VW Polo GTi Best Features Review

2019 VW Polo GTI What I like most about it Road Test, Review

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.2019 VW Polo GTI Overview

The VW Polo GTi was launched in September 2018 and was immediately well received. I didn’t go on the launch, so this was the first opportunity to have a drive in the little sporty Polo.

I have to say there is a lot to like about it, and a couple of little niggly things as well. What are the best features?

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

2019 VW Polo GTI Drivability

With a turbo-2.0 petrol 4-cylinder engine producing power of 147kw @ 6000 rpm and torque of 320Nm @ 1400 – 4390 rpm you would expect a sporty performance and you are rewarded. It is well mated with a 6 speed Sports Automatic Dual Clutch transmission.

At start and under acceleration there is a pleasing crisp engine burble. The low torque also means that after the slightest of turbo lags, it will zip away at most normal speeds. It’s the responsiveness that is pleasing.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

There is a slight front end torque steer under heavy acceleration, but easily managed and quickly restored. It will sit flat through tight corners and for the most part absorb road irregularities.

VW Polo GTi is simply fun to drive

While it isn’t about outright acceleration, nor limpet like handling, the Polo GTi is well balanced and it all seems to work in harmony, much like the original Mazda MX5 or even the earlier Golf GTi’s.

The choice of driving modes is also a bonus. Sports mode transforms the vehicle into a fun hatch. Freeway economy saw 5.8L/100K but around town the economy will vary a lot depending on how enthusiastic you are with the right foot.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

2019 VW Polo GTI Ergonomics

Right from the smooth and very welcoming door handles (they just feel good) through to the internal layout, VW seem to have got it right.

The Instrument binnacle houses white on black instruments, with two large outer dials and a functional, easy to use configurable MFD between.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

The steering wheel is flat bottomed, perfectly sized and thick rimmed. It also doesn’t intrude on the visibility of the instruments at all. Unfortunately there isn’t a phone control on there and that is a little annoying.

The 8 inch configurable touch centre screen that displays Apple CarPlay/Android Auto has excellent clarity, sensitive to touch and is ever so slightly orientated to the driver and within easy reach. Having sat nav only available from your phone is a pain though.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

Although the seats are manual, there is plenty of leg room for taller drivers and a manual lumbar adjustments as well. Have to say it though, and I know I will upset the aficionados, but I hate the seat cloth, the Clarke tartan, not sure what you call it. Leather every time for me please.

Rear seats are really useful for folding flat to enhance the boot storage area. LED interior lighting includes reading, ambient, and glove box illumination. It adds brighter light, and longer life, replacing old fashioned incandescent bulbs.

Everywhere you rest your elbows are soft touch points as is the dash. The dash panel is a cool red smooth texture, apart from the seats the ambience is pleasing.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

I love the gear lever, simple to use and falls easily to hand for sports mode. Alongside are the buttons for the driving modes, parking assist and stop start. The cup holders are convenient, if a little small in diameter. In front of the transmission is a handy storage tray and the good thing here is that the USB inputs are raised so you can use the full tray.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

2019 VW Polo GTI Exterior Styling

The vehicle I had was in Flash Red and with a smooth slightly squarish profile it looked GOOD.

No matter which angle you look at the Polo from it flows and the 17” Milton Keynes wheels with low profile tyres placed at each corner means that the Polo looks squat and slightly angry. The only problem is that being so low, these old knees struggle with getting and out.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

VW has a clever design in the patented VW badge which doubles as a door handle and reversing camera cover. It keeps the lens clean at most times, something that a few other manufacturers could take notice of.

The grill design with integrated red and black highlights is stunning and the headlights, fog lights are well integrated. The red GTi badges are a style touch as well.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

2019 VW Polo GTI Value Option Packages

There are 3 option packs:

Luxury Pack $3,900

  • Alloy wheels (Brescia) 18×7.5” with 215/40 R18 tyres
  • Art Velours microfleece seat upholstery with comfort sport front seats
  • (The GTI sport seats are replaced by comfort sports seats with this upholstery option)
  • Dark tinted rear side window and rear window glass, 65% light absorbing
  • LED headlights for high and low beam with integrated LED daytime driving lights
  • Heated front seats
  • Panoramic glass sunroof, electrically slide and tilt adjustable with integrated wind deflector and sunblind

Driver Assistance $1,400

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop and Go function for DSG
  • Automatic kerb function when reversing, passenger’s side exterior mirror
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert
  • Electrically foldable exterior mirrors (standard GTI)
  • Manoeuvre Braking, front and rear
  • Optical Parking System (OPS) in infotainment system display
  • Park Assist, parking bay and parallel parking assistance
  • Parking distance sensors, front and rear with acoustic warning and audio volume level reduction when sensor warning is activated
  • Proactive occupant protection system

Sound and Vision $1,900

  • Active Info Display, high resolution 10.25″ digital instrument colour display screen with customisable displays
  • Discover Media audio and satellite navigation system
  • 0” colour capacitive touch screen display with smartphone style HMI and proximity sensor, AM/FM radio, CD player and 2 x SD card slots for music and navigation data, 2D and 3D (bird’s eye) map views, compatible with MP3, WMA and AAC music files, jpeg image viewer, car menu with convenience and service settings, security coded
  • beats 300W premium audio system with 8-channel digital amplifier and subwoofer
  • Inductive wireless phone charging
  • Media Control

2019 VW Polo GTI Summary

From the moment I started the Polo GTi and heard the aural delight, the burble as I drove away and even in daily driving I really enjoyed the Polo.

It’s a perfect size for inner city driving, ideal for a couple with luggage, provides enough engagement for a spirited drive through windy mountain roads and cruises without fuss on the freeway.

The vehicle I tested had the Driver Assist option package and it was definitely worth the money.

I would dearly love leather seats and a few niggles sorted out, but the Polo GTi was fun to drive and quite stylish as well.

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI.

Also Look at

Model:                 VW Polo GTi

  • Model Price:        $33,490 MLP*
  • Engine:                Two-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol
  • Drivetrain:         6-speed DSG
  • Power:                  147kw @ 6000 rpm
  • Torque:                320Nm @ 1400 – 4390 rpm
  • Safety:                  5 Star ANCAP
  • CO2 Emissions:                140 gms/km
  • Economy:           6.1 l/100km(ADR comb)
  • Servicing:            Fixed price
  • Warranty:             5 years/ Unlimited Km/ 1 Year Roadside

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of other options.

2019 VW Polo GTI
  • Rating


From the moment I started the Polo GTi and heard the aural delight, the burble as I drove away and even in daily driving I really enjoyed the Polo.

It’s a perfect size for inner city driving, ideal for a couple with luggage, provides enough engagement for a spirited drive through windy mountain roads and cruises without fuss on the freeway.

About Rob Fraser 2002 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.