In tow car terms, though, it’s very much a tiddler. The legal towing limit is just 1100kg (or 1070kg going by the VIN plate rather than VW’s brochure), and the 85% match figure is 1012kg.
However, provided you match it to a suitable lightweight caravan (we towed a Swift Basecamp), the Polo makes a very fine ultralight tow car.
It stayed stable in a straight line at speeds which would be legal on a French autoroute but would get you in trouble on a British motorway.
In the lane-change test, the Polo was firmly in control until the third and fastest attempt at the manoeuvre, when the caravan started to pull the car around.
In everyday use, the Polo is a pleasure to drive. It’s not the most lively or exciting supermini, but it has a big-car feel in terms of ride comfort and refinement.
It has big-car safety standards, too, with a five-star rating from Euro NCAP. So if you are downsizing the Polo will make it a painless experience.
We use the same load of holiday luggage to test the boot capacity of every car, and it’s not at all surprising that the Polo didn’t have space for every item. However, its 355-litre volume is generous for a car of this size.
With a price tag nudging close to £20,000, this a premium-priced supermini. But What Car?‘s research shows discounts are available if you haggle, and resale values should be strong.