Volkswagen has finally revealed the facelifted iteration of the sixth-generation Polo in Europe. While this mid-cycle update is currently only going to be available in select markets, the latest Polo is quite an important model for the German automaker. Since its introduction many moons ago, VW has produced over 18 million units of the Polo hatchback. In most European markets, the 2021 Polo facelift will be up for bookings from customers from May. Based on the brand’s ubiquitous MQB A0 architecture, the new model boasts several updates, especially when compared to the fifth-gen Polo that’s still on sale in India.
While Volkswagen has unveiled the spicy R variant of the 2021 Polo facelift, there will be several variants available. Thanks to the clever play by designers at VW, the front fascia of the facelifted Polo actually looks wider and more aggressive than its predecessor. At the same time, Volkswagen has also given the updated avatar sleeker and fancier-looking full-LED headlamps. These are further complemented by an LED lightbar that runs the full width of the nose – melting neatly into the headlamps. Moreover, there are also individual LED DRLs that are now part of the whole LED bonanza that’s the front fascia of the 2021 Polo.
As for the new Polo R, it gets a sporty front bumper that includes a large air dam and LED fog lamps in each corner. Looking at the side, the basic design of the sixth-gen Polo hasn’t been modified in any dramatic manner. However, the distinctive creases that run along the beltline surely give this hatchback a confident persona. Also, depending on the variant, the size of the alloy wheels can range from 15 to 16 inches and are now available in new designs. The rear of the 2021 Polo facelift features a few changes over the pre-facelift car. Firstly, Volkswagen has redesigned the tail lamps. Compared to the square-ish ones found on the pre-facelift model, the facelifted Polo sports sleeker LED units found on the new Golf.
Volkswagen has also redone the design of the rear bumper. It now has sharper creases built into it and thus looks sportier than before. One of the other prominent design features here is the subtle yet stylish roof spoiler and a chiseled tailgate. However, VW has then gone ahead and slapped some fake exhaust tips to add to the sporty appeal. Why, Volkswagen… Why?! Anyway, I suppose almost every automaker is doing this nowadays, so I am not really flabbergasted. Moving on to the interior, the 2021 Polo facelift looks as refreshing and modern as a flagship Aldi store. That is to say, while the design is up-to-date and well-executed, it is not going to touch your soul.
One of the features in the interior of the 2021 Polo that distinguishes it from the old car can be seen on the center console. Instead of the easily operable physical knobs and buttons, Volkswagen has transcended to a capacitive-touch interface. While it may be harder to use while on the move, some might find it cool (pun intended) and ‘modern’. The other upgrade here, which is for the good, has to do with the touch-infotainment system. This is because the 2021 Polo facelift gets a larger 8-inch head unit, instead of the former 6.5-inch screen. Furthermore, the graphics are sharper and the interface itself feels smoother and more responsive. Of course, it comes with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, a part of Volkswagen’s updated MIB 3 infotainment system. Finally, top-spec variants of the new Polo are blessed with the excellent Virtual Cockpit digital driver’s display.
Under the hood, Volkswagen has not made any changes. Like its precursor, the 2021 Polo facelift comes with the same 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engine. This three-popper comes in naturally-aspirated (MPI) and turbocharged (TSI) forms. Meanwhile, maximum output ranges between 79hp for the base MPI engine and 108hp for the turbocharged mill. In the near future, Volkswagen has promised an exciting GTI avatar of the facelifted Polo. This one will likely come with a 2.0-liter TSI motor tuned to 197hp and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. However, this same tranny is offered on the standard Polo as well, even though as an option. Otherwise, the 2021 Volkswagen Polo comes with a 5-speed or 6-speed manual gearbox.