Volkswagen Polo R Line: The Smart Man's GTI?

By Alex Hamilton, 27 April 2012

For those that find the Polo GTI too expensive and find the standard car a bit boring, VW might have the perfect supermini for you. It's called the Polo R Line and it crosses hot hatch looks with easy-to-swallow running costs.

Bigger bumpers front and back, R Line badge on the gloss black radiator grille, side skirts and 16" 'Mallory' alloys on the outside help distinguish this bad boy from the everyday Polo. The back windows are even tinted to make this car a bit more gangster.

There are more R Line logos inside on the headrests of the fabric seats, brushed aluminium scuff plates and a little one on the three spoke leather steering wheel. Other trinkets included are aluminium pedals and black headlining.

You get the same amount of standard equipment as you do in a Polo Match which means all electric windows, remote locking, semi-automatic air conditioning, 6 speaker sound system with a plug for the mobile or MP3 player, heated and electric door mirrors and even a tyre pressure monitor. If you want the centre armrest though, that'll be £110.

One engine is available with the R Line; the 104bhp 1.2 TSI petrol which will take the Polo from 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 118mph. That's slower than the GTI but the R Line will be cheaper to insure, cheaper to run with a claimed 53.3mpg combined and 124g/km of CO2, and this one comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox whether you like it or not instead of the DSG in the GTI.

Prices start at £15,195 for the 3-door and £15,815 for the 5-door making it much cheaper to buy than the nearly £20k Polo GTI. The R Line is a tiny bit more expensive than a Ford Fiesta Zetec S and more expensive than the Suzuki Swift Sport we've tested but it's actually slightly cheaper than a Vauxhall Corsa SRi. One for the mass-market hot hatch lovers for sure.

Next article The Horsepower Wars Will Kill Us All.