The Volkswagen Polo GTI has had some tough luck. That is because it is overshadowed by both the Golf GTI, and the massively successful Ford Fiesta ST. When looking for new car deals most people overlook the Volkswagen Polo GTI for these latter two.

For this reason the upgraded version is radically different from the previous one - a lot more impressive than a simple upgrade. There is no longer a 178bhp turbocharged 1.4 litre petrol engine, because it has been replaced by a 189bhp, 1.8 litre version.

Furthermore, those of you who like using manual gearboxes over automatic ones have that option in the form of 6-speed guise. What has remained the same is the option of selecting the five or three door styles.

As a result of the upgrades the new Volkswagen Polo GTI is unsurprisingly faster. Using either the manual gearbox, or the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic one it can go from 0 to 62mph in 6.7 seconds. CO2 emissions of the DSG model are lower than the previous model, and as a bonus using the manual model you can travel further on a tank of fuel.

The upgrades certainly make the new Polo GTI more attractive, however the Fiesta ST has shown that you don't need to spend a fortune in order to have a good time behind the wheel. The starting price of the Volkswagen Polo is £18,800 which is more expensive. So is the improved handling, and faster speed worth the additional cost?

What is it like?  The two gearboxes are different, and as a result you’ll get more torque out of the manual box as opposed to the DSG one. Having said that, both types of gearboxes are equally fast during a sprint. This is a result of how quickly DSG can shift gears.

Press down hard on the accelerator and the Volkswagen Polo will feel pleasingly quick. Short bursts of acceleration are also produced with a range of revs across the different gears. There is a £250 Sports Performance Kit which comes as an extra. This add-on can increase the throttles response time, stiffen the dampers, and via a Sport button can increase the aggression of the engine. The effect of the sharper throttle is useful, unfortunately the engine sounds can be a little overbearing when the engine is put under pressure.

Another area that’s been upgraded is the suspension. It now has improved traction and stiffer anti-roll bars. By adding the Sports Performance Kit upgrade your grip on tight turns will not be reduced. The stiffer dampers make sure that the grip is there when it’s needed, and the result is impressive body control.

Unfortunately, the steering when compared to the Fiesta ST is just not as good. The level of front-end agility as you make turns with the Ford is not present in the Volkswagen Polo. The rear-end is also not as agile in the Polo as it is in the Ford, but at least it’s stable. This difference between the two models is something to ponder when looking for new car deals.

The impressive suspension in the Volkswagen Polo means that the divining experience is more controlled whilst driving over asphalt or other similar surfaces – even at higher speeds. On the other hand, the Fiesta has more of a bumpy ride which is not something that everyone can put up with.

This Polo has the same impressive infotainment system that other Polo models have. You’ll also find the tartan cloth seats which are a GTI trademark. Additionally, the sports-like look is still there due to the red stitching and the GTI sports steering wheel.

Is it worth buying? This Volkswagen Polo isn’t the wisest choice for those who want a great-handling little hot hatch, because the Ford Fiesta ST is the best choice. It’s offered at a lower price, provides more power, and has a great chassis.

Those looking for new car deals and a reason to buy this Volkswagen Polo should consider the fact that the comfort of your ride will be better, the cabin is of a higher quality, and commands a better resale value. Having said that, the Ford Fiesta’s better handling outweighs these positive qualities.

Comfort: 4 stars Style: 4 stars Handling: 3 stars Depreciation: 4 starsEconomy: 3 stars

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