By Chris Haak
Volkswagen’s subcompact (B-segment) 2010 Polo made its worldwide debut at the 2009 Geneva auto show. The all-new Polo was engineered to ace the tough Euro NCAP crash tests with five stars and offers improved structural rigidity, but cuts the weight of the previous Polo by 7.5%. The weight reduction helps performance, handling, and fuel economy – and is a perfect example of intelligent engineering and shatters the notion that additional safety equipment and a stronger structure have to result in a heavier vehicle.
The Polo will be offered in Europe with a choice of seven different engines – three diesel and four gasoline – and will also achieve impressive fuel economy figures, particularly in the TDI models. The 1.6 liter, 90 PS TDI engine, when combined with the available BlueMotion package, gets an impressive 62 mpg in European testing. The 1.2 liter, 102 PS TSI (direct-injection, turbocharged four cylinder gasoline engine) gets about 43 miles per gallon. In addition to the lighter weight versus the previous model, the new Polo’s fuel economy and performance improvements can be attributed to a new seven-speed DSG.
The exterior of the Polo is updated with the new VW corporate face that resides on the Scirocco and Golf. The car overall looks pretty good – partucularly with large aluminum wheels – but not unlike just a smaller version of the Golf. The bottom of the doors have an interesting scallop on them, fender bulges, and nicely detailed headlamps. The interior has a clean design (if not a little to Germanic-looking with the black plastic and fabric nearly everywhere) and includes chrome accents around the gauges, center stack, and gearshift. The car also has more interior room than its smaller but heavier predecessor.
Sales in Europe begin at the end of June; pricing has not yet been announced. Although the press release below does not say so, it’s expected that the Polo may be sold in the US. If so, and if it’s priced right (something that VW seems to have trouble doing), it could prove a worthy competitor to the Honda Fit.
A photo gallery and the full press release from Volkswagen are available after the jump. Continue Reading →