Volkswagen Polo GTI Facelift Review & First Drive

Volkswagen Polo GTI Overview

The GTI is a global icon. Volkswagen packs a crazy amount of horsepower in tiny hatchbacks that you would use for running errands otherwise and calls them GTI. These pocket rockets are good enough to give many a sportscars a run for their money while saving you a few quid when you bought it. The Volkswagen GTI is now in India after the showcase at the Auto Expo 2016.The Polo GTI will be imported as a CBU. The performance hatch competes with the likes of the Abarth 595 and the Mercedes A-Class globally and in India it also has the Mini Cooper S to fight with. For information on contact details of Volkswagen car dealers in Chennai

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Volkswagen Polo GTI Look

We would have loved if the GTI stood out from the crowd but sadly it goes unnoticed on most occasions. You can only tell if it’s got different head lamp internals with DRLs along with the red streak that flows from the grille halfway into the lamps. The grille itself has a honeycomb design which flaunts the GTI badge in chrome, and the larger air dams feed more air into the engine bay.

When viewed in profile, the GTI shows off its 16-inch (15-inch on Polo) sporty twin-beam five spoke alloys with slimmer profile tyres. It also gets the two door setup which is the most apparent feature that sets it apart from the Polo. A raised stance, blacked-out lower sections of the rear bumper, twin exhausts, and a sharper integrated spoiler are the other differences that differentiates it with the Polo.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Comfort

Among sporty hatchbacks, the 2014 GTI ranks at the top for interior quality. The retro-style plaid seat fabric on the base trim won’t suit everyone, but the cabin reflects a cool and sophisticated design, featuring upscale Audi-esque trim and switchgear throughout. The Ford Focus might come close, but in general, you won’t find better materials in this price range. There are a couple downsides, including a lack of useful interior storage and the navigation system’s small screen, which makes it harder to view the map and limits its overall usefulness.

The front seats are sporty and supportive, whether cruising or driving hard, while the rear seats offer a surprising amount of headroom and legroom for adults. Behind the rear seats, the cargo area holds up to 15.2 cubic feet — nearly three times that of the Mini Cooper S, but less than a Focus hatchback. Once the rear seat is folded down, 46 cubic feet of cargo capacity is at your disposal.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Performance

The GTI’s appeal really unravels when you slide into the driver seat, tip the gearstick into ‘S’, wrap your hands around the steering wheel and flex your right leg real nice. There is a slight hesitation when you depress the accelerator, before the car really takes off. This is because when the car is at a standstill, the DSG gearbox engages the second gear with one clutch and pre-selects the reverse with the other (the first gear and reverse gear are on the same shaft, and hence cannot be selected by the same clutch, making the selection of the second gear an acceptable compromise). When the car is in kickdown, the first clutch plate deselects the reverse gear and engages the first, causing the slight hesitation; after this, power flows like water through the sluices of a post-monsoon dam. Turbo lag is barely noticeable and peak torque kicks in as early as 1,450rpm, ensuring that the car pulls well enough in the lower rev range. As you climb higher into the rev band, and you do so rather quickly, you notice that the power delivery is meaty but linear all the way from mid-range until the 6,400rpm redline. What is most striking though is the responsiveness of the engine and throttle. Gently nudge the accelerator at any given point of time and the GTI eagerly lunges forward.

Equally sensitive are the brakes. The all-round discs have plenty of bite, so much so that many will find it a task getting used to them. Acclimatise yourself to them though, and you find out how adept they are shedding speed or bringing the car to a complete standstill.The kinetic experience is augmented by the auditory performance – the exhaust note spat from the twin exhausts round the back is not particularly loud, but it is crisp and sporty. Under hard acceleration, every upshift is accompanied by a satisfying snort and every downshift by a bassy ‘bop’.

The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic DSG gearbox feels like a perfect match for the engine. It is eager and aggressive, upshifting in mere milliseconds, and downshifting willingly (though with a bit of shift shock) when the throttle is depressed hard. In ‘S’ mode (I highly recommend you stick to this for maximum grins), the gearbox obstinately holds revs until the redline and drops ratios quite happily. In ‘D’ mode, upshifts are executed slightly earlier and the sensitivity of the throttle is reduced, to make the car more amiable to drive in tighter spaces such as parking spots and traffic. The algorithm underpinning its ECU is adaptive in nature, which means that the gearbox adapts to your style of driving and changes ratios accordingly. In fact, the DSG does such a great job that you don’t miss the engagement offered by a manual box.The engine and the gearbox work together to create an impressive repertoire of numbers – 0-100kph is achieved in a claimed 7.2sec, and the speedo needle will spin to a lofty 233kph.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Rideing

We move on to the ride and handling characteristics. Volkswagen has taken the effort to raise the GTI’s suspension to offer more ground clearance for Indian road conditions. This makes it more useable and you really don’t have to worry about taking the car anywhere you want. Though the suspension is stiff, it isn’t as stiff as other hot hatches like the Mini Cooper, and is hence more forgiving on our roads. At slow speeds the slightly stiff ride results in road imperfections being felt and heard in the cabin, but it doesn’t get uncomfortable at all. As speeds increase, the bump absorption over broken surfaces and undulations is good, but as a result there is some up and down movement.

The GTI gets a quick and accurate steering that makes the car eager to change directions. It rolls a bit too. However, if you enter a corner too fast, it tends to understeer but the trick here is to stay on the power and the traction from the trick differential, which gets power to the correct wheels, allows the car to stick to the intended line. It doesn’t feel artificial either. Now, in hot hatches, you’d expect some adjustability in terms of chassis, but the GTI feels too planted especially the rear, and the chassis doesn’t feel as playful as say a Mini Cooper does. Meanwhile, the brakes offer superb feel and good feedback with hardly any brake fade under intense braking situations.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Safety

Volkswagen Polo GTI gets electronic stability control with driver steering recommendation, ABS, ASR, EDL and EDTC. Other primary safety provisions on the Polo GTI are wheel locks with extended anti-theft protection, electronic differential lock XDS, 6 airbags, ISOFIX anchorage points, height adjustable 3 head restraints, 3-point height adjustable seat belts, power windows with anti-pinch mechanism, park distance control, rear fog lamp, front fog lamps with cornering lights and rear window wiper with intermittent control.

Volkswagen Polo GTI Cost in Hyderabad

Volkswagen Polo Gti Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 9,11,844/- (Polo GTI STD) to 9,11,844/- (Polo GTI STD). Get best offers for Volkswagen Polo Gti from Volkswagen Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Polo GTI price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Volkswagen Polo GTI Bottomline

There is no doubt in the fact that the Volkswagen Polo GTI is a worthy hot hatchback which can bring smile on the faces of those who sits behind its wheels. But offcourse it’s pricing is a bit too steep for the Indian market which definitely could be a big letdown for many however with all that money you are getting a hot hatchback which not only looks good but also packs a lot of punch from the 1.8 Litre unit. The hot hatchback also gets plenty of driver aids as well to assists the driver and also to keep the occupants safe inside.

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