Peter Hitchener road tests and reviews the 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI.
There’s something about a Volkswagen GTI badge that attracts attention, drawing admiring glances from those in the know – it’s like a club whose members appreciate the finer things of life, but don’t make a song and dance about it.
The celebrated Volkswagen Golf GTI has earned rave reviews for years, and its smaller sibling, the 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI, is no less enjoyable.
I tested the manual model, which starts at $27,490 plus on-roads. The auto will set you back from $29,990.
Quality is paramount, the driving experience is engaging, and I found myself looking forward to getting behind the wheel, even for an excursion to the shops that I would normally undertake on foot.
It looks good. Exterior design is more aggressive, on close inspection you will find a redesigned front bumper with fog lights, and naturally there’s the familiar red grille.
The cabin is well laid-out with quality materials and those familiar tartan seat inserts. I like them, although they didn’t meet with universal approval. Maybe it’s because they were in shades of red, black and white – the colours of St Kilda Football Club, my team!
The ride and handling? It’s clearly set for a hot hatch, and yet the ride is not too stiff, meaning bumps and speed humps are not excruciating to traverse.
The 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI is well turned out… cornering? Tick! Same for steering, acceleration, braking…yes it is all covered, with understated style.
It did surprise me that there was no reversing camera or parking sensors as standard… You can have them, they appear on the options list, and some of those options are quite pricey.
If you choose the Luxury package, you will need to stump up an extra $3,300, but you get the Alcantra and leatherette seats, LED headlights and a panoramic glass sunroof.
And speaking of costs, the $27K plus entry level price tag makes it an expensive proposition, but clearly at that price there are plenty of buyers. Just don’t stop to think you could nearly afford two base-model 2015 Nissan Micras for about the same money!
I can’t be sure whether it’s the upmarket cabin finish, the fuss-free manual gearbox or the spirited performance that makes it so welcoming, but perhaps a combination of all of the above.
The 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI is a hot hatch with civilised manners that would be good fun to drive every day. Members of the GTI appreciation society really do know a thing or two.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI
Engine: 1.8 litre turbo-petrol producing 141kW and 320Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Price: From $27,490