Best light car over $20,000

A perennial winner over the years in various classes of Australia’s Best Cars awards, the Polo makes a name for itself again with back-to-back success in this category.

It’s not surprising really, as the Polo 66 TDI punches above its weight in several important judging criteria and would give many cars in the next class up a serious run for their money.

The Polo has grown in size over the years but the extra bulk hasn’t hurt it in terms of performance. Under the bonnet is a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine with an output of 66 kW and, more importantly, 230 Nm of engine torque produced from low engine revolutions. It feels as quick as anything on offer in class.

A nicely sorted chassis gives Polo the ability to handle just about any scenario. On twisting sections of road, it is nimble and sure footed. Ride quality is as supple as a car twice its price.

Clever interior packaging makes the most of Polo’s compact size, with above average leg room and head room for passengers and a wide opening rear hatch being rewarded with a solid score for space.

Perhaps the ultimate accolade is that, despite being the baby of the VW range, Polo feels just like its bigger brother, Golf.

Australia's Best Cars Best Light Car over $20,000 VW Polo 66 TDI Comfortline

Manufacturer’s List Price: $22,350

Criteria out of 10 – VW Polo 66 TDI Comfortline


Value for Money   Rating 
Pricing  9H
Depreciation  7M
Running Costs  8M
Fuel Consumption  10C
Warranty and dealer access   5H
Insurance  7L
Standard Features  7H

Design and Function   Rating 
Safety  10C
Environment  8C
Comfort  8M
Space  6L
Practicality  8M
Ergonomics  8M
Build and Finish  8H

On the Road   Rating 
Performance  8H
Ride  8H
Handling  8H
Braking  8H
Smoothness and Quietness   8L

Note: Level of weighting importance for each score: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High, C = Critical.