Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI Facelift 4

Launched at the recent 2015 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) was the facelifted Volkswagen Polo – yes, I know we’ve already received it earlier this year, but there’s a twist to this one.

Peer underneath the identical skin and you’ll realise that this car’s actually built in India. It’s intriguing considering that Volkswagen Group Malaysia (VGM) was expected to export the Polo built at DRB-Hicom’s plant in Pekan to Indonesia anytime now – we suppose our cars will join the Indian-built cars in the market, for reasons that we’ll get to later.

This Pune-built, Indonesian-market Polo is slightly different from ours, as it comes with the dual-reflector headlights previously seen on our pre-facelift CBU 1.2 TSI, along with natty 16-inch “Navarre” ten-spoke alloy wheels on this Highline variant (as opposed to the 15-inch “Riverside” rollers on the Malaysian-spec car). There’s also a neat black rear spoiler, as well as indicators set inside the black side mirror housings.

Elsewhere it’s the same as our car – revised B7 Passat-like bumpers and revised tail light graphics round off the modest exterior changes. It’s the same story inside as well, with revisions limited to a Mk7 Golf-derived flat-bottomed steering wheel as well as new seat patterns; Indonesia doesn’t even get our new silver centre console fascia finish.

But the main difference between their spec and ours is under the bonnet – instead of a 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated MPI engine and six-speed automatic gearbox, there’s the 1.2 litre turbocharged TSI mill hooked up to a seven speed DSG dry dual-clutch transmission. You’d be familiar with the setup, as it was fitted to our CBU cars before they were discontinued sometime last year.

Power is the same at 105 PS, but torque is boosted from 153 Nm to 172 Nm, and it’s made at a lower, broader rev range too – 1,550-4,100 rpm versus 3,800 rpm on the 1.6. As such, the Malaysian-built 1.6 litre car will probably serve Indonesian buyers at a lower price point.

Kit on the Highline includes fog lights, electric folding wing mirrors, an RCD 320 head unit with an SD card slot, USB and Bluetooth, a leather multifunction steering wheel, climate control, dual airbags and ABS; the base Comfortline omits the first two. Much like our cars, except the Indian-built cars are fitted with stability control.

One more important bit about this Indonesian-market Polo – over there, it’s priced from 259 million rupiah (RM77,900). That’s comparable to the range-topping Honda Jazz RS CVT, and undercuts the Ford Fiesta EcoBoost with the six-speed Powershift dual-clutch transmission by 10 million rupiah (RM3,000) for what is considered a Euro hatch with an advanced drivetrain.