2021 Volkswagen Polo Mk6 facelift revealed – 1.0L NA and TSI, new LED lights and screens, sporty R-Line

It was not supposed to surface until later today (our time), but we woke up to official images of the Mk6 Volkswagen Polo facelift. First teased two days ago, here’s a full look at the refreshed sixth-generation Polo.

First, some background. The current generation Polo surfaced in 2017, so the vital B-segment hatchback (it has been around since 1975, approximately 18 million units sold to date) is due a midlife facelift. Note that this isn’t the Polo that Malaysians are familiar with – our showrooms still have the Mk5.

The Mk6 – which is underpinned by the small MQB A0 platform – is 81 mm longer (4,053 mm), 94 mm wider (1,751 mm) and 7 mm lower (1,446 mm) than the Mk5 we’re familiar with, while its wheelbase is a full 94 mm longer (2,564 mm). Closer to a Golf than ever, this generation. And this facelift’s design takes the similarities with its bigger sibling to an even higher degree.

For a facelift, it’s very unusual to have a bigger change at the rear than in front, but that’s the case here with the Polo, which gets new tail lamps that extend into the hatch. They replace the previous square clusters and are rather similar to the Mk8 Golf in style (side bits are larger here). Also like the Golf is the Polo name under the central VW badge.

In front, it’s a neater and sharper look for the Mk6. The headlamp clusters appear slimmer, and within them are twin-barrel LED headlamps. While the previous crooked LED daytime running lights were visually connected to the VW logo by chrome strips, the LED DRLs are now full width – that chrome strip is now a light bar. There’s another DRL strip at the sides to make them two lines at the edges.

Speaking of lights, the Polo now has LED lights at both ends as standard, and “IQ.Light” matrix LED headlamps are available for the first time. There’s also a re-profiled bumper featuring a one-piece intake with a body-coloured chin within.

The blue car you see here is the R-Line. The sporty variant wears R logos on the grille and front wings, without the “Line” word. The lower grille has an egg crate mesh instead of horizontal slats, and gloss black paint can be found on the bumper, lips, side skirts and rear bumper. The latter also has fake chrome exhaust tips and an extension for the rear spoiler, in gloss black.

Inside, the blocky one-piece dash and layout remains, but there’s no more interior trim that matches the exterior body colour. The infotainment system is the latest version available, and the touchscreen is now 9.2 inches at its largest (previously, 8.0-inch was the biggest). The Active Info Display digital meter panel was available before this, but is now standard across the board, ranging from 8.0 to 10.25 inches.

More nice updates come in the form of new air con controls – the more modern HVAC touch panel can be found on higher end models like the Tiguan facelift and latest Arteon, but not on the Mk8 Golf, which hides everything in the system. The steering wheel is also new and there’s wireless charging now.

The R-Line’s gets the coveted letter on the door sill plates, steering wheel and infotainment start up screen. There’s also a more funky seat fabric pattern for the sporty variant. Below the R-Line are Style and entry Life trim levels.

Lastly, engines. Only 1.0 litre engines are available for now (the upcoming Polo GTI will surely have a larger TSI motor), starting from a naturally aspirated unit with 80 hp and 93 Nm of torque, which goes to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. The next step up is a 1.0 TSI with either 95 hp or 110 hp; a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic is optional for the lower powered TSI and standard for the 110 hp version.

There’s also a 1.0 TGI engine with 90 hp and 160 Nm. This compressed natural gas (CNG) powered option is the efficiency hero of the range – diesels have a bad rep these days and there’s no TDI option here. Volkswagen’s Travel Assist driver assist suite is available. What do you think of the latest Polo?

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