Volkswagen Polo 2018 preview
The sixth generation of the well-established Volkswagen Polo supermini. More than ever it's taking on the role of 'junior Golf' with a raft of new safety and infotainment technology, a modern new look and even a considerable increase in size. It should arrive in Ireland this November and the range will expand further into 2018.
What will its rivals be?
In the B-segment hatchback class, only the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris outsell the Polo in Ireland, so they're the Volkswagen's biggest competitors. An updated version of the Yaris has just arrived in Ireland and a brand new Fiesta is imminent, so the Polo won't have the advantage of newness on its side. Beyond that, there are plenty other competent small hatches eager to knock the Polo off the podium, such as the new Kia Rio and Hyundai's i20, not to mention the other Volkswagen Group cars, such as the Audi A1, SEAT Ibiza and Skoda Fabia.
Any tech info?
Volkswagen has gone very large on new technology for the Polo this time around, though it remains to be seen how much of it is standard on the best-selling models. We do know that distinctive LED daytime running lights will be fitted to all Polos, while buyers will have the option to upgrade to full LED headlights and tail lamps, as well. Inside, the Polo debuts Volkswagen's updated Active Info Display, which replaces the traditional instruments with a sharp digital screen and various customisable views. Along with that is a range of incredibly modern looking glass-fronted touchscreen infotainment systems.
What will the range be like?
Petrol power is likely to dominate sales of the new Polo, though a 1.6-litre TDI diesel will be offered in two states of tune. A 1.0-litre petrol engine will be available in turbocharged and naturally aspirated guises too and it's expected to take the lion's share of sales. Near the top of the range will be a 150hp 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine, though that'll play second fiddle to the new Polo GTI, powered by a 200hp 2.0-litre petrol engine and confirmed for sale in the Irish market with a choice of manual and DSG automatic transmissions.
Initial photographs suggest that Volkswagen has gone upmarket with its new Polo, potentially stepping on the toes of cars from the premium marques - much as it does with the Golf. If it can do that while keeping the pricing competitive then we expect it to retain its position at the top of the sales chart in Ireland.