Should you buy the Volkswagen Polo GT hot-hatch priced at Rs. 7.99 lakh?

Volkswagen has just launched the Volkswagen Polo GT at a price of Rs. 7.99 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. This car was also known as the Polo 1.2 TSI – and is a four-cylinder turbo-charged petrol car that should appeal to those with a need for speed. But is it worth the money? Here’s a look.

The Volkswagen Polo GT is powered by a 1.2 litre, four-cylinder, turbo-charged petrol engine that puts out 103 bhp of power at 5000 rpm and 175 Nm of torque at 1500-4000 rpm, with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, that features tiptronic shift, but no paddle shifters. Otherwise it comes with all the features of the regular Highline variant.

Speed is an expensive hobby

However, at that price point – is there really a market for a car like this? Let’s put the Polo GT in perspective and see if VW can really make an impact here. At this price, the Volkswagen Polo GT is Rs. 2 lakh more expensive than the standard VW Polo 1.2 Highline petrol. It’s also nearly Rs. 1 lakh more expensive than the VW Polo 1.2 diesel Highline model!

Compare this car with a similar automatic – such as the Hyundai i20 1.4 Sports AT petrol and that’s when the Polo GT actually begins to look competitive. The Hyundai i20 1.4 petrol is priced at Rs. 7.9 lakh. It comes with a 1.4 litre, 4-cylinder 100 bhp petrol engine and four-speed conventional automatic transmission. Compared to this car, the Volkswagen Polo GT is a much better bet.

However, it also begs the question – those with a need for speed often prefer manual transmissions rather than automatics. Since the VW Polo GT is a dual-clutch automatic it does redeem itself – as it is a quick shifting car, but enthusiasts (who would be the main buyers for a car like this) would have at least preferred paddle shifts on the GT to increase its sporty appeal. Volkswagen claims a 0-100 time of 11.4 seconds and that’s a good 2 seconds faster than an Alto K10 and a Maruti Swift.

Despite the added power, Volkswagen claims a fuel efficiency of 17.2 kmpl. However, given that it’s a turbo-petrol that will be driven by enthusiasts on a daily basis, don’t expect anything over 13 kmpl in normal conditions. We’ll let you know what real world figures are like after a full test. Also read: Volkswagen launches Polo SR limited edition

Got features, but not enough value-for-money factor

Now when you are paying Rs. 8 lakh ex-showroom (about Rs. 9.2 lakh on-road) for a car like this, you would want a really long feature list, because this car competes with the likes of the Hyundai i20, which throws in everything short of the kitchen sink in it. Sadly, the Polo GT is just about adequately equipped when it comes to features. Yes, you do get dual airbags, ABS, alloys, fog lamps, double DIN music system with Bluetooth, steering audio controls, automatic climate control, power mirrors and premium fabric upholstery. But where it loses out to cars like the Hyundai i20 is in the features it does not have – no reverse camera, no parking sensors, no sun-roof or GPS navigation – all features that some of its competitors and cars priced a lot cheaper also have.

True, this car is built to appeal to those with a need for speed, and the automatic transmission and turbo-charged engine alone account for nearly Rs. 1.6 lakh on the price tag when compared with the regular Polo 1.2 Highline variant. But at that price point, one would want just a bit more. Also read: Performance modifications for your car under Rs. 50,000

What we think

Despite the lack of some features and the steep price tag, we think that some enthusiasts who want a car that is a bit more than what the average hatchback is will look at the Polo GT. It’s a car you can take to the racetrack on weekends and drive to work the next day in. It’s a car that will appeal to buyers who are looking for a premium hatchbacks that’s sporty, fun-to-drive and yet really convenient in bumper-to-bumper city traffic. The only thing is the price tag. At Rs. 7.99 lakh, it’s bang in the middle of mid-size sedan territory – and that’s a choice you would have to make. Do you want the fun of a hot hatchback or the mundane practicality of a mid-size sedan? Also read: Fiat to launch Punto Abarth this year