2017 Volkswagen Polo Review

Volkswagen Polo
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finder score: 82.60%

Avg. critics score: 82.60%
5 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Cars Guide, Car Advice, WhichCar, Motoring to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
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how we work and how we make money.

Critic reviews

WebsiteRatingNotable quotes
Cars Advice85%"The Polo really does feel like a slightly smaller Golf, which it mechanically is. Like the Golf, one of our test cars was also fitted with optional adjustable dampers, with a soft comfort setting, and a sports mode that added a hint of stiffness, without compromising basic comfort. Tick."Read more
WhichCar90%"The Polo squeezes easily into small parking spots but feels like a bigger car on the road – in a good way, with reassuring roadholding."Read more
Cars Guide75%"Well, this all-new sixth generation version is here to blow any size preconceptions away. It's significantly longer and wider, yet ever-so-slightly shorter than the model it replaces."Read more
Motoring83%"And the sixth-generation Polo is even better, stronger, bigger and safer, with more driver assistance systems and more digital frippery."Read more
Car Showroom83%"...the Polo’s softer setup and more pliant demeanour on the road is congruent with the impression one gets when actually sitting behind the wheel."Read more

How does the Volkswagen Polo compare with its peers?

Updated February 18th, 2020
Name Product Boot displacement ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score Read review
Mazda 3
5 stars
Mazda 2
5 stars
Hyundai i30
5 stars
Volkswagen Golf
5 stars
Ford Focus
5 stars
Holden Astra
5 stars
Toyota Corolla
5 stars
Volkswagen Polo
5 stars
Honda Civic
5 stars
Subaru Impreza
5 stars
Suzuki Swift
5 stars

Compare up to 4 providers

The complete Volkswagen Polo review

VW Polo pricing

Prices for the 2017 VW Polo started around $17,190.

Price when new

TrendlineUrbanComfortlineUrban +GTi
1.2L petrol 5-speed manual – $17,1901.2L petrol 5-speed manual – $17,4901.2L petrol 6-speed manual – $18,6901.2L petrol 6-speed manual – $19,4901.8L petrol 6-speed manual – $27,690
1.2L petrol 7-speed auto – $19,6901.2L petrol 7-speed auto – $19,9901.2L petrol 7-speed auto – $21,1901.2L petrol 7-speed auto – $21,9901.8L petrol 7-speed auto – $30,190

Used VW Polo prices

Trendline: 1.2L petrol 5-speed manual – $11,100-$13,200
Trendline: 1.2L petrol 7-speed auto – $12,670-$15,070
Comfortline: 1.2L petrol 6-speed manual – $12,030-$14,300
Comfortline: 1.2L petrol 7-speed auto – $13,600-$16,170
Urban: 1.2L petrol 5-speed manual – $11,290-$13,420
Urban: 1.2L petrol 7-speed auto – $12,860-$15,290
Urban +: 1.2L petrol 6-speed manual – $12,580-$14,960
Urban +: 1.2L petrol 7-speed auto – $14,150-$16,830
GTi: 1.8L petrol 6-speed manual – $19,980-23,650
GTi: 1.8L petrol 7-speed auto – $20,540-$24,420

Prices from Redbook


The VW Polo is an iconic small hatchback. Car reviewers said it handled beautifully, was powered by keen small engines and generally was well assembled. Complaints included things like the styling being somewhat reserved and safe as well as lacking excitement.
WebsiteProsConsNotable quote
  • Ride and handling
  • Rear-seat room
  • Boot space
  • Plucky three-cylinder engines
  • Lower-end models' cabin ambience
  • Has a clinical feel
  • No roof-mounted grab handles
"...the company has given us an entry car that is more 'grown up' than its austere predecessor, with the sort of infotainment, active safety equipment and cabin space typically found on larger, seemingly pricier offerings."
  • Spritely engines
  • Sticks to road
  • Phone connectivity implementation
  • Safe styling
  • Lack of paint choices
"The Polo looks crisp, clean and elegant, inside and out. Its turbocharged engines supply great everyday performance without using much petrol."
  • Masterful execution
  • Small, punchy engines
  • Infotainment and multimedia execution
  • Husky engine when worked
  • Firm ride could be divisive
  • Meagre rear seat space and comforts
"By far the biggest and most lasting impression from my initial time with the Polo is that it feels like a whole lot of car for the money, even in its base-model guise."
  • Glorious ride
  • Premium noise insulation
  • Settled handling
  • Grab handles missing
  • Pricey options
"Volkswagen's Polo has long forged a reputation as the car that sets the bar for small cars and its sixth generation is no different."
Car Showroom
  • Elegant all over
  • Build quality
  • Forgiving ride
  • Styling is a bit conservative
  • Could be more exciting
"The Polo has really perfected what it sets out to do, which really is to be a smaller Golf without the typical compromises that might entail. It's comfortable and well built, stable at high speed but nippy around town, though it really ought to be more spacious for rear passengers."

Engine and performance

Volkswagen fitted the Polo with either a four-cylinder, turbo 1.2-litre petrol engine or a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol. The 1.2 comes in two different tunes. The standard config outputs 66kW @ 4,400rpm and is rated for 160Nm at a lowly 1,400rpm. Then, VW turned up the power to 81kW and 175Nm for some Comfortline and Urban + Polos.
For the GTI, buyers get a grunty 1.8-litre, with 320Nm at 1,450rpm and 141kW kicking in at 4,300rpm.
Gearbox wise, there's a five-speed manual, a six-speed manual and a seven-speed automatic.

Features and statistics

CylindersFour, inlineFour, inlineFour, inline
Power66kW @ 4,400 - 5,400rpm81kW @ 4,600 - 5,600rpm141kW @ 4,300 - 6,200rpm (Manual)
141kW @ 5,400 - 6,200rpm (Auto)
Torque160Nm @ 1,400 -3,500rpm175Nm @ 1,400 -4,000rpm320Nm @ 1,450 -4,200rpm
250Nm @ 1,250 -5,300rpm

Fuel efficiency

The Polo is a pretty lean fuel burner.
Trendline models have either a manual or seven-speed DSG with a combined fuel economy of 4.8L/100km. In urban environs, the automatic uses 5.9L/100km, whereas the manual can only manage 6.1L/100km. Extra-urban, the manual is slightly more efficient at 4.1L/100km against the auto's 4.2L/100km.

Comfortline models have a higher power and torque output. Manual models use 4.9L/100km combined, where the auto uses 4.8L/100km. For urban driving, the six-speed gearbox variant uses 6.2L/100km, while the auto-only needs 5.9L/100km. Extra-urban, the manual again outdoes the auto shifter, by 0.1L per 100km, at a measured 4.1L/100km versus 4.2L/100km.

The sporty GTi models use the most petrol. Manual-equipped GTIs are rated as follows:

  • Combined: 6.1L/100km
  • Urban: 7.7L/100km
  • Extra-urban: 5.2L/100km

Automatics are slightly more frugal, with the following ratings:

  • Combined: 5.7L/100km
  • Urban: 7.3L/100km
  • Extra-urban: 4.8L/100km


Car reviewers described the Polo's handling as stable, sure-footed, planted and accomplished. It was likened to the VW Golf in this department by some journalists.

Others suggested it was one of the best on the market around tight urban roads, though it would appear to be a multi-skilled performer. Volkswagen engineers have made the car's ride and handling work across quick, gentle corners as well as across road surfaces of varying conditions. Steering matches the rest of the car's proficiency, with testers saying it was accurate and responsive.

Interior and other features

Standard features on 2017 VW Polo models vary depending on the spec.

Volkswagen Polo safety and security features

Driver and front passenger airbags
Driver and front passenger-side airbags
Curtain airbags, front and rear
Alarm system with interior monitoring, tilt sensor and SAFELOCK deadlocking mechanism
Electronic engine immobiliser
Security coded audio system
Automatic flashing emergency brake lights
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Brake assist
Electronic brake-pressure distribution (EBD)
Hill-start assist (HSA)
Multi-collision brake
ISOFIX child seat anchors
First aid kitOptional accessoryOptional accessoryOptional accessory
Lower bumper, halogen daytime running lights
Front fog lights with static
Rear fog lights
One-touch lock/unlock for driver
Anti-slip regulation (ASR)
Electronic differential lock (EDL)
Electronic stabilisation program (ESP)
Extended electronic differential lock (XDL)

Volkswagen Polo exterior features

Body colour bumper strips, door handles and wing mirrors
Body colour lower front spoiler with aerodynamic louvres
Exposed exhaust tailpipe
Exposed dual chrome exhaust tailpipes
GTI nameplates
Headlights and lower air intake with chrome highlights
Radiator grille highlight in chrome
Radiator grille and headlight housings with red/chrome strip
Rear bumper with black sports diffuser
Rear roof spoiler with black aerodynamic extension
Side sill extension in black
Heat insulating tinted glass
Darkened rear light cluster
15-inch steel wheels
15-inch alloy wheels
17-inch Parabolica alloy wheels
Low tyre pressure indicator
Full-size spare steel wheel
Weight-saving temporary spare wheel

Volkswagen Polo comfort and convenience features

Manual A/C
Automatic A/C climate control
Height adjustable front centre armrest
Cruise control
Rear-view camera (with static guides)
Sport Select suspension with Sport Performance Kit
Decorative red-edging carpet mats
6.5-inch touchscreen display with CD, SD card slot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Bluetooth phone connectivity
Four front speakers, two rear
Aluminium pedals
Black headlining and pillar trim
Leather gear shift knob and hand brake lever
Automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror
Heated exterior mirrors
Rear parking sensorsOptionalOptionalOptional
Sports seats with bolstering
Full-size spare steel wheel
Leather steering wheel
Sports steering wheel with decorative stitching and brushed aluminium inserts
Gearshift paddles (DSG)
Cloth seat
Comfort cloth
Clark sports cloth with red contrast stitching
Rain sensor

Mechanical reliability

On a site that allows buyers to independently review their own car, the Volkswagen Polo has 3.9 stars out of five as of October 2019. There doesn't appear to be any common mechanical faults with the model.

There have been a few recalls for this model year of Polo. You should check the ACCC Product Safety Website for more information.

The verdict

From the comments of reviewers, it seems the VW Polo MK5 is almost perfect. Volkswagen is an experienced car manufacturer and the Polo line has existed since 1975, giving the company decades to experiment, test and develop to produce the ultimate small hatchback.

Compare some options to finance a 2017 Volkswagen Polo

Updated February 18th, 2020
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
Wisr Secured Car Loan
From 5.19% (fixed)
3 to 7 years
$655 (Includes PPSR registration and private sale fee, if applicable)
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.19% p.a. to 19.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $50,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

Loans.com.au - New Car Loan
From 4.89% (fixed)
3 to 5 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment.
RACV New Car Loans
From 5.69% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.69% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From 4.79% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.79% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5.34% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan
5.49% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.49% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
Jump Payments Car Loans
From 4.69% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
$295 (Varies by lender, starting from $295)
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.69% p.a. and comparison rate from 5.51% p.a.
Borrow between $5,000 and $250,000. Get access to customised finance options.
IMB New Car Loan
5.45% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.45% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.
RateSetter Car Loan
From 4.69% (fixed)
3 to 7 years
$499 (from $499)
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.69% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a RateSetter Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
NRMA New Car Loan
From 5.69% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.69% p. a.
Purchase a new car with this loan and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 4.69% (fixed)
3 to 7 years
$700 (for private seller vehicles this fee is $608)
You'll receive a fixed or variable rate depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $100,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
CUA Secured Fixed Car Loan
6.79% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
$265 ($175 Establishment Fee + $90 Security Administration Fee)
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
Australian Military Bank Car Loan
From 5.71% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
$500 (from $100 to $500)
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.71% p.a. and 8.66% p.a. based on your personal credit history
A flexible loan to help you finance a car, motorbike or boat up to five years old.
MyState Bank Secured Fixed Rate Personal Loan
From 5.99% (fixed)
1 to 10 years
You’ll receive a fixed rate of 5.99% p.a. ( 6.63% p.a. comparison rate ).
Apply for up to $75,000 available with asset security. Only good credit applicants can apply for this loan.
Westpac Car Loan
8.49% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 8.49% p.a.
Finance a new or used car and benefit from convenient features for car buyers including a car search tool and the option to borrow extra for on-road costs.
St.George Secured Personal Loan - Fixed Rate
From 8.49% (fixed)
1 to 5 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a. based on the value of your car
Get a competitive rate and apply for a larger loan up to $80,000 when you attach a new or used car as security to the loan.
IMB Secured Personal Loan
6.45% (fixed)
1 to 5 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.45% p.a.
Benefit from this competitive rate by securing the loan with a vehicle up to 6 years old. Use this flexible loan for any purpose.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From 6.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.99% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.

Compare up to 4 providers

Pictures: Volkswagen.com.au

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