Used Volkswagen Polo (2010-2018)

The Volkswagen Polo is a spacious and high-quality supermini with an upmarket image.

Strengths & Weaknesses


Spacious inside
High-quality interior
Broad range of efficient engines


Looks quite ordinary
More expensive than rivals
Not as fun to drive as Ford Fiesta
Volkswagen Polo prices from £8,490   Finance from £147 per month

Despite being replaced by an all-new model at the beginning of 2018, this version of the Volkswagen Polo remains a class-leading supermini. It still looks and feels like a mini version of the Volkswagen Golf and drives with a level of comfort and quietness that rivals a larger car. That quality has not been lost with age, a mini-version of the Golf's touchscreen media display, that has digital radio and Bluetooth as standard across the range, helps to keep it feeling up-to-date even in the shadow of its replacement.

You may find that it's all the car you'll need because there's space for two adults to sit comfortably in the back. It's only when you get to the very back that the Polo shows a weakness: the 280-litre boot is around 30 litres smaller than the average brand new supermini. The car does come with a good amount of internal storage, though, with large door bins, cupholders and a large, well-sized glovebox which also houses the CD player. We've listed the full VW Polo dimensions separately.

So far, so good - and sensible. The Polo is a car that you buy with your head, because it doesn't really excite the heart. It's got none of the design flair that you'll find in a Mini Hatchback, Citroen C3 or Mazda 2.

It also feels steady, safe and smooth on the road, like a Citroen C3 and Skoda Fabia, rather than agile and nimble like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Mazda 2 and Mini Hatchback.

The engines are mainly designed for fuel economy, with a couple of 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre petrol options making up the majority. More powerful 1.4-litre petrols were available later, along with the GTI model. Efficient diesels came in 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre sizes - nothing too powerful. It pays to ensure that you're buying the car with the correct engine for you.

The Polo was crash tested in 2009, just before going on sale for the first time, and received a five-star score from the independent Euro NCAP organisation. It's got plenty of safety equipment as standard, including two sets of Isofix mounts for securely attaching a child seat in the back, brakes that will automatically be applied after a crash to help prevent the car from skidding, and airbags front and side airbags for the driver and passenger.

However, the current Euro NCAP tests have become considerably harder, so rivals such as the spacious Honda Jazz, Citroen C3, Hyundai i20 and Mazda 2, which received four or five stars more recently, are likely much safer. Still, later models of the Polo are safer than earlier models due to the standard safety kit being improved over time.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 14:30

Key facts 

Warranty : 
3 years, 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
280 litres
Tax (min to max) : 
£100 to £200 in forst year, £140 thereafter / Pre-April 2017 cars: £0 to £130

Best Volkswagen Polo for... 

Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI Match
The 1.4 TDI is the only diesel in the range and returns 83mpg, based on official figures. It was available in Match, R-Line and SEL trims.
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI Match 5-door
The 1.2-litre SE offers a good blend of performance and economy, as well as a reasonable price. 5 doors mean easy access to rear seats for passengers.
Volkswagen Polo GTI
The Polo GTI has 190hp and looks just like a mini version of the bigger, iconic Golf GTI. It comes in a choice of three and five-door models with manual or automatic (DSG) gearbox. It will go from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds.
Volkswagen Polo 1.0 MPI S
The entry-level Polo comes with very little equipment for the price, plus the smallest 1.0-litre engine feels underpowered, especially if you regularly carry passengers.


  • August 2009 Model launched – first deliveries early 2010
  • February 2010 Polo BlueMotion 1.2 TDI released
  • February 2010 Polo GTI revealed with 1.4 TSI engine
  • July 2011 Polo Match added to the range in place of the SE and Moda trims
  • March 2012 Polo BlueGT added to the range
  • April 2012 Polo R-Line added to the range
  • May 2012 Digital radio is standard across the range, Bluetooth was added to all but S trims
  • January 2014 Whole Polo range is updated with new bumpers, lights, engines and interior
  • December 2014 Orders open for new BlueMotion 1.0 TSI petrol
  • August 2015 More 1.0 TSI engines added to the range. Higher-powered 1.0 TSI 110 PS replaces 1.2 TSI 110 PS.
  • December 2015 SE trim replaced with Match trim. Match comes with £900-worth of extra equipment for £100 price increase over SE.
  • January 2018 Model replaced with an all-new VW Polo.

Understanding Volkswagen Polo car names 

  • Polo
  • Engine
    1.2 TSI 90 PS
  • Gearbox
  • Match
  • Engine
    Polo engines include petrol (MPI or TSI) and diesel (TDI) and the size is given in litres (here it's 1.2). Some engines are the same size but available with different levels of power, so you'll often see the horsepower provided, which can be written as PS. There are no hybrid or electric versions of the Polo, however a GIT performance hot hatch was available.
  • Gearbox
    DSG indicates an automatic gearbox. Most Polos were sold with a manual gearbox, though.
  • Match
    The Polo trims (S, SE, SE Design, Match, BlueMotion, BlueGT, R-Line, GTI) tell you the amount of equipment and general level of luxury of the car. S is the entry-level.

Volkswagen Polo Engines 

1.0 MPI, 1.0 TSI, 1.2 TSI, 1.4 ACT, 1.8 TSI, 1.4 TDI,

The Volkswagen Polo engine range is broad, so there should be something to suit all tastes. The range kicks off with the 1.0 MPI petrol that’s also found in the smaller Volkswagen Up city car; this engine is best avoided as it's not suited to the heavier Polo. The 1.0 TSI comes in two flavours - 60hp and 75hp - but even this is not quick.

The pick of the bunch is the 1.2 TSI which comes with 90hp or 110hp; it's the latter that makes for a smooth ride both in town and further afield. The 1.2 TSI BlueMotion introduced in 2014 even promises almost 70mpg, a high figure by any standards.

1.4 TSI engines are more sophisticated as they are able to shut down two of the four cylinders when not being pushed, making them more efficient under real-world driving. The 150hp also means it's pretty nippy.

If you want a diesel engine, it's either the 1.4 TDI with its 75hp or 90hp, or the three-cylinder 1.2 TDI which delivers 75hp and over 90mpg. Getting this is very unlikely, but this engine remains the most efficient in the Polo range.

At the top of the petrol range is a 1.8 TSI which is fitted to the GTI hot hatch version, though earlier versions had a powerful 1.4 TSI instead.


Fuel economy


Acceleration (0-62mph

Top speed

1.0 MPI












1.0 TSI






1.2 TSI


















1.4 TDI






Volkswagen Polo Trims 

S, S A/C, SE, SE Design, SEL, Match, BlueMotion, BlueGT, R-Line, GTI

The Volkswagen Polo range is fairly comprehensive, and different trim levels came and went throughout its entire life. This is why listing the standard specification is impossible.

The Polo S is the entry-level model and is quite basic. It was launched to keep the cost low, as an affordable way to get a quality set of wheels. S A/C models just about managed air-con.

SESEL and Match models are on the lower end of the mid-range offering. One of these would make for a sensible choice.

R-Line adds a sporty bodykit and the economical BlueMotion is the choice for cost-conscious buyers. BlueGT comes exclusively with the 1.4 TSI ACT engine and features bespoke BlueGT trim and styling touches inside and out, while GTI adds larger alloys, plenty of GTI badges, red trim and tartan seats.

Volkswagen Polo Reliability and warranty 

The Volkswagen Polo came with a three-year, 60,000-mile new car warranty as standard. If you're buying recent carm then the remainer of the warranty will be transferred to you.

The warranty isn’t as long as the ones you’ll find in the Kia Rio (seven years) and Hyundai i20 (five years), but the Polo is solidly put together, with high-quality materials inside and tight panel gaps outside which suggests good attention to detail in the manufacturing process.

In the 2015 Driver Power survey, the Polo came 167th out of 200 overall, which is disappointing considering VW’s reputation for solid reliability and build quality. It’s a safe car, though, and earned a five-star Euro NCAP rating in 2009.

Used Volkswagen Polo 

Like the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Fiesta, the Volkswagen Polo is a very popular car on the second-hand market. Its solid build quality, upmarket image and comfortable driving experience means it’s slightly more expensive to buy than its main rivals. It may be more expensive to buy in the first place, but this is offset by the car’s ability to retain a lot of its value come resale time.

The choice is endless when considering a used Polo, but we think the 1.0 TSI is great for first-time buyers and learner drivers (starting at £8,490 on BuyaCar) and the 1.4 TSI is best for a blend of efficiency and performance (starting at £10,000 on BuyaCar). Meanwhile, GTI models offer the best performance from as little as £11,980 or £247 per month; we recommend going for the 1.8 TSI over the older 1.4 TSI.

List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

Polo GTI 1.8 TSI 3dr












Best for families

VW Polo 1.2 TSI Match 5dr












Best for economy

Polo 1.4 TDI 75 Match 5dr












Other Editions