Volkswagen Polo GTI Review & First Drive

Volkswagen Polo GTI Overview

Volkswagen’s history with the GTI badge starts way back in 1976 when the Golf got the acronym stuck to its label due to its performance oriented nature. It spelled a future of how hot hatches would be branded in VW’s terminology. What you see here is an evolution of the cult that began in the seventies, the Volkswagen GTI. Despite this hatch’s visual similarity with the Polo, it is a whole different animal altogether.Once through with this review, you’ll know if trading Rs 26.80 lakh for this ‘sleeper’ Polo can give you the adrenaline rush you’ve always succumbed to. Book a test drive for Volkswagen Polo GTI in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

Check for Volkswagen Polo GTI  On Road Price in Ahmedabad

Volkswagen Polo GTI Design

Just like the standard Polo, the GTI benefits from an evolutionary restyling that’s very similar to the larger Golf. The small hatchback is now more athletic and employs modern styling cues, but at the same time, it retains a familiar appearance.The standard model’s more angular fascia was enhanced by means of a larger spoiler lip and intakes with honeycomb grilles on the GTI. The higher performance hatchback also gained foglamps as standard and the usual GTI badge and red stripe on the radiator grille. The optional LED headlamps feature brand-new red stripes that act as extensions of the grille trim. The front end is rounded off by C-shaped elements in the bumper that give the Polo a more aggressive look.

Onto the sides, the GTI didn’t change much compared to the standard model. Notable features include matte black sill extensions, and the new 17-inch alloy wheels finished with high-sheen and black details. For the first time ever, the Polo can be equipped with optional 18-inch rollers.Some changes are in store around back too, starting with the thick black frame of the tailgate. This, together with the two-piece black roof spoiler are inspired by the first-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI of the 1970s. Other features that set it apart from the standard model are the black diffuser-like element, the larger twin-exhaust pipe, and the standard LED taillights. Of course, the tailgate is adorned by a “GTI” badge.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Cabin

Open the long door and you are greeted by a familiar dashboard layout in an all-black colour theme. There is red stitching on the seats, gear lever, handbrake and steering wheel. The wheel itself is a new unit which looks sportier. You also get a new instrument cluster which looks classy and comes with all the dials neatly stacked. The centre console is similar to the regular Polo and comes with a touchscreen infotainment system. Above that, you get buttons for traction control and Park Distance Control. The audio system is easy and smooth to use and the sound quality from the 4 speakers + 2 tweeters is good too.

The sport seats offer very good comfort and support but they are manually adjustable. The driving position is bang on though. As expected from a VW, the quality of the materials is top notch. The front seats can be folded for passengers to go at the rear and there is average space for 2 passengers. The GTI misses out on features like a reverse camera and push button start though you do get a graphical parking assist. On the safety front you get features like 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, ASR, EDL, EDTC, electronic differential lock and wheel locks with anti-theft protection.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Gearbox

This is the exciting bit. Under the hood of the Polo GTI is a retuned version of the 1.8-litre TSI motor that powers the current Octavia. This iteration makes 192bhp between 5,400rpm and 6,200rpm; which is 12bhp more than the 180bhp that’s made in the Skoda Octavia. It goes without saying that it’s the engine that makes the GTI live up to its ‘hot hatch’ moniker. What’s nice about this motor is the manner in which it picks up pace in an extremely linear fashion in spite of turbo boost being in full swing.The feeling of speed is masked well and it’s only when you glance at the speedo that you realise how deceptively quick it is. Briskly racing off the mark when the throttle is slammed in Sport mode, the lightning-quick shifts are actuated by the seven-speed DSG ‘box at the 6600rpm redline. In case you want to be in total control of gear shifts, a manual mode with paddle shifters is also in the offing.

In this mode the DSG holds the gear all the way to the red line before shifting, and throttle responses are quick everywhere in the rev-range. This also reflects in the 0-100kmph run which is despatched in 6.57sec. However, if you’re not in the mood for some spirited driving (I couldn’t see that happening!), sticking to the ‘D’ mode makes sense with its less maniac responses. The reaction from the motor, in kickdown for 20-80kmph and 40-100kmph sprints that were clocked in 4.21sec and 4.77sec, is an indication of how overtaking can be swiftly accomplished.

We move on to the ride and handling characteristics. VW has taken the effort to raise the GTI’s suspension to offer more ground clearance for Indian road conditions. This makes it more useable and you really don’t have to worry about taking the car anywhere you want. Though the suspension is stiff, it isn’t as stiff as other hot hatches like the Mini Cooper, and is hence more forgiving on our roads. At slow speeds the slightly stiff ride results in road imperfections being felt and heard in the cabin, but it doesn’t get uncomfortable at all. As speeds increase, the bump absorption over broken surfaces and undulations is good, but as a result there is some up and down movement.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Driving

The Volkswagen GTI has a precise steering but I would have liked the feedback to be slightly better. It is very precise though. The car stays planted at high speeds on straights but on roads with some uneven surfaces, there is a tad loss in composure. The suspension is also stiffly set which makes sure you get better body control while the ride quality gets affected slightly. However, the ride isn’t bad at all and the GTI still feels comfortable. Braking power is sharp thanks to the all 4 discs while the grip from the 215/45/16 tyres is also very good.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Safety

Volkswagen Polo GTI features disc brakes at the front as well as rear, of which calipers are painted in a bright red paint scheme. It gets an array of high-end safety systems, such as ESC, ABS, ASR, EDL and EDTC. The company is offering 6 airbags as standard equipment in the hatch. There are 3-point seat belts at the front with height adjustment and pretensioner. The rear seats have height adjustable L-shaped head restraints and 3-point seat belts. In addition, a park distance control feature is also available, which provides the driver an acoustic warning signal for obstacles at the front and rear.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Cost in Chennai

Volkswagen Polo Gti On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 10,67,889 to 10,67,889 for variants Polo GTI STD and Polo GTI STD respectively. Volkswagen Polo Gti is available in 1 variants and 4 colours. Below are details of Volkswagen Polo Gti variants price in Chennai. Check for Polo GTI price in Chennai at Carzprice

Volkswagen Polo GTI Conclusion

The Volkswagen GTI doesn’t have any major negative except the price which is really high since the car is brought down via the CBU route. For someone who wants a practical enough hatchback for daily usage and something that can offer exciting performance, the GTI is a good buy. It also doesn’t look vastly different than a regular Polo and that’s why it won’t draw the kind of attention that probably a MINI Cooper S would. However, people considering the value for money factor should totally stay away from this car since they would possibly compare the GTI to its larger sedan siblings which come with the same engine and gearbox combo for a lesser cost even.

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