Volkswagen's Polo Gets Midlife Makeover

What am I looking at?

These are a pair of new Volkswagen Polos - the second phase, if you will, of the half decade old 6th generation.

What's new?

From the outside, not much seems different. There's subtle styling changes and the range gets optional LED headlights - a first for this class - but it's largely the same car you've been used to with some redesigned bumpers.

There's an internal redesign too. Though the cabin layout isn't significantly altered, there's a new binnacle design and new steering wheel. Buyers can also look forward to the inclusion of Volkswagens modular infotainment system - as seen in the Golf - operated by a large touchscreen in the same manner one would use a smartphone.

What powers it?

Indeed it's under the bonnet that the larger changes have been made. A new suite of engines designed to comply with newer Euro 6 emissions legislation find their way into the Polo, topping off with a petrol-powered BlueMotion engine to replace the older diesel unit. This will be an 89hp 1.0 three cylinder, currently pencilled in at 68.9 mpg combined and 94 g/km CO2.

Elsewhere in the range, there'll be a pair of diesel units - both three-cylinder 1.4-litre engines at 74 and 89hp. Petrol power will be available in the shape of two 1.0-litre MPI engines (at 59 or 74hp), two 1.2-litre four-cylinder engines (at 89 or 108hp) and a hot 1.4-litre TSI engine producing 148hp. VW also slate an even spicier engine in a range-topping Polo GTI for 2015.

How much will it cost me?

Official sales start in April with deliveries commencing in July, so there's no word on confirmed trim levels or pricing just yet. However, the existing range will cost you between 11,000 and 20,000 and it doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest the new range will be broadly similarly priced.

Any alternatives?

This is one of the UK's toughest sectors, with competitors from all sides.

The biggest gun of all here would be the Ford Fiesta, with the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 closely behind - while the MINI hatch ticks many of the same boxes as the Polo but adds that aspirational air.

One unusual alternative would be the Nissan Juke. The niche-looking miniature crossover has been stealing sales from typical B-segment hatchbacks like the Polo and could be regarded as a direct competitor as a result.

In a line...

A bold refresh in the face of brand new rivals.

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