Volkswagen Polo
 (3.5/5)
expert rating
 (3.1/5)
owner rating
RM 1,035.74 /month
RM 77,646.00

Expert Review - Volkswagen Polo Mk5 CKD (2014-Present)

See More (82)
Exterior
See More (42)
Interior
Date Reviewed
20 May 2014
Performance
Ride & Handling
Comfort
Safety
Space
Value
Overall Rating

As an entry point to Volkswagen ownership, the Polo does well enough. Compared to sub-RM100k B-segment rivals, as you should, the Polo is competitive in spec and decent to drive. Just don't put it side-by-side with the 1.2 TSI.

For
  • Keen CKD pricing means Malaysia now has a starter VW hatchback.
  • Proven powertrain acquits itself well, and top marks for comfort and refinement.
  • Feels more substantial than Asian B-segment rivals on the move.
Against
  • Being nearly RM30k cheaper than the TSI means sacrifices have to be made in materials and features - if you've been in the CBU car before, you'll feel it.
  • Not as fun to drive as the ads claim.
Performance

The 1.6 MPI engine lacks the 1.2 TSI's turbo shove, but is strong and flexible compared to class rivals. Loud from the outside during start up, but quiet on the move. Six-speed torque converter automatic lacks the DSG's speed (and durability concerns) but is very smooth shifting. Proven drivetrain is second only to the Fiesta Ecoboost's in the sub-RM100k supermini segment.

Ride & Handling

Indian-spec chassis brings with it a high ground clearance, long travel suspension and modest 15-inch wheels. Doesn't do much for the looks, but Polo copes brilliantly with our MRT construction ravaged roads and potholes. Much better ride comfort and less road noise than the TSI. Soft suspension doesn't encourage hard driving, though - the Ford Fiesta serves enthusiasts better.

Comfort

Good rolling refinement and a forgiving ride means that the Polo is a relaxing car to drive, whether in the city or on long journeys. Ideal driving position is easy to find (tilt and telescopic steering) and this tester likes the firm seats.

Safety

The Polo Sedan is four-star ASEAN NCAP rated, but that car has four airbags, two more than this hatchback (1.2 TSI has six). No ESP too, so safety isn't a strong suit.

Space

For those who need space, VW has the booted Polo Sedan for a small premium. Don't expect the kind of space you'll get with a Myvi or Honda Jazz either; the Polo is a typically petite Euro supermini. Enough room for two adults at the back (three abreast will be a tight affair) and better rear headroom than the Fiesta.

Value

If you've always liked the idea of a VW hatchback, the CKD Polo is a cheaper and mechanically simpler answer. There are better equipped rivals out there, though.