Apparently, the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled, is one of the few cheap routes to a universal car that will last

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Apparently, the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled, is one of the few cheap routes to a universal car that will last

6 hours ago | Petr Prokopec

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Photo: Volkswagen

Unless the Germans change their plans, this is the last we’ll see of him in this form. It used to be a small car, but today the Polo is more of what the Golf once was – a fairly versatile compact that’s not just for the city.

At one time, VW decided to electrify its entire offer, regardless of the technical limits of the electric drive and the minimal interest of the public in such a change. We are therefore already convinced that he will not complete his plans, but it probably won’t happen before he at least tries. Therefore, if something groundbreaking does not happen, they will also be carried away by the Polo model, which will either end completely, or it will be indirectly replaced by an electric car starting somewhere around 600,000 CZK. There is no point in discussing at length that it also puts an end to a successful story of this type.

But for today, let’s stick to history, which in the case of the Polo in the Czech Republic is not associated with as much popularity 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. The limited interest in it here is somewhat irrational, which paves the way for an interesting purchase, whether you go 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 already quite an old car, it was produced until 2009, so there are many problems associated with it. 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 address with retrofits. For a change, the three-cylinder one-twos known here as HTPs 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 have to be viewed with great caution, but at the same time it should be added that this is a very cheap car, which you can buy from around 7,000 CZK. If there is nothing to spare, why not, but for decent pieces it needs at least 30 thousand. 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 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 statistics. The Polo is above average reliable in most of the evaluated ages and ranks around 50th in key age categories. This is an above-standard result for a small car, but the Polo has one of the best balances among cars in its class.

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. Something similar applies in the case of a certain “not galloping” of the DSG automatic. 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 still 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 a smaller family. And if even this car seems to you to be unnecessarily old, today you can reach for examples of the still up-to-date version of the AW generation in the bazaars.

It already sits on the MQB A0 platform and more than anything else resembles older Golfs. It is therefore already quite a spacious and widely usable car, which is still among the best cars ever in the TÜV Report in the category of subcompact cars. It’s not a bulletproof machine, the car suffers from engine failures, but these are of an electronic nature, so you don’t have to worry about the most expensive mechanical repairs of key parts.

Cars manufactured before October 2018 also have problems with the rear belt buckle, as well as the handbrake. Some specimens assembled between October 2019 and February 2020 may also run on oil, which could contaminate the brake booster. Therefore, if you see greasy stains in the engine compartment, you better put your hands away – because it is quite possible that a much larger number of components will need to be replaced. Everything else is already traditional banality, behind which the current owners and their crews stand, not the car company.

The prices are still very decent, you can buy the oldest specimens with higher mileage for around 170,000 CZK, for cars that have driven around 100,000 km, you will need around 230,000 CZK. And you can still have a diesel, for the lowest prices even most often a four-cylinder 1.6 TDI, i.e. no three-cylinder outliers.

So considering what VW is up to, it’s still a cheap route to a car that will last. The decision of the Germans to end this model in one way or another can only be wondered at again, but the current Volkswagen is simply heading in one direction with blinders on. Fields 9N, 6R/6C and AW are from a time when this was not the case.

Apparently, the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled off, is one of the few cheap ways to a universal car that lasts today - 2 - VW Polo test used, illustration photo 02Apparently, the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled off, is one of the few cheap ways to a universal car that lasts today - 3 - VW Polo test used, illustration photo 03
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

Apparently the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled off, is today one of the few cheap ways to a universal car that will last - 4 - VW Polo test used illustration photo 04Apparently, the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled off, is one of the few cheap ways to a universal car that lasts today - 5 - VW Polo test used, illustration photo 05Apparently, the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled off, is one of the few cheap ways to a universal car that will last today - 6 - VW Polo test used, illustration photo 06
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

Apparently, the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled off, is today one of the few cheap ways to a universal car that will last - 7 - VW Polo GTI 2018 illustration photo 01Apparently, the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled, is today one of the few cheap ways to a universal car that will last - 8 - VW Polo GTI 2018 illustration photo 02Apparently, the VW bestseller, which has already been whistled, is one of the few cheap ways to a universal car that will last today - 9 - VW Polo GTI 2018 illustration photo 03
The still current 2017 iteration of the AW is the largest and most versatile of all the Pols. It still lasts and its prices are not absurdly high. Photo: Volkswagen

Source: TÜV

Petr Prokopec

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The article is in Czech

Tags: Apparently bestseller whistled cheap routes universal car

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