Suzuki Swift
Mazda 2
Toyota Yaris
Kia Picanto
Skoda Fabia

How Much Does It Cost?

The 2024 Volkswagen Polo range is priced from $29,490 for the entry-level Polo 85TSI Life, with prices rising to $32,540 for the Polo 85TSI Style.

For those looking for the ultimate Polo hot-hatch experience, the sporty Polo GTI is priced at $40,390.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change and do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, our car sourcing specialists can help you find the best value model for you.

Volkswagen Polo (GTi) Specifications

Model Date 2024
Model POLO
Series AE MY24
Variant GTi
Transmission 6 SP AUTO DIRECT SHI
Drive FWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1984
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 4390 / 1450
Cylinders T4
Torque 320
KW 147
Fuel tank size 40.0
Fuel usage specs 6.5 / 0
CO2 150
ANCAP security rating 5

What Features & Specs Does the Volkswagen Polo Have?

The entry-level Volkswagen Polo 85TSI Life comes riding on a set of 15-inch alloys and receives automatic LED headlights, cruise control, cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a digital instrument cluster, rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors, a wireless smartphone charger, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and front lumbar support.

Stepping up to the Polo 85TSI Style adds a set of larger 16-inch alloys, Matrix LED headlights with fog lights, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting, an upgraded 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and some added safety equipment we’ll cover later in this review.

Finally, the range-topping Polo GTI picks up 18-inch alloys, an adaptive suspension system, dual exhaust pipes, keyless entry, red brake calipers, a GTI front grille, upgraded cloth upholstery with a black headliner and an illuminated LED strip.

Connectivity & Infotainment Features

Volkswagen packages all members of the MY24 Polo range with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that it dubs the ‘Composition Media’ system.

The 8.0-inch unit comes with smartphone mirroring, voice commands, AM/FM radio as well as DAB+ digital radio and is paired with a six-speaker sound system.

Upgrading the Polo with VW’s optional Sound & Technology package adds a gesture control system for the infotainment display, as well as a six-speaker sound system from Beats by Dre.

Does the Volkswagen Polo Have Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto?

Buyers hoping for wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto in the base model Polo will be disappointed, with Volkswagen reserving the tech for its optional Sound & Tech pack.

That means the majority of the MY24 Polo range, with the exception of the range-topping GTI offer wired Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity via a USB cord.

Is the Volkswagen Polo Comfortable to Drive?

In years past, the Volkswagen Polo rose to the top of the segment thanks to its eager handling and comfortable driving nature around town that made it an almighty city hatchback.

In its latest form, the Polo has managed to uphold this reputation while asserting itself as one of the best city hatches on the market.

Behind the wheel, the Polo feels light on its feet and far more refined than the majority of its closest competitors while remaining super easy to park thanks to its tiny stature and lightweight steering rack.

The suspension is firmer than you might be used to, though this improves the handling package overall while still offering decent support over potholes and bumps around town and gives it serious high-speed composure for long highway journeys.

The majority of the range comes powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine that pushes out 85kW of power and 200Nm of torque to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

This unit gives it some spirited acceleration thanks to a generous heaping of torque which, combined with the Polo’s lightweight package, makes it feel zippy and confidence-inspiring when a quick injection of speed is needed.

Upgrading to the Polo GTI adds a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit that pushes out 147kW of power and 320Nm of torque that results in a 0-100km/h sprint in 6.8 seconds and some immense fun in the corners thanks to the upgraded suspension.

VW’s baby GTI carves through corners in a mighty impressive manner that is nothing short of infectious. 

The Polo GTI is the pick if you’re after a hot hatch for daily driving, though the majority of buyers will be very pleased with what’s on offer in the 85TSI lineup. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Fuel efficiency in the VW Polo lineup depends on whether you’re opting for the more sensible base engine or the fire-breathing GTI unit.

The 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder powering the Polo 85TSI is rated at just 5.4L/100km on a combined cycle.

Upgrading to the Polo GTI means you’ll be consuming an average of 6.5L/100km on the combined cycle, making the base model by far the pick for fuel-conscious buyers.

How Much Fuel Does the Volkswagen Polo Use Around Town?

  • Polo 85TSI City Fuel Consumption: 5.9L/100km

  • Polo GTI City Fuel Consumption: 8.3L/100km

How Much Fuel Does the Volkswagen Polo Use on the Highway?

  • Polo 85TSI Highway Fuel Consumption: 4.5L/100km

  • Polo GTI Highway Fuel Consumption: 5.5L/100km

Is it Practical and Spacious?

For its pint-sized footprint, the VW Polo packs a hefty punch when it comes to interior space and practicality, with the Polo very much at the top of the class.

Step inside and the VW Polo offers a sleek, uncrowded cabin layout that feels particularly high-tech thanks to its pair of digital displays atop the dash and in front of the driver.

The Polo’s cabin design is typically Volkswagen, meaning all the switchgear feels solid and particularly ergonomic, while headroom is great for even the tallest drivers.

In the front of the Polo’s cabin, there’s a decent range of storage options, headlined by a tray and wireless charger behind the gear lever, cupholders, a large glovebox, added storage inside the armrest and inside the large door bins.

Move to the rear and there’s an impressive amount of space for even adults to sit in the second row, and while there’s not a tonne of width for three-abreast seating, headroom is excellent for such a petite package.

The Polo’s second row misses out on its own set of air vents, though you’ll find a pair of USB-C charging ports and bottle holders inside the doors, as well as two ISOFIX anchors and three top tether mounts for child seats.

All up, the Volkswagen Polo punches well above its perceived size limitations and offers an impressive amount of interior space and practicality for such a small hatchback.

How Big is the Volkswagen Polo’s Boot?

The Volkswagen Polo’s boot measures a very decent 351L with the rear seats folded, with the bonus of an adjustable floor to help extract every ounce of boot space.

Fold down the 60:40 split rear seats and you’ll unlock a total of 1125L of boot space when it’s time to lug around some bulky cargo, sports equipment or camping gear for a weekend away.

Is it Safe?

Volkswagen is synonymous with its high standards for engineering and build quality, which very much extends to the safety of its pint-sized Polo hatchback.

As standard, the entry-level Polo Life is fitted with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, a rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors, driver attention monitoring, lane-keep assistance, multi-collision braking and seven airbags.

The entry-level Polo Life misses out on some key safety tech like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts which are reserved for the mid-spec Polo Style and flagship GTI variants.

Does the Volkswagen Polo Have an ANCAP Safety Rating?

The Volkswagen Polo has picked up a five-star ANCAP safety rating from testing conducted in 2022 where it scored the following marks:

  • Adult Occupant Protection: 94%

  • Child Occupant Protection: 80%

  • Vulnerable Road User Protection: 70%

  • Safety Assist: 70% 

What Warranty Does the Volkswagen Polo Come With?

Volkswagen offers buyers a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty across the MY24 Polo range.

The company also offers five years of capped-price servicing which totals $3,095 in the case of the Polo 85TSI and $3,737 for the sporty Polo GTI.

Service intervals for the VW Polo range stand at 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, whichever elapses first. 

Our Verdict: Is the Volkswagen Polo Worth it?

While it doesn’t come cheap, the Volkswagen Polo is arguably the king of small hatchbacks from nearly every angle you cast the microscope.

The Polo looks great and feels wonderful to drive, offering a range with a fuel-efficient and well-equipped base model topped by a sporty GTI flagship for those looking for an engaging hot hatchback driving experience.

As a result, we’d highly encourage you to add the VW Polo to your city car or hatchback shortlist and reach out to one of our car-buying experts if you’re ready to take the plunge. 

Five Volkswagen Polo Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty

  2. 351L boot expands to 1125L with rear seats folded

  3. 12-month/15,000-kilometre service intervals

  4. Two engines available, front-wheel drive with dual-clutch automatic

  5. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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