Volkswagen Polo GTI Review & First Drive

Volkswagen Polo GTI Overview

Volkswagen’s most iconic model after legendary Beetle, the Golf became a performance hatchback all the way back in 1976, only two years after the nameplate was introduced. A popular model since day one, the Golf GTI inspired Volkswagen to design a higher performance version of the smaller Polo too. Although the first Polo GTi didn’t arrive until 1995, the model can trace its roots back to the first-generation G40 version. Following a limited-edition introduction in the 1990s, the GTI has become a regular member of the Polo family, and 2017 brought the latest-generation hatch into the spotlight.

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Launched at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the latest Polo GTI is based on the latest, sixth-generation subcompact, also unveiled in 2017. Built on a new platform, it uses an updated design language based on the latest Golf and a redesigned interior that moves the new Polo into a higher class, closer to the premium market. More importantly, the new GTI gained a 2.0-liter engine instead of the old, 1.8-liter unit. On the flipside, if you were expecting a new Polo GTI with significantly more power, you’ll probably be a bit disappointed. But more about that in the review below. Volkswagen Polo GTI in Tryaldrive.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Design

We would have loved if the GTI stood out from the crowd but sadly it goes unnoticed on most occasions. You can only tell if it’s got different head lamp internals with DRLs along with the red streak that flows from the grille halfway into the lamps. The grille itself has a honeycomb design which flaunts the GTI badge in chrome, and the larger air dams feed more air into the engine bay.

When viewed in profile, the GTI shows off its 16-inch (15-inch on Polo) sporty twin-beam five spoke alloys with slimmer profile tyres. It also gets the two door setup which is the most apparent feature that sets it apart from the Polo. A raised stance, blacked-out lower sections of the rear bumper, twin exhausts, and a sharper integrated spoiler are the other differences that differentiates it with the Polo.

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

The new Volkswagen Polo is available with no fewer than eight engines, including gasoline, diesel, and natural gas, but none is as potent as the GTI. But unlike the previous Polo GTI, which used a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the new hatchback gets its juice from a slightly bigger, 2.0-liter four-banger.The unit is rated at 200 PS (197 horsepower), which is a minor, eight PS (eight horses) increase over the previous generation. Not much of an upgrade at first glance, but the new Polo GTI is not only lighter, but also benefits from improved dynamics and a brand-new suspension. Torque is actually identical at 320 Nm (240 pound-feet).

As far as performance goes, the new GTI is just as quick as the previous model. Specifically, hitting 62 mph from a standing start takes 6.7 seconds. Top speed increased from 235 to 237 km/h (146 to 147 mph), but there’s a big change you won’t feel the difference.There are changes in the transmission department too. While the outgoing model had a seven-speed DSG, the new GTI uses a six-speed DGS. A six-speed manual is also in the cards in 2018. For Volkswagen Polo GTI  visit pasear-w.com

The standard suspension system is obviously sportier than the regular Polo, but the optional Sport Select configuration adds active dampers and a sportier setup. With this suspension, the driver can vary the characteristics of the active dampers using the four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. Each enables the driver to make individual adjustments that have direct effects on vehicle handling. Along with its effects on the Sport Select suspension, the profile that is selected also modifies the steering, engine characteristic, and gearbox control.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Driving

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.

The GTI gets a quick and accurate steering that makes the car eager to change directions. It rolls a bit too. However, if you enter a corner too fast, it tends to understeer but the trick here is to stay on the power and the traction from the trick differential, which gets power to the correct wheels, allows the car to stick to the intended line. It doesn’t feel artificial either. Now, in hot hatches, you’d expect some adjustability in terms of chassis, but the GTI feels too planted especially the rear, and the chassis doesn’t feel as playful as say a Mini Cooper does. Meanwhile, the brakes offer superb feel and good feedback with hardly any brake fade under intense braking situations.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Safety

Just like the regular Polo, the Polo GTI can be equipped with a wide range of safety and assistance systems. First on the list is Blind Spot Monitor, which alerts the driver to vehicle located in the blind spots alongside the car and to vehicles approaching from the rear. This system also adds Rear Traffic Alert, which makes reversing out of parking spaces easier and safer. Next up is Driver Alert System, a technology that detects waning concentration of the driver and emits an audible warning for five seconds, along with displaying a message on the instrument cluster. The warning recommends a break from driving and is repeated if the car isn’t stopped within the next 15 minutes.

The Polo also comes with Automatic Post-Collision Braking, which is a standard feature. This system can help avoid secondary collisions after an initial crash by braking before the driver can react. Adaptive Cruise Control and Front Assist, two already familiar systems in modern cars, are also offered. Another feature is City Emergency Braking, which comes in handy in heavy and slow traffic. It operates at speeds below 30 km/h (19 mph) and applies the breaks in an impending collision with a vehicle ahead that is moving or stationary.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Cost in Gurgaon

Volkswagen Polo Gti On-Road Price in Gurgaon ranges from 10,30,214 to 10,30,214 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 Gurgaon. check for Polo GTI price in Gurgaon 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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