Reading Time: 4 minutes
  • P11D Value (as tested): £18,455
  • BIK band 2018/19: 26% (without options)
  • B-segment runaround
  • 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbo petrol 80hp/93Nm
  • Performance: 15.4secs/106mph
  • Economy (On test) 42.2mpg
  • CO2: 110g/km


What is it?

THE Volkswagen Polo is a long term major players in the supermini sector. Now up to generation six would you believe.

The Beats version is a trendy special edition which has been available from launch charged with bringing down the average age of the average Polo buyer who are otherwise being attracted by other small car brands.

What VW has done is taken the standard SE-spec Polo and replaced the stereo with a Beats seven-speaker, 300W sound system, an eight-channel amplifier and a subwoofer hidden in the boot.

There is also a two-tone stripe running along the bonnet and roof, Beats logos throughout, funkier seat trim and rear tinted windows, while 16in diamond-turned alloys complete the look.

Standard kit includes the Composition Media System with an 8.0in touchscreen, auto headlights, electric windows all round and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Why would you want a VW Polo?

  • The Polo has always been a solid, really well-engineered small car package and that formula carries right over to generation six. There’s real integrity in the way it’s built and presented and the way it drives.
  • It’s small but roomy. VW has repackaged the Polo around a longer wheelbase, also making the car longer and wider, so cabin space takes a useful step up.
  • Despite lower overall height, VW is also claiming improved headroom versus the last Polo. Boot space likewise boosts from 280 litres to 351litres, a jump of 25%.
  • It’s super refined. VW’s 1.0-litre three cylinder TSI petrol engine is surely one of the best in the business, smooth, free-revving and blessed with excellent response. Power of 95 ps plus good mid-range torque gives it easy day-to-day flexibility.
  • Sharp, intuitive front-drive handling is another Polo stand out. Car feels well balanced and tracks accurately through corners with limited roll. Quiet and refined and speed, too.
  • Classy interior is functional yet high quality and features redesigned infotainment systems designed to be easier and safer for the driver to use via an enlarged touchscreen.
  • The new Polo is said to be the first car in its class to offer entirely digital instruments. VW’s optional Active Info display then takes it one step further, this high grade system now into its second generation with superior graphics and wider range of functions.
  • ‘Beats’ package adds a bright red dash centre panel and lower console, front sports seats and meaty 300 watt audio system. On the outside, 16-inch Torsby alloys front fog lights with cornering function, plus body stripe also put it on the visual map.
  • Safety assist systems as standard fit include Front Assist, City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring. ACC Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Monitoring are among the ‘big car’ safety systems now available on Polo.

polo beat 10tsi 044What might put you off a Polo?

  • Although the Polo body shape is all new, overall design is not much different to before.
  • VW has made the decision to go five-door only with this generation of Polo. If you want a more alluring, sportier three-door shape, then look elsewhere.
  • While the Polo comes with a sweet manual box with this 93Nm 1.0-litre engine choice, it’s still only a five-speed unit which might seem a bit ancient in this day and age.
  • It’s a set up that really struggles on the hills

Verdict on the new Polo 1.0 beats

Rationality and quality have long been Polo hallmarks and those all duly carry over to this latest model as VW also adds more space to make it, in effect, not far off the original Golf in terms of size and outlook.

It drives really well, too, with high level refinement and feels front-to-back, a quality product. The only issue we found was that in terms of power, any incline proved a challenge without a run up with plenty of revs.

Other Polo versions are cheaper, several others more expensive but we think this 1.0-litre, 95 ps petrol model strikes the right balance between price, spec, performance and eco numbers.

VW’s main focus has been to create more cabin and luggage space and there’s plenty of ‘big car’ safety tech and infotainment systems.

It is underpinned by VW’s latest MQB-AO small car platform to bring it bang up to date.

polo beat 10tsi 073What else should you know about the Polo Beats?

  • Our model came with pre-crash preventative occupant protection, Discover navigation/infotainment, front centre armrest, winter pack and climate control, all of which added around £2,000 to the £16,590 list price.
  • There are seven trim grades with the new Polo, with sporty GTI and GTI+ models still to come (this summer).
  • The new Polo has a range of petrol and diesel options and VW is predicting that petrol take up will go over 95%.
  • New LED headlights replace all Xenon headlights on the latest Polo
  • VW offers 14 exterior colours, seven different dashboard dashpad decors, two interior trim versions and eleven seat cover options with the new Polo.

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