Customers tended to choose more expensive grades of Polo, says Volkswagen – so the entry-level variant has been axed for the facelift
Almost a year after its facelifted body was revealed, final Australian prices and specifications have been locked in for the 2022 Volkswagen Polo that will arrive locally in May, after its scheduled April launch was delayed.
There has been a rethink of the Polo range in Australia designed to bring the smallest Volkswagen model into alignment with the Life and Style variant naming that has also been rolled out across the larger Golf line.
That decision spells the end of the Polo’s familiar Trendline and Comfortline grades. In effect a Trendline-style car has been eliminated from the range, leaving the Polo without a traditional base model.
Similar patterns have been observed across the light car segment, with the Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris also foregoing entry-grade variants, while cheaper vehicles like the MG 3 have jumped on demand for sub-$20,000 hatchbacks.
As a result, the Polo’s price-of-entry has jumped to $25,250 plus on-road costs for the new Life grade with a six-speed manual, while a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission for the same variant commands a $3000 premium – though the auto gets 15kW/25Nm extra, too.
When the current-shape Polo was first released in Australia in 2018, the model could be had for as little as $17,990 before on-road costs in Trendline spec, while autos started at $20,490.
Volkswagen Australia says the repositioning of the Polo is a deliberate strategy. It is one designed to “move the Polo still further from the sticker driven rat race into its most premium form to date,” according to VW brand director of passenger vehicles Michael Szaniecki.
The brand says Australian buyers were choosing higher-priced Polo variants more often than not, and that the new positioning reflects this trend.
The increased cost is partially offset by increases in standard equipment. The replacement of the Trendline with a higher-specification Life sees included specification now take in LED headlights, a Digital Cockpit instrument cluster, lane-keep assist, parking sensors, front seat lumbar, wireless charging, and a centre airbag.
All of those features are standard on the $25,250 Polo Life, along with AEB with vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keeping assist, a reversing camera, manual cruise control, 15-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a leather steering wheel, auto lights and wipers and a front-centre armrest.
The Life utilises the Polo’s existing 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol producing 70kW/175kW when paired with the standard six-speed manual gearbox, or 85kW/200Nm if optioned with the seven-speed dry-clutch DSG automatic.
Options for the Life grade take in metallic paint ($600), while the DSG automatic can be further specified with the $1700 vision and tech package that adds satellite navigation, a ‘pro’ version of the digital instrument cluster, voice control, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, while also freeing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from cables for a wireless connection.
From the Life it is $3000 step to the DSG-only Polo Style grade ($31,250 plus on-road costs). Style is a variant name that joined the Australian range in 2019 as a semi-premium trim, and the model retains its 85kW/200Nm one-litre turbo engine.
The Style nabs matrix LED headlights with adaptive high beam plus an LED grille strip light – plus larger 16-inch alloy wheels and front fog lights. Inside it features comfort sports front seats, ambient lighting and dual-zone climate control. The Style also adds adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard – plus automated parking.
Optional on the Sport is a panoramic sunroof ($1500), metallic paint ($600), and a $1900 sound and tech package that brings navigation, wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, voice control and a six-speaker, 300-watt Beats stereo to the table – along with keyless access and push-button start.
An R-Line package, which was optional on the pre-facelift Polo Comfortline grade, will not return to Australia for the facelifted car due to relatively low uptake by customers.
The Polo GTI hot hatch also makes a return to Australia in facelifted spec, priced at $38,750 – a $5860 jump over the outgoing version, though the old car’s metallic paint and assistance package have essentially been made standard.
Under the bonnet, the GTI continues to be the beefiest choice in the range, using a detuned version of the Golf GTI’s 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine producing 147kW of power and 320Nm of torque. The sole transmission is a six-speed wet-clutch DSG auto.
Standard specification for the GTI takes in metallic paint, 18-inch alloy wheels (up from 17s), keyless entry and push-button start, two-stage adaptive dampers and drive modes – while it also nabs new matrix LED headlights with adaptive high beam with illuminated grille strip.
Inside, the previous car’s leather/microfleece heated seat option has been deleted, with all facelift Polos to utilise tartan-upholstered sports seats in Australia without heating. A redesigned steering wheel features paddle shifters for the DSG ‘box, while infotainment is the regular 8.0-inch touchscreen without navigation, though wireless CarPlay and Android Auto is standard.
A $1500 sound and tech package adds to the GTI a larger 9.2-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, plus a 300-watt, six-speaker Beats stereo. A panoramic sunroof is $1500.
Most colours are no-cost options on the GTI – including pure white, smokey grey metallic, reef blue metallic and deep black pearl effect, all of which are paired with red interior trim pieces. For $300, the Mk 8 Golf GTI’s new kings red hue can be specified for the Polo, matched to deep iron grey interior trim.
The first customer deliveries of the new Polo commence in Australia in May 2022.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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