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Volkswagen Polo (2002-05)

Overall Rating

4 stars

Polo gets bigger every generation; it now feels like a much bigger car. It's solid, safe, well finished and has quite a spacious interior. It's not sporty or fast, but Polo has many redeeming qualities.

  • Still the best built supermini
  • Respected, refined, rugged and ultimately reliable
  • Holding its value better than rivals
  • Micra is talented and so much cheaper
  • 1.2 and 1.4 engines are rather sedate
  • Higher service costs than many economy cars
Road Test

Polo has always been one of the most sensible supermini hatchback choices; the latest car shows that is not about to change. It looks and feels like a quality product, with a well-finished interior and bodywork that makes rivals seem lightweight and ordinary. It was face-lifted in 2005 and is some way from being replaced. In practical terms it takes four adults in comfort, with a load area that's a reasonable size in this class. Occupants appreciate the impressive levels of refinement; there's little road or engine noise when driving under normal unhurried conditions. There are lots of engine options, from a willing 65bhp 1.2 petrol runabout up to a lively 100bhp 1.9 TDi turbodiesel. They're economical, with some diesels giving over 60mpg. Safety is good with powerful brakes and plenty of airbags. Specifications are reasonable, but Polo is not really about value, although insurance is low and resale values strong. Consider Skoda's Polo-based Fabia if you want lower prices and more equipment.

Need To Know

JD Power stars: 3


Best Models: 1.4 FSI, 1.4 TDI

Volkswagen Polo (2002-05)
Star Ratings


3 stars


4 stars

Quality & Reliability

5 stars


3 stars


4 stars

Running Costs

4 stars

Value for Money

3 stars

Stereo/Sat Nav

4 stars
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