WHILE some car makers manage to keep their ranges simple and straightforward, others make them so complicated that it’s hard to know which model to buy.
VW is one such, with a bewildering line-up of specifications and engines across its range – not least for the supermini Polo.
A new model was launched last year, so this is an outline of the previous one built from 2002.
There are ten different power outputs to choose from, five of them petrol and five diesel. And there are seven different specifications, each of which was available with most of the engines. See what I mean about complicated.
The petrol engines range from a 1.2 with 54bhp to a 1.4 with 98, and the diesels from a 1.4TDI with 73, to a 1.9 with 128.
All have a comfortable ride, excellent power steering, light controls and very good road holding with large reserves of grip.
They were all a bit pricey new and so will be more expensive than rivals, but they have an excellent reputation for reliability.
Lower order E and S models do not have much in the way of creature comforts, so make sure any that you look at have everything you want.
And many will have the awful blue panel lights which VW espoused for a time. They are the same colour as the lights on emergency vehicles and can be very distracting.
There is room for five at a pinch, and the boot is a decent size.
Price: Pay about £2,900 for an ’03 03-reg E, £4,500 for an ’05 05-reg SE, or £7,900 for an ’08 58-reg Match
Mechanical: 64bhp, 1,198cc, 3cyl petrol driving the front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 101mph
0-62mph: 14.4 seconds
Combined mpg: 47
Insurance group: 3
CO2 emissions: 140g/km
BIK rating: 15%
Main rival: Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz.