Saturday, 14 November 2009

The £20 courtesy car

A VW Polo 1.2 Match (with a new Scirocco)

Nothing much to write about, but, as a courtesy car, it's very good.
I've has a Fiesta, a brand new one for about six months. it was not the new, new edgy design one but the Polo-esque one before. After six months, we were bored of it's dull personalty and tin can feel. So we exchanged it for a SportKa and never thought twice over one of the best decisions SL and I have ever made.
Where the Polo and the mk4 Fiesta do make a good point of being so accessible is when they're used as courtesy or hire cars. The Polo was instantly drivable, nothing flash but nothing difficult either.
You're in the automotive version of a Travelodge; nice to be there for a night, but only because you don't have to live there.
As with the Fiesta, the Polo's interior has a designed look about it. As in, all the buttons, switches and dials have been designed for that vehicle, not a scatter-gun, parts bin aproach. Yet both cabins are flawed because of it. They have the feel of everything, every item being designed with the same amount of time and quality. This should be good but as the total time to create both cars were the same as designing a thorough facelift, the end result is rather dull. The ashtray has the same level of interest as the steering wheel, as the interior light, as the electric window button. Bland, bland, bland.
Spending a couple of days in either the mk4 fiesta or the Polo, well it's fine, nothing to get use to, everything average and in a logical place, space is good too.
But if you where going to spend £9000 or either and have it for three years, no, you'll be wondering if getting the train would be better at stimulating your mind in the morning commute.

As well as the £20 Admiral charged me for celeb hitting in the Polo, I drove 34 miles and put in £4.20 of fuel. Really, it just wasn't worth the bother.
Having said that, had I not been offered a courtesy-mobil, then I would have really needed it for something.

One thing of note
On both dashboards on both superminis: back-lit LCD odometers and trip computers. I only drove the polo once in the dark but really, who's idea was it. The bright blue rectangles in the lower six-0-clock positions of the speedo and rev counter where ruining my night vision. The Fiesta was not as bad, with green glowing LCDs but instead of a physical fuel gauge, the mk4 had a tacky LCD fuel tank made of 5 black bars. Stangely, the new 2009 Polo has adopted this child-like display whilst the mk5 2008 Fiesta has returned to a real needle.

The VW cars are slowly dropping their trademark blue backlighting, shame because when used on a LCD or negative LCD, the blue glow really is good. VW are going for a white glow as on the mk6 Golf, which, I'm not convinced will do any favours when driving at night.

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