All Polos also come with adaptive cruise control and travel assist. That’s quite rare in a small car, and what’s even rarer is that both actually work well. At the same time, it’s surprisingly bare, with things like automatic climate control and keyless entry consigned to the options list.
Ordinarily, we’d criticise the multimedia screen for still being the old system, but in VW’s case, the old system is generally more responsive and has more shortcuts, so that’s actually a good thing. Navigation isn’t standard, though, so if you press the ‘Nav’ button in a base-spec car, it displays a message telling you that you can add this function in the Volkswagen Shop. However, there’s wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and, more often than not, Waze and Google Maps are superior to built-in navigation systems anyway.
But where the Polo’s sibling, the Seat Ibiza, got a significant interior uplift when it was facelifted earlier this year, the Polo remains pretty much the same, which means it’s just as austere and dull inside as before. The materials are fine, if nothing special, and the ergonomics, seat comfort and build quality are beyond reproach, but in a Clio or even a Fabia or Dacia Sandero, you at least get a flash of colour here, a mildly interesting texture there, something to liven things up.