2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI (2023)

Volkswagen introduced the new Polo GTI at the IAA 2021 in Munich. It instantly caught a lot of attention thanks to some design styling borrowed from the new eighth-gen Golf. The new Polo GTI has a lot on offer for the price and is one of the best-selling hot hatches in the European market. Read more to get a detailed emphasis on this new budget hot hatch.


Hatchbacks are not popular in the land of SUVs and trucks and it is unlikely for the 2022 Polo GTI to launch in the US. Volkswagen America got to launch the much-awaited new GTI and R variants of the Golf which are steaming hot in the new attire and tuned performance. Similarly, the Polo GTI holds up quite well and sports the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine as the Golf GTI but has lower horsepower and torque figures. The front and rear fascia get a bolder look with the new IQ.Light matrix LEDs along with a refreshed interior. The cabin looks modern and tech-proof with the new standard fully digital driver information display and the latest MIB 3.1 infotainment system. Volkswagen has not revealed the final pricing of the new Polo GTI but it will likely be around $34,500 or £25,000 and competes with the likes of the new Hyundai i20 N, Ford Fiesta ST-Line, and Peugeot 208 GTI.


2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI: Feature list

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The latest iteration of the sixth-gen Polo GTI comes with a few long-awaited updates and that makes the feature list quite big for the price you are paying. The features include:

- IQ.Light LED matrix headlamps with honeycomb intake grille.

- 10.25 Digital Cockpit Pro multi-information driver display.

- 8.0-inch touchscreen central display with MIB 3.1 system.

- Limited-slip differential.

- Seven-speed DSG only.

- Plaid and leather seats.

- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

- OTA updates via Volkswagen ID.

- Online Connectivity Unit with eSIM compatibility.

- IQ. Drive semi-autonomous driving assist.

- Leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel.

2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI (22)

Other optional features are as follows:

- Wireless charging pad.

- Panoramic sunroof.

- Beats premium six-speaker audio unit.

- 18-inch alloy wheels.

- Parking assist.

Standard safety features including the updates include:

- Lane-keeping assist.

- Adaptive cruise control.

- Blindspot monitoring.

- Automated emergency braking.

- Post-collision safety system.

Exterior Design

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The 2022 model year of the current Volkswagen cars is having significant visual upgrades over the earlier models and so does the Polo line up. Similar to the Golf, the IQ.Light LED matrix headlamp design looks aggressive with the new sleek DRL running through the grille radiator crossbar. The intake grille is newly designed and now has honeycomb patterns similar to the Golf. The redesigned LED taillights are a bit stretched to the middle to create the dramatic turn indicator flow. The rear spoiler and twin chrome exhaust add up to the sporty design language. Volkswagen highlighted the GTI trim with the logo on the grille with red accents surrounding it.

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The same thing carries on the sides and the rear where it is just below the VW initials. A set of 17-inch alloy wheels come as standard but can be upgraded to 18-inch ones. In terms of the overall dimensions, the GTI shares most of the numbers with the regular Polo except for the height which is slightly down to 56.6 inches. Apart from that, the 160.3-inch length, 68.9-inch height, and 100.9-inch wheelbase are identical to the regular Polo. A few of the exterior highlights of the 2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI are as follows:

- LED matrix headlamps.

- Honeycomb grille design.

- 17-inch alloy wheels.

- Twin chrome exhaust cutouts.

- Red accents on the brakes.

2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI Exterior Dimensions

Model2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI
Curb Weight1,286 kg (2835 lbs)
Length4,074 mm (160.3 inches)
Width1,751 mm (68.9 inches)
Height1439 mm (56.6 inches)
Ground ClearanceN/A
Wheelbase2564 mm (100.9 inches)

Interior Features and Practicality

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Much like the exterior, Volkswagen brought substantial upgrades to the interior. The soft-touch dashboard is not wholly redesigned but a part of it feels like it is, especially the red accents covering the middle and extending to the door panel. The 8.0-inch touchscreen comes as standard but a 9.2-inch display is available and they are slightly tilted towards the driver for better convenience. The seats are faux leather covered with the Clark check pattern as Volkswagen calls it but they offer a great feel and look. The front sports seats offer multi-level power adjustability with heating options.

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Small hatchbacks are not the best for hauling people and that continues with the new 2022 Polo GTI. Don’t get us wrong, the space is adequate for city usage and the cabin can fit up to 5 people at the same time. The front row has enough head and legroom with up to 40.1 inches and 41.0 inches, respectively. The rear has a decent head and shoulder room but the 32.4 inches legroom will make the taller individuals uncomfortable. Apart from that, the spaciousness is adequate for city commutes and even shopping with 14.6 cubic feet of boot space. That being said, let’s jot down the important interior standout features of the 2022 Polo GTI.

- Dual-zone automatic climate control.

- Leather-wrapped leather wheel with added control buttons.

- Optional leather seats.

- Power-adjustable front seats with multi-level heating options.

- 10.25-inch fully digital instrument panel.

- Red accents around the cabin.

- Panoramic sunroof. (Optional)

2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI Interior Dimensions

Model2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI
Seating Capacity5
Headroom, Front1,019 mm or 40.1 inches
Headroom, Rear964 mm or 37.9 inches
Shoulder room, Front1,386 mm or 54.5 inches
Shoulder room, Rear1,384 mm or 54.4 inches
Legroom, Front1,042 mm or 41.0 inches
Legroom, Rear824 mm or 32.4 inches
Cargo Capacity414 kg or 14.6 cubic feet
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The updated infotainment system sees new light as Volkswagen adds the latest MIB 3.1, which is one of the most user-friendly systems with an Online Connectivity Unit and eSIM support. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come installed as standard along with a navigation system. Being the top-tier variant of the Polo family, Volkswagen ID will take responsibility for over-the-air updates for future software improvements. A few of the infotainment features are as follows:

- 8.0 or 9.2-inch touchscreen display with MIB 3.1.

- WiFi hotspot.

- OTA updates via Volkswagen ID.

- 6-speaker audio unit.

- Rear-parking camera.

- Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

- Wireless charging pad. (Optional)

Performance and Handling

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Powering the 2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI is the same old 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged inline-four that has been the heart of the Polo and Golf GTIs. Unlike the Golf GTI, the Polo pumps out 204 horsepower (207 PS) and 236 pound-feet (320 NM) of torque. The power output is a perfect match given the lightweight body and small size.

Like its predecessors, the Polo GTI drives through the front wheels only and gets a seven-speed DSG as standard for effortless shifts, but there is no option for manual transmission. The engine feels peppy with so much torque kicking in just 1,500 revs and that has been the nature of the 2.0-liter since its introduction.

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Handling the Polo GTI is just so much better now as it gets XDS electronic differential lock for better traction around corners. The ESC works like a charm without intervening too much which can ruin the fun. The drive modes include- Eco, Individual, Normal, and Sport. The Eco mode takes control over the throttle response with interior air conditioning to serve a better economy. The Individual mode is driver-configurable. The Sport mode changes the engine’s character and makes it prone to more throttle response with an open exhaust valve which sounds amazing. The steering feels accurate and light with adequate feedback. The slightly stiffer suspension profile makes getting in and out of corners easier. The MQB platform has been embraced to provide rigidity and high-speed stability on the Polo GTI.

2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI Performance Stats

Model2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI
Engine2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission7-speed dual-clutch transmission
Power204 HP
Torque236 lb-ft
0-62 MPH (seconds)6.5
Top Speed149 mph or 240 km/hr

Safety Convenience

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As mentioned earlier, the MQB platform is now more shock absorbing and ranks high in safety tests That said, the earlier Polo has reserved up to 4-star in the Global NCAP crash tests. We hope the new Polo will perform better as Volkswagen has loaded the Polo GTI with loads of driver assistance features including the IQ.Drive semi-autonomous driving assist. A few of the key safety features available with the Polo GTI are as follows:

- Electronic stability control.

- Emergency braking assist.

- Lane-keeping assist.

- Blindspot monitoring.

- Post-collision safety system.

- Adaptive cruise control.

- Parking assist.

- Proactive occupant protection system.

- Driver alert system.

- Rear cross-traffic alert.

Is the 2022 Volkswagen Polo GTI impressive already?

Of course, I mean the upgrades are surely the ones it needed. With Volkswagen rolling up the sleeves and getting to upgrade the overall tech of its lineup, it is tough for Hyundai and Ford to cope up. The latter companies offer similarly good value for money hot hatches but the feature-list just got heavier in the Volkswagen. It is a shame that the U.S. won’t get to see the insane matrix LEDs anytime soon. If you are in Europe and want a compact car with adequate performance, then the 2022 Polo GTI is the one to go for thanks to its added reliability and a good amount of future-proofing.

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