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As Tarmac Life’s resident VW GTI enthusiast, I couldn’t miss the chance to tell you about VW’s facelifted Polo GTI, could I! The VW Polo which is currently in its sixth generation, got a mid-life facelift a few months ago and now it was the turn of the Polo GTI.

The rear of the VW Polo GTI
Noticeable changes to the lights and badge placing

What’s new?

The most noticeable changes come in the form of the lights. The front gets VW’s new IQ light matrix headlights while the rear gets animated tailights with sequential indicators. The other big change is the badging. The VW badge itself has been updated to reflect the new design along with the GTI badge which is now in the middle as opposed to the left. Ah yes, there’s a light bar at the front as well to match that of the new Golf.

Speaking of Golfs, this Polo is actually the same size as the MK4 Golf but quicker. The facelifted version now gets 152kW and 320Nm from the you guessed it, 2 litre TSI engine! The power goes to the wheels through a 7 speed DSG gearbox. You’ve got to accept that because the Polo is much lighter than the Golf, it’s probably the more entertaining of the two when it comes to driving.

Interior of the updated Polo GTI
Lots of red lightens up the cabin

On the interior, the red flashes are the first thing you’ll notice. Secondly, the screen is now bigger at 10.25 inches and includes VW’s latest MIB3.1 software as well. The buttons have been ditched for that haptic stuff which will probably start appearing in all VW cars as time goes on. However, the weirdest thing about the tech is that this new Polo GTI is available with IQ.Travel Assist which enables partially automated driving?! On a GTI…. What were they thinking?

Apart from the automated driving, this refreshed Polo GTI seems to contain an excellent recipe for being a good all round hot hatch. Quick, nimble and comfortable. You’ll be pleased to know that while we’ve lost the buttons, the tartan seats are staying as a stable GTI feature.

Thanks for reading! Love VW? Then check out the latest from their R department here.

Words by Matthew D’Souza, pictures courtesy of VW Press Global.

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