The VW Polo GTI is a hot hatch for grown-ups

By topgear, 30 June 2021

Sensible, grown-up people of the Internet – say hello to the facelifted Volkswagen Polo GTI. A five-door hot hatch for those of you who think the Ford Fiesta ST, Hyundai i20N and MINI Cooper S are just a bit too juvenile. 

The Polo GTI has always been 'the sensible one' out of all the supermini-sized hot hatchbacks, which is arguably as much its main selling point as it is its greatest weakness. And there’s no sign the new one will be any different. 

Mechanical changes are in short supply – the new Polo GTI still uses the same 206hp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as the last one, meaning you’ll hit 100km/h from rest in a respectable 6.5 seconds and reach 240km/h if you keep your foot in. Power arrives at the front wheels via a standard-fit seven-speed DSG gearbox and ‘XDS’ electrically locking diff. 

Actual changes are as per the facelifted regular Polo. So on the outside the GTI gets new head- and tail-lights, new bumpers and, erm, probably some other stuff.

Inside there’s a more modern infotainment system, the annoying touch-sensitive climate controls from the latest Tiguan/Arteon, latest-gen driver assists and much tartan. Because GTI. 

Would you have one over a Fiesta ST or i20N?

STORY Tom Harrison

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