We didn’t get a chance to drive the hottest Polo, the GTI, but the turbocharged 1.2-liter TSI emerged as our favorite engine so far. It spools up noticeably around 1800 rpm, and feels very much alive from just beyond 2000 rpm up to the 6000-rpm redline. By contrast, the naturally aspirated 1.4 feels reserved and is far slower to respond. With the three-banger engines, the Polo is hopelessly underpowered outside city traffic.
We also drove the two lesser TDIs and came away impressed with both. The 90-hp unit is sporty and responsive up to 5000 rpm, and even the 75-hp turbo-diesel pulls strongly enough for most situations. Earth-friendly types will be impressed by the BlueMotion equipment, including an engine start-stop system, offered with the 90-hp diesel. So equipped, combined fuel economy rises as high as 65 mpg in the optimistic European cycle.
Source: Car and Driver