Although short of the official 60.4mpg consumption figure, the Polo 1.4 TDI SE is still one of the most economical cars on the fleet.
Given its excellent fuel economy I had expected the Polo to suffer in other ways – the main failing being space.
However, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of room inside the car. In fact when it comes to space, the latest Polo sits between the second and third generation Golf, meaning there is plenty of room for four adults to travel in comfort and the boot easily accommodates a couple of suitcases.
The £1,575 optional leather seats – which add a luxurious touch even if they are rather out of place in a supermini – and winter pack on our Polo are an added extravagance that few drivers could justify on a car with a basic on-the-road price of £11,890.
In fact, the additional extras on our Polo bring the on the road price to a staggering £15,570 – and that doesn't include a CD player.
Compare this with a Peugeot 206 GLX 2.0 HDi 90 and the Polo seems to offer poor value when you consider that the more powerful Peugeot costs just £710 more and boasts air conditioning, six-CD player, fog lights, automatic headlights and wipers and 14-inch alloy wheels all as standard.
This aside, the Polo would be ideal for a company car driver covering relatively short distances.
I would choose the more powerful 1.9 TDI 100 at £13,315, which comes with 15-inch alloys, six-CD autochanger, front fog lights and Climatic air-con as standard. Despite being more powerful, CO2 emissions are still only 135g/km and it carries a benefit-in-kind bill of just £43 a month for a 22% taxpayer.
Company car tax bill 2003/04 (22% tax-payer): £39 a month