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Volkswagen Polo 2022: facelift set for release in Australia early next year


Volkswagen’s most affordable car in Australia, the popular Polo hatch, will soon receive an update bringing a slew of modern amenities and a sleek new look

The Volkswagen Polo hatch is set to receive a facelift in early 2022 bringing key changes to tech and safety along with a more modern appearance.

Buyers should expect the refreshed Polo to arrive in Australia around late March to early April with the top-spec GTI slated to arrive alongside the rest of the range.

The update will help the Polo take on rivals such as the Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio and the MG 3 in the slowly shrinking but still popular small car segment.

Volkswagen Polo 2022 front 3/4 driving
Volkswagen will bring the facelifted Polo to Australia early next year

What’s new for the 2022 Polo?

The sixth-generation Polo has been around in its current form since 2018 and has been well received,  recording 3,787 annual sales as of September this year, almost 1,000 sales more than at the same time last year.

For the Polo’s midlife update, Volkswagen has redesigned the front and rear bumpers with a slightly more serious appearance that bears a resemblance to the new Mk 8 Golf.

Designers have adorned the Polo with optional Matrix LED headlights that are connected by a slim LED strip and matched with LED tail-lights at the rear. 

Volkswagen Polo 2022 interior
A 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay sits in the centre

Inside, drivers will find a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster matched with an 8.0-inch touchscreen in the centre with optional satellite navigation and standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Volkswagen has switched to a new grade structure that begins with the simply-named ‘Polo’ before moving up the range with the Life, Style, R-Line and GTI grades.

It remains to be seen if all five grades will come to Australia but Volkswagen currently offers a four-grade line-up known as the Trendline, Comfortline, Style and GTI.

Volkswagen Polo 2022 trio
The regular Polo will arrive alongside the hot GTI grade early next year

The Polo R-Line distinguishes itself by by fitting the aforementioned Matrix LED headlights and LED fog lights as standard, a gloss black rear diffuser, chrome exhuast surround and 16-inch Valencia-style wheels.

Volkswagen also offers extras such as larger 17-inch alloys, a panoramic sunroof, a 300 watt Beats Audio system along with a sport package for the Style and R-Line that drops the ride height by 15mm, adds different drive modes and adds an electronic LSD.

Small but mighty engines

In Europe, the Polo is offered with several turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engines, though Australia is likely to get the two most powerful variants that feed power through to the front wheels.

The first produces 70kW of power and 175Nm of torque and can be paired with a five-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, while a beefier 81kW/200Nm can only be paired with the latter in European tune.

Volkswagen Polo 2022 purple rear
Volkswagen has fitted more safety equipment including a centre airbag in the update

Volkswagen previously offered this engine in Australia a 85kW/200Nm state of tune and we expect this to continue with the facelifted verison.

Volkswagen provides the Polo GTI with a larger 2.0-litre turbocharged engine which gets a 5kW power bump to 152kW overseas for 2022 – plus a newer seven-speed DSG automatic – but Australia will not receive the updated version of this engine.

That means the facelifted 2022 Polo GTI will continue to produce 147kW/320Nm, fed to the front wheels through a six-speed DSG. You can read more about the Polo GTI in our separate article.

Volkswagen Polo 2022 engine
Australia is expected to get two engine options making 70kW/175Nm and 85kW/200Nm

More safety equipment for the Polo

As a car that will likely be purchased by younger and less experience buyers it is reassuring to know that Volkswagen has increased the level of safety as offered.

Volkswagen has added a front-centre airbag to the Polo, that aims to prevent occupants from hitting each other during a crash. The feature is often necessary for vehicles to score a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

The Polo features an enhanced suite of safety features including adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, tyre pressuring monitoring along with parking sensors at the front and rear.

Volkswagen Polo 2022 rear distance 2
Prices are expected to rise with the facelift

While currently available from around $21,790 to $32,890 before on-road costs the updates could see the Polo rise by around $2,000-$3,000 to bridge the gulf between it and the new Golf.

Upon the arrival of eighth-generation Golf, the price rose by $2,460 to $4,460 depending on the grade with the cheapest model now starting at  $29,350 before on-road costs.

We’ll find out more official information closer to the launch date early next year.