VW Golf vs. VW Polo: A comprehensive comparison

Which VW should you lease?
4th December 2023

Polo vs Golf

Choosing the right car can be a journey filled with questions and comparisons. In the world of compact cars, two names often come to the forefront: the VW Golf and the VW Polo. Both from the esteemed house of Volkswagen, these models have carved their niches in the automotive world, offering distinct features and experiences. In this comprehensive guide, we delve deep into comparing these two popular vehicles.

From understanding their practicality and interior comfort to exploring their driving dynamics and cost of ownership, this article aims to provide you with insightful details to help you decide which car aligns best with your lifestyle. Whether you're a city dweller navigating tight streets or a long-distance traveler seeking comfort and efficiency, join us as we explore what makes the VW Golf and Polo unique in their own rights.

VW Golf VW Polo Leasing New from CHF 286/Month from CHF 224/Month Leasing Used from CHF 251/Month from CHF 217/Month
+ All-in-one from + CHF 147/Month from + CHF 121/Month
General Feeling Larger size, wider range of engines including diesel and plug-in hybrid options Smaller size, more compact, no diesel or plug-in hybrid options
Practicality Boot space: 381 liters; larger dimensions for added practicality Boot space: 351 liters; slightly less headroom and legroom
Equipment Advanced trims like Life, Active, Style, R-Line; high-tech features Life, Style, R-Line trims; good tech features but less advanced than Golf
Interior High-quality materials, 10-inch infotainment system, more spacious interior Quality build, 8-inch infotainment system, slightly more compact interior
Driving Experience Stable and comfortable for motorway driving, sportier models available More suited for city driving, easier to maneuver, good turning circle
Costs of Ownership Higher price, efficient models available Lower starting price, generally lower insurance groups, economical in fuel usage

VW Golf vs VW Polo: The Main Differences

The VW Golf and Polo, both flagship models of Volkswagen, cater to different segments of the car market due to their distinct characteristics.

The Golf, aligning with the compact hatchback category, rivals cars like the Ford Focus. It's larger in size, offering more cabin and boot space, which translates to enhanced comfort for passengers and practicality for daily usage or longer journeys.

The range of features in the Golf varies with the trim level, but typically includes high-end options like satellite navigation, parking sensors, alloy wheels, reversing camera, and leather seats. Notably, the Golf also stands out for its diverse engine options, including plug-in hybrid and electric variants, catering to the environmentally-conscious consumer and aligning with the growing trend towards sustainable driving.

The VW Golf is available from CHF 260 per month on Gowago.

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On the other hand, the VW Polo, a more recent model first released in 2017, falls into the supermini segment, competing with cars like the Ford Fiesta. Its smaller size makes it an ideal choice for urban driving, offering easier maneuverability and parking in congested city spaces.

Despite its compact dimensions, the Polo doesn’t skimp on features. It comes equipped with modern amenities such as LED headlights, an opening panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and a self-parking function - features that are often associated with larger, more expensive cars. This makes the Polo a value-for-money proposition for those seeking advanced features in a smaller, more affordable package.

Discover Gowago's leasing offers for the VW Polo now, from CHF 240 per month.

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How Practical is the VW Golf and the VW Polo?

The Golf, with its larger dimensions, is particularly suited for families or individuals requiring more space. Its 380-liter boot capacity is ample for grocery runs, luggage for weekend trips, or transporting sports equipment, making it an all-around versatile vehicle.

The rear seats in the Golf can comfortably accommodate two adults, and its slightly more generous knee and shoulder room makes it feasible to carry three adults for shorter distances, providing flexibility for carpooling or family outings.

The Polo, while smaller in size with a 351-liter boot, is surprisingly spacious for a supermini. This makes it an excellent choice for urban dwellers who need a vehicle that's easy to park and navigate in tight city spaces, yet still offers enough space for daily errands and occasional longer trips.

Its boot space is sufficient for day-to-day needs like shopping bags or a stroller, and with thoughtful interior design, it makes efficient use of its compact dimensions. The large front door pockets and cupholders add to its practicality, ensuring a comfortable and convenient driving experience.

The Golf's availability in both three-door and five-door versions, along with an estate variant boasting a significant 605-liter boot capacity, offers additional options for potential buyers. The estate version, in particular, is ideal for those who need extra space for larger items or enjoy outdoor activities requiring more gear. On the other hand, the Polo's standard five-door model emphasizes its focus on providing practicality and accessibility in a compact form factor.


What is the Equipment of the VW Golf and the VW Polo Like?

Volkswagen's reputation for integrating quality, design, and advanced technology is clearly evident in both the Golf and Polo models. The Golf, particularly in its more recent incarnations, is equipped with state-of-the-art features designed to enhance the driving experience.

This includes a digital cockpit that provides a customizable, high-resolution digital display for the driver, a sophisticated touchscreen infotainment system offering intuitive navigation and entertainment options, and advanced driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and park assist, which significantly contribute to driving safety and comfort.

The Polo, while smaller in stature, does not lag in terms of technological offerings. It boasts a user-friendly infotainment system with seamless smartphone integration, allowing drivers to easily connect their devices for music, navigation, or hands-free communication.

This integration enhances the overall driving experience, making it more enjoyable and connected. Safety is a top priority in the Polo as well, with features such as multiple airbags, automatic emergency braking, and stability control standard across its range, ensuring a high level of protection for its occupants.

In terms of engine options, the Golf offers a wider range, from efficient turbocharged engines ideal for everyday driving to high-performance variants like the GTI and R models, which are geared towards driving enthusiasts seeking more power and a sportier driving experience.

The Polo, on the other hand, focuses on fuel efficiency and urban practicality, with its engine choices being optimized for city driving and occasional getaways. Its engines are designed to offer a balance of performance and economy, making it a sensible choice for those who prioritize fuel efficiency and lower running costs.


What is the Interior of the VW Golf and the VW Polo Like?

The interior of the VW Golf sets a high benchmark for its class, offering a blend of spaciousness, premium materials, and thoughtful design. The cabin is roomy with ample headroom and legroom, even for taller passengers, making it an excellent choice for longer journeys.

The seats are designed with both comfort and support in mind, suitable for extended periods behind the wheel. Quality touches such as soft-touch materials, refined upholstery, and ergonomic design contribute to its premium feel. The Golf's cabin also features practical elements like adjustable seating, ample storage compartments, and intuitive layout of controls and instruments, enhancing both functionality and comfort.

In contrast, the VW Polo, although smaller in dimensions, skillfully maintains a high standard of interior quality. It presents a cozy, inviting cabin that cleverly maximizes its space. The dashboard is ergonomically designed, offering easy access to controls and a clear view of the road ahead.

The materials used in the Polo are durable yet appealing, ensuring a pleasant tactile experience. The interior design, while slightly more simplistic compared to the Golf, exudes a youthful vibrancy, making it attractive to a younger demographic or those seeking a fresh, modern look in their vehicle.

Driving Experience

What Do These Cars Feel Like to Drive?

Driving the VW Golf and Polo provides distinct experiences tailored to different driver preferences and environments.

The Golf, renowned for its smooth and refined ride, offers a well-insulated cabin that reduces road noise, making it a top choice for long-distance travels and highway driving. Its suspension is tuned to balance comfort and responsiveness, providing a composed and reassuring drive. Additionally, the Golf's larger size and advanced suspension system contribute to a more stable and smooth experience at higher speeds.

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The Polo, on the other hand, shines in urban settings. Its smaller dimensions and agile handling make it ideal for navigating through busy city streets and tight parking spots. The car's responsiveness and maneuverability are key advantages in stop-and-go traffic and narrow lanes. Despite its smaller size, the Polo maintains a comfortable ride, absorbing bumps and road imperfections effectively.

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For those seeking a sportier driving experience, the Golf GTI and R models offer heightened performance. These variants are equipped with more powerful engines and sport-tuned suspensions, delivering an engaging and dynamic driving experience. The GTI and R models are designed for enthusiasts who crave power, precision, and a spirited driving experience.

Costs of Ownership

What are the Costs of Ownership for These Cars?

When considering the cost of ownership for the VW Polo and Golf, various factors come into play, including initial purchase price, fuel efficiency, insurance, maintenance, and potential resale value.

The VW Polo, being a smaller and lighter vehicle, typically has a lower initial purchase price than the Golf. This makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers or first-time car owners. Its fuel efficiency is another cost-saving aspect, as the Polo's engine options are designed to maximize fuel economy, leading to lower fuel costs over time.

Additionally, the Polo's insurance premiums are generally lower due to its positioning in a lower insurance group, which is particularly appealing to younger drivers or those with a tighter budget.

In contrast, the VW Golf, especially the newer models with advanced technology and larger engines, has a higher initial purchase price. However, the Golf's plug-in hybrid and electric models (e.g., e-Golf and Golf GTE) offer long-term savings in fuel costs, especially for drivers with regular access to charging facilities and those who primarily undertake short journeys.

These eco-friendly models can significantly reduce the overall running costs due to lower fuel consumption and potential tax incentives. Moreover, the Golf's strong resale value and reputation for reliability can offset the higher upfront cost over time.

Maintenance costs for both models are relatively similar, with Volkswagen offering a standard three-year warranty for both. However, the more complex systems in the higher-end Golf models could potentially lead to higher maintenance costs in the long run compared to the more straightforward mechanical components of the Polo.


Both the VW Golf and Polo are exceptional cars from Volkswagen, each with its unique appeal. The Golf offers more space, advanced features, and a range of engine options including performance models, making it a versatile choice for a wide range of buyers. The Polo, with its compact size, fuel efficiency, and modern features, represents an excellent choice for city driving and those seeking a quality small car. Depending on individual needs and preferences, either car could be the ideal choice.

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