Volkswagen has introduced the Polo facelift in India. First shown to the world in January this year, the mid-life facelifted VW Polo hatchback features updated engines and a revised equipment list, besides visual updates to both the exterior and interior.
Now why are we interested in the Indian market launch of the Polo? That’s because our CKD Polo is assembled in Pekan using knocked down packs from VW’s Chakan plant in Pune, India. So it’s very likely that this is what Malaysia will get when it’s time for an update. The CKD Polo hatch was launched here in January 2014, months after the CKD Polo Sedan debuted in October 2013.
Nothing too drastic for the simple but smart looking supermini. The lower bumper is the most obvious change, now thicker at the edges and with fog lamps sitting on the upper ends. A chrome strip underlines the said lamps and number plate.
The grille now has one chrome slat on the underside, compared to two in the middle previously. The headlamps are still of the reflector type, but there are now “two eyes” on each side, with black housing. New “TOSA” alloys and a reprofiled rear bumper (now with reflectors on the bottom edges) round up the changes. Looks more premium to us.
Inside, your eyes will be pulled to the new steering wheel, which has a mildly flattened bottom and similar looks to the wheel in the Golf Mk7. Looks wise, this is a big upgrade.
Another obvious new element is silver trim for the centre stack. The Indian Polo FL doesn’t get the hooded instrument cluster seen in the first press pics, and the multi-info display between the dials appear smaller and slight different from our Polo’s. The two-tone cabin won’t make it here. That’s about it as visual changes go.
In India, the Polo is available in three trim lines – Trendline, Comfortline, Highline – and with diesel or petrol engines. The diesel is the one to have – with 90 PS/230 Nm and five-speed manual gearbox, the TDI should be a pretty sprightly drive. We’ll continue to miss out on cars like this until we upgrade our Euro 2 diesel.
The petrol option offers 75 PS and 110 Nm from a 1.2 litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder engine. It’s deemed insufficient for demanding Malaysian buyers, so we get a 1.6 MPI engine with 105 PS/153 Nm instead, mated to a six-speed auto.
See the gallery below and tell us what you think of the changes. Also read our review of the CKD Polo 1.6 on paultan.org and check out expert and user reviews on CarBase.my to find out how the entry-level VW stacks up against the competition.
Volkswagen Polo facelift, European version