Owning and running a Volkswagen polo, mark III, 1 litre petrol.

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Hello and welcome to my guide for running and owning a Volkswagen polo car.
The model in question : Mark III, 1 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine match model.

The 1 litre engine is an Aluminium block with multi point fuel injection, which feel like it makes no real difference on a car with only 50 horsepower peak and a curb weight of over 1 ton in real life, add fuel and driver we are talking around 1100 to 1200 kgs.

Positives to come from this car.
Comfortable seats,
Powerful heating system,
Modestly powerful door speakers,
Adjustable dashboard light levels,
Electrically adjustable door mirrors, handy feature for tricky parking.
low insurance grouping (3 of 50 or 1 of 20 depending on system used).
Overall Build quality is quite good.

Negative aspects to come from this car.
No power steering which was a standard feature for most cars made in the late 1990's,
No glove box, it has been replaced by an airbag,
Ride comfort can sometimes be a real pain on poor condition roads, 
Boot space could be better for such a big "supermini"
Folding the rear seats down to expand the back is not easy in this car, impossible if flexibility is an issue for you.
Reliability can be an issue which these cars too, mine has been in the garage twice for unexpected repairs which were not cheap to fix,
Gearbox ratios are too low, this car absolutely needs a 6th gear,
Overall cabin noise is high, I measured 96 decibels at 60mph, which is bad by modern standards and it gets worse the quicker you go, driving this car at 70mph requires either a loud stereo or earplugs to make it bearable
Metallic paint, which is expensive to buy, considering the "metallic" content of the paint is exactly 0.1%.
Fuel consumption, most 1 litre petrol engined cars can do more than 60 miles per gallon even fifteen years ago, this struggles to get 55mpg in the summer months, expect less than 50mpg in the winter months.
The brakes are not great, mine had been uprated with sports pads so the braking power is "acceptable" by today's standards.

But the absolute worst thing about this car is the handling, it is woefully bad for a supermini.
Under normal driving conditions where you are just pottering to work and back, this is acceptable, but show this car any kind of corner with modest speed, it just understeers  badly, resulting in your front tyres getting trashed, so the fun aspect of owning a supermini has gone straight away, this car is a straight forward A to B car, having some fun with it is not an option.

Volkswagen did not put the 1 litre engine in any polo after the Mark III and it is not hard to understand why, this feels underpowered all the time, you can not even fend off diesel powered 4x4's with this thing, I think VW made the same mistake with this as many car makers do, they improve the car then add 150 to 200kgs of mass without upgrading the engines to compensate, usually resulting in the smallest engine being rendered not suitable for the job it was built for.

If you are a young man who wants something fun, avoid because this is not fun to drive at all, it is boring to live with, If you need something you gain some insurance premium with, it is better than a Nissan Micra in terms of public image, but not in terms of driving pleasure.

My experience of this car has not been good overall, I have not bonded with this car in anyway shape or form, it is 4 wheels and an engine, the VW badge saves from being described as a bad car, but not by much.
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