It sure has been a busy month in the Malaysia automotive world. First the Preve and now Volkswagen is footing its most affordable model yet: The Polo Sedan.
Here’s some important specifications of the car for those considering to buy it:-
Segment : B
Powerplant : 1.6 litres
Gearbox : Conventional Torque converter 6 speed automatic
Max power : 105PS
Max torque : 153Nm @ 3,800Nm
Wheelbase : 2,552mm
Fuel tank : 55litres
Like most Veedubs these days, the Polo Sedan has an understated, timeless elegant look that some might say conservative but to me, it’s clean teutonic lines have a refreshing look
Inside, it’s all about function. Simple, easy to read and use dials, everything exudes Germany (even though the first batches of the car is imported from India). Fit and finish should be top notch and until we go for a test drive to know for sure, I believe when we touch the dials and switches we’d probably think it is meant to last till our next generation goes to college and we can pass the car to them.
There’s no turbocharged TSi engine under its hood so Polo hatchback owners need not worry about this car affecting it’s 2nd hand value. Instead, you’ll find a NA 1.6litre DOHC engine that dishes out a max power of 105PS and 153Nm worth of twisting power at 3,800rpm. It’s supposed to be fuel efficient too …. Volkswagen claims you can get 14.4km per litre of fuel so technically, one full tank can take you almost 800km.
Even though it does not have the ubiquitous Dual-Clutch DSG, the 6-speed tiptronic automatic does its job well. The car is just 1,111kg in weight so power-to-weight ratio is good …. but not good enough to claim a sub-10second century sprint car. This Polo Sedan needs 12.30 seconds for its 0-100kph run, not exactly as fast as its other siblings. As a matter of fact, that sounds pretty slow. It has a top speed rating of 190kph. In my test drive, I find the acceleration to be good, certainly beats a Vios or City hands down. I quite like the acceleration …. it may not have the turbo thrust but that also makes it ideal for mum to go to the market or small families who prioritizes safety and comfort over speed.
Noticed that a hood mat is not present. I wonder how much sound that can be further suppressed if owners applied some sound deadening material here.
Here’s the cutesy coolant reservoir that everyone is talking about:
Ride and Handling
It’s handling is to be impeccable, the hallmark of Volkswagen I was able to negotiate sharp bends around Glenmarie and the tires didn’t give a whisper. Body roll, although present is controlled but I don’t expect many drivers to whack the car around like a Japanese D1 Grand Prix Drift competition.
The steering is really light, thanks to its electric steering. Ideal for the city running around, definitely perfect for the fairer sex. Because there’s not DSG or turbo, there’s no delay in the power delivery so no sudden lurches or juddering from stand still.
One key feature I look forward to is something called SpaceMax control
It’s a manual control lever for the rear passenger to push the front seats forward and maximizing rear legroom (works only for the front passenger seat). A first in this segment. Unfortunately, in Malaysia we do not get this feature. A real pity.
Having said that, rear legroom and headroom remains excellent for this segment and comfortable, even for long distance journeys.
India gets the monochromatic multi info display that shows travelling time, distance travelled, digital speed display, average speed, fuel-efficiency, distance till empty, service interval, outside temperature and clock. We get something a little different:
A lot more information is presented simultaneously and the fonts are laid out in a crisp and clear manner. That’s like, +10 LIKE from me.
No auto climate control here. What surprised me is the whole airconditioning layout and switches are very similar to the Skoda Octavia.
Does my eyes deceive me?? Cruise control?? It’s not found anywhere in the spec sheet! I’ve tested it and it works! Do bear in mind that the catalog does not show this feature so it may be a one-off batch.
On the other stalk, you find the typical wiper controls
At the center console, you’ll find the AUX in port and cigarette lighter.
The glove compartment is big but minus points for the compartment to just fall down instead of gradually dropping. Cheapest VW must reflect somewhere (other than the hard plastics, I guess)
Cabin space was a big surprise to me. For a car this size, it’s not often you find such a cavernous rear …. perfect for small families to put their baby stroller.
You may not get auto lights but headlight leveling feature is much appreciated, especially in long distance night driving. Fog light controls are also found here.
I can imagine more owners upgrading from his to the stock Golf’s RCD310 head unit ….. anyone wants? I got one … selling cheap 😛
Nothing much to shout about here. If you think the Polo hatch is as plain as white bread, this Polo Sedan will make its other sibling look like a triple decker club sandwich. You get ABS, 4 airbags, front AND rear fog lights (ok, I admit I have this fetish for rear fog lights), ABS and EBD.
There’s 3 trim levels in the Indian market; Trendline, Comfortline and Highline (basic to highest spec left to right) and surprisingly, we’re getting the highest spec here:
Chrome finish on front air dam, trunk and fog lights surrounds
Height adjustable halogen headlights
Green tinted heat absorbing glass
15″ alloy wheels
Metallic/Pearl effect paint
Body-colored exterior door handles and mirrors
Tow hooks, front and rear
Interior chrome package (chrome surrounds for light switch, AC vents, steering wheel accent, handbrake lever knob and gearshift)
‘Metric’ fabric upholstery and cloth door trim
Adjustable steering wheel (tilt and telescopic)
Storage compartment in front doors including cupholders for 1.5litre bottle
Storage compartment for sunglasses inside the glovebox
3 grab handles above doors, folding with coat hooks
Rear doors with storage compartments
Fully lined trunk and trunk floor
Front center armrest including cupholder for rear seat
Front center console including 12V outlet
Rear center armrest
2-tone anti-glare dashboard, Black and Beige
Sun visors on both sides, ticket holder on driver’s side and vanity mirror on co-driver side
Center console including 2 cupholders
Genuine leather-wrapped steering wheel, gearshift knob, handbrake lever and gearshift boot
Power door locks (includes safe-LED)
Safety and Security
Front disc brakes
Driver and front passenger airbags with side airbags, front
Height-adjustable headrest, front and rear
Electronic anti-theft immobiliser
Interior rear view mirror, manual day/night
Height-adjustable 3-point front seat belt
3-point safety belts for rear outboard occupants, lap belt for rear middle occupant
High mounted third brake light
Fog lights, front and rear
Anti-theft system with interior surveillance and back-up alarm
Pinch-guard safety for all 4 power windows
Comfort and Convenience
Rear park disance control
Adjustable steering wheel (tilt & telescopic)
Electric trunk opening
Fuel-lid with push style opening
Central locking system
Instrument cluster with tachometer, speedometer, trip odometer and digital clock
14″ steel spare tire
Manual AC with rear AC vents, dust and pollen filter
All 4 power windows (with one-touch up and down on all windows) – means can remotely open & close windows via remote!
Remote control for central locking, with 2 foldable keys for ease of carrying in the pocket
Remote opening of boot lid with key remote
Electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors
Height-adjustable driver and passenger seat
Multi-function display (MFD)
White instrument backlights
Radio with CD-MP3/WMA player and 4 speakers, includes roof antenna
Windshield wiper – Intermittent control
Compared to other B segment sedan contenders, here’s how they stack:-
And it’s all yours for the price of RM99,888 (price excludes insurance, road tax, blah blah blah). The car comes with 5 years warranty. Honestly, the Peugeot 207 looks like a better buy despite losing out on number of airbags, number of gears, slightly better torque and other cabin ergonomics, the fact that it’s almost RM30,000 cheaper makes for a serious case, especially for a segment that’s price sensitive. The Ford Fiesta is also a viable option with great specifications and also costs significantly cheaper.
Is it worth it? Well, as Ricky Tay, General Manager for VGM says …. there’s nothing quite comparable to arriving in a Volkswagen. All that remains is for you to test drive it to see if you truly like it. For me, I loved it in the test drive …. but I certainly do not love the price. I can’t help but wonder what’s VGM’s angle in launching this car at this price. I mean, if they intend to go CKD and bring the price down, why not just launch the CKD and be done with it? The fact that it’s CBU from INDIA is not going to create any discernible value that people is willing to pay a-hundred-grand for. Last I heard, the amount of bookings for this car is not fantastic …. I do hope that they will do a CKD and re-price it around RM90k … only then can we truly call this Volkswagen the People’s Car
I would be most honored and grateful if you could visit https://www.facebook.com/Kensomuse and Like the page to show your support and receive updates on the latest articles. Comments are most welcomed. Thank you very much!