2019 Volkswagen Polo VS 2019 Ford Fiesta
Twenty-eighteen’s Ford Fiesta shares more with a Mercedes S-Class. This top-spec 1.0-litre Titanium model has cruise control and anti-crash braking. It’ll watch your blind spots, read road signs, warm your backside, heat the steering wheel, broadcast crystal-clear digital radio while navigating via satellite, defrost its windscreen and beep at you before you back into a wall. Sure, some of that’s optionally extra. This Fiesta isn’t even fully specced.
It’ll need every single trick, gimmick and flourish to take down the new VW Polo. The Polo is the might of the VW Group – its vast economies of scale, and an R&D budget that rivals the entire GDP of some continents – distilled into a supermini. The Fiesta is Top Gear’s reigning favourite, but it was a mighty close run thing to see off the new Seat Ibiza, which shares its platform with the new Polo.
And while Seat has to make do with sloppy seconds switchgear and a brand hierarchy that says its interior must be as inviting as a Sunday night festival port-a-loo, the Polo oozes polish. Pity its styling is so frumpy. Plain, yet fussy, it’s like a styling buck for a doorskin-pressing machine, which VW forgot to design the back and front of. It’s failed to convert the dull new Fiesta’s design open goal.
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