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VW Polo R Line is a cheap-ish pretend GTI

Poor? Want a top spec Polo GTI for mid-range Polo Match money? Well VW has you covered with the new Polo R line – which has the sensibilities of a Polo Match with all the aesthetic badassery of the more potent Polo GTI.

The Polo R Line is a sheep in wolf's clothing.
The Polo R Line is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

It’s essentially a Polo Match that’s been to visit Gok Wan. It comes with sporty R Line front and rear bumpers (check out the chin spoiler and rear diffuser), fatter side skirts, 16-inch Mallory alloys, a more prominent rear spoiler and a glossy black radiator grille replete with R Line badging. It doesn’t sound like much, but it all adds up to a more ruthless-looking Polo.

There are tweaks inside the Polo R Line, too. Brushed aluminium kick plates line the door sills, there’s a leather-clad three-spoke steering wheel, and aluminium-tipped pedals. Sadly, the seats are made of cloth, not leather, but it’s fancy stuff named after the ‘Kyalami’ South African race track (My Home in Zulu).

Equipment includes a 6-speaker radio/CD player with iPod connectivity, trip computer, height-adjustable front seats, electric and heated wing mirrors, tyre pressure monitor, semi-automatic air-conditioning and split-folding rear seats. You do appear to lose some options that are standard on the Match, however. DAB radio, for example, is absent from the spec list, so ask your dealer exactly what you’re sacrificing by gaining a fancy styling kit.

Power comes from the same 1.2-litre 105PS petrol unit found in the Polo SEL, which transmits its grunt through a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s good for a 0-60mph sprint time of 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 118mph. Fuel economy is rated at a fairly impressive 53.3mpg, with CO2 spews at 124g/km.

All this doesn’t come particularly cheap. The 3-door model will sell for £15,195, while the 5-door car goes for £15,815. However, the untrained eye could easily mistake it for the Polo GTI, which costs £4,135 more.

The Polo R Line probably won’t tempt real cheapskates away from the cheapest £9,920 Polo, but it could prove a happy middle ground for those who want the looks of the Polo GTI, but aren’t too fussed about performance. First deliveries of the car are expected in July 2012.

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Update: Read our full review of the Polo.

Images:

The Polo R Line has a cheeky little rear diffuser for an extra touch of sportiness.
The Polo R Line has a cheeky little rear diffuser for an extra touch of sportiness.

R Line badging helps the car stand out.
R Line badging helps the car stand out.

DAB radio is absent from the standard spec list.
DAB radio is absent from the standard spec list.

You'll have to make do with cloth upholstery, but it does have lots of Rs written on it.
You’ll have to make do with cloth upholstery, but it does have lots of Rs written on it.

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