Inevitably the new car is bigger, 81mm added to its length, although the 92mm let into its wheelbase has yielded better proportions, the overhangs at both ends reducing. Width increases too, benefitting cabin space, as does that wheelbase stretch. The three-door version, incidentally, is no more. Disappointingly the Polo has put on a little weight – around 50kg – although it’s stiffer and better equipped besides being bigger.
Sadly, the overall styling doesn’t quite play to this quite as well as the Polo’s platform sibling, the Seat Ibiza. In less vibrant colours, there’s more of a lukewarm visual impression rather than understated or all-out flair.
This time, you can swap the dials for two information panels either side of the screen – which are able to display pretty much anything you’d like. Or you can make the panels/dials disappear entirely, giving a satisfying full screen view of the map (the speed appears as a numerical display at the bottom), vehicle status, radio stations and no doubt many other options we didn’t get a chance to try.
But whatever else you take away from the Polo will fall away into relative insignificance when, finally, you notice the things that should be happening beneath you on typical roads, but aren’t.