Is the Volkswagen Polo the new Golf? Supply and prices put Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2 rival ahead of big sibling – Car News
For years, the Golf was Volkswagen’s best-selling passenger car in Australia. It has a rich history, dating back to the iconic first-generation model launched in Australia in 1976.
It has an excellent reputation and has been among the top five sellers in the small car segment for years.
Until 2021 that is. Last year, Volkswagen sold just 1,926 units of the Golf in Australia. It is not a monthly figure. That’s for the whole year, and it’s the lowest tally in decades. But that’s not because buyers fell in love with the Golf.
Learn more about the Volkswagen Polo and Golf
The next-generation Golf Mk8 went on sale last year, coinciding with severe semiconductor shortages that had a serious impact on vehicles built at VW’s Wolfsburg plant in Germany.
Volkswagen Australia simply couldn’t get stock of the new one, and it had sold the previous generation Golf Mk7.5 earlier in the year, leading to a massive drop in sales. As a company spokesperson said, if they had had access to more golf courses in 2021, they absolutely would have sold them.
The new Golf has also increased its price compared to its predecessor. VW no longer sells a base version of the Golf, so the current range-opening level (simply called Golf) is the new entry point.
When the prices were announced in February of last year, the new opening gambit was $3,500 more than the previous starting price. As of January of this year, the manual Golf has been discontinued and the range now starts from $32,790 before road charges.
As with rivals like the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and even the Hyundai i30 and Kia Cerato, all of which are more expensive than their respective predecessors, the new Golf has gained a host of new in-car media and digital technologies, safety equipment updated and continued.
At the same time, used car sales skyrocketed, so all of these things combined forced buyers to turn to more affordable new cars, and the lightweight Polo hatch took advantage of that.
The Polo overtook Golf sales last year for the first time ever, registering 5,125 registrations, 42.3% more than in 2020.
The Polo is now the third best-selling model in the segment behind the dominant (and much cheaper) MG3 (13,774) and the Kia Rio (5,644) and it has surpassed sales of the Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift and the Baleno, the Mazda2 and its cousin Skoda Fabia. .
Buyers who opt for a Polo rather than expect a Golf will find a vehicle that is about the same size as a Golf Mk5 and is one of the roomiest vehicles in its class.
Supply is an important factor in favor of Polo. Unlike the Golf, the Polo is built in VW’s South African production plant and is unaffected by the shortage of semiconductor chips. So don’t expect to wait long for a new Polo.
As for the prices, don’t let the European badge fool you – it’s still good value.
It goes from $21,790 before on-road costs for the automatic 70TSI Trendline—both manual levels were recently discontinued—and is also available in 85TSI Comfortline and Style flavors. It tops out at $32,890 for the spicy GTI.
Pricing is more in line with the Suzuki Swift ($20,490-$29,990) than the Toyota Yaris ($23,740-$54,500).
The Polo is about to get even more compelling when the mid-life facelift hits showrooms in Q2.
The update ushers in exterior styling tweaks for a more current look, but big changes inside include a new steering wheel, digital instrument panel and dashboard, and an upgraded infotainment system similar to the one of Golf.
Pricing and specs will be announced in the coming weeks, but it’s possible that Polo’s prices will increase, along with an updated list of standard features.
Watch this place.