A few weeks ago we were given the opportunity to try out one of Volkswagen’s three-door “Formel E” Polos, fitted with the very high overdrive fourth gear which is supposed to contribute dramatically to low fuel consumption figures. There’s no doubt that the Polo is a good-handling small car with excellent ride quality, about which we have commented favourably on many occasions in the past. However, one is bound to say that Motor Sport readers will find it too modest for their tastes in terms of performance, although it is certainly a reliable and practical family hack for the wife, or as a spare car.
However, we’ve heard a great deal about its fuel consumption figures from various quarters, and was thus with some disappointment that we never managed to coax it over the 40 m.p.g. mark, let alone the 50 m.p.g. figures suggested, in ideal circumstances, by the manufacturers. No, our average consumption figure was 38.7 m.p.g. which, a decade ago, would have been regarded as absolutely splendid for a small car. Now it’s little more than “average” in the economy league: we’d be interested to hear how many Polo “Formel E” owners have significantly bettered 40 m.p.g. in normal, day-to-day use. — A.H.