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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

November 05, 2013 13:11 IST

Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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If you are looking for a premium hatchback that offers just that bit more than others, your choices could come from the Volkswagen stable. The author finds out which new Polo variant meets what requirement.

The customer is the king and Volkswagen takes this adage very seriously. That’s why the automaker has launched a slew of Polo variants to fit all bills. Unlike most gimmicky upgrades, the Polos are truly new cars aimed for specific buyers who want the compactness of a hatchback but with either power or tough SUV-like looks.

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Image: The customer is the king and Volkswagen takes this adage very seriously.
Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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Equipped with the latest technologies, the Polo now comes as either the power-packed GT TDI or the beefed-up Cross Polo. Both these cars fall in the Rs 8-lakh bracket. If you had to choose between the two, which would make a better buy?

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Image: Polo now comes as either the power-packed GT TDI or the beefed-up Cross Polo.
Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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When compact cars made their debut in India, they were all about being practical and fuel efficient. Appearance was never a priority. But these days, it is the second-most important factor in car design and manufacture. And this is where the all-new, macho-looking Cross Polo steps in.

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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It has not only spent some time in the gym to build up a muscular black matt nethers, but its dimensions have also increased. Now the Cross may appear to be a jacked-up Polo with raised suspensions, but in reality it has the same ground clearance as the standard Polo. The front nose and the rear come with metal under-body protective plates to add to it newly rugged looks.

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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The sky rails are the reason why the height of the Cross is higher than the regular Polo’s, but it manages to be a show stopper on road. When you drive it you should be prepared for questions like, “Where did you customise your Polo?” or “How much did you have to fork out for the additional parts?”

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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Having said that, what you should remember is despite this show of brawn, the Cross Polo still can’t manage serious offroading. We would have preferred if the tyres were at least 16 inches wide to complement the bulging wheel arches, but alas it is stuck with the standard 15-inch rubber set and thus looks skinny.

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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If speed is a high you crave for yet don’t want to keep running to the petrol station either, then the answer to your prayer is the Polo GT TDI. This 1.6-litre common-rail diesel car has the punch you require, but is still easy on the wallet.

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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What lies beneath is the TDI’s trump card. The engine borrowed from the Vento is much smoother than the work horse 1.2-litre diesel heart which does duty in the Cross. It is not half as noisy and coarse like its younger sibling, but the icing on the cake is that it doesn’t run out of steam after 2,500 rpm.

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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To keep costs down, the GT TDI comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox, like the Cross, rather than an automatic transmission. So if you are a fan of old fashioned stick driving with seamless power, the TDI is a perfect fit.

As it has a broader torque range you will not be fidgeting with the gear stick, which is a regular feature with the 1.2 litre Cross.

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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If road presence and a fuel-efficient engine are all that you desire, then obviously you could not do better than the Cross Polo. But it feels a bit ungainly while taking sharp turns even if there are no hairy experiences.

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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The 1.2 engine is lethargic, and only by changing gears frequently will you be able to get the best out it in city traffic. The reason why the car feels taller than the GT TDI is because its seats are higher.

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Planning to buy a Volkswagen Polo? Here's a helpful guide...

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In terms of refinement, the GT TDI is in a different league and performance-wise, it is by far the fastest in its segment. The GT TDI zips to 160 kmph without a hiccup. Razor-sharp handling enhances its carefree fun nature but it looks exactly like the standard Polo apart from the GT badging.

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Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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Volkswagen should give the GT a different set of alloy wheels and racing strips so that it stands out in the appearance department.


Photographs: Source, volkswagen.co.uk

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