Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo is a car produced by the German manufacturer Volkswagen since 1975. It is sold in Europe and other markets worldwide in hatchback, sedan and estate variants. The Polo has been produced in six generations. Related Volkswagen Group models include the Škoda Fabia, SEAT Ibiza and Audi A1.

Volkswagen Polo
2018 Volkswagen Polo SE TSi 1.0 Front.jpg
Body and chassis
ClassSupermini (B)
LayoutFF layout
PlatformVolkswagen Group A0 platform
RelatedAudi A1
SEAT Ibiza
Skoda Fabia

The Volkswagen Polo won the 2010 World Car of the Year.


As of 2018, there have been six separate generations of the Polo, usually identified by a "Series" or "Mark" number.[1]

Some generations were facelifted midway through production, with the updated versions known unofficially by an addition of the letter F to the mark number, e.g. Mk2F. Some members of the automotive press and some enthusiasts consider the facelifts to be separate models and have therefore used the unofficial designations Polo Mk1 to Mk7 for previous generations.[2] Each Polo model is also identified by a two or three character Volkswagen Group Typ number. Official VW Polo history describes Mark I to Mark IV using either Roman numerals[1] or Arabic numerals, with facelifted variants known as "Phase II" models.[3]

The body style has been varied through the life of the car, originally as a hatchback which derived from the Audi 50.[2] A sedan version was marketed as the Volkswagen Derby.

Volkswagen vehicles built off different platforms have carried the Polo nameplate. For example, the Volkswagen Polo Playa hatchback sold in Southern Africa in the late 1990s was a rebadged SEAT Ibiza which has a different body shell from the Polo Mk3 sold in Europe at the same time. The current saloon is only available in China, Latin America and South Africa and other Southern Africa countries.

Starting in 1982, Volkswagen sold the Polo in Japan initially through an agreement with Japanese dealership Yanase that specializes in European and North American vehicles. Of all Volkswagens imported into Japan, only the Polo and the Golf, until 1997, complied with Japanese Government dimension regulations until the introduction of the VW Up! in 2012.

Performance versions and motorsportEdit

Volkswagen helped consolidate the pre-eminence of the so-called hot hatch genre of high-performance hatchbacks with their Golf GTI in 1975, and has produced a number of performance versions of the Polo. The first of these was the Polo GT version of the Polo Mk1F.

The Polo Mk2 and Mk2F were available as supercharged G40 models. The GT G40 with its 1.3-litre 85 kW (114 hp) could reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.1 seconds from standstill and had a maximum speed of 196 km/h (122 mph). It was used by Volkswagen to set a number of world endurance speed records, such as the 1.3-litre class records for speed over 24 hours and speed over a distance of 5,000 km (3,100 mi).

The fastest version of the Polo Mk3 on the United Kingdom market was the 1.6-litre 16-valve 92 kW (123 hp) model. A 88 kW (118 hp) Polo GTI model was also produced, but only in a limited edition in Germany, and this was the first time the GTI label had been used for a Polo. A GTI version of the Polo Mk3F, with a 92 kW (123 hp) 1.6-litre petrol engine was also produced.

In 2004 Volkswagen Individual, a specialist division of Volkswagen, produced a limited number of (Polo Mk4) Club Sports with a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine producing 132 kW (177 hp). Available only in Germany, this was based on the one make racing series Polo Cup Racer hatchback. The Club Sport came with a roll cage inside the vehicle and Recaro racing seats as standard.

A GTI version of the Polo Mk4F was launched in 2006. This features styling similar to that of the contemporary Golf GTI and a turbocharged 20-valve 110 kW (150 hp) 1.8-litre petrol engine. It has a 0–100 km/h time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 216 km/h (134 mph).

Volkswagen Individual have also engineered an even faster Polo called the Polo GTI Cup Edition. Available with the same 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, albeit with 130 kW (180 hp), its claimed 0–100 km/h is 7.5 seconds and it has a claimed top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph).

Volkswagen Racing in South Africa rallied a four wheel drive Polo Mk4F which shared some components with its sister World Rally Championship (WRC) Škoda Fabia; the S2000 has a 2.0-Litre 191 kW (256 hp) engine.

Mk4 Polos have been entered into the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC).

The Polo also competed in the Russian Touring Car Championship.

There have been a number of one make race series for the Polo, starting with the G40 Cup for Polo Mk2 and Mk2F G40 versions. The current Polo Cup championship for 78 kW (105 hp) cars is a support race at rounds of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters.

Sébastien Ogier won the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 driving a Volkswagen Polo R WRC.

Related modelsEdit

The first Polo was effectively a rebadged version of the Audi 50 hatchback launched in August 1974.[2] The Audi 50 was discontinued in 1978 as Audi concentrated on larger luxury models. The Mk1 and Mk2 versions of the Polo were then standalone models in the Volkswagen range.

With the expansion of the Volkswagen Group: Audi (in the 1960s), SEAT (in the 1980s) and Škoda (in the 1990s) were acquired, and the platform used for the Polo was shared with other models.

The Polo shared its platform with the SEAT Ibiza Mk2. The Ibiza was actually launched before the Polo Mk3 and shared essentially all its mechanicals, the dashboard and other interior components, although there were no body panels shared between the two cars. The saloon and estate versions of the Polo Mk3 were actually rebadged SEAT Córdoba models and had no body panels in common with the Polo hatchback. The SEAT Inca and Volkswagen Caddy vans were also based on this model. The Volkswagen Lupo and SEAT Arosa were also based on a shortened version of the Polo Mk3 platform.

The Polo Mk4 continued this trend of platform sharing, with the SEAT Ibiza Mk3 and Škoda Fabia Mk1 and Mk2 both being developed on the same platform and featuring several of the same engines.

The 2009 Polo Mk5 is developed on the latest platform, known as the PQ25, the same platform used in the SEAT Ibiza Mk4 that was launched in 2008 and the Audi A1.

Body stylesEdit

Mark II Polo "Wagon" shape

The first Polos were hatchbacks, with the sedan being marketed as the Volkswagen Derby.

With the release of the Polo Mk2, the sedan was renamed the Volkswagen Polo Classic and the "conventional"-styled hatchback (with a sloping tailgate) was renamed as a coupé, the Volkswagen Polo Coupé. Unusually, the third (and new) body that was actually marketed as the Volkswagen Polo Hatchback was closer in concept to a small estate, albeit with exactly the same wheelbase and floor pan as the coupé instead of the (longer) sedan. This latter version, also known as the squareback (in the original German brochures, "steilheck", literally "steep tail") amongst other nicknames was the most popular in virtually every country where the Polo was sold. Despite the differences in silhouette and target market segment, all body types were 2- or 3-door only.

From the Polo Mk3 onwards, the range was more straightforwardly conventional, including unambiguous "sedan", "hatchback" and "estate" models, with only the hatchback offering both 5-door and slightly shorter 3-door models (both still with quite vertical tailgates, the "coupé" variation having been retired), the others being 4/5-door only and increasing in length from hatch to saloon to estate.


  • 3-door hatchback (Mk1 to Mk5) – the Mk2 and Mk2F were available in two separate 3-door hatchback styles, one of which was badged as a coupé
  • 2-door saloon (Mk1, Mk1F, Mk2, Mk2F)
  • 4-door saloon (Mk3, Mk3F, Mk4, Mk4F, Mk5, Mk6)
  • 5-door hatchback (Mk3, Mk3F, Mk4, Mk4F, Mk5, Mk6)
  • 5-door estate (Mk3, Mk3F)
  • 5-door crossover SUV-style (2WD) hatchback (Mk4, Mk4F, Mk5)

Mechanical layoutEdit

The Polo is a compact car, with a traditional transversely mounted engine and front wheel drive. Mk1 Polos only came with four cylinder petrol engines, but for the Mk2, a diesel engine was offered for the first time, although only in certain markets, others having to wait until the launch of the Mk3. The current range includes a variety of three and four cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

Early versions used a four-speed manual transmission, whilst the current car is available with either six speed manual or five speed automatic transmission. The suspension system on all models uses a fully independent MacPherson strut front suspension, and a Twist-beam rear suspension. Most models use disc brakes at the front and rear drum brakes, although some recent models have all round disc brakes.

First generation (Typ 86; 1975) Edit

Volkswagen Polo Mk1 (86)
Also calledVolkswagen Derby
Body and chassis
Body style3-door hatchback
2-door saloon (Derby)
PlatformVolkswagen Group A01 platform
RelatedAudi 50
Volkswagen Derby

The first-generation Polo, a rebadged version of the Audi 50, was introduced in 1975 and was produced until October 1981.[1][4] By 1979, 500,000 Polos were produced worldwide.[1] It shared the internal designation Typ 86 with the Audi 50.

The differences between the Audi and Volkswagen models were minor, with the Polo being cheaper and much more basic. The two cars were initially sold alongside each other, but the Audi 50 never sold as well, and was withdrawn in 1978. The Polo was manufactured at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg.

In 1977, the Derby saloon was released, which was simply a Polo, identical to the hatchback from the C-pillar forward, with a large boot attached.

The Polo Mk1 was available with the following engines:

  • 895 cc, straight 4 petrol (hatchback only)
  • 1,093 cc straight 4 petrol, 37 kW (50 hp)
  • 1,272 cc, straight 4 petrol, (Polo GT, Derby sedan models, Audi 50 only)

Different levels of compression were used on each size to achieve different power outputs, and the variations are numerous, often differing depending on the country of sale, ranging from 26 to 44 kW (35 to 59 hp).

Facelift (1979–1981)Edit

1979 Volkswagen Polo Mk1 facelift

The Polo Mk1 and Derby were facelifted in 1979, first presented at the 1979 Amsterdam Motor Show.[5] Sometimes referred to as the Polo Mk1F, the facelifted model featured plastic bumpers, a different front grille and a revised dashboard. The round headlights of the Derby were replaced with square ones, bringing it in line with the similar (but larger) Golf-based Jetta sedan.

Second generation (Typ 86C; 1981–1994) Edit

Volkswagen Polo Mk2 (86C)
Also calledVolkswagen Derby
Body and chassis
Body style3-door hatchback
3-door estate
2-door saloon (Derby)
PlatformVolkswagen Group A02 platform

The Polo Mk2 (or Typ 86C) was introduced in October 1981,[1][6] with the major change being the introduction of a third body style with a steep (almost vertical) rear window, in addition to a version resembling the original Mk1 shape with a diagonal rear window. These two body styles were called the Wagon (in some markets) and Coupé respectively, although in fact both were three-door hatchbacks, and in some markets the Wagon designation was not used, with that car being simply called the "Volkswagen Polo" without a suffix. The sedan version was now called the Polo Classic, and the Derby name became extinct. Production was expanded to Spain in the mid-1980s following Volkswagen's takeover of SEAT. By 1983, the one millionth Polo was produced. The second million were produced by 1986.[1]

The Polo competed in the supermini sector with its new rivals like Austin Metro and Ford Fiesta and it was one of the largest superminis in production at this time, meaning that it was close to larger cars including the Ford Escort in terms of size, space and price. Within two years of its launch, however, it was faced with competition from a wave of new rivals, particularly the Fiat Uno and Peugeot 205.

Volkswagen Polo 1.05 (The Netherlands)

The Polo Mk2 was used extensively by Volkswagen to develop future innovations, for example supercharging with a 40 mm G-Lader supercharger in the GT G40 version. A 60 mm G-Lader would later be used on the larger and more technically challenging G60 engine used in the Golf and Corrado.

A fuel efficient two-cylinder diesel was prototyped in the mid 1980s with a G40 supercharger to overcome its small capacity, although this did not make it to production. A high fuel efficiency model which did make production was the petrol-engined Formel E (E for Economy), introduced at the launch in 1981 with a 1.1-litre engine and from 1983 with a 1.3-litre engine, overdrive top-gear ratio and an early stop-start ignition system (called "SSA") which would cut the engine when idle for more than two seconds to save fuel whilst temporarily stopped in traffic, and restart the engine on moving the gear lever to the left in neutral.

Similar systems were later used on the Volkswagen Golf Mk3 and various systems from other car manufacturers.

It was a popular import in the UK, competing with the likes of the Peugeot 205, Fiat Uno and Nissan Micra. Its reliability and build quality were among the best to be found on a small car of this era, and in the years since then it went on to achieve a higher survival rate than many of its competitors.

The Polo Mk2 was available with the following engines:

  • 1,093 cc straight-4 petrol (1981–1983)
  • 1,272 cc straight-4 petrol (1981–)
  • 1,043 cc straight-4 petrol (1983–)
  • 1,272 cc straight-4 petrol with a Pierburg 2E3 carburettor producing 41 kW (55 hp) (1983–1990). Coupe S in UK, GT elsewhere in Europe
  • 1.272 cc straight-4 petrol with multi-point fuel injection producing 55 kW (74 hp) (1991–). GT version only.[7]
  • 1,272 cc straight-4 supercharged petrol with 83 kW (111 hp). ( G40 version 1987 only)
  • 1.3 L straight-4 diesel (1986–)
  • 1.4 L straight-4 diesel (1990–)

However, some engines were only available on certain markets. For example, the British market never received any diesel-engined versions of the Polo, even though the diesel engine was already available on many similar cars by the end of the 1980s, namely the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Nova and Peugeot 205.

Facelift (1990–1994)Edit

1990 Volkswagen Polo Mk2 facelift
1990 Volkswagen Polo Mk2 facelift rear

The Mark II Facelift (referred to as the Mark IIF, also erroneously known as the "Mark 3") was a far-reaching facelift of the MkII, including a re-skin of the bodywork, launched in the autumn of 1990. The new look saw square headlights, enlarged and reshaped tail-lights, bigger bumpers and a new interior (dashboard and door trim).[8] The three different body styles were maintained. As well as the cosmetic differences, under the skin the car received modifications to the chassis, suspension and brakes. The new Polo retained the previous four-cylinder engines but now as well as the carburettor 1.0 L, a fuel injection model was available with single-point injection, and all engines came with a catalytic converter as standard to combat tightening European emissions regulations. The saloon was only produced in Spain, and production ceased in 1992 due to disappointing sales.

At the time of launch of the Mark IIF Polo, the highest performance model was the Polo GT. This featured a multi-point fuel-injected version of the 1272 cc engine, and a top speed of more than 100 mph. This produced 75 PS (55 kW) and had a quoted top speed of 172 km/h (107 mph). 0–60 figures stood at 11.1 seconds. Defining features of the GT include red piping in the bumpers, black overhead cloth, a rev counter and a red "GT" badge in the grille. This was succeeded by the launch of the G40 in May 1991, displacing the GT as the most powerful Polo at the time, with a top speed of around 120 mph – rivalling the likes of the Ford Fiesta XR2i, Peugeot 205 GTI and Renault Clio 16v. The GT squareback was discontinued in 1992 due to poor sales in comparison with the coupé version.[citation needed]

Soon after the launch of the Mark IIF, another sporting model was added to the range — a new version of the supercharged G40, now as a full production model in all markets rather than the limited batch of Mark II G40s. As with the previous model, Volkswagen Motorsport modified G40 Cup cars were sold for racing in a one-make series, the Volkswagen Polo G40 Cup. Features that define the G40 from other Polo models at the time (on top of the GT) include a bee-sting aerial, BBS cross-spoke alloy wheels, Le Mans interior trim and front and rear red "G40" badges.

Third generation (Typ 6N/6KV; 1994)Edit

Volkswagen Polo Mk3 (6N/6KV)
Also calledPolo Classic (Sedan)
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
3-door hatchback
4-door saloon
5-door estate
PlatformVolkswagen Group A03 platform
RelatedSEAT Ibiza Mk2
SEAT Cordoba Mk1
Volkswagen Caddy Mk2

The Mark III Polo or Typ 6N, (sometimes referred to as the "Mark 4" by enthusiasts as it is the Polo's fourth guise) appeared in 1994,[1][9] and was a completely new model (on a new chassis), available as three- and five-door hatchback versions, the latter making VW the last major European manufacturer to finally offer rear side doors in this class. It shared its platform with the SEAT Ibiza Mark 2. This platform actually used the floorpan of the Volkswagen Golf Mk3 (a multitude of mechanical parts and all of the suspension components were interchangeable among the three models). Although the dashboard and a number of mechanical components, including engines, were shared with the Ibiza, outwardly the two cars were different, with no shared body panels.

1997 Volkswagen Polo 5-door hatchback (Australia; pre-facelift) rear

An all-new 1.0 petrol engine was added to the range from launch, while the 1.3 petrol engine from the MK2 was briefly carried over. Also new to the range were 1.4 (8-valve or 16-valve) and 1.6 petrol engines as well as a 1.9 diesel (with or without a turbocharger).

The saloon and estate versions of the Mark III, which debuted in 1995, were essentially rebadged version of the SEAT Córdoba, which were launched early in 1994. They were referred to internally by Volkswagen as the Typ 6KV, and shared body panels with the SEAT model rather than the Polo hatchback models, with some cosmetic alterations such as new rear and front bumpers and headlights. The Volkswagen Caddy 9K van also shares the same platform and front-end styling as the 6KV models.

The later Volkswagen Lupo and SEAT Arosa city cars were based on a shortened version of the Typ 6N platform, and shared many components.

The car was available with the following engines:

  • 1,043 cc straight-4 petrol 33 kW (45 PS) (1995–96)
  • 1,272 cc straight-4 petrol 40 kW (55 PS) (1995–96)
  • 1.6 L straight-4 petrol 55 kW (75 PS) (Engine Code – AEE)
  • 1.4 L straight-4 16-valve petrol 74 kW (100 PS) (Engine Code – AFH) stock but tuned 1.4 16v 75 Ps version
  • 1.4 L straight-4 16-valve petrol 55 kW (75 PS)
  • 1.4 L straight-4 petrol 60 PS (44 kW) (Engine Code AUD)(1996–)
  • 999 cc straight-4 petrol 50 PS (37 kW) — all-new aluminium block multi-point injection (1996–)
  • 1.6 L straight-4 16-valve petrol 88 kW (120 PS) (LHD European GTI model only)
  • 1.6 L straight-4 petrol 74 kW (100 PS) (6K saloon and estate models only)
  • 1.6 L straight-4 petrol 55 kW (75 PS) (6K saloon and estate models only)
  • 1.9 L straight-4 diesel 47 kW (64 PS)

Facelift (Typ 6N2; 1999–2003) Edit

Volkswagen Polo Mk3 facelift
Volkswagen Polo Mk3 facelift rear

The facelifted Mark III Phase II[3] (or Typ 6N2; sometimes referred to as the Mark IIIF or "Mark 5" by enthusiasts) was released in 1999.[1][10] The hatchback models featured updated styling including new headlights and bumpers and an all new interior based on that of the Lupo. Although the car was similar in appearance to the Mark III, Volkswagen claimed that 70% of the components were new. The bodyshell was fully galvanised and stiffened but not fully redesigned, although some panels were changed. Twin airbags were made standard. The saloon and estate versions received the new interior, but not the full exterior facelift. Also, the 3 cylinder 1.4 TDI engine was introduced for the 3 and 5 door hatchbacks.

Volkswagen also introduced a GTI version of this facelift, this time also available outside of Germany. The GTI is equipped with a further developed 1.6l 16v engine from the 6N with 92 kW (125 hp), this time with VVT (Variable Valve Timing) which activates from 5,000 revs, making the engine sound more exuberant. The GTI is recognizable by original Xenon lighting with headlight washers (the only one in the 6N2 range), honeycomb grills, 10mm factory lowered suspension, a thicker front lip and original 15" BBS rims with 195mm wide tires.

The Mark IIIF Polo Classic is still sold in Argentina.

Both versions of the Mark III Polo were strong sellers in the United Kingdom and strong competitor for the likes of the Fiat Punto and Nissan Micra. At the time of its launch, it was arguably the best small car on sale in Europe in terms of build quality and "upmarket" feel, although its ride and handling was generally not considered to be as good as that of the Ford Fiesta or Peugeot 206. The 1.4 TDI was considered the best in the range due to its reliability, fuel consumption, and relative power, for a small engine.


Polo Playa (1996–2003)Edit

The Volkswagen Polo Playa was a model for the South African market. It was sold instead of the European Polo Mark III from 1996 until 2002, and was effectively a rebadged SEAT Ibiza Mark II. In 2002, the Mark IV Polo was adopted in South Africa, and the separate Polo Playa model was dropped.

Fourth generation (Typ 6Q/9N/9N3; 2002) Edit

Volkswagen Polo Mk4 (9N)
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
3-door hatchback
4-door saloon
PlatformVolkswagen Group A04 (PQ24) platform
RelatedSEAT Ibiza Mk3
SEAT Cordoba Mk2
Škoda Fabia Mk1
Škoda Fabia Mk2
Volkswagen Fox
Volkswagen Polo SE 5-door hatchback (Australia; pre-facelift)

Unveiled in September 2001, the all-new Mark IV (or Typ 9N, sometimes erroneously referred to as the "Mark 4") model was put on sale in early 2002.[1] It shares its platform with the SEAT Ibiza Mk3, Škoda Fabia Mk1 and Škoda Fabia Mk2. The car is all new compared to the Mark III/F, and bears structural resemblance to Golf MK4 (1J). The rear taillights resemble that of the B5.5 Passat. Outwardly the most recognisable change is the use of quad round headlights similar to the Lupo's.

Volkswagen Racing rallied a Polo S1600 in the 2003 Junior World Rally Championships, winning the Turkish round. The Super 1600 developed 165 kW (221 hp)/215 to its front wheels. This version of the Polo was a mixed success in the United Kingdom. It sold reasonably well (though not as well as some earlier Polos) but several customer satisfaction surveys by high-profile motoring magazines such as Top Gear gave the Polo a very low rating.

Top Gear's 2005 survey rated the Polo as the third least satisfying supermini to own, with only the Fiat Punto and Rover 25 receiving a worse rating. It fell behind most of its crucial rivals, namely the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Citroën C3 and Peugeot 206.

Volkswagen Polo 9N Sedan

A saloon version, called Polo Classic, was produced in Brazil, South Africa and China, and exported to the rest of Latin America and to Australia.

The Polo Classic for the Australian market is sourced from China, making it the first Chinese built car to be exported to a right hand drive country.[11]

The car was available with the following engines:

  • 1.2 L straight-3 6-valve petrol, 55 PS 40 kW (54 hp)
  • 1.2 L straight-3 12-valve petrol, 65 PS 47 kW (63 hp)
  • 1.4 L straight-4 16-valve petrol, 75 PS 59 kW (79 hp)
  • 1.4 L straight-4 16-valve petrol Fuel Stratified Injection, 86 PS 62 kW (83 hp) (FSI-badged model)
  • 1.4 L straight-4 16-valve petrol, 100 PS 74 kW (99 hp) (16V-badged model).
  • 1.4 L straight-3 TDI, 75 PS 55 kW (74 hp).
  • 1.9 L straight-4 SDI, 64 PS 47 kW (63 hp)
  • 1.9 L straight-4 TDI PD, 100 PS 74 kW (99 hp)
  • 1.9 L straight-4 TDI PD, 130 PS 96 kW (129 hp) (GT model only).
  • 1.6 L straight-4, 8-valve petrol, 74 kW (101 PS), cast-iron block, very short manual gearbox (Brazilian / South African market)
  • 2.0 L straight-4, 8-valve petrol, 85 kW (115 PS), cast-iron block, very short manual gearbox (Brazilian / South African market)

Polo Fun / Polo Dune / Polo SohoEdit

Volkswagen Polo Fun

There was also a crossover SUV version of the Polo, similar to the Rover Streetwise, with "off-road" styling, named Polo Fun (Polo Dune in the UK, Polo Soho in Spain), but despite its appearance the car was never available with 4motion four-wheel drive.

Facelift (Typ 9N3; 2005–2009 to 2014 in Brazil) Edit

Volkswagen Polo Mk4 facelift

In 2005, the Mark IV was facelifted with new Volkswagen Passat-style one piece headlights and tail lights, and a different hatch. This facelifted model is officially known as the Mark IV Phase II[3] or Typ 9N3, and sometimes erroneously to as the Mark IVF or "Mark 7". Designed by Walter de'Silva, in the UK, the Mark IVF is available in seven different trim levels, ranging from the basic Polo E model to the Polo GTI.


The engine range is as for the Mark IV, with the addition of the following engines:

  • 1,598 cc, straight-4, 16-valve petrol, 77 kW (105 PS; 103 hp)
  • 1,598 cc, straight-4, 8-valve flexfuel, 101 PS (petrol) / 103 PS (ethanol), cast-iron block, very short manual gearbox (Brazilian market)
  • 1,781 cc, turbocharged straight-4, 20V petrol, 150 PS 110 kW; 148 hp (150 PS) (Polo GTI models only) – special GTI Cup Edition with 132 kW; 178 hp (180 PS)
  • 1,422 cc, straight-3, 65 and 80 PS (51 and 59 kW) TDI
  • 1,896 cc, straight-4, 100 and 130 PS (74 and 96 kW) TDI
  • 1,984 cc, straight-4, 8-valve petrol, 116 PS (85 kW) (South African and Brazilian market)(very short manual gearbox in Brazilian market)

Polo VivoEdit

Volkswagen Polo Vivo

On 11 March 2010, Volkswagen South Africa announced that the Volkswagen Citi Golf is being replaced by a version of the Mk 4 Polo, the Polo Vivo. It is available with a choice of two 1.4 litre engines (55 kW & 63 kW)[12] and a 1.6 litre engine (77 kW).[13] The Polo Vivo is sold in both 3-door and 5-door versions and as a saloon.

In comparison to the Polo Mk4, the Polo Vivo has a restyled front bumper and grille, deleted scuff strips on the bumpers and sides of the car, and side indicators relocated from the wing mirrors back to the front fenders. This restyling gives the Polo Vivo some of the elements of the design language used in other contemporary VW models. It is manufactured at VW's Uitenhage plant in South Africa, which sources 70%[14] of the Vivo parts locally. This model was discontinued in 2018 and this marked the first generation, replaced by a new model based on the Mark 5 Polo.


Volkswagen CrossPolo (Sold as the Volkswagen Polo Dune in the UK)

A mini SUV-styled (but still two-wheel-drive) CrossPolo version of the Mark IVF was also produced as a successor to the Polo Fun.

Polo BlueMotionEdit

In 2006,[15] Volkswagen premiered its BlueMotion range with the emphasis of lower emissions and high fuel economy. Volkswagen's first car under the BlueMotion range is a modified 1.4 litre VW Polo TDI with longer gear ratios, aerodynamic changes and lightweight alloys with low rolling resistant tyres. The end result is a car capable of producing less than 100g/km of CO2 with a stated fuel economy of 74.3 mpg (3.8 l/100 km) on a combined cycle. Volkswagen plans to use the platform set by the Polo on expanding their BlueMotion ranges which include the Volkswagen Golf and the Volkswagen Passat.

Fifth generation (Typ 6R/6C/61; 2009) Edit

Volkswagen Polo Mk5 (6R)
Volkswagen Polo pre-facelift (United Kingdom)
Also calledVolkswagen Vento (LWB sedan)
Volkswagen Ameo (SWB sedan)
Body and chassis
Body style3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
4-door sedan[16]
PlatformVolkswagen Group A05 (PQ25) platform
RelatedAudi A1
SEAT Ibiza
Skoda Fabia
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 Trendline (United Kingdom)

Volkswagen launched the fifth generation Polo (internal designation Typ 6R) at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009. For the first time in Polo's history, the car was declared European Car of the Year, for 2010.[17] The Polo was also declared 2010 World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show in April 2010.[18] It also won What Car? Supermini of the Year 2010, as well as being awarded Japan Import Car of the Year for 2010–2011.[19]

It shares its platform with the 2008 SEAT Ibiza Mk4, and the Audi A1. Production for the United Kingdom market started in August 2009, with first deliveries beginning in October 2009.[20] Official images released show the new Polo follows styling cues from the Golf VI.[21] The Polo Mark V is 44 mm longer and 32 mm wider and sits 13 mm lower to the road than the previous generation Polo. Boot capacity is increased by 10 litres to 280 litres of storage space with 952 litres with the seats folded down. The car is 7.5% lighter than its predecessor. The Polo has thorax airbags and has been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP crash impact rating.[22]

The Polo Mk5 is available with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines:

  • 1.0L MPi straight-3, 44 kW (60 PS) and 55 kW (75 PS)
  • 1.0L TSi turbocharged straight-3, 90 PS and 110 PS
  • 1.2L MPi straight-3 12-valve petrol, 51 kW (70 PS) and 55 kW (75 PS)
  • 1.2L TSi turbocharged straight-4 16-valve petrol, 66 kW (90 PS) and 77 kW (105 PS)
  • 1.4L MPi straight-4 16-valve petrol, 63 kW (85 PS)
  • 1.4L TSi turbocharged straight-4 16-valve petrol, 100 kW (140 PS)
  • 1.4L TSi twincharger straight-4 16-valve petrol, 130 kW (180 PS)
  • 1.6L MPi straight-4 16-valve petrol, 77 kW (105 PS)
  • 1.2L TDi turbocharged straight-3 12-valve diesel, 55 kW (75 PS)
  • 1.5L TDi turbocharged straight-4 16-valve diesel, 66kW(90PS) / 81kW ( 110PS - GT TDI) - India only
  • 1.6L TDi turbocharged straight-4 16-valve diesel, 66 kW (90 PS) and 77 kW (105 PS)

Facelift (Typ 6C; 2014–2017) Edit

2014 facelift
2014 facelift

The Polo 6R was facelifted in 2014[23] and is now known as the Polo 6C. With this came subtle exterior styling such as redesigned bumpers. The interior was re-vamped which now includes a touch screen as standard and a new steering wheel. The facelift Polo adds technology such as Automatic Post-Collision Braking System as standard across all model lines. It also has CarPlay and Android Auto support since June 2015.

A new 1.4-litre three cylinder diesel engine replaced the 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre diesel units, plus 1.4 TSI 132 kW of GTI was replaced by an Audi developed 1.8 TSI, produces 141 kW Since 2018 the company replaced the 1.2 litre engine with the 1.0 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine in India which has 76PS and 95 NM of torque.

In September 2019, the Mk5 Polo received another facelift in India.[24] The facelifted Polo for the Indian market received a new front grille and bumpers taken from the Mk5 Polo GTI.[25]

Cross PoloEdit

Volkswagen CrossPolo
Volkswagen CrossPolo

In June 2010, Volkswagen presented the 2011 edition of the CrossPolo, the fourth member of the small car's family. The 2011 edition is available in petrol and three diesel engines, all Euro 5 compliant.[26]

Volkswagen, the German automaker, is working on a small SUV for developing nations including India and Brazil, which could be based on either the MQB platform or PQ25 platform, expected to be launched in 2016.[27]

Polo R WRCEdit

In 2013, Volkswagen entered the World Rally Championship with a new rally car based on Polo. For homologation purposes, 2,500 Polo R WRC street cars were produced between September 2013 and March 2014. The street version features a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine producing 220 PS, and is mated exclusively to 6-speed manual gearbox.

Volkswagen Polo Sedan (Volkswagen Vento)Edit

Volkswagen Vento

A sedan version of the Polo Mark V was launched in India and Russia in 2010 as the Volkswagen Vento and Polo Sedan.[28][29] It has a length of 4,384 mm, increased wheelbase (2,552 mm) and ground clearance (168–170 mm), and had one petrol (1.6 litre, 4-cylinder, 105 PS; coupled with either 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox) and one diesel engine (1.6 litre, turbocharged 4-cylinder common rail, 105 PS; only 5-speed manual gearbox) options available. More recently, in November 2013, the 1.6 litre petrol and 6-speed automatic option was dropped in favour of the new 1.2 litre, turbocharged 4-cylinder TSI motor mated to a 7-speed DSG dual clutch automatic. This combination offers superior performance and fuel efficiency compared to the old automatic offering. As of May 2011, Polo Sedan (Russia) Volkswagen Vento 2014 Active Trim Level, is sold in Mexico and manufactured by Volkswagen India.

The Volkswagen Vento was introduced in the Mexican Market like a 2014 model manufactured by Volkswagen India.

Volkswagen offers a choice of two engine options; a 1.6 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox and a 1.6 litre diesel engine (TDI) mated only to a five-speed manual gearbox.

The entry version is called Style and is available with 5-speed manual transmission or 6-speed Tiptronic automatic. Series equipment will feature alarm with remote trunk opening, seatbelts, 3 point both front and back, single front headlamps, three read dome lights, center rear brake light, driver and passenger airbags, ABS brakes, air conditioning, power door locks, 4-electric windows only front windows driver side control, armrest, four speakers and aluminum wheels 15" matched to 185/60R15 tyres, front disc brakes and rear drum brake, automatic version adds trip computer.

The second version is called Active. Regarding style, it adds Bluetooth telephone connection, a CD stereo with iPod compatible USB port, SD card and handsfree.

The top of the line, for now, is limited to the Highline version, with respect to Active, added automatic climate (climatronic), electric mirrors, electric windows with automatic up/down and full driver side control, chrome inserts on the dashboard, gear shift lever, steering wheel and speed brake handles and lined in leather, finally with fog lights.

Sixth generation (Typ AW; 2017)Edit

Volkswagen Polo Mk6 (AW)
Also calledVolkswagen Virtus (saloon)
DesignerKlaus Bischoff (2014)[30]
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
4-door saloon
PlatformVolkswagen Group MQB A0
RelatedSEAT Ibiza
Volkswagen Nivus
Volkswagen T-Cross
Engine1.0 L EA211 I3 MPI
1.4 L EA211 I4 TSI
1.5 L EA211 EVO I4 TSI
1.6 L EA211 I4 MSI
2.0 L EA888 Gen3 I4 TSI
Transmission5-speed manual
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
7-speed DSG automatic
Wheelbase2,564 mm (100.9 in)
Length4,053 mm (159.6 in)
4,482 mm (176.5 in) (Virtus)
Width1,751 mm (68.9 in)
Height1,448 mm (57.0 in)

Based on the MQB platform (MQB A0) the sixth generation MY18 Polo was first unveiled in Berlin on 16 June 2017 and launched in late 2017 - with improvements in cabin space, engines, and interior technology. The car comes with a range of 1.0 3 cylinder engines with various outputs; 1.0 65PS and 75PS normally aspirated versions, a natural gas powered 1.0 TGI producing 89PS - as well as 95PS tsi. The GTI model gets a 200PS 2.0 TSI engine. The 1.6 TDI engine is also available with 80PS and 95PS outputs.

Boot space has increased by about 25 percent from 280 litres to 351 litres. Optionally, it now features the 2nd generation version of the Active Info Digital Display Cockpit which is a first in its class. As standard, the car comes with front collision detection, blindspot assist and emergency stopping. The car is said to be extremely customizable coming in 14 colours, and 17 dashboard colours.

Sedan versions (Volkswagen Virtus, and Russian Škoda Rapid-based)Edit

Volkswagen also developed the sixth-generation Polo in a saloon edition, named Virtus, which is assembled in Brazil and sold in South America,[31] and came to the Mexican market in early August 2019 to place itself between the Jetta and Vento. It does not replace the Vento sold in that said market. It also comes with a 1.6 MSI 4-cylinder with 110 HP, and a 1.0 TSI 3-cylinder with 128 HP.[32]

In Russia, a separate Polo sedan was given a facelift based of the Škoda Rapid sedan, in which shares the A05+ (PQ25) Platform, the lift-back body, a 1.6 MPI 4-cylinder naturally aspirated with 89 hp with a five-speed auto gearbox, and 109 hp also with a six-speed auto, and a 1.4 TSI 4-cylinder with Turbo and 123 HP, only with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.[33] It is mechanically unrelated to the Mk7 Polo.


The Volkswagen Polo GTI is a hot hatch version of the Volkswagen Polo supermini, produced by German automaker Volkswagen.

Mk2 Polo GT G40 and Mk2F Polo G40Edit

The Volkswagen Polo GTI can trace its roots back to the original hot Polo, the supercharged 1.3 litre 85 kW (115 PS) G40. It was sold in the United Kingdom between 1990–1994 in the form of the Mk2F Polo, but was available during the late 1980s in limited numbers in Europe in the form of the Mk2 Polo GT G40. The car was expensive compared to its rivals of the time, and therefore did not sell in vast numbers (Ford Fiesta XR2, Peugeot 205 GTI or Opel Corsa GTE/GSi etc.). This makes it highly collectible today and according to Top Gear magazine, "a potential future classic". If kept in good condition, this lightweight and small engined car will keep up with much larger rivals thanks to its supercharger. This is a technology that has recently found its way back into Volkswagen's range of cars, most noticeably the new Golf GT 1.4 TSI which boasts 130 kW (170 PS) from its small engine.

Mk3 Polo GTIEdit

After production of the G40 ended in 1994, Volkswagen decided to release the first GTI-branded Polo in a limited batch of just 3000. It was released in 1995 and available only in left hand drive. It featured a 1.6 litre 16-valve 88 kW (120 PS) engine. The GTI was not available in the UK at any stage during its limited production, this meant that as of 1994 the UK only had the 75 kW (100 bhp) 1.4 16v as a model with any sporting intent. This was the case until 2000 when the Polo Mk3 model range was finally revamped and the first GTI-branded Polos arrived in the United Kingdom.

Mk3 Facelift (6N2) Polo GTIEdit

Polo GTI 2000–2002 interior

Between 2000 and 2002, Volkswagen offered two sporting models — the 16V and GTI. The 16V came with the 1.4 litre 16V 74 kW (100 PS) engine and had options such as 15" Spa alloys and air conditioning. However, the GTI – available only in 3 or 5 door hatchback body styles in three colours being red, silver and black. Its power plant was a 1.6 litre 16V 92 kW (125 PS) engine with variable valve timing. External changes included a deeper front splitter with honeycomb mesh grilles, lowered sports suspension (10mm), a subtle rear spoiler, deeper side skirts, fog lights, and 15" BBS RXII split rims for the wheels bearing 195/45/15 tyres. There were also standard extras such as Climatronic fully automatic air conditioning, xenon headlights with a headlight washer system, a six-disc CD autochanger with a GAMMA head unit, exclusive sports interior with leather steering wheel, handbrake and gearstick, chrome inserts, and driver aids such as ABS with EBD and an EDL (a system to aid traction). Leather and satellite navigation were also optional extras. The Polo GTI Mk3F however never got the new six-speed gearbox that was introduced in the smaller Volkswagen Lupo GTI which shared the same engine. Sadly, many of the Polo GTI 5 speed gearboxes fail due to faulty differential rivets and bearings which can only be rectified through a rebuild.

Mk4 Polo GTEdit

With the introduction of the 2002 Polo, the GTI model was discontinued and was given no direct replacement. There was however a GT model produced, featuring the same 1.9 TDI 96 kW (130 PS) engine found in the popular Škoda Fabia vRS and SEAT Ibiza FR TDI as well as a six-speed gearbox. Although this model had a relatively slow 0–100 km/h (62 mph) time of over 9 seconds, it did have impressive mid-range clout with torque figures of 310 Nm (228 lb-ft). This gave the GT very impressive in-gear acceleration, meaning it could make light work of overtaking as well as pull itself out of corners on twisting B roads with ease whilst returning fuel economy of over 50 mpg.

Mk4 Polo GTIEdit

Polo GTI 2005–2009 leather interior

It was not until late 2005, after yet another Polo revamp that the GTI was reintroduced. This time it boasted a 1.8T 110 kW (150 PS) engine which had been used in everything from the Mk4 Volkswagen Golf GTI to the Audi A6. Despite the impressive figures this new model lacked the standard features of the Polo GTI Mk3 with xenon headlights not even on the options list and fully digital climate control only being an expensive option. Although faster than the 2000–2002 Polo GTI, the newer model was also seen as being off the pace when compared to its rivals, most of which are now nudging 150 kW (200 PS). In Europe this led to VW quickly beefing up the Polo further to create the Polo GTI Cup Edition, which was tuned to around 130 kW (180 PS) and featured more aggressive styling. The Polo GTI Cup Edition has 177 bhp, 29 bhp more than both the standard Polo GTI. The standard Polo GTI model completes 0–100 km/h in 8.2 seconds, but in the Cup Edition completes 0–100 km/h 7.5 seconds[34] This model was also featured in 'Mighty Car Mods', the famous YouTube car show, where it is quickly sold as it was described as not having any 'soul'.

Mk5 Polo GTIEdit

The Mk5 Polo GTI was launched at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The new GTI is powered by VW's award-winning[35] 130 kW (180 PS) 1.4 litre TSI engine (adapted from that used in the current Scirocco) which uses both a supercharger and turbocharger to provide torque throughout the rev range.[36] The Mk5 Polo is also 7.5% lighter than its predecessor and with a 22 kW (30 PS) increase in power over the previous generation Polo GTI it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.9 seconds. The Mk5 Polo also includes features not found on previous generation Polos such as touch screen satellite navigation and a seven-speed version of VW's DSG gearbox as standard.[37]

Mk5 Polo GTI faceliftEdit

The Mk5 Polo GTI facelift was launched in 2015. It featured a new 1.8 litre turbocharged engine which had been developed by Audi. It produced 190 bhp and was capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds (Real world test). It came standard with a six speed manual gearbox, unlike its predecessor which was only available with a 7 speed DSG.

Mk6 Polo GTIEdit

Mk6 Polo GTi
Mk6 Polo GTi R5 rally car.

The Mk6 Polo GTI was launched in 2017.[38] It features a slightly detuned version of the 2.0 litre turbocharged engine from the Mk7 Golf GTI. It produced 197 bhp and was capable of getting to 60 mph in under 6.7 seconds. It was launched with only 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission available. Along with the engine, the GTI version came standard with lowered suspension, GTI badges, GTI bumpers, 17 inch wheels, sill extensions, bigger brakes, red brake calipers, twin exhausts, tartan seats, a sport steering, red stitching, and a roof spoiler. You also get GTI LED headlights, 18 inch wheels, and adaptive dampers as options. In November 2018, a 6-speed manual transmission became available.


The sales of Volkswagen Polo set a benchmark for Volkswagen which sold more than 12 million cars globally so far, in February 2010 Volkswagen produced the 11,111,111th Polo worldwide at the celebration event of its first production anniversary in Pune, India.[39] In 2010, its first full year on sale in the United Kingdom, more than 45,000 units were sold. It was the UK's sixth best-selling new car.[40] This was a record for Polo sales in the UK; never before in more than 30 years on sale in the UK had any version of the Polo managed to finish among the top ten best-selling cars.[citation needed]Here is the list of Volkswagen Polo unit sales globally[41]

The Polo Vivo is consistently the top-selling passenger car in South Africa.[42][43]

Year Volkswagen Polo Polo Classic/Sedan
2000 376,164 56,670
2001 328,542 32,598
2002 523,512 24,702
2003 422,003 84,272
2004 334,143 100,331
2005 352,120 59,623
2006 401,551 67,237
2007 449,602 86,861
2008 408,679 62,167
2009 453,824 16,764
2010 635,555 16,692
2011[44] 809,549 12,850
2012[45] 711,519 15,265


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External linksEdit