So, subtlety is key on the outside, and it’s a similar story for the inside, too. The interior of the new Polo looks largely the same as the outgoing model, but again, there are detail changes, none of which are as major as the infotainment system fitted to the new car.
First introduced on the seventh-generation Golf, the colour touchscreen infotainment system includes a proximity sensor that reacts to finger movements as on a smartphone. A sub-list of menus appear at the base of the screen when digit movement is sensed on certain models.
All new Polos are equipped with a touchscreen as standard. UK base models will be fitted with a colour five-inch version, while a 6.5-inch display with a WVGA 800 x 480 resolution is standard higher up the range.
The second-generation of Volkswagen’s modular infotainment system, Bluetooth audio streaming (with cover display where available and touchscreen control) is fitted. And as outgoing Polos have digital radios, we suspect DAB will be specified for UK customers.
Two-finger map zooming in navigation mode will make route-planning easy, while wireless connection of a mobile phone to the car’s external aerial via a special decoupling box will give clearer reception.
The ‘Comfort’ mobile phone interface is easy to use: simply place the phone into a compartment at the back of the base of the centre console. From here, the phone is charged via USB. Two phones can also be used simultaneously, with both plugged into the ‘Comfort’ mobile phone interface.
Four different touchscreen systems will be available (UK availability to be confirmed). ‘Composition Touch’ has a five-inch monochrome display with SD and AUX-IN ports and front speakers. ‘Composition Colour’ adds a colour display, a CD player (with MP3 and WMA compatibility), a two-receiver system and a pair of rear speakers.
‘Composition Media’ meanwhile comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and proximity sensor, Bluetooth interface, JPEG viewer, USB port, CD player, as well as optional voice control. The final system, ‘Discover Media’ adds a navigation system which has one-shot destination input and personal point of interest functionality.
All the systems can be enhanced by the adding of iPod integration (MEDIA-IN) and a rear-view camera on ‘Composition Colour’ and above.
The new MirrorLink smartphone app-replication system is also fitted to certain models, although as it is Android-based at the moment, UK customers are expected to do without for the time being, until Apple compatibility is incorporated.
MirrorLink will be offered with ‘Composition Media’ and ‘Discover Media’ infotainment systems, allowing for selected smartphone apps to be accessed and controlled on-board the Polo.
Further down the line, Volkswagen will also offer apps, which when used with geo-coordinates from the satellite navigation system will display driving data such as engine speed, car speed, as well as the fuel tank level.
Additional entertainment-based apps such as internet radio and news services will also be accessible, provided they support MirrorLink.
An ‘app starter package’ will include a ‘Sport’ app (route-tracking, G-force and speed displays), the ‘Think Blue.’ eco trainer, point of interest aggregator, and a Media Hub. Third-party apps will include social networks, a parking space finder, audiobooks, and internet radio services.
Further revisions include a three-spoke steering wheel and new piano black-edged steering column stalks, both of which are borrowed from the Polo’s larger sibling. There are also redesigned 3D ‘tunnel’-set instruments, which provide a visual highlight.
Volkswagen states that its interior designers have optimised the new heating and ventilation controls, too, while new chrome accents on the door panels, air vents and gear shift base add sophistication to the new Polo’s interior.