After the global launch at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March this year, Volkswagen has updated the Indian spec Polo hatchback with a facelift and a brand new 1.5-litre diesel engine under the hood. The 2014 Volkswagen Polo gets exterior styling updates in-sync with the international version, which overall turn out to be very mild compared to the outgoing model. Changes on the outside include a redesigned front bumper with a chrome strip and revised fog lamps.
The twin chrome slats on the grille have been replaced by all black units, while a single chrome strip rests at the bottom. Unlike the international version, the headlight cluster on the 2014 Polo remains the same, but gets silver accents inside. While no changes have been made to the side profile, the rear fascia gets a revised bumper and mildly tweaked tail lights. Complimenting the facelifted model are new alloy wheels and the orange shade that has been added to the palette.
On the inside, the 2014 Polo gets a 3-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel, which is a major welcome. The centre console is now finished in brushed silver and the MID screen on the instrument cluster has been updated with a new font style and gets white illumination instead of red seen on the outgoing version. Keeping up with its promise, Volkswagen has kept driver and passenger airbags as standard on all variants of the Polo, while the top-end model also comes with ABS.
Coming to the biggest change of all, the 2014 Volkswagen Polo is now powered by a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder TDI diesel engine with Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) that replaces the 1.2-litre 3-cylinder TDI unit. A derivative of the 1.6-litre TDI engine found on the Polo GT TDI and the Vento, the new engine has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of India and produces 90 PS of power at 4200 RPM (old version, 75 PS at 4200 RPM) and 230 Nm of torque between 1500-2500 RPM (old version, 180 Nm at 2000 RPM). The Polo GT TDI model also adopts the new 1.5-litre diesel mill but has a different state of tune, it produces 105 PS of power and 250 Nm of torque, which is identical to the old GT TDI.
A healthy upgrade, the new diesel motor promises a flat torque curve, superb acceleration and lower emissions as stated by the automaker. In terms of petrol power, the 2014 Polo retains the 1.2-litre 3-cylinder unit producing 75 PS at 5400 RPM and 110 Nm of torque at 3750 RPM. All models are paired to a 5-speed manual transmission, while the AT is available on the GT TSI (which is powered by a 1.2-litre TSI engine producing 105 PS and 175 Nm) that comes with a 7-speed DSG box. In terms of fuel economy, the new 1.5-litre diesel engine returns an ARAI certified 20.14 km/l while the old 1.2 TDI returned 22.07 km/l. The GT TDI returns 19.91 km/l while the GT TSI returns 17.21 km/l.
The Volkswagen Polo competes against the Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20, Fiat Punto and the likes in the segment with most of the models also in-line to receive an update this year. The facelifted Polo GT TSI, Polo GT TDI and Cross Polo will be available from September onwards.
2014 Volkswagen Polo Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi and introductory) –
* Volkswagen Polo 1.2 MPI – Rs. 4.99 – 6.07 lakhs
* Volkswagen Polo 1.5 TDI – Rs. 6.27 – 7.37 lakhs
* Volkswagen Cross Polo – Rs. 7.90 lakhs
* Volkswagen Polo GT TDI – Rs. 7.99 lakhs
* Volkswagen Polo GT TSI – Rs. 7. 99 lakhs