Volkswagen Polo GTI review – interior and tech

Solid, ergonomically sound and functional; GTI elements do brighten up the standard interior

Evo rating
Price
from £21,660

Little if anything has changed with the Polo’s update, which, trust us, is a good thing. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its faults, however, as VW seems to be obsessed with capacitive controls for every part of a car’s function, which broadly speaking just don’t work very well. Of note here are the steering wheel and climate controls, which are similar to those found across the new Golf and Tiguan, and both of which are frustrating to use and pointlessly complex compared to the old units.

The digital interfaces are still based on those of the previous car, though, so while you have to put up with the ancient-looking menu screens and irritating complexity, they’re not as frustrating to use as the system in a Mk8 Golf.

The interior otherwise feels well screwed together, even if the cabin’s materials really are the bare minimum of acceptable. The GTI bits are crucial to lifting its ambiance, as the tartan seats and red stitching, augmented with elements such as the giant slab of red plastic stretched across the dashboard, help lift the interior.

The seats are near perfect, comfortable and supportive, having enough lateral support without resorting to supersized bolsters that restrict access. However, we’d suggest you avoid the micro-suede option, as the shapely standard seats are swapped out for the basic chairs found in other Polo models.

It would be nice to have some more substantial paddleshifters behind the wheel, but they feel reasonably solid and are an acceptable trade-off for their quick-witted responses compared to similar offerings in other dual-clutch supermini hot hatches.

In typical VW style, though, all the touchpoints are almost perfect. The driving position is near spot-on, with plenty of adjustment in the steering and seats. The high-mounted infotainment system is also placed in exactly the right position, close to the driver’s eyeline and without looking like an afterthought, as is the case with most floating screens. 

Most Popular

Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed
Porsche Sally Carrera – front quarter
News

Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed

Porsche’s been collaborating with Pixar on this one-off special that’ll be sold at Car Week for charity
12 Aug 2022
Best Impreza Colin McRae Edition review – homage to McRae's championship 555 racer
Subaru Impreza Turbo 555 – header
Videos

Best Impreza Colin McRae Edition review – homage to McRae's championship 555 racer

We drive an original Group A Subaru Impreza 555 rally car, as well as the £370,000 contemporary homage Best Engineering has created in its image
12 Aug 2022
Rodin FZero plans revealed – 1160bhp V10-powered hypercar rival for Red Bull’s RB17
Rodin FZero render – front
News

Rodin FZero plans revealed – 1160bhp V10-powered hypercar rival for Red Bull’s RB17

There’s another hypercar contender on the horizon, the Rodin FZero
10 Aug 2022