VW Polo 2020. Should you consider this or no?? I will share 5 reasons on why you shouldn’t consider this car. Now, I have always loved the Volkswagen Polo & it’s one of my favourite hatchback even right now. But I won’t recommend this product today in India in 2020 as there are 5 major reasons for it, what are they? Check out our in-depth video.
Lets understand about the Volkswagen as a brand first.
Volkswagen – is a German car brand that is known for its quality, engineering and fun-to-drive DNA. These cars were launched in India in 2010 with the Polo, before that they also had the Passat, Jetta etc, but let’s not get there. Business for VW kickstarted in India in real terms in 2010 with the Polo & the same model is selling today as well.
Not that the car has been changed majorly, its still the same with minor tweaks & feature updates over the years. There has been no change in the shape of the car, however that doesn’t concern me much, I like the way it looks but there are some points I will definitely like to highlight.Before we get into details, lets consider something similar.
Apple is a brand known for it’s technology & thats the reason you buy that phone. Lets assume that the iPhone that was launched in about 2007-2008, a product that revolutionised the mobile phone market by giving features like the touchscreen & more. If asked would you buy that same model in 2020 with minor tweaks like an additional camera or so at the same price…would you buy it?? The answer will be NO, because everyone has to upgrade with time. Same is the story with VW Polo!
5 Reasons to avoid the VW Polo 2020
1. OLD MODEL:
Polo was launched in 2010 in India and today is 2020. 11th year in the running with just changes in the engine. The Polo when it was launched in India, the segment was called Premium Hatchback. The competition to this was the Fiat Punto (launched in India in 2009), Nissan Micra (launched in 2010), Skoda Fabia, Hyundai i20 and the Honda Jazz. i20 & Jazz got major updates between 2014-2016. Even the Maruti Baleno came in around the same time.
Whereas the Fabia & the Punto were discontinued & the Micra was shifted to the mid-level segment as it’s cabin space was more appropriate for that segment. A new segment created in 2013 known as the affordable/ mid-size hatch segment which perfectly fitted the gap between the premium & the entry level hatch backs. Grand i10, Ford Figo, Maruti Swift & the Nissan Micra were the mid-size hatchbacks.
Polo is still being claimed as the premium hatchback, given it’s cabin space, it technically falls under the mid-level car. Its basically like selling the first breed of iPhone at the price of the latest high end iphone launched in 2020.
Technology of VW is remarkable. They have globally launched the new-gen Polo way back in June 2017, which is the 4th year already started this month. This sums up point 1 – its an old model (that’s sold in India).
The definition of premium hatchbacks has changed in India. It isn’t just about the features but even space for the rear passengers as well. A six-foot person can’t sit for too long in the VW Polo. So, Polo isn’t at par with the rear seat space when compared to others in the same price. Another about highlight is the features in the premium hatch segment. This car doesn’t have a lot more features compared to the competition.
Today, reverse camera seen on smaller cars also goes missing and even no engine start-stop button as well. If we consider build quality and premium-ness there are much better products today. Even if we look at the Altroz/i20 or even lower segment products like the Grand i10 NIOS has the best-in-class features and even Figo for the matter of fact has best-in almost everything. So, VW Polo doesn’t have anything major to offer anything that others aren’t already offering. Others are giving more: like Altroz for safety, NIOS or safety, Figo for performance.
At the moment there is 1.0L engine, one is NA and other turbo. Lets skip the turbo and speak of NA engine. So, if you look at the base 2 models on the Polo, see the value – its NOT THERE. VW has been known for engine performance, thats why the 1.2L diesel got replaced by 1.5L diesel. Now the 1.2L petrol is replaced by 1.0L petrol. This produces a mere 95Nm, which is almost similar to an Alto at 90-95Nm. This car weighs more than 1 ton and just 95Nm? In my 2018 review also I had mentioned about the Polo 1.0 is good but not for too long. The price at which Polo Comfortline+ comes, Figo top end is available at the same price, even Nios top end comes at a little extra. Of course, ride and handling can’t be compared to Nios. But its at par with Altroz and Figo.
4.NO DIESEL/NO DSG:
Those who love performance by the diesel. Customers aren’t too interested in the dieselgate as the enthusiasts will be disappointed. The DSG is also gone from Polo. One reason to get the DSG is the performance. This isn’t made available on the Polo anymore. I’m not even talking of the reliability of the Polo, but now the Polo does lack one of its major selling points.
Now even if you buy this car, there will be still one issue to live with is SERVICE. If you love the car and you bought it – what about service? Resale isn’t the best in class, and that’s an accepted fact. When we talk of service, VW official website reads it gets Hi5 Package. Lets talk of it in very short. 1st year offers 1 free pick-up and drop, 50% discount on wheel alignment and balancing labour. Don’t want to nitpick here, however in one of our last videos we stated how VW charged a customer for front and rear alignment separately. We can leave the video link in i-button. That video shows labour cost is higher than spares – that too for India? Seriously? Moving on 15% discount on 3M interior enrichment, 20% discount on minor bodywork jobs – this looking more like pushing dealer sales than for customer. 1 free service inspection.
Year 2: Rs 1000 off on a purchase of 4 tyres? Seriously? Online stores sell it at a much higher discount. This is a very interesting point – 100% discount on wheel alignment & balancing labour. So, why can’t it be called complimentary? There seems to be a catch here. 15% discount on accessories. Again pushing dealer sales. 20% discount on minor bodywork jobs. Complimentary car wash & complimentary AC disinfection service – AGREED that is a good option. These points don’t talk of real customer benefits – like engine oil, spare parts cost or reduction in service cost anytime. As a customer, I will want to keep my service cost low and affordable. And also what will be the cost to service for an engine oil change, filters etc. What will be the benefit if we take an AMC package? Lets take a simple example – Ford, Skoda and VW have been known to be expensive brands in service in India. So, Ford and Skoda have turned transparent. They are offering – online service calculator. There is also the Skoda ShieldPlus for 6 years, which is a solid option. VW and Skoda are sister concerns but Skoda is offering a lot more than VW. Skoda even gives service calculator. Hyundai is also offering something like that. This is missing from VW.
One more interesting point: VW is offering 3 free services in the 1st year. So, VW services the car once a year at 15,000kms. This is an excellent point like Tata, Skoda and Jeep too. So now instead of 1 there are 3 services in the first year – it offers 1st at 1000km/1 month – free check-up, second is 7500kms/6 months – 40 point check-up and 15,000kms/1 year FREE LABOUR. Thats’ technically 3 free services. When you read it, it does look exciting. When you dig deep you realise the problem.
So, when I speak about Polo, it isn’t the best Value for money, best in features. There are no reverse camera and even engine push stop button on it. Already cars in India in lower segment have features like wireless charging also. The Polo doesn’t have too many features, less rear space, engine is ok in performance, service could have been better and even the model has aged. In a nutshell, there are much options than Polo today in the Indian car market.