Car buyers these days have plenty of choices. More so, in the competitive hatchback segment. However, this segment can be further divided between cars that offer sheer value and cars that offer pure driving thrills. The comparison here is between two cars that offer the latter.
The outgoing Figo was always a great car for drivers however, it was let down by an anaemic engine both in diesel as well as petrol guise. The new car clearly aims at sorting this old issue. The petrol automatic tested here makes 110bhp, but more on that later. The Polo is clearly aimed at the driver. Which one is better?
The Figo is clearly the head turner between the two. The big grille upfront along with those classy stretched back lamps give it a very Aston Martin like grille. The car looks upmarket from the front end. The rear isn’t as dramatic as the front but still looks like a well balanced design.
The VW Polo in comparison looks a bit dull. Its straight lines will age better and the GT badges around the car give it a sporty touch. The car looks well balanced though and sophisticated as well.
There is little doubt that VW makes the best cabins in the small car segment in terms of quality and the Polo GT is no different. Every panel shouts quality. The switchgear is very tactile and offers a ‘feel good’ factor when you use it. The clearly laid out dials and controls give the cabin an upmarket feel. The rear seats though don’t offer as much room as the Figo here.
The Figo scores on practicality. But that said, its cabin isn’t very good in terms of overall plastic quality. Space in the front and rear seats is good though and the cushioning is generous as well.
Engine, performance and gearbox
The Polo uses a 1.2-litre petrol engine with a turbocharger which helps it generate 102bhp. The Figo uses a bigger 1.5-litre unit that generates 110bhp of power. Both these cars use an automatic gearbox to deliver power to the wheels.
The Polo uses a seven-speed dual clutch unit, while the Figo uses a dual clutch six-speed unit. The Polo’s gearbox is much better than the Figo’s. That’s largely because the Polo offers a crisper gearshift. The gear changes are seamless in the Polo and even when you push the gear lever to manual then the gearbox works like a dream.
The Figo is good for the most part but it does tend to jerk a bit when you push the accelerator pedal all the way down to the floor. Its not as smooth as the Polo either in full automatic form. You can feel the gears shift. The Figo is also slow to respond to throttle inputs compared to the brilliant unit on the Polo.
Ride and handling
The Figo has the edge in this department. The car offers a very cushiony ride over most road surfaces at slower and higher speeds as well. The Figo also feels better planted on the road as speeds increase. The Polo offers a slightly harsh edge to its ride, which means that on anything less than smooth, you can feel the jolts inside the cabin. However, this harsh ride quality means handling is brilliant. The Polo’s steering feels a lot crisper and communicative than the one on the Figo. The Figo’s unit is decent for most part but tends to feel a bit wooly around the dead centre position.
Safety and equipment
Both cars come with electronic stability control, two airbags, ABS with EBD as well as climate control among other things. You also get alloy wheels as standard along with electric operation for the side view mirrors. The Polo has the edge in the fact that it offers a cooled glovebox along with cruise control as standard.
The VW Polo GT TSi is one of our favourite cars of all time. It really is a thrill to drive and delivers on thrills. That said, the Figo manages to do around ninety percent of everything that the Polo does for about seventy five percent of the price, which makes the Figo the winner of this comparison.
Images by Mohd. Nasir