The Beats Edition is Volkswagen’s attempt to make the Polo fun. It’s a good looker, with its own colour scheme and alloys, and as well as a mighty stereo it comes with DAB, Bluetooth, air-con and a good multimedia rig.
But the Polo itself is getting a bit long in the tooth, and despite its undoubted build quality and all-round excellence it’s always been a bit sensible. So, a funky number with big ICE… isn’t this going to be a bit like the company accountant showing up to the Christmas party in a Hawaiian shirt and deely boppers?
The answer is no. Your accountant’s attire will gain him an instant five-metre exclusion zone at the bar, but the Polo actually looks rather fetching. As a cosmetic makeover, it works.
Which is good, because a cosmetic makeover is what this is. And better still, the work continues inside, where a cabin whose design is now seven years old gains materials which add a welcome dash of design flair. In particular, there’s a new alcantara trim on its sports seats – which are as good as they come in the supermini segment.
As the words ‘cosmetic makeover’ suggest, though, this isn’t the deep-down rethink the Polo is now due. So it’s as you were on the road – the 1.2-litre engine spins away nicely, the standard five-speed manual helps you keep it sweet and the chassis looks after you in corners.
What it doesn’t do is try to push any of your fun buttons. The 89bhp engine is more or less all out at 4500rpm, and the body will soon be rolling around if you try lobbing it through bends with gusto. Which you might, if the 300-watt stereo gets you in the mood.
With a big sub in the boot, this is where the Beats gets its name. People will definitely hear you coming. So this might not be a car for keen drivers – but it’s ideal for people who like pumping up the volume, and we all know which of these two groups there are more of.
Fact is, the Polo trails in behind most of its main rivals as an entertaining drive. Unless you just want to be entertained while you drive – in which case, with great seats and killer sounds, it’s pretty much spot-on.
2016 Volkswagen Polo Beats Edition
On sale: Now
Engine: 4cyls, 1197cc, turbocharged, petrol
Power: 89bhp at 4800rpm
Torque: 118lb ft
Gearbox: 5-spd manual
Kerb weight: 1107kg
Top speed: 114mph
Economy: 47.1mpg (combined)
CO2 rating/tax band: 107g/km, 21%