15 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Feels That Good: New Volkswagen Polo breezes into India

2014 Volkswagen Polo (India)

Volkswagen India launched the New Polo today to a blaze of publicity. The latest model hits Indian shores after being revealed in European specification back in January. Just as that car, the ‘new’ Polo is a refreshed 6R fifth-generation model, with both major and minor detail changes. And the Indian version carries a few differences from European-spec cars, too.

Just as in Europe, styling changes are limited to a silver chrome strip linking the fog lights in the front bumper, a slightly restyled grille and headlights, redesigned tail lights and rear bumper, as well as new 15-inch ‘Tosa’ alloy wheels and a new six-colour paint palette (which includes the new ‘Copper Orange’ shade).

Inside, there’s a new aluminium finish for the infotainment and air vents in the centre console (as the European car), a new three-spoke steering wheel – multifunction on higher-specification variants – and a new infotainment system, which is more basic than the version offered in Europe.

The instruments remain the same, therefore losing the ‘tunnels’ which new mainland Europe models receive. The biggest difference between Indian and European models seems to be the lack of comprehensive safety equipment that the latter gains with the 2014 refresh. Indian models seem to do without.

The big news is the arrival of a new four-cylinder 1.5-litre TDI engine. Available in 89 and 104bhp outputs, it replaces the three-cylinder 1.2 TDI. The more powerful version is only available in the Polo GT TDI which is due to arrive later in the year. European cars have 1.4-litre three-cylinder TDI engines.

The lower-output unit is respectable enough, though, with 230Nm of torque available between 1500-2500rpm (the 104bhp version has 250Nm). The 74bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine stays. All models have five-speed manual transmissions.

Trendline, Comfortline and Highline versions are available to choose from. Standard equipment on the entry-level Trendline includes air-conditioning, power steering, body-coloured door handles and wing mirrors, and dual front airbags.

It misses out on ABS, a heated rear window and rear wash/wipe system (it’s like it’s the 1970s!), and only receives radio ‘preparation’. It rolls on 14-inch steel wheels with 175/70 R14 tyres.

The Comfortline adds dual-beam headlights, ambient cabin lights, electrically-adjustable wing mirrors, electric windows all round, remote central locking, ABS, a four-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with USB, AUX-IN, Bluetooth and SD card compatibility, and 15-inch steel wheels with 185/60 R15 rubber.

Finally, Highline versions build on that specification with an added-capability multifunction instrument display, climate control, multifunction steering wheel, rear parking sensors and 15-inch ‘Tosa’ alloys (‘Lyon’ in Europe).

Cross Polo, Polo GT TSI and Polo GT TDI versions are all expected to arrive by the end of the year. It is reported that current localisation of the Polo is 70 per cent. Volkswagen India are targeting 90 per cent, but that would depend on the outcome of an engine plant consultation.

All refreshed Polo models for India have a galvanised body with a six-year anti-corrosion warranty. Petrol models start at Rs 4.99 lakh to Rs 6.07 lakh, while TDI versions start at Rs 6.27 lakh, topping out at Rs 7.37 lakh. Visit Volkswagen India’s website for more information and comprehensive specifications.

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