The Volkswagen Polo is a symbol of affordability, high-quality and fun. It uses all of VW’s motoring knowledge to combat almost all of its competition.
Its craftsmanship and drive are typically German, while its pricing is reasonable and balanced.
The Polo comes with loads of equipment as standard, even in the base model, and it’s cheap to run, features good fuel economy and boasts low insurance premiums.
But it’s not the only vehicle of its type. Small cars used to be very spartan, but now they’re feature-filled, and you have loads to choose from.
To get you started, we’ve highlighted six small cars you should consider if you’re looking into the VW Polo.
The Audi A1 is the cheapest way into prestige motoring. It’s largely based on the same underpinnings as the VW Polo, and the fastest engine is that taken from the Polo GTI.
So, why would you pay more for what is a similar car? Well, the A1 looks better than the Polo thanks to its sportier stance. Its interior is classier and you get a nice Audi badge on the front.
There’s also a more diverse range in the A1, with the Citycarver – an SUV-like version with black wheel arches and a taller ride height.
However, it’s not all in favour of the Audi. The entry-level A1 is over £3,000 more expensive than the Polo on list price, and it has a smaller boot.
The VW also has features like front and rear parking sensors as standard on the entry-level Match, whereas you need to go up to the Sport trim level or add them as an optional extra on the A1.
The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the best examples of how small cars have developed over the last few years.
What was once a basic runaround has transformed into a tech-laden, stylish and practical family car.
Compared to the Polo, it’s cheaper to buy or lease, has better standard equipment, comes with bigger wheels in the entry-level model and is available in petrol, diesel and fully electric – while the VW is petrol only.
So, you get more for your money in a lot of areas. However, the Polo is more practical, has a bigger boot and just feels as though it’s a bit more of a quality item.
Nonetheless, for low-cost motoring, you’d be hard pushed to find better value for money than the Corsa.
The Ford Fiesta is the UK’s favourite small car. It’s superb to drive and looks expensive. Two key factors for any supermini.
It also houses the best engine in any small car today – the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, which comes with a few power variations depending on your wants and needs.
Also, it’s a Ford, so you know it’s going to be reliable, cheap to fix if anything goes wrong and give you low insurance premiums.
But there are areas in which the Fiesta struggles to compete with the Polo, such as boot space – which is around 60 litres less – and interior quality, where the Fiesta really struggles.
You can read more about the Ford Fiesta in our in-depth review here.
The Seat Ibiza – like the Audi A1 and Polo – is another small car from the Volkswagen Group. But unlike a lot of its rivals, the Ibiza is a grown-up drive, it’s not specifically targeted to young city livers.
Because of that, its styling is inoffensive. Bland is probably harsh, but it’s not as striking as anything else in its field.
Yet, what it does have is copious amounts of space. Both front and rear legroom are impressive, while it also has a slightly bigger boot than the Polo.
However, for the price, which is around the same as the Volkswagen, there’s arguably better out there, with features such as a front armrest and split rear seats only available in higher models.
Its tech is also behind the times, with the entry-level featuring only a five-inch black and white infotainment system, rather than the bigger, full-colour variant you get in the Polo.
The Mini Cooper is one of the most iconic vehicles on the road. It’s unapologetically eye-catching and provides an insight into the personalities of the fun-loving drivers who own one.
It’s also quintessentially British; based on one of Britain’s best-loved cars with Union Jack taillights and detailing – albeit it’s now made by Germany’s BMW.
And even though it’s a similar size to the Polo, the Mini is arguably a completely different car. Its whole persona is based on playfulness and originality – not what you’d attribute to the VW.
The Cooper also comes with a choice of either three or five doors, giving you more customisability, and in three-door form is cheaper than the entry-level Polo.
But, to be different, the Mini sacrifices space – quite a lot of it actually. It has more than 140 litres less boot room than the Polo – which is the equivalent of almost two aeroplane carry-on bags – and it’s the same story in the rear of the car, where legroom vs the Polo isn’t even a contest.
The Peugeot 208 is arguably the surprise pick of the bunch. It may share the same name as the old 208, but that’s where the similarities end.
And that’s a good thing because the old 208 isn’t a very good car. But this one really is.
Depending on personal preference, it’s arguably the best looking out of all seven we’ve spoken about, and that continues inside too, with four trim levels to choose from – all of which feel well-made and good quality.
And, as is the case for the Vauxhall Corsa – as they’re the same car underneath but wear different clothes – there’s also an electric version, an option not yet available in the Polo.
But, also like the Corsa, the 208 can’t compete with the VW’s practicality, and the entry-level model is also more expensive.
Still want a Polo?
If after all of this you find yourself still leaning towards the Volkswagen Polo, then we can help.
Click the button below to find out more about Volkswagen’s small car as well as the specs and prices we have available.