The overlooked used VW will also serve the family for a fortune, and it is one of the most reliable cars in its class
yesterday | Petr Prokopec
Many people think that they have the offer of used Volkswagens mapped out to the letter. And even more of them live in the fact that a used VW is always expensive. Neither has to be true, let the Polo model be proof of that.
The Volkswagen Polo in the Czech Republic is nowhere near as sought after as the larger Golf or the even larger Passat. Small cars in the Czech Republic generally don’t work that well, the only exception being the traditionally hypertrophied Fabia. And if they work for them, they are, after all, better-off new car buyers. Those interested in used cars are usually looking for the most value for the least money, i.e. one car for everything. The Golf corresponds to this better, the Polo seems to be only for the city.
But it’s not that simple for a long time. Small cars stopped being downright small a good two decades ago, and the Polo manages to surprise even as a family car with a little modesty, especially in its latest generations. It is somewhat unfair to be overlooked, because it really does not have to be a bad purchase, whether you are looking for a used car from a car dealership or from a private person.
Today we will look at two really available designs. The 9N generation is quite an old car today, it was produced until 2009, so it has a lot of problems. Electronics often break down – problems with opening windows, doors, the functionality of central locking or the sunroof are not uncommon. Trouble can also await you under the hood, however, the 1.0 and 1.4 aluminum units were notorious for freezing, which VW eventually had to fix with retrofits. For a change, the three-cylinder one-twos, known here as HTP, were prone to timing belt damage, while the turbo diesels suffered from blown turbos and cracked cylinder heads. In addition, the Pumpe-Düse system was leaking. The evaluation of the exhaust system is also below average.
It is interesting that the Polo before the facelift, i.e. the pieces produced before 2005, is rated better. After that, however, the chassis was stiffened, which in addition to everything mentioned brought about a worse driving behavior. The offer of available cars will therefore need to be viewed with great caution, but at the same time it should be added that it is a very cheap car that you can buy starting from around 10,000 CZK. If there’s nothing left, why not, but for decent pieces it needs at least three times as much. Even so, it can be evaluated as a decent ratio of value and price, but it is a car for less than one average salary.
However, the next generation 6R/6C, which came on the market in 2009, appears to be a much better way. With regard to the above, it had a lot to correct, but it succeeded perfectly. She headed into retirement in 2017 with a pretty clean slate, which is best reflected in the TÜV summary statistics. The Polo is above average reliable at all ages evaluated and is even 25 among the oldest cars tracked (max. 11 years old). This is an excellent result for a small car, the Polo has the third best score among cars in its class, even if we include the super expensive Mini.
What should you pay attention to anyway? It is necessary to go to the engine compartment again, where there are problems with the timing belts associated with the 1.2 and 1.4 TSI engines. So, if you hear a rattling noise after starting it that doesn’t stop after a while, keep your hands off it, otherwise you have a rather expensive repair ahead of you. However, in the case of a certain “not galloping” of the DSG automatic, it is usually enough to go to the service center, where new software can solve everything. It is also a good idea to check for oil leaks, taillights and springs. Corrosion can also appear on some cars, they started to be produced at the end of the decade before last.
The overall verdict is nevertheless positive. Even in the case of the penultimate generation of the Polo, prices start low, around 60,000 crowns. And if you pay at least 100,000, you have a very promising car in front of you, which has no problem handling the needs of even a smaller family. Going in a direction that most interested parties (at least in the Czech Republic) do not go, can therefore pay off again.
The VW Polo 9N from 2001 to 2009 starts low and can also play the role of a family car. However, it cannot be said that it was problem-free. Photo: Volkswagen
The 6R/6C generation from 2009 to 2017 is even better in terms of space, the predecessor surpasses the engines and, above all, reliability. It is necessary to pay extra for it, but the prices are still moderate. Photo: Volkswagen
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