A Hot Hatch Polo Match

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

At 155 inches long, the current Volkswagen Polo fits neatly in between the size of the MK1 and MK2 Volkswagen GTI hatchbacks. That’s a foot shorter than the current MK7, and in GTI trim, an enticing competitor to the Ford Fiesta ST.

For 2015, the Polo GTI gets a nice bump in power. Out goes the nifty twincharged 1.4L 4-cylinder, in favor of VW’s corporate 1.8L turbo mill. With 189 horsepower and about 2600 lbs to move around, the Polo GTI just nips the Fiesta ST to 60 mph (6.7 seconds, versus 6.9 for the Ford) while offering a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG, as well as a nicer looking interior.

Unfortunately, the Polo GTI is not in the cards for North America. A shame, since the new MK7 platform has now morphed into something beyond a mere compact hatchback in terms of size. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the Fiesta ST and Fiat 500 Abarth have both shown that there is a market for hot hatches that are still small in stature. And for all its technical brilliance, the GTI, a s Jack mentioned, just lacks that ineffable quality that puts a smile on your face – something that the Fiesta ST has in spades. The economics of importing a subcompact for sale in America are likely tough to justify for VW, but that won’t stop me from lusting after a Polo GTI.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Joeveto3 Joeveto3 on Sep 18, 2014

    If this were for sale in the U.S., I would buy one tomorrow. In silver. Just like my old 83. As others have pointed out, the Fiesta in concept is nice, and it sounds like a good fun drive, but the styling, the proportions, just don't do it for me. But this Polo I like a lot.

    • Stuki Stuki on Sep 19, 2014

      The make or break in the Fiesta is the Recaro seats. If you love them, all styling sins are forgiven and even make some weird kind of sense. While all other contenders seem rather dull. But if you don't love them, they're just the obnoxiously gratuitous gilding of an already garish lily. Come to think of it, the Recaros in the CTS-V has a similarly polarizing effect on people. And they're nowhere near as "hardcore", or "boy racer'ish" if you wish, as the ones in the ST.

  • Threeer Threeer on Sep 19, 2014

    Bring it. Please.

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