For under RM90k, you guys may think that you’d be spoilt for choices in terms of buying a car. You know what… you are! In the B-Segment, almost every car maker is offering something for the money and here to make things more complicated now, Volkswagen welcomes their all-new locally assembled Polo 1.6 and is ready to prove itself worthy.
First introduced to our market at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show late last year; the all-new Polo 1.6 hatchback stands as VGM’s third locally assembled model in their line-up of vehicles, set to enter and attract the ‘below RM100k’ market with maximum enthusiasm. Firstly – priced at RM 87,888, it sets to tackle the attention of ‘young drivers’ with its sporty and dynamic design.
How ‘sporty’ is it though? This locally assembled model is powered by a 1.6-litre normally aspirated Multi Point Injection (MPI) engine that produces a decent 105bhp and 153nm at the disposal of the right foot. With an almost similar performance figure against its 1.2 TSI brother; you must think now – “What is the point of buying the more expensive 1.2 TSI?”
Valid question. However take into consideration that this completely knocked down version does come with a few key features less than the fully imported model. Chief amongst which is the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) which is now replaced in favour of a 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic. The lack of the fast shifting DSG transmission means that this version will do the Zerotohundred sprint in 12.3 seconds, a whole 2.5 seconds slower than the 1.2 TSI.
On the performance side – we are glad to say however that the sprint time is the only disappointment because the rest of the car still remains perky and fun as a regular Polo. Over the day, we had the opportunity to spend time with the Polo 1.6 on swirly autocross layout and even on dirt to discover just how well the car handles.
The Polo 1.6 has kept its enjoyable handling; easily keeping pace with some of its competitors in the B-segment. Yes, the ride is supple and it soaks Malaysia’s demanding road layout and surfaces nicely despite its eager performance on the bends. For an everyday car – we think the Polo 1.6 will befit your bill very easily.
When we got the keys to the Polo 1.6 – we were given the challenge to drive as economically as possible to Sepang to achieve our lowest possible l/100km score. VW claims an average of 6.3l/100km in a combined cycle and much to our surprise, at a normal driving pace, mixed between highway and B-roads, the claimed cycle is easily achievable in the real world. We managed a lowest scoring run of 5.8l/100km which we found rather impressive. Work harder and given a longer distance, we reckon that average can hit the low fives, especially on long highway cruises.
Where the Polo 1.6 stands stronger than its competitors all round is undoubtedly; its well-known German built quality. Whilst its rivals from Japan are very good iterations in the B-segment, the general public’s perception on Volkswagen gives the Polo 1.6 a quick edge over the rest. Although locally assembled, the Polo 1.6 only carries only 40% of locally made items whilst the rest are still similar to those on the CBU model. In fact at a glance, it is not easy to tell the two models apart.
However – the most obvious will be the chrome lining on the headlamps of the 1.6 version where it is black on the 1.2 TSI and newly redesigned taillights to match. Wheels are also different on this iteration, where the 1.6 is fitted with 15-inch ‘Riverside’ alloy wheels compared to the 17″ fitted on the 1.2 TSI.
Keeping up with the needs of the market – the Polo 1.6 offers a wide range of connectivity options to its customers in the form of the new RCD 320 Radio system which features goodies like USB and iPod interface, at the same time Bluetooth connectivity for mobile and audio streaming. These features will keep the driver and passengers entertained easily, which we think the car’s target market will enjoy very much.
Although locally assembled, Volkswagen takes pride in the Polo 1.6’s German built quality all-round. The interior is fitted with a chrome package as standard; which includes chrome surrounds for the radio and light switches, AC panel and vents, and steering wheel accects. At the same time, the Polo 1.6 also features a 4 way adjustable multi-function leather steering wheel, a leather gear knob and handbrake lever to give it the final quality touches.
- Fun and sporty like handling
- Radical built quality
- Economical runabout
We don’t like
- No DSG Gearbox (although it might be a good thing)
- Slower than the 1.2 TSI
- Headlights are not as good looking
So there we have it. Another hopefully short and concise review of the all-new Polo 1.6 CKD. It comes to no surprise for people to be utterly excited for a Volkswagen at a relatively competitive value. We reckon many will easily enjoy the Polo 1.6, as it is as well made as a VW should be. Want one? Well Volkswagen Group Malaysia is offering a sweet discount for the first 500 customers on the Polo 1.6 CKD at a price of RM85,888; RM2k off the list price. For more information, visit www.volkswagen.com.my