The Volkswagen Polo is a sub-compact VW hatchback made for urban use because it is small, offers great visibility, and is really easy to drive. The VW Polo is a more affordable version of the Audi A1 and is a fairly popular car in Europe.
The VW Polo shares many of its components with its larger brother, the VW Golf. This means that the reliability between the Golf and the Polo are really similar. All in all, the VW Polo is a fairly reliable car if you maintain it well. The good news is that a car such as Polo is not expensive to maintain throughout the range.
The most common VW Polo problems are associated with the electronics, the suspension, the brakes, engine coils, and the clock spring. Most of these are due to lackluster maintenance, but others such as the electrical issues and the clock spring issues are a common occurrence with VW Polo models.
The Polo should be able to last a long time if properly taken care of. The fact of the matter is that not too many people take proper care of cheap cars which in turn makes them more prone to experiencing issues than usual.
VW Polo – Electrical issues
VW is not a brand known to experience all that many issues with any of the electrical systems, but the Polo seems to suffer from these. More specifically, exterior lightning is known to damage the lenses due to constant heat being generated from daytime running lights. The electric windows are a sore point of many VW Polo models as well.
The Polo is also known to experience issues with the windscreen washer jets which tend to spot functioning without an apparent reason. These can be fairly costly to replace, so be sure to always keep an eye out for any potential mishaps.
VW Polo – Suspension issues
A few generations of the VW Polo are also prone to experiencing front suspension issues. The front lower arm bushes tend to develop cracks after prolonged use which can lead to a complete failure. There are no other ways of fixing this besides replacing these whenever the issue occurs.
As stated, this is a common issue for many Polo models which means that it is fairly likely that you will experience these as well. You need to take care of them sooner than later because a complete failure could cause all sorts of additional component damage.
VW Polo – Brakes issues
The VW Polo is not exactly a heavy car per se, but the brake discs are known to suffer on many VW Polo generations. Be sure to inspect the discs for any signs of warping or jittering during braking. The issue here is that the discs are not made precisely enough so they are prone to premature wear.
There are numerous symptoms of worn-out brake discs such as an unresponsive brake pedal, grinding noises while braking, longer stopping distances, and steering wheel wobble. These tend to become worse progressively which means that you should replace them whenever you sense these issues.
VW Polo – Engine coils issue
Ignition coil issues are also a common occurrence on many VW models including the Polo. The issue here is that your car starts idling roughly, starts misfiring, loses power, or even stalls completely and is unable to start up. The bad news is that it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact coil that is causing issues which means that many people just replace them all at once.
The good news is that these issues are common for VW models which means that an average VW technician should be able to replace them in no time.
VW Polo – Clockspring issues
The ignition coils are not the only common VW issue because the steering wheel clock spring issue is common across many VW models as well. The clock spring is tasked with controlling almost all steering-wheel-related systems such as the steering wheel controls, the airbag, the adaptive cruise control, and many more systems that are mostly dependent on how thorough the car has been optioned.
All in all, these issues were already part of a few nationwide recalls, but even after them, NHTSA states that there are more than 1.2 million various VW models that are still suffering from these issues after the recall. This indicates that VW is not necessarily completely aware of what it takes to solve this issue for good.
Is the VW Polo better than the VW Golf?
Everyone is aware that in the last few decades cars have become larger and larger. This means that a VW Golf from 20-30 years ago is actually smaller than a modern-day VW Polo. Not only that a newer VW Polo is larger, but it also manages space better which increases the size and usable space inside the car twofold.
This begs the question of is a modern-day well-equipped VW Polo is better than a VW Golf because it is cheaper but available with almost the same features. The truth is that the VW Golf is, and is likely always going to be a better car, but the Polo is now closer to the Golf than ever before.
How long should a VW Polo last?
A VW Polo should last a few hundred thousand miles without any major issues as that is to be expected from well-maintained VW models. The newer Polo models have become so good that they are now fairly competent cars even in the premium segment.
Either way, if you maintain a Polo well enough, it is likely going to be able to serve you a long time. These cars are the least complex cars in the current VW range which certainly boasts promising results after a decade or two.
Is the VW Polo safe?
Volkswagen is one of those brands that only make 5-star safety-rated cars which means that all newer VW Polo models are indeed safe. However, you need to keep in mind that the Polo is a subcompact hatchback which means that it is never going to be as safe as a larger car, at least not as a 5-star rated larger car.
This means that if family use is your primary objective, you should upgrade to the VW Golf because it beats the Polo in this instance by quite a margin.