The only other engine available within the Dune model range is also a 1.4 unit but a 3-cylinder TDI diesel unit that produces 70PS at 4,000rpm and 155Nm between 1,600 and 2,800rpm.
The test car housed the petrol engine, which is faster than the diesel in that it has a top speed of 103mph and a 0-62mph time of 14.3 seconds whereas the diesel's top speed is 99mph and takes a leisurely 15.9 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill.
Where the diesel wins is on fuel economy with figures of 47.1mpg for the urban cycle, 64.2mpg for the extra-urban cycle and 56.5mpg for the combined cycle as opposed to 32.1mpg, 49.6mpg and 41.5mpg, respectively for the petrol engine. For the eco-conscious the petrol engine emits a reasonable 163g/km CO2 and the diesel throws out 135g/km, putting them in VED bands D and C.
The figures are a bit of a giveaway to the car's performance, however, while the sprint times aren't blisteringly fast, once it has got going, it proves to be responsive and the fun side comes to the fore. I haven't tried it but I suspect that the diesel, with its low-down torque, is even more fun on country lanes.
The suspension set up is neither firm nor overly soft but just right, although with the low-profile tyres every bump is felt and there is a small amount of hopping on uneven road surfaces.
On the Motorway, the Polo Dune offers a very smooth ride and is certainly no slouch but swift overtakes do require dropping a cog to 4th gear.
The price tag for the test car is £12,645 and £13,490 for the diesel, which isn't exactly cheap. Having said that, Polo prices start at £7,490 for the 3-door, 1.2-litre petrol in E trim. The Polo Dune is only available as a 5-door hatch, which is the more practical option, especially if you have children.
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