12 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 2015 Polo SE 1.2 TSI –
report three

As the sun sets on Carbuyer web producer Tom Goodlad’s time with his Polo SE 1.2 TSI, he considers the car’s impressive abilities and its pants-on-fire driving failings

2015 Volkswagen Polo SE 1.2 TSI: Tom Goodlad

It’s been many months and several thousand miles since the previous report on LP64 HRG, my 2015 Polo SE 1.2 TSI and this is the final update for the silver VW, as it departed the Goodlad/Christian household just before Christmas 2015.

Delight to own
Since the last report, the Polo has been a delight to own, largely because it simply fits into life with such ease that you don’t really notice it – but therein lies the only ‘issue’ with the Polo. Where’s the excitement?

For the preceding few months up until I sold the little VW, it was used by my partner on a daily commute from St Albans into North London, taking in busy stretches of the M25 and congested urban roads. Driven with very little complaint, the Polo had enough get-up-and-go to keep up with motorway traffic and was refined in doing so – something which impressed me above almost everything else in my 11 months of ownership.

Reassuring and trustworthy
The Polo is a fantastic supermini to live with day to day, but I’ll be the first to admit it’s not an exciting car. However, it does have a reassuring and trustworthy nature. It’s a car you can jump into at a moment’s notice and have a stress-free journey – everything is so logically laid out and user-friendly inside, that I wonder how and why other carmakers do things so differently.

There have been one or two issues during my time with the Polo, though, and these cropped up about six months into my time with the car. The touchscreen infotainment system had a tendency to freeze after starting the car up, and with increasing regularity. It could only be rectified by turning the car on and off again which became a bit of a pain.

A trip to my local dealer, Lancaster Volkswagen St Albans was needed to get it looked at. While it was there, I asked them to look at the front parking sensors too, as they could be a bit oversensitive to the point of coming on and beeping constantly at random intervals, especially when nothing was in front of the car.

Second to none
I have to say, the service received from the dealer was second to none. I left the car there on a Thursday morning expecting it to be there until last knockings on Friday evening, and a nippy Up courtesy car was provided.

The part needed to fix the screen would only be delivered the following Monday, so the car had to stay in over the weekend which wasn’t much of an inconvenience, but the dealer sent me some wine (six bottles no less) to apologise for having the car in for so long. A really nice gesture.

The Polo came back to me with a noticeably more responsive touchscreen and a much cleaner exterior thanks to a complimentary valet. The parking sensors remained a niggling issue, though.

Shortly after getting the car back, the service indicator quickly made its way down to zero miles and it was due its first oil change. But, in the same week, the Polo went back to Volkswagen and stayed there as it was traded in, taking advantage of VW’s loyalty discount for existing VW owners. We’re now proud owners of a stunning Tornado Red Golf GTD.

Problems and stress
The other car in our household – a Citröen DS3 – went back to Citröen following a lot of problems and stress. That’s another story, but let’s just say it highlighted a lot of differences between the two manufacturers and their approach to customer service.

So, I’ll wrap this final report up with a five-star rating for the Polo. From the start to the 9,000-mile finish , the little VW fitted into my life with such ease that I’d recommend it to anyone. If you’re in the market for a high-quality, reliable runaround with a wide breadth of abilities, you could do a lot worse.

2015 Volkswagen Polo SE 1.2 TSI: Tom Goodlad

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04 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 2015 Polo SE 1.2 TSI –
report two

Tom Goodlad, content editor for Auto Express, has been putting his new Polo SE 1.2 TSI to work, piling on the miles and turning it into full-on flat pack transport. How has the little silver Volkswagen coped with it all?

Tom's Polo SE 1.2 TSI has been put to use on journeys between Hertfordshire and Devon

A lot can happen in a matter of months. Since my last report, in which I was still getting used to my new Polo, I’ve been all over the place and piling on the miles to LP64 HRG.

Trusty and comfortable
In the grand scheme of things, it hasn’t really been a long time, but an awful lot has happened and I’ve spent a lot of time behind the wheel of my Polo and it’s proving to be a trusty and comfortable companion, if a slightly grubby and fly-splattered one.

As mentioned in my previous report, I gave the Polo its first run to my family home in Devon and since then it’s done the journey so many times it could probably do it by itself.

What I’m coming to realise from these journeys is just how adept the Polo is at driving in all kinds of situations. It’s comfortable and refined in the outside lane of the motorway and as easy to use as you’d expect around town, but throw it down a country lane in the West Country and it can put a smile on your face.

Get-up-and-go
Granted, it’s no hot hatch, but it feels light enough on its feet to enjoy the experience (it helps when you’ve got a view of the Atlantic). The 89bhp 1.2 TSI engine is eager and provides more get-up-and-go than you’d expect, especially on the motorway – making easy work of keeping up with traffic.

I do miss the torque of my old Audi A3 2.0 TDI when I just need to put my foot down, but the Polo is hardly a slouch and I’ve got used to the need to plan ahead slightly. I just possibly need to improve my driving in the process to make sure I have the room to make a manoeuvre.

Top-notch quality
So, as I’m writing this actually sitting in the car waiting for an appointment, the Polo is proving a great place to spend time (even as a mobile office). The interior is standing up well to what I throw at it and the quality really is top-notch.

The seats are comfortable and supportive enough that I can do the three-hour haul to Devon and get out feeling refreshed at the other end. It’s even surprising how much more refined it is than my parents’ Mk 5 Golf TDI, plus I’m currently averaging about 49mpg. It’s a little off VW’s claimed 60.1mpg, but considering the types of journey I do, I’m pretty happy with that.

The Polo is proving its worth as a makeshift van, too. A recent trip to IKEA tested the car’s ability to fit a small dining table, two chairs, a storage unit and a few other bits and bobs in, and it passed with flying colours.

The split-folding rear seats are easy to fold and the variable-height boot floor meant there was no lip to contend with. The front passenger had to squeeze in slightly, but an IKEA trip wouldn’t be truly complete without a mildly uncomfortable passenger balancing some flat-pack above their head.

Over the next month or so I’m due to move house, so there will undoubtedly be more van-like duties for the Polo to get stuck into. Full details next time.

Polo particulars: 2015 Volkswagen Polo SE 1.2 TSI, Tom Goodlad

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20 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 2015 Polo SE 1.2 TSI –
report one

Auto Express content editor Tom Goodlad has just taken delivery of a 2015 model year Polo SE 1.2 TSI. In his first report for PoloDriver.com, he runs us through the spec and his first impressions. After being used to driving an Audi A3 2.0 TDI, how does a small, petrol-powered hatchback compare?

Reflex Silver paintwork a classy £540 option

I thought a ‘3-4 month delivery time’ was something I wouldn’t be able to handle – such is the demand for a new Volkswagen Polo! Having had the keys for 4 weeks now, I can safely say it was worth the wait.

The reason I had to wait this long for my Polo SE 1.2 TSI was down to my inability to buy things ‘off the shelf’. So let’s quickly run through what I’ve added to my car. First up was the look – I’m a sucker for a sporty-looking car and (unashamedly) a bit of bling – so the first thing I ticked on the options list was the £565 ‘Knight’ 16″ alloy wheels. They add a significant visual boost to what would otherwise be quite a plain-looking car. I think they contrast fantastically with the £540 Reflex Silver paintwork, too.

Having become used to a few luxuries in my old Audi A3, I added the reasonably-priced ‘Light and Sight’ pack (£150) which, as the name suggests, consists of automatic lights and wipers – the lights feature a ‘Coming Home’ and ‘Leaving Home’ function which leaves them on when you lock the car, and come on when you unlock it in the dark.

Last is the ‘Cruise and Park’ pack. While not essential on a supermini, I regularly have to park in some tight spaces at my local railway station and would like to keep the car as pristine as possible. It’s safe to say I now take more care to ensure I don’t kerb those great alloys, too! For £400, it didn’t seem too bad a price if it reduces the risk of little bumps here and there. The cruise control has already proved its worth on the car’s first trip down to my family home in Devon.

Speaking of which, after a 500-mile round trip from Hertfordshire to Devon, I’ve been left impressed with VW’s latest incarnation of the 1.2 TSI powerplant. While I’m obviously noticing the difference from my old 2.0 TDI Audi, I was never left trying to keep up with traffic on the madhouse that is the M4. While 89bhp doesn’t seem like much, the car has plenty of poke when you need it.

More impressive, though, is the refinement. For such a small car, it certainly lives up to its reputation as a mini-Golf. It’s hushed at speed, barely hearing the engine working away under the bonnet. The larger wheels roar slightly more than the standard 15-inchers fitted to SE models, but it’s by no means intrusive.

Three hours later I got out of the car in the middle of the Devon countryside feeling refreshed – the seats are supportive and I could play all my cheesy tunes all the way through the car’s updated infotainment system lifted straight from the more expensive Golf.

So far then, I’m impressed. The buying experience was an absolute joy, as was picking up the car, and so far I’m loving ownership of my new Polo. It’s proving to be the perfect companion around town, and a grown-up performer on the motorway. I’d just like to see slightly better fuel economy, but the car is still bedding in, so I’m hoping I’ll see it improve over time and I get more used to driving the car.

The next test is Volkswagen’s aftercare… The car has a broken USB socket so it’ll be heading back to the garage soon to be sorted out. Volkswagen’s dealer service has been criticised in Auto Express’ Driver Power dealer rankings, so it’ll be good to put them to the test.

Read more about Tom’s buying experience here: www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/90349/a-car-buyer-s-diary-how-did-we-fare-when-we-bought-a-vw-polo

2015-polo-particulars-2015-se-tsi-0215

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