Volkswagen Polo GTI
Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen’s DSG works by using a pair of dry clutches, one takes cares of even gears, and the other the odd and reverse gears. This way, the next-higher gear is pre-engaged and only activated at the ideal shift point or at the flick of the paddle. As a driver, all that is noticeable is an extremely swift and smooth gear change, with no noticeable drop in power.

This latest version of the Volkswagen Polo GTI offers a 25 per cent increase in fuel efficiency than the outgoing model, returning 47.9 mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 139 g/km. We didn't reach the posted figures, and were achieving somewhere close to 35mpg average, but that is mainly due to some enthusiastic driving.

How It Drove - Ride/Handling

The Volkswagen Golf GTI sees new springs and dampers, which give it a 15mm lower ride than a standard Polo. Combine this with a redesigned strut-type front suspension, semi-independent rear suspension and increased track width (29mm at the front, 30mm at the rear), it becomes clear how Volkswagen have achieved the precise and composed handling offered by the Polo GTI.

Through bends and tight corners, the ride remains composed and the stiff suspension provides an enjoyable ride with body roll being kept nicely in check.

Under hard acceleration there is a slight tendency towards torque steer, but nothing that can’t be easily be controlled. As with many hot hatches, the stiff suspension might be more uncomfortable on longer journeys, but that is the trade off for enjoyable handling.

Standard across the Volkswagen Polo range is speed-sensitive power assisted steering. As alluded to by the name, this system will vary the weight of the steering relative to speed; heavier at higher speeds and lighter at lower speeds, for example when parking. The system also includes a mild self-centring action with the ability to compensate for crosswinds and road cambers.

In all situations, the steering feels very well weighted, providing plenty of feedback during enthusiastic driving and allowing you to put the Volkswagen Golf GTI precisely where you want it. In situations such as town driving or parking, the steering does feel lighter, but without feeling over-aided. This allows for easy control during tight manoeuvres.

Ease of Use

Access in and out of the Volkswagen Polo GTI is an easy affair. Of course, being a three door, rear access is a little more awkward, but on the whole, poses no real issues.

Volkswagen Polo News

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