Fleet News

Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI SE - 5,345 miles

Volkswagen

Review

I HAVE discovered a new medical condition driving the Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI SE, which I have dubbed the 'Polo twitch'.

It relates to the annoying amount of wind noise coming from the top of the driver's door on our test car, and the twitch I get when, throughout my journey, I keep testing the electric windows because I am convinced one is open. It is now getting quite annoying and the only cure I can find is to make sure the radio is on to drown out the noise.

Putting this niggle aside, our Polo has surprised me with its interior space, nippy driving experience and opulent spec level.

I need no longer dread the term supermini – which always makes me think of driving with my knees around my ears and head over to one side, in a bid to fit myself in, as the Polo offers cabin space galore.

However, loadspace is a very different story: I can't get my baby's pushchair in the boot.

This may seem a trivial complaint, but as a working mum loadspace is crucial and having previously driven the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris, which would both accommodate a pushchair and the weekly shopping, the Polo is definitely in third place on that front.

The interesting thing about our long-term model is the lavish equipment level (apart from not having a CD player).

Our Polo, without its plethora of extras, is still £500 more than the equivalent Mini One diesel, £690 more than a Toyota Yaris 1.4 D-4D T Spirit and a whopping £1,290 more than a Fiesta 1.4 Zetec 5dr.

And if you look at the price as tested at £13,495, you could almost afford an entry-level Mazda 6.

You do get plenty back at resale time though – our Polo should retain 42% of its cost new after three years/ 60,000 miles, according to CAP.

It highlights the need to pay close attention to spec levels as they soon add up to creating personalised cars which might be difficult to sell at the end of their cycle. And by sacrificing a little on spec, drivers may be able to step up a class or two, which could be useful if space is an issue.

Company car tax bill 2003/04 (22% tax-payer): £39 per month

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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