Four years after the Polo was first launched in India, Volkswagen came out with a mid-cycle facelift back in July. While, it required a magnifying glass to notice the “styling changes”, the alterations under the hood made it to the headlines for all the right reasons. You see, in the past, VW had been subjected to lot of criticism for introducing its famous hatchback with 3-pot motors that didnt really match its rivals in terms of refinement and performance. The petrol unit was still somewhat acceptable, but the 3-cyl diesel motor attracted a lot of flak for falling short in refinement and performance while offering a very unlike-VW experience.Dejected by the criticism, the German carmaker went scampering back to its engineers and promptly found a solution to its problem. The result is a smart new 1.5-litre engine based on its existing 1.6-litre diesel unit. With this, VW killed two birds with one stone. First, it replaced the raucous 1.2-litre diesel motor, taking care of the lack of refinement and power. Second, it also found a cheaper option to power its GT variant that attracted additional taxes only because it was powered by bigger 1.6-litre motor, which didnt fit our nations ridiculous small-car definition.We drove the family hatchback with the new 1.5-litre oil-burner a few months back and were impressed by its overall performance. It had all the power you would ever need for your daily use, but VW thought otherwise. It felt the GT version deserves that something extra and the result is a more powerful, purposeful hatchback. So the GT TDI boasts of 103bhp and 250Nm of torque, similar to the old 1.6-litre motor, but 14 horses and 20 Newton metres more than the regular diesel Polo. And the added power does make a difference in performance when compared to the non-GT variant, although a narrow one at that.Gone is the hooligan nature of the older 1.6 unit and the new motor has learned some mannerisms. Power delivery isnt as jerky and hasty as before and doesnt catch you off guard every time you bury the throttle pedal. Acceleration is noticeably linear, even after crossing the 2000rpm-mark when the turbo comes to life, pulling all the way till 4800rpm. And that shows how well engineers have tuned the motor to provide a broader and flatter power band. In fact, in urban conditions, driving at lower rpms doesnt feel as dull as before and part-throttle inputs are met with respectable increase in speeds. An automatic gearbox, like the one on the TSI, would have been highly appreciated, but sadly the GT TDI sticks to the same 5-speed manual transmission. But even then, the gearbox isnt all that bad. The throws are short and precise and thanks to a lighter clutch, driving in city limits isnt as taxing as before.It obvious, anyone buying the GT would do so expecting fun times behind the wheel and this considerably hot-hatch doesnt disappoint. It simply loves doing the highway rounds and stability at high speeds is rock solid. In fact, even past the 150kph-mark, the motor feels relaxed and the GT TDI marches forward with great composure, better than some of the entry-level saloons. And thats one of the Polos strengths. Another matter of pride for the German hatch is its handling prowess. Show it a series of fast bends and it would be more eager than you to run down the curves. The steering wheel is communicative and every flick of the wheel is met with positive response.What further aids the GTs handling is the suspension set up. Okay, it doesnt really stand out from the regular Polo's and thats a shame. But is it a cause of concern? Certainly not. It hovers somewhere between being overtly soft or stiff and that gives the GT a superb ride in all conditions. Going around fast corners, it doesnt go out of shape easily and sticks to its line religiously. However, we wish it could have been a bit tighter around the bends as you do feel that customary body roll associated with family hatchbacks. But the seats go a long way in holding the driver in place and that well-sorted driving position only heightens the GTs want-to-go-faster intentions.However, those intentions arent communicated too well when it comes to the GT's exterior styling. Its the same story as before, you cant really flash the extra money spent on a GT, save for the badges and blacked out ORVMs and a tiny rear spoiler. VW should have taken more efforts in differentiating the GTs from the standard Polos, the way it has tried with the cabin. It isnt remarkably different, but the all-dark theme do give you a sense of occasion. Also, the flat-bottomed steering wheel looks cool and feels solid to hold. But VW should have reserved it for the GT variants as the regular diesel variant too gets the sporty new wheel.On the whole, the GT does come across as a spirited diesel hatch thats missing from our market right now. What if the performance gap between the standard Polo TDI and the GT TDI has narrowed down by a great margin, so has been the price difference. At ?7.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the GT TDI is now around Rs 60,000 dearer that the top-end Polo TDI as compared to over a lakh it warranted before. And if thats creating an element of doubt in your minds, heres a simple explanation for your added expenditure.Both hatchbacks are identical in terms of space and comfort, and thats a good thing. What isnt, however, is the appearance. If somehow you could digest the fact that your in-laws' Polo looks 90 per cent identical to your GT then theres no stopping you from spending that extra Rs 60,000. And for that you get more power, a sportier cabin and still some tiny bits on the outside to brag about. Post facelift, the GT TDIs exclusivity may have been diluted to an extent, but at the end, its a more purposeful diesel hatch that you would buy for yourself rather than just the family. The numbers4cyl, 1498cc, turbo-diesel, 103bhp, 250Nm, 5M, 1148kg, tyres\: 185/60 R15, fuel tank\: 45 litres, 19.91kpl (claimed). Price\: ?7.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).The VerdictThe new 1.5-litre motor has hit the sweet spot between being quick and hooligan. Performance gap over the standard Polo TDI has been narrowed, but still comes across as the sportier diesel hatchback.