Whilst on the VW Amarok launch last week, I was offered the chance to have a quick spin in the new CrossPolo.
I already liked the way it looked – funkier than the standard car – in fact it’s more distinctive than the GTI, especially when daubed in bright orange with matching upholstery.
However as a big fan of the way the normal Polo drives I wasn’t expecting the CrossPolo’s raised ride height and low-profile tyres to do its dynamics any favours.
I expected it to lurch, flop and disappoint on the flowing, twisting and truly joyful road I found myself on. How wrong I was.
The 1.2-litre TSI engine is as superb as ever – gutsy, refined and even aurally sporty. But the real revelation was just how much fun the handling is.
The longer suspension travel endows it with the sort of fluid ride that we used to experience in supple French hatchbacks, while the delicately adjustable chassis balance is amplified by the relatively low grip limits.
It’s not dangerous or scary in the least and the ESP will unobtrusively scoop up any over-exuberance if you leave it switched on (I didn’t). That’s not to big myself up as some sort of driving legend, but merely to prove the point that its wonderfully playful chassis is accessible at perfectly reasonable speeds in total safety.
So what we have is a stylish, distinctive, fun-to-drive, frugal small VW. There are currently no plans to bring the car to the UK, however, there would be no additional cost to bring any cars over here in right-hand drive.
So, VW UK, what are you waiting for? I’ll take mine with a surf board permanently attached to the roof…
By Owen Ready