Volkswagen Polo Hatchback 2005 - 2009

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback 2005 - 2009

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • It holds a strong resale value
  • Excellent Bluemotion diesel engine
  • Excellent build quality


  • Drab interior
  • Expensive compared to rivals


The Polo hasn't changed much over the years with the only noticeable differences between this model and the previous being the front grill and headlights. There has been an increase in the number of engines available with the GTi being a dream to drive and the Bluemotion giving an impressive 74mpg. The handling is good, but as with all Polo's it has been made for comfort not speed.

Exterior and Interior

The Polo design hasn't changed much over the years, but this model comes with newly designed headlights and front end, but other than that nothing much else has changed. The interior is simple and cleanly laid out using good quality materials which makes the cabin feel solid and well built. There is only room for two adults in the back, but they have adequate leg and head room with the driver and passenger receiving ample space too. The five door model is the better model to go for if you have a small family. The three door version is easier to get into than previous Polo models, but it still isn't particularly easy. The boot space is sufficient with 270litres, which can be increased if needs be by folding down the rear seats. All cars come with ABS, driver and passenger airbags, power steering, CD stereo and central locking as standard. The S trim models come with semi-automatic air-con, alloy wheels, side airbags, front electric windows and split folding rear seats. The SE models come with height adjustable driver and front passenger seats, remote central locking and an alarm. The top of the range Sport models come with 15 inch alloys, sports suspension, leather trimmed steering wheel and gearstick as well as front fog lights.

Performance and Economy

The two entry level 1.2-litre engines produce 59bhp and 69bhp and manage the same 48mpg for fuel efficiency. The larger 69bhp is slightly faster managing 0-60mph in 14 second compared to the 59bhp's 16 seconds. The 1.4-litre engines come in the form of a standard, an FSI and a Sport models. The standard 1.4-litre produced 75bhp, but this was increased when it was upgraded in 2007 to 80bhp and managed 43mph which was improved to 44mph in the later model. The FSI model comes with 85bhp and a fuel efficiency of 47mph, which is only just behind the smaller 1.2 models. The sport model with its 100bhp isn't very economical compared to the rest of the range managing just over 40mpg, but does go from 0-60mph in 10.6 seconds. However, the larger 1.6-litre engine is better taking 10.1 seconds to get to 60mpg with a fuel efficiency of 42mpg, making the 1.4 Sport model pretty much redundant. The top of the range 1.8-litre GTi turbocharged engine with 148bhp is very quick gong from a standing start to 60mph in just over 8.2 seconds. The diesel engines have proven to be a lot more fuel efficient with the 69bhp and 79bhp 1.4-litre engines managing 62 and 61mpg respectively. The 100bhp 1.9-litre doesn't fair too badly either with 56mpg and going from 0-60mph in just over 10 seconds. If its fuel efficiency you're truly after then the 79bhp 1.4-litre Bluemotion is the engine to go for managing a huge 74mpg and isn't too slow going from 0-60mph in 12.4 seconds.

Like to Drive

As Polo's are generally built for comfort rather than speed it is no surprise that the handling is smooth with the suspension smoothing out the road and is great to cruise along in on the motorway. The steering is light which makes the cornering sharp and precise but there is a fair amount of body roll. The diesel engines can sound gruff when pushed, but the noise in the cabin isn't too noticeable and the insulation helps to keep out the majority of wind and road noise. The GTi model is great compared to the standard cars with improved steering, more grip in the corners and better body control.

Faults and Repairs

The Polo is not as indestructible as it once was with problems cropping up in the ignition coil in petrol engines where they tend to fail, the dash has been know to rattle and the ABS can sometimes fail too. The repairs aren't too expensive if carried out by a specialized dealer rather than a main dealer, where the hourly rates are extremely expensive. The car needs servicing every 12,000 miles, but that's fairly average and the services should be too expensive if taken to a specialist rather than a main dealer.