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Hot Hatch

The VW Polo GTI is a hot hatch for grown-ups

Facelifted Polo GTI lands with more tech and revised styling

Published: 30 Jun 2021

Sensible, grown-up people of the Internet – say hello to the facelifted Volkswagen Polo GTI. A five-door hot hatch for those of you who think the Ford Fiesta ST, Hyundai i20N and Mini Cooper S are just a bit too juvenile. 

The Polo GTI has always been 'the sensible one' out of all the supermini-sized hot hatchbacks, which is arguably as much its main selling point as it is its greatest weakness. And there’s no sign the new one will be any different. 

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Mechanical changes are in short supply – the new Polo GTI still uses the same 204bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as the last one, meaning you’ll hit 62mph from rest in a respectable 6.5 seconds and reach 150mph if you keep your foot in. Power arrives at the front wheels via a standard-fit seven-speed DSG gearbox and ‘XDS’ electrically locking diff. 

Actual changes are as per the facelifted regular Polo. So on the outside the GTI gets new head- and tail-lights, new bumpers and, erm, probably some other stuff. Inside there’s a more modern infotainment system, the annoying touch-sensitive climate controls from the latest Tiguan/Arteon, latest-gen driver assists and much tartan. Because GTI. 

Would you have one over a Fiesta ST or i20N?

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