What to lease? The Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo?

Date Posted 29th January 2019
Read Time 7 min read

For drivers looking to lease a compact car that is ideal for families, but also great for work uses, either for commuting or as a company car, you’ll no doubt be facing a conundrum between two iconic hatchbacks: the best-selling Ford Fiesta or the ever-popular Volkswagen Polo.

With a lease deal or car finance agreement being the preferred method that 90 per cent of Brits acquire cars today, getting behind one of these fan-favourites is easier than ever and all you need to do is decide which is best suited for you. That’s where Hippo Leasing comes in to help you compare the two models.

So how are we comparing the two cars? This matchup is ultimately going to come down to design, practicality, status, price and drive, but it’s going to be a tough choice as the Ford Fiesta and the Volkswagen Polo are so well matched. We’ve decided we’ll be looking at the extremes in both models as with such fine margins, separating the two requires looking at the cars in depth.


In terms of design, you’ll struggle to find fault with either the Fiesta or the Volkswagen.

The Polo boasts serious – dare we say austere – front profile and overall chiselled, dependable and refined shell. Inside, the Polo is refined, ergonomic and very well-appointed, offering boatloads of comfort to its driver and passengers. The car is handsome, for sure, as well as outgoing and good-natured. Flamboyant, though, the Polo isn’t.

The Fiesta is another matter, however. From the name to the headlights and even to the front grille, the Ford brings irregular shapes and curves to the table, and drivers are invited to enjoy the experience. Inside, the car offers enough creature comforts that we can agree the Fiesta’s welcoming demeanour continues inside the car. We think the Ford Fiesta wants to have a good time and it knows all the cool places to go.


Practicality is always going to play a huge part in selecting a small hatchback especially now that there are so many high sided SUV’s on the market.

In terms of all-round comfort, the VW Polo has the edge over the Ford Fiesta with a few extra inches that make all the difference when travelling in the rear. If you regularly have rear seat passengers and they are not vertically challenged then the Polo gains a huge advantage here and if you are concerned with rear room height on the Ford then its best to avoid the panoramic roof altogether.

The space question also extends to the boot and the slightly boxier Polo scores again with nearly 60 litres of additional space which goes a long way to accommodating that extra suitcase. All but the entry-level Polo’s come with a 60:40 rear seat fold but the Fiesta has the split ratio in all of its models.

When it comes to other practical niceties, cubby holes etc, both the Polo and the Fiesta have a good selection of handy spaces, so no real difference there.


The price is slightly higher on the Polo for a similar specification but this is not the whole story. Residual values are better on the Polo which means that lease deals and PCP deals are keener on the Polo as the bean counters can count on getting more value back from the VW when you hand back the keys.

For hire purchase deals, this isn’t the case as monthly payments are based on the total value of the car, and as a result, your repayments are going to be less for the Fiesta when comparing like for like specifications.

At Hippo Leasing, we can offer both leasing deals as well as hire-purchase deals on our cars, so no matter your preferred method of financing your car, we can assist.


The engines are remarkably similar in that there are a few underpowered, normally aspirated entry-level petrol engines and then at the top end, two sporty versions in the form of the Polo GTI and the Ford Fiesta ST which are both firmly in the hot hatch class. Frankly, these two hot hatches deserve their own head to head but suffice to say, they are both quick having the same 197bhp on tap that will move them from 0-60mph in well under 7 seconds, with the Polo GTI being marginally faster.

Most buyers of these cars will, however, be more interested in comparing the Ford Fiesta’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost engines and the VW Polo’s turbocharged 1.0-litre engines. This is where the respective engineers earn their crust and both are cracking engines available in various outputs.

When Ford’s EcoBoost three-cylinder engines go head to head with the Polo’s three-cylinder turbocharged engines, there is only one winner… you. Both are perky whatever power output you go for and, as a result, both are fun to drive – but not at the cost of fuel economy with both returning excellent miles per gallon and low CO2 emissions. There are so many engine versions for both but expect about 60 miles per gallon and slightly over 100g/km of CO2 emissions.

Something worth mentioning is the respective gearboxes. The direct shift gearbox in the Polo makes it fantastic to drive in an urban environment but its urge to move up to 7th gear at very low speeds makes it less enjoyable on the motorway. The gearbox in the Fiesta isn’t as fancy but it’s very sharp and crisp.


Once the ignition is engaged, both models provide an excellent overall driving experience, but the question is do you prefer your virtuosos in the flavour of Jimi Hendrix or Mozart?

With the Ford Fiesta, the aim is for an overall fun to drive experience. You shouldn’t just get from A to B, you should have a good time doing it. The Fiesta has worked to provide easy handling and the car’s lightweight body allows the Fiesta to be nimble on the UK’s winding A roads.

However, if you are looking for a sophisticated, balanced and refined drive, then perhaps the Polo is your preferred supermini. The high-level of engineering that has gone into the Polo means that on demanding roads it can punch higher than it’s weight. VW has also ensured that the car offers a quiet drive.


Status is a funny thing, especially when it comes to hatchbacks. While some will appreciate the dependable lines of the VW, others are looking for a hatchback that looks like it has a bit of hot in it and there is no doubt that the Fiesta fits into the latter category. Just sitting in the cabin will help make up your mind which one is for you.

The Polo has much cleaner lines inside and, while both have opted for clean and more traditional instrumentation, the VW makes a real effort to create a joined-up look that is especially noticeable when you compare how both deal with the touchscreen question: the Polo has it slightly recessed into the dash while in the Ford, its front and high for all to see. This theme continues through the rest of the cabin where everything that pushes and pulls is slightly more refined on the German car but what did we expect from the kings of slow and steady design evolution.


So, which is the best option? If you want a more straight-laced, slightly roomier, more refined ride and better residual values then the Polo is the subcompact car for you. If you value a bit more fun, both in looks and drive plus the excellent engineering to be found in the EcoBoost engines than the Fiesta is also a good bet to consider.

Regardless of if you are Team Fiesta or Team Polo, get behind the wheel of your dream car today with Hippo Leasing. Find out our lease deals for these amazing cars today – chat with us, call us on 01254 956 666 or simply email info@hippoleasing.co.uk to discuss your requirements.

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