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Reader test: VW Polo TDI

2009-11-09 07:46

Paul Tickner, Barrydale

In 2003 I retired and we moved to a country village 260 km from Cape Town.

After two years we realised that our motoring requirements had changed and what we needed was a small car that could cruise easily at the legal limit and offer good economy.

A large boot was also a requirement. Having owned VWs for the past 40 years we decided on the Polo Classic TDI and bought one new in August 2005. Since then we have done just over 63 000 km of trouble-free motoring.

The Polo meets our needs in ever respect. It cruises effortlessly on the open road and overtaking at 120 is a breeze. It will keep its speed up virtually any hill. Most of our driving is, in fact, done at cruising speed as in our small village we hardly ever use the car for short distances. I would say that about 95% of our driving is in open road cruise mode.

Diesel economy

I find the diesel incredibly economical and my average economy so far is 5.07 l/100 km (19.73 km/l) which, in anybody’s book, is pretty amazing. I consider myself a light-footed driver so don’t push the car much in acceleration, which no doubt contributes to the good economy.

Having the A/C on seems to have no effect on the economy. Despite the smallish tank I regularly achieve over 900 km to a tank and the fuel low warning light has still not come on.

I had to replace the front tyres at just under 40 000 km while the back gave me just over 53 000 km. So far I am still on the original brake pads and the mechanic where I get the car serviced assures me there is still plenty of wear left. The car handles well and the brakes inspire confidence.

Owning a turbodiesel I have read all the stories about turbo failures, but so far have had no problem in that respect. I do make a point of letting the car idle for a few minutes after a long trip. I also have it serviced at the agents each 7 500 km and use only premium synthetic oil. I also make a point of using only the 50ppm diesel.

The car has a huge boot for its size and comfortably takes all our luggage. The only negative in my view is an irritating rattle that comes and goes on the dashboard. The pleasure of having abundant torque available for cruising and for overtaking as well at the superb economy are to me the best features of the car.

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