The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI is the best petrol hatchback in the Indian market today, says Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com
Hatchbacks are in great demand in India and although the trend is changing, the popularity of this body style is undeniable.
Hatchbacks have grown in size, they are no longer cars you buy because you are on a budget.
Instead, you buy a hatchback as they offer you the performance and features of a sedan while being practical to drive on congested roads thanks to their compact dimensions.
One of the best hatchbacks in India currently is the Volkswagen Polo. The flagship variant, the GT TSI was refreshed recently.
The Polo's design has stood the test of time and in spite of the vehicle being 5 years old now, it still looks good and doesn't feel one bit dated.
The recent facelift to the Polo gave it minor changes, mostly at the front but the GT model gets a black coloured rear spoiler and wing mirrors.
The alloy wheels on the GT TSI are different from the regular Polo, they look sporty too. Paint quality on the Polo is immaculate and we love the overall feel of the exteriors.
The interiors of the Volkswagen Polo have always been good and the recent updates make it even better. The company has given the Polo a new 3-spoke flat bottom steering wheel which looks splendid and is excellent to hold.
The fonts on the instrument cluster's multi-information display are now bigger for easier reading while the centre console gets a piano black finish.
The rest of the cabin remains the same, you get a very well put-together car, quite a lot of features and decent space although the rear lacks in legroom, more so for tall passengers.
The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged engine which generates 105 PS and 175 Nm. Turbocharged technology helps this pint sized motor output more torque than much bigger engines.
Performance is excellent and the NVH is terrific at low speeds. Give the car some hard acceleration and it instantly takes off, making quick progress.
The powerplant is so good that it has grunt in all parts of the powerband, although it does redline quickly, at just under 6000 RPM.
The Polo GT TSI does the 0-100 km/hr sprint in just 10.09 seconds, making it quite fast. The motor is vocal once you get past 4000 RPM and the sound is quite addictive too. This engine is coupled to a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
This has two clutches which makes gear shifts lag-free. You seldom realise when cogs are swapped and the convenience offered by the autobox makes the Polo GT TSI a breeze to drive in all conditions.
There is a Sport mode too, so when you feel the need for speed, the GT TSI doesn't disappoint.
Volkswagen has got a good balance between ride and handling for the Polo. The GT TSI also gets ESP which ensures even smoother operation.
The car is a bit softly sprung which is evident when you drive fast over an undulation as there is some pitch. However ride quality for the most part is excellent.
The handling is sharp, the steering offering good feel although it could do with some more feedback. Braking performance is more than ample, helping the go-fast Polo stop quickly.
If you want to buy a petrol automatic hatchback but don't want to compromise on the fun quotient, then the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI is your only choice.
The cheapest car in the country to get a dual clutch automatic gearbox, the Polo GT blends the best of both worlds, it's fast and fun, yet easy and efficient (mileage is between 11-13 km/l).
Priced at Rs 9.37 lakh (on-road Mumbai), this hatchback might not be cheap but it has a lot to offer.