Volkswagen is endorsing the Polo hatchback in various avatars in our country. In 2010, the German automaker launched the Polo in India with 1.2-litre petrol and diesel engine options. Recently the Polo received a minor facelift, after which they have introduced performance variants (GT TSI and GT TDI) and new body kits. The Polo SR was launched in between with a sporty body kit that included sleek styling elements such as body skirts and roof spoiler. On the other hand, the Cross Polo gets a rugged styling arrangement that intends to reflect a crossover look while retaining the design of a hatchback at the same time. Similar treatment was given to its cousin, the Skoda Fabia (Scout), which couldn’t gather much attention and was discontinued eventually. We take a quick spin in the Volkswagen Cross Polo to find out if the rugged styling attracts people and make much sense?
EXTERIOR AND LOOKS
The Cross Polo is based on the Polo hatchback and if you look closely, there are just a few differences between them. The 2014 model borrows the front fascia from the 2014 Polo which is also due for launch in India.The front and rear bumper as well as the body cladding along with the plastic molding around the wheel arches is about all that’s unique to the Cross Polo. Silver roof rails and scuff plates give it that extra rugged look. New 17-inch wheels are available on the Euro-spec model.
INTERIOR AND CABIN
he interior trims and lines have been retained. The Volkswagen Cross Polo sports ‘Livon’ Titanium black upholstery which looks sporty. The leather wrapped tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel has audio and phone controls on it. The instrumental panel is simple and has red digits showing all the necessary information. It shows information like trip reading, gear engaged, fuel left, average speed etc.
It has an all black finish with scratch resistant plastic interiors. Front row seats are comfortable with the driver’s seat being height adjustable. The front row has just about sufficient space to accommodate taller passengers. However, the knee room seems congested with the steering adjustments.The seat fabric quality is not very impressive and feels very basic. The rear passenger’s seats are not very comfortable because of inadequate back support. With a decent legroom and better headroom, the rear passenger space can occupy two normal sized adults and three would definitely be a crowd.
It features a 2 DIN music system with a USB, AUX-in support and a SD card slot. The RCD 320 music system comes with 4 speakers and the music playback quality is impressive. It also comes with Bluetooth telephony and parking sensors as standard features. The automatic climate control air conditioner does its job perfectly.There are utility pockets on the front doors which can easily hold up to a liter class container. The rear section seats can be made to collapse easily thus increasing the luggage compartment. There is a parcel tray sliced just above the luggage compartment to create a subtle partition. For a compact hatch, it offers generous luggage space.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The Volkswagen Cross Polo features the same 3-cylinder 1.2-litre TDI diesel engine that produces 75 PS of power and 180 Nm of torque. Fire up the oil-burner and you get a rather crude diesel note from the engine bay, which is prominent when heard from the outside but gets almost silent when you are inside the well-engineered cabin. On the move, you will notice a thick turbo lag until 2000 RPM, which can bother some of you in city traffic conditions. The turbo kicks in above 2000 RPM and gives a strong push of torque, which is enjoyable on a clear stretch of road but annoys if you have to stop every now and then in moving traffic.
The diesel motor is rev happy and you can spin it till 5000 RPM but the torque band isn’t that wide and to get the most out of it, you have to keep the engine spinning between around 2000 RPM and 4000 RPM. The mid-range is strong and most enjoyable, which makes it a decent highway runner too. Mated to this engine is a 5-speed manual gearbox, which is butter smooth to use and gives you reassuring feedback. You need to work the cogs frequently in city traffic or inclines to cut the considerable turbo lag. Otherwise the gear ratios are well spaced out. One needs to get the hang of this engine for smooth performance. This 3-cylinder diesel motor is not amongst the best engines in this segment but it is quite frugal, delivering 15 km/l in congested road conditions of Mumbai.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The Cross Polo is longer, wider and heavier than the regular Polo, but its ground clearance is exactly the same. This is the reason why it also handles like a regular Polo – precise and with minimal fuss. It comes into its own at highway speeds, despite the matt-black cladding that suggests it will not like the highway and prefer a dirt track instead. The ride is a little stiff at low speeds, but it is never uncomfortable. In effect, it looks brawny but drives like a car – and the Polo has always been near the top of the heap when it comes to ride/handling balance.
Volkswagen Cross Polo has disk brakes at front and drum brakes at rear. For the safety of the passengers, it has Airbags for driver and front passenger, front passenger Airbag deactivation, safety steering column with telescopic element, three-point inertia reel seat belts with front belts having pretensioners, safety optimized front head restraints, ISOFIX mountings on outer rear seat for child seats, automatic activating hazard warning lights on full brake application, warning tone and lamp if front seat-belts remain unfastened, electronic immobiliser, Anti-theft alarm system, galvanised body and ABS with EBD
The only and the biggest downside for the Volkswagen CrossPolo is that it is almost Rs 2 lakh expensive than the base Polo. The CrossPolo comes in two variants namely, CrossPolo 1.2 MPI retailing at about Rs 6.94 lakh and CrossPolo 1.5 TDI, retailing for about Rs 7.90 lakh. If you compare it with the normal Polo hatchback,that is a huge amount difference between the two. The Polo petrol starts at about Rs 4.99 lakhs and goes upto Rs 8 lakh for the GT TDi model. For that price, one can have a top-end diesel Hyundai i20, which manages to outdo the Cross Polo on many of the specifications as well as features fronts
Volkswagen Cross Polo Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 7,62,398/- (Cross Polo 1.2 MPI Petrol) to 9,04,298/- (Cross Polo 1.5 TDI Diesel) .Volkswagen Cross Polo has 2 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Volkswagen Cross Polo comes in 3 colours, namely Flash Red,Deep Black,Reflex Silver.