Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI (DSG) Review
Hitting from the baseline

Story by Raymond Lai Photos by Mark Yeo
23 Jun 2012

The new  turbocharged 1.2 TSI Polo replaces 1.4 MPI as entry-level variant. Raymond Lai checks it out.

Introduction, styling

Singapore’s road tax structure means that cars with small engines are usually preferred by the masses over those with bigger motors – the tax is after all calculated by the displacement of the car’s engine. It is of no surprise then that Volkswagen’s models with downsized engines are flying out of the showroom forecourt like hot cakes in recent years.

Despite its recent unprecedented success, Volkswagen isn’t resting on its laurels. The brand recently replaced the naturally aspirated 1.4-litre MPI entry-level Polo variant with a new downsized but turbocharged 1.2 TSI variant. Like the 1.4 MPI it supersedes, the 1.2 TSI sits under the Sport and the GTI in the local Polo line-up.

The Polo shares many styling details with the rest of the current Volkswagen range. The front end, with its slim radiator grille and sleek headlamps mimic that of the Golfs while the rear is an evolution of the previous Polo’s albeit with tail lamp lenses that are ‘L’ shaped and highly distinctive when lit. With large VW roundels proudly adorning the front and rear and its familiar two-box silhouette and stance makes it look like a smaller Golf.

On the outside, you can immediately recognize the 1.2 TSI from its more powerful sibling via its unique 15-inch five-spoke ‘Sima’ alloy wheels and the lack of front fog lamps on the front bumper. Just like the Sport, the 1.2 TSI has its ‘TSI’ badge on the boot lid all finished in chrome. The entry-level model’s smaller wheels doesn’t make its stance look as purposeful as the Sport’s or the GTI’s but the Walter de Silva-penned hatchback is still a smart and fashionable looking car nonetheless that has well-balanced proportions and should go down well with the trendy fairer sex as well as for practical family types.

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Engine Capacity 1197cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 90bhp @ 4500rpm
Torque 160Nm @ 1500rpm
Power to Weight 82.7 bhp per ton


Acceleration 10.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 182 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(3970 x 1682 x 1453) mm
Wheelbase 2470 mm
Turning Circle 10.6 metres
Kerb Weight 1088 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 45 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs