Volkswagen Polo 95 DSG: a formidable “little one” compared to the Clio and 208

Volkswagen Polo 95 DSG: a formidable “little one” compared to the Clio and 208

Who remembers? The first Polo in 1975 was a simplified Audi 50. It was so successful that its sister from Ingolstadt quickly disappeared from the catalogue. That’s when Volkswagen, on the brink of the abyss with the public’s sudden dissatisfaction with the old rear-engined Beetles, badly needed something new. As early as 1973, the Wolfsburg-based company had plundered the Audi and converted their daughter’s 80 with the rings into a Passat. The Polo was essential in attracting a more financially constrained clientele than the Golf, introduced in 1974. Volkswagen especially wanted to compete with the new fashionable city cars such as the R5, the Fiat 127, the Autobianchi A 112 and the Peugeot 104. Today, 47 years later, we are at the Polo VI one and a half, after the last restyling of the sixth version, the front and Heck has been nicely refined.

Next to the Golf, this Polo is the most famous Volkswagen of our time. Grown over generations, it comes very close aesthetically to its big sister in the form of a small station wagon. Result: a balanced car with no frills, typical of the brand’s productions. The body is timelessly classic. This timeless elegance contributes no little to the success.

Classic and timeless

Inside it’s just as austere and almost timeless, with the exception of the screen, of course. The finish is good with well made and carefully fitted materials. The set presents itself well. And this Polo has better ergonomics than the Golf, lost in the turmoil of an absurd modernity. In particular, we find a classic shifter, functional and worthy of its name, instead of the micro-lever, unintelligible from its predecessor. The settings are pretty simple. We just rail against the silly duty of clicking in two different places on every restart to defuse the line break alarm. We’ll also strain that absurd Volkswagen habit of reactivating the parking beepers with every reverse gear and systematically pairing them with the camera. Impossible to have the camera alone. Ridiculous.

Apart from that, given the size, we will appreciate the habitability. Even if the space requirement of the imposing tunnel reduces the number of rear seats to two! The riding position is correct, provided you’re comfortable sitting with your knees up. The seats are firmer than Citroën, but support the back much better. The trunk isn’t huge, but it’s adequate for the category. This mini golf has all its sisters for travel. But on a bad road, we regretted some unwanted squeaks coming from the rear compartment.


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