Great Car, loads of fun to drive. myself and several other owners have all reported problems with the clutch. I've taken it back to VW a couple of times and they have replaced certain parts and its OK now.
VW have not officially said there is a problem with clutch, but as soon as I took it in and mentioned the 'clutch' word, I got the feeling they knew what I was about to say!
Overall, great fun car to drive, stands out from any other polo. Absolutely kills anything else in its class, Saxo, Fiesta, Clio.
They hold there value very well and recommend buying one.
In response to comment made on 22nd May 2004, 16:52 about the Polo Gti killing a Saxo, Fiesta, Clio. This entirely depends what model you came up against in the first place. For instance a Saxo VTS, would easily kill a Polo Gti, it has similar power yes, but it weighs as much as a match box.
As for a Clio. If you came up against a Clio Williams, 172, 182 or even a 197 very shortly, you might as well forget it. You're be welded and they're think you're just pulling away normally. In fact in my opinion, a Polo Gti doesn’t deserve a Gti badge because it's nearly 9s to 60, and simply doesn’t cut it. Next VW be sticking a Gti badge on their vans, LOL.
The new polo GTI will give all you clio 172 owners a run for your money, the 1.8 turbo should be quite potent. and the polo's probably a bit lighter than the clio.
Looks: Great for a car of this age. VW really went to town with the styling, but for some reason decided to leave the Mk4 Golf GTI's to look the same as a 1.4. Honeycomb grille is very nice.
Handling: Not as good as a 106 GTI, but still pretty decent. Noticeably better than most other superminis. Lowering it gives a definite improvement on the handling, but compromises on ride quality. Good feedback through steering wheels unlike the light steering featured in standard Polos.
Performance: Great performance given it is only a 1.6. Yes it's in a small car, but quite a heavy small car (1090kg!), though it never feels heavy. 0-60 in a very respectable 8.3 seconds and pulls quite well in 5th at low revs. Engine loves to be revved and sounds great past 6000rpm.
Driving: Brakes really let the car down, absolute rubbish. Overall driving experience is very good. Nice ride quality, cabin quite quiet and comfortable on long journeys, especially with the heated leather interior. Fuel consumption average. 33MPG average. Highest I've had is 41, lowest is 31MPG.
Interior/Equipment: Amazing spec - Xenon headlamps with washers, climate control, 6CD/Radio Tape all as standard. Heated leather is quite rare and was a £1000 option. Even rarer extras were ESP and autowipers. Good build quality, lovely blue and red illumination at night. Nice looking dashboard compromises on ergonomics - heater controls located far too low down.
Problems: Sometimes the clutch can be a little heavy. Brakes as mentioned. Gearbox has a tendency to go through bearings and can be a costly fix - look out for whining noises and crunching gears as there as the symptoms. Make sure the cambelt tensioners are replaced every 40k or 4 years regardless of mileage.
Overall: Great car to drive, lots of space inside considering its size. Only 3000 made (1000 red, 1000 silver, 1000 black) between 2000 and 2002 so be prepared to travel to find one. V, 02 and 52 plates are very rare. The car is quite sought after so be quick when buying. Recommended.
Actually this is strongly wrong and misleading! I have had a Polo GTi for 3 years now, and the catalog numbers for 60mph are 8.7s. My engine has been set with chip, custom manifold and few other things. I measured it with Drift box, and it goes to 100kmph for 7.3, and this is in 3th gear! Second gear is 98kmph, and probably it would be 6.5 or so.
This is a dream car for its class, with lovely interior and design with Race Technics. You just have to make few little improvements to the engine and it will gives you the best smile ;p.