Best light car over $20,000

It is now three wins in a row for the Volkswagen Polo 66TDI Comfortline, which this year dropped in price, making it an even more attractive buy.

The Polo 66TDi punches above its weight in many all-important Australia’s Best Cars criteria, such as safety, cost of depreciation and fuel consumption where, for 2012, it received a series of 10 out of 10.

Indeed, so good is the Comfortline that it would give many cars in the next class up - Small Cars Under $35,000 - a serious run.

Driving the Polo 66TDI Comfortline is a 1.6-litre, turbo-charged diesel engine, delivering 66 kW of power and 230 Nm of torque, matched with a slick-shifting, five-speed manual transmission.

When you need to overtake another vehicle, the engine spins up sweetly without becoming breathless and noisy, making it no slouch out on the open road.

Such performance doesn’t come at a cost at the bowser, with the Polo 66TDI boasting a frugal, combined fuel consumption figure of just 4.7 litres/100 km.

It has a nicely sorted chassis, and on winding roads, the Polo is nimble and fleet-footed, thanks in part to well weighted, precise steering and taut springs and dampers.

The Polo scores a five star ANCAP safety rating, the best there is.

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

Manufacturer’s List Price: $21,490

VW Polo 66TDI Comfortline - Criteria out of 10

Value for Money   Rating 
Pricing  9H
Depreciation  10M
Running Costs  8M
Fuel Consumption  10C
Warranty and dealer access   4H
Insurance  6L
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.