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VW Polo GTI 2018 review – finally worthy of those three letters?

Jordan Katsianis
11 Jul 2018
Verdict:

VW's Polo GTI is a polished and capable, but lack intensity compared to rivals and playfulness of the bigger Golf GTI

Evo Rating: 
Price: 
£21,145
For 
Impressive mid-range grunt, competent daily driver
Against 
Handling is one-dimensional, adept but not exciting, firm ride
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Design

Volkswagen has done something remarkable with the new Polo. Despite a completely new platform, the new Polo looks almost identical to its predecessor. Sure, look closely at the details and you’ll notice that the bodywork is more complex, the lighting units heavily faceted, but whether by accident or design, a step forward into the future, the Polo’s design is not.

All the GTI paraphernalia is correct and present, though, with liberal use of red highlights on the brakes, badging and the iconic red stripe across the front bumper. Like the Golf, the Polo GTI’s headlights are also bespoke, that red line extending into the lighting unit itself.

As is the usual GTI way, the Polo is grown up, purposeful, but not too obvious, a perfectly formed metaphor about the way the Polo GTI drives. Spec wisely and the Polo GTI will easily slip past unnoticed. Whether that’s what you want in a hot hatchback, however, is something to be considered. Maybe the forthcoming manual gearbox option will offer much needed injection of driver engagement.

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