New Volkswagen Polo: Safety Up, Weight And Consumption Down

March 2, 2009

We told you earlier about the next-gen VW Polo billboard advertisement hanging above a Geneva Motor Show exhibition hall. Volkswagen has released details of its latest-generation Polo, a tiny hatchback its maker is calling one of the safest cars in the world.

VW makes a big deal about the safety of its new Polo, pointing out that the new vehicle has been designed specifically to meet the new, more stringent 5-star EuroNCAP safety standards. A bodyshell with higher structural rigidity is an integral part of the new Polo's crash protection. Newly standard in the European version is ESP (electronic stabilization program) with hill-hold, a "highly effective network of airbags," and seatbelt tensioners.

2009 Volkswagen Polo

2009 Volkswagen Polo

Enlarge Photo

Despite the raft of new safety equipment and a stouter bodyshell, the new Polo rings in with both a lower curb weight (7.5 percent less) and less fuel consumption. Both new TDI (diesel) and TSI (gasoline) turbocharged engines and VW's new 7-speed DSG transmission help the Polo raise its economy by up to 19 percent compared with last year's model. Four gasoline and three diesel engines will be offered for the new Polo's first year on the market; five of them are either brand new or new to the Polo. The most efficient model is the Polo BlueMotion, which should average approximately 62 mpg.

Far from a lowly baseline model, the Polo will offer options ranging from side curtain airbags, a navigation system, and a hands-free telephone. A panorama sunroof and bi-xenon headlamps are said to be coming soon.

2009 Volkswagen Polo

2009 Volkswagen Polo

Enlarge Photo

The five-door Polo, launching at the Geneva Motor Show, is scheduled for production by the end of March, and sale this summer in Europe. A three-door model will be released later.

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