Sunday, February 22, 2015

Volkswagen Philippines Launches Polo 1.6 Hatchback (w/ Brochure)

Volkswagen is always seen as “the people’s car”, responsible for democratizing transport and allowing the regular folk to drive a brand-new automobile as long as she or she saved enough. So when the German brand re-entered the Philippine market last year, its premium price positioning caught everyone, including its loyal fan base by surprise. This year, Volkswagen Philippines is rectifying it by introducing an affordable yet well-designed and well-engineered car that’s aiming to be “your first German car”. Meet the all-new Volkswagen Polo hatchback.

Those keeping tabs on VW know that the Polo’s been around in the Philippine market for quite some time albeit sporting a sedan body style. Priced at P 950,000, the 1.6 TDI didn’t really catch on due largely to its conservative styling and bare-looking interior. It does have sexy German tech, but the Plain Jane clothing prevents you from checking her out further. All that changes with the Polo hatchback. Priced also at P 950,000, it’s the sultrier sister with the skirt cut short (in this case, the trunk’s been lopped off). It effectively makes the silhouette much sportier while retaining a formal shape. The change is complemented by front and rear fog lamps, more bright work in the front grille, and 15-inch “Riverside” alloy wheels.

Outside, she’s all sexy, but inside, she’s sophisticated. A tilt/telescopic three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel is front and center of the driver. The leather-wrapped tiller is joined by high-quality “Livon” fabric seats with the rears having a 60/40 split-folding mechanism for increased cargo flexibility. The comfort-oriented nature of the Polo hatchback is further emphasized by the RCD 320 audio system that features a full array of audio inputs including Bluetooth connectivity. This audio system connects to a high clarify four-speaker system.

Pushing the Polo hatchback is a 1.6-liter petrol engine with 105 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 153 Nm of torque at 3,750 rpm. This Euro-4 compliant engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Ensuring that any on-road hijinks remain controlled, it comes with front and rear stabilizer bars. Stopping power is provided by front discs and rear drums with anti-lock brakes. The safety equipment is joined by dual SRS airbags, three-point seatbelts for all occupants, ISOFIX child seat anchors, and rear parking sensors.

“The Polo Hatchback is indeed a perfect combination of quality and driving pleasure and is targeted to be one of our volume sellers. Now on its fifth generation, the Polo Hatchback offers excellent levels of comfort, functionality, reliability, and, long-term quality,” said John Philip Orbeta, president and CEO of VW Philippines.

Indeed, the Polo is one of Volkswagen’s global best-sellers and has created a following for those who prefer a mix of driving pleasure with quality. It also forms the basis for VW’s World Rally Championship (WRC) efforts. The Polo hatchback is available in five colors: Copper Orange, Candy White, Night Blue Metallic, Flash Red, and Carbon Steel Gray. Marking its market launch, it’s available with an attractive financing package with a lowdown payment of P 95,000.


  1. As much as I want Volkswagen to succeed in selling cars here, the Polo doesn't seem premium enough with its equipment. It's priced as much as the Mazda 3 1.5 which is better equipped, larger and more stylish. ACE should have at least made it 100k cheaper, but then it'll compete with the Jazz and Fiesta making it a tough sell.

  2. If VW is looking into the SEA market they should move production to thailand to soften import duties. I think this is why VW cars are so expensive despite being produced in relatively low labor cost india.

  3. I'm not some-kind of economist or a car expert but I do wish Volkswagen to become highly competitive and expand to more car segments in the market and add more varieties to choose here in the Philippines, it saddens me to see that they're making compromises in quality and equipment while still being relatively expensive. I wish to see German engineering more reachable to the Filipino masses without compromising quality.

  4. Or the other way around. As they have a few dealers only, it might be better for VW Phils. to target the value for money premium segment like what Subaru successfully did.

    Instead of pushing entry level cars where they aren't competitive VW can stay in the premium sweet spot of 1.8M - 3M. Then, VW will be a good alternative vs. the Euro brands or the higher models of Japanese brands.