The Polo GT TSI is technologically the most advanced car in the segment. The four-cylinder 1.2-litre TSI engine produces 105PS and 175Nm making it the most powerful hatchback in the segment. The power figures are comparable to those of the midsize petrol sedan and as a matter of fact more than the ratings of the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol unit of the Vento (103PS and 153Nm). VW achieves these numbers with the help of direct injection and turbocharging that also significantly improves the efficiency. What’s more, the power is delivered to the front wheels by VW’s dual-clutch seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, making it the smallest car in India to get a dual-clutch transmission.
The DSG gearbox offers three driving modes – D, S and Manual. Hold the brake, slot the stick into D mode, lift your foot of the brake pedal and the car won’t move instantaneously – well that is the function of the Hill Hold. It will hold the car for an instant longer before starting to roll slowly; only other car in this segment to offer similar feature is the Fiesta AT. The ‘D’ mode is best suited for city driving; the car shifts gears seamlessly between 2000rpm to 2300rpm, cautiously sipping the valuable fuel. But that does not mean the Polo is docile in this mode – the peak torque spread is between 1500rpm and 4100rpm, so jab the throttle little harder and the car will provide sufficient thrust for that spirited overtaking manoeuver. Even the highway drives are stress free with car clocking 100kph at close to 2200rpm and comfortably cruising at 150kph.
The ‘S’ (Sport) Mode makes the car livelier. The upshifts occur later – close to 3000rpm, while the down shifts are crisp keeping the engine running at optimum revs. Slam the throttle hard and the engine will rev all the way to 6000rpm before selecting the next ratio. Push the stick to left from the D mode for Manual and you are in total control; the best part is car will hold the lower gear and won’t upshift when you lift-off the throttle. Enthusiasts are going to miss the paddle shifters though, but that is something VW has sacrificed to keep prices in check. Another thing that might upset a few is that the exhaust note (although exquisite) is not loud enough, the car is audible only past 4000rpm or during down-shifts in Manual or S Mode.
The ARAI efficiency figure of the Polo GT TSI is 17.2kpl, but that is with high octane fuel. The number will be a bit lower with the 91 octane fuel available at pumps across India. The onboard trip computer hovered between 9.5kpl and 12kpl during the drive in Goa and I think 13kpl can be achieved on the highway runs.