Review: The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI is a 7-Speed Rocket

There are many hatchbacks in the Indian market but the only hot hatchback to buy is the VW Polo GT TSI.

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Car and Bike
5 min read
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)
Snapshot

Key Highlights: Polo GT TSI Petrol 1.2

  • Displacement: 1197cc
  • Max Power: 103bhp@5000rpm
  • Max Torque: 175Nm@1500-4100rpm
  • Transmission: 7-speed DSG Automatic
  • Fuel Economy: 17.21Km/l

There are plenty of hatchbacks in the Indian market to choose from, but there is nothing out there right now like the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. With over 100 horses by its side this is a performance hatchback from the German carmaker.

We drove the car and here’s what we think.

Watch: Review Polo GT TSI

Is it a Head Turner?

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI looks exactly like any other Polo that you see on Indian roads. But if you look close enough, you will see some GT badges on the car and there’s a reason that this car has earned those badges.

The Polo GT TSI is equipped with a more powerful petrol engine, improved suspension and an electronic stability program (ESP) so that it does not take off.

Under Rs 10 lakh, the Polo GT TSI is the only petrol hot hatch in India currently, till Ford launches their 100 BHP beast, the new Figo, in September 2015.

The Polo GT TSI gets a rear spoiler which adds to the subtle looks of the car. The ground clearance is 168 mm so you don’t have to worry about potholes and speed bumps.

Overall, the Polo GT TSI is a subtle looking car with clean lines and an elegant stance.

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)

What’s Under the Hood?

Looks can be deceptive, especially with the GT TSI. It’s powerful 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine is a little monster that can move mountains. The 103 BHP power never lets you down and the car gives you 175 Nm of torque from as low as 1200 rpm and consistently pushes you back in the seat till the rev meter hits 4000 rpm.

It’s like a turbo diesel engine torque, and it catapults the car from 0-100 km/h in less than 10 seconds. This is probably the only hatchback in the country right now that can achieve this kind of time.

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)

Transmission

The engine is mated with a 7-speed dual shift gearbox (DSG), which is the best transmission you can get on a hatchback in India right now.

The gear shifts are so fast that you have to look at the instrument panel to know what gear the car is in. There are two options on the car, the normal ‘Drive’ mode that gives you fuel efficiency and a ‘Sports’ mode that gives you performance. You’d probably want to drive this car only in ‘Sports’ mode when the engine revs are high and all those gear shifts happen near the red line of the RPM meter giving you acceleration all the time.

The GT TSI has a claimed fuel-efficiency of 17.2 km/l but we got just 11 km/l irrespective of the driving mode.

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)

What’s Inside the Goodie Bag?

The Polo GT TSI drives like a dream hatchback and it’s practical too. You get enough space inside the car to fit four people comfortably; three on the backseat can be a little cramped. The boot has enough space for two big bags or a sub-woofer, whichever you prefer.

The driver gets seat height adjustment and the instrument panel shows a lot of relevant data like distance to empty as well as some irrelevant stuff like, in this case, the fuel efficiency. There is also tilt and telescopic steering wheel for the driver to adjust his reach.

You also get four speakers with a music system that can read music off a USB device, SD card and AUX. There is also bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone and a lot of buttons on the steering wheel that you can explore when stuck in traffic – the car even makes sure you don’t get bored while sitting idle.

The Polo GT TSI comes with automatic climate control and the overall fit and finish of the cabin is exactly what you expect of a German car. The chrome inside the cabin has been subtly used and is tasteful.

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)

Is it Safe?

The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI is the safest hatchback in India right now. It comes with dual Airbags, both for the driver and passenger seats. There is an Electronic Stability Program (ESP) so that the car never goes turtle and an Anti-Lock Braking System so that it never skids while braking. You also get a rear parking sensor but no camera – it’s a hatchback, you don’t need one.

Who Should Buy It?

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)
Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. (Photo: The Quint)

The Polo GT TSI is priced at Rs 8.48 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), so it’s clear that getting performance hatchbacks is not cheap at all. At that price you can get a top model of a sub-four meter sedan. Even the Ford Figo Aspire Automatic is priced lower. But then again, this car has no competition right now in the Indian market – till 23rd September when Ford comes out with the Figo Automatic hatchback.

This car is not for fuel efficiency or a shopping trip to the mall. It’s made to give you an adrenaline rush that you’d get driving cars that cost thrice as much. It’s not a value-for-money hatchback, but driving it every day will put a smile on your face every time you’ll put that pedal to the metal.

So if you already have a regular car at home but are still looking for some fun with wheel-spins and donuts over the weekend, the Polo GT TSI is the toy to go for.

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