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VW Polo vs Hyundai i20 - Do or diesel
Need to decide between the Polo and the i20 oil-burners? Here's your answer!
By : Srinivas Krishnan | Published : July 23, 2010 | Photos : Aneesh Shivanekar
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VW Polo 1.2 TDI
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It’s a tough choice to make, actually. Both the Hyundai i20 and the Volkswagen Polo are high quality, premium hatchbacks. Somehow, their advantages and disadvantages seem to cancel each other. For instance, when you want performance, the i20 wins, but when you want great road dynamics, the Polo wins. If you want space, the i20 gives you that, but if you want clean European looks, it has to be the Veedub. And so on and so forth, almost like a yin-and-yang of sorts. We pitted both the cars and drove them extensively to put together this quick reckoner. Hope it sorts your life out!

We Indians have taken a huge liking to the i20’s lines and the prominent snout and muscular curves are a big hit. It looks funky and youthful, all right. The i20 looks like a premium, expensive hatchback, which means the design has worked. Though I don’t like it too much (I think Hyundai seems to have tried very hard. Besides, I feel it will age faster), a random poll in our office revealed that many liked it.
Hyundai i20: 4 stars

An Italian Volkswagen! There is no grey area with the Polo’s looks. Except for the tame and unassuming rear end, the Polo is a very good looking car. In red, with the 15-inch alloys, it really looks smashing. The aggressive Scirocco front end that has now become a hallmark of all the new-gen VWs, has worked. The architecture of the Polo is a bit more traditional compared to the taller i20, so it looks like a conventional hatchback. But it’s a good looking car for sure. Releasing the hatch by depressing the VW badge is a neat effect too.
VW Polo: 4 stars
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  Posted by ashwin at 8th March,2012
Whatever anyone says i20 is best
  Posted by Prince V.M at 17th January,2012
The ride, steering feel, style and road stability of i20 is nowhere near Polo. For a few extra features and that too for Rs 50k extra, i20 just does not cut a deal!
  Posted by Nijzz at 23rd February,2012
  i own a polo tdi highline... my cous recently added an i20 crdi asta to his garage... wel.. i find my polo no match for th i 20 wid regrds to the feel it offers.. wel i luv my polo!!...
  Posted by raj at 14th January,2012
i bought vw polo. really its amazing as compare to i20 because its riding , handling,build quality and comfort.if u think about features, too much power then i20.and more thing about polo service duration is 15000 km its fantastic, if its engine has long life thats why its service period is long.
  Posted by saurabh at 9th January,2012
i own i20.....nd i believe that no other car in the class can take over it.....i luv my i20
  Posted by Khushboo G at 28th December,2011
Thanks, great review!
  Posted by anil agrawal at 27th December,2011
i20 is the best car .......
  Posted by K.Kannappan at 18th December,2011
I love my i20 1.4 CRDi. Its performance is really wonderful. Its pickup, performance, interior everything is amazing. I am sure no car is bar with i20. In the Hatchback class i20 still rules.
  Posted by Sansony at 30th November,2011
I consider i20 as sedan class, since it has all features, power, Space, Technology, interior design and drive comfort as in sedan, but the same is not with VW POLO or Punto. By considering all parameters, i20 is outstanding, This week ill be getting my new Red i20 Asta Crdi :-)
  Posted by shubham verma at 19th November,2011
if you r looking for a car than i20 is the best in all sides
  Posted by rishab garg at 26th October,2011
i20 is the best car and better than the polo.
  Posted by sandeep purohit at 25th October,2011
i suggest punto is the best. because spares are cheap as compared to swift which is the most popular model in india. punto is a five star ranting car in crash testing excellent pickup and road grip .rear ac vent in foot level All the spares have been manufacturing in india i am getting 23.4kmpl at 90kmph on highway with ac. test drive it once
  Posted by Nayan joshi at 10th October,2011
it's a very informative article and it looks that author have thorough knowledge of both cars.
  Posted by Sid. Nilugal at 7th October,2011
Hi, the side looks of POLO is just awesome, but it has very less features, and leg room in back seat is too low., its not as good as i20 when it comes to features, power, comforts and space. over all i20 is better. Its power, pick up, space, long ride, millage AND features like aux-in, USB and Bluetooth IS AWESOME. I20 has great interiors, blue lighting gives it a superb look.
  Posted by balaji at 24th September,2011
Comparing to polo and i20, I suggest i20 is the best. volkswagen service very worst in india due to many reasons here i menton some 1.) Spares are really too expensive 2.) manufacturing unit was not in india for spares and anything else 3.) people working in volkswagen service centre not even fully aware about the car and its maechanical problems 4) some times you need to order the spares and need to wait for weeks to come in to your hands 5) i owned a polo comfort is really good but every thing else sucks i saled it and bought a new i20 last month. i20 provides me good service because its manufacturer is hyundai and all the spares have been manufacturing in india so we will get the spares cheap and finally it gives me all the comfort and additional feautures that polo doesnt provides i20 rocks go for it best car.Iam getting 18kmpl of my i20magna crdi 1.4 diesl version and in highways iam getting almost 24 with ac. Correct timings between transmisson shifting gives best mileage
  Posted by ananya pabbathi at 20th September,2011
both polo & i20 are awesome. i like the 1.shape of polo 2.interiors of i20
  Posted by uday at 23rd January,2012
  u btr get crossbreed of polo and i20
  Posted by alen at 31st July,2011
Mr. Srinivas Krishnan you have done an excellent comparison and I thank you so much for helping me out....well i20 rules
  Posted by DRG at 29th April,2011
I would greatly appreciate if all the reviews include a section on Indianization or customization for India like more bottle holders, having a lock that locks from inside as well, horns that do not expect european conditions. to name a few. Otherwise - in my honest opinion, reviews become unrealiable in Indian context.
  Posted by SIDDHRAJ at 23rd March,2011
polo or i20 plz give me the correct answer
  Posted by yashsolanki.2011 at 23rd March,2011
i20 is the best its looks are luxuries than any other car . In regards of comparison of these 2 cars polo and i20 I think i20 is more often better than polo because of mare space more mileage than polo and I do not think that it is underpower atall . i20 has more features than polo polo has less features the casette player of polo loses its looks while i20 has a thretened music system with bluetooth and gps i20 interior is far better than polo and many more I think it is the best its prices are also low than polo
  Posted by yashsolanki.2011 at 22nd March,2011
i20 is best
  Posted by yashsolanki.2011 at 22nd March,2011
i20 is the best no doubt go for it...........
  Posted by Pradeep at 22nd February,2011
VW Polo TDI is amazing compare to I20 in hills driving its chanceless Once after reaching 2.5 RPM it gives us a tremondus power , in highway dirve polo has a heaviy body so there is no any varbling and all
  Posted by Akash at 17th February,2011
over all temme which vehicle to buy? VW Polo r i-20? i want powerful, low maintainence nd quality..
  Posted by Sathish at 27th January,2011
THIS IS THE PERFECT COMPARISON.AFTER COUPLE OF MONTHS I FINALLY landed between POLO AND i20. To Decide between the two was really hard. I was studying both for more than 2 months after selling my Swift. Finally i ordered a POLO. I love to drive so i found VW far better than the i20. i20 is a Safer car, and the feature list is no argument, Yet you'll love the POLO. When you want to look figures compared in a piece of paper, its i20 hands down, its got everything a premium car needs. i20's interior is really improved.
  Posted by Deepesh at 23rd December,2010
Polo: The only thought after driving polo 5500 Km (Highway + City) u get is driving pleasure. Very much sturdy, Class handling and Thumps up for road grip. I would only recommend VW to work on polo's features (USB + Aux), Rear Space and Power.
  Posted by barath at 15th December,2010
polo rocks machi pick up is awesome wow... wow... tramandous pickup right from 2 gear
  Posted by Charan Preet at 9th November,2010
my views go for i20. its pick up is amazing, more specious, more powerful, and features is much more than polo. i20 di bale bale polo, sholo thale thale.
  Posted by RS_Del at 14th October,2010
Is the I20 steering column rattling/noise complaint floating around the internet forums valid? Is this due to a design shortcoming in the vehicle?
  Posted by rahat kataria at 1st October,2010
we know that, in look polo is great but this car doesnt hav features.if we want style or drive in the city polo is gud.if we want spaciousness,power,featurs,pick up then we sshould go for the i20.but i like the car, polo. polo could be more spacious,powerful,having features,it could be 4cylinder.but it is nt bad at all.
  Posted by Nikhil at 28th September,2010
Sorts our life out? This comparison? Are you just plain dumb Mr.Krishnan?
  Posted by deepak tripathi at 4th September,2010
polo lacks the power of i20. the torque of i20 is incomparable with polo. i20 looks more muscular and has a macho look. however, seating comfort in polo is much better. You need to have additional seat covers in i20 to make it comfortable.
  Posted by jjkvr at 12th August,2010
THe author forgot to mention the interior plastic quality difference between i20 and polo. i20 cant match the quality of polo.
  Posted by moni at 28th July,2010
good comparison, but in the whole comparison the polo is mentioned as a italian car but its german
  Posted by sandy at 26th July,2010
i think the VW POLO could b considered basically for its less polluting engine which exhaust only about 87 gm co2/ km compared to TATA nano's 110, Hyundai Diesel i20's 110 and TOYOTA PRIUS 91. But then nothing is said about the mileage.
  Posted by Kapil at 26th July,2010
The camparison should be between i20 diesel and punto 90 HP. what say guys?? Can we expect a writeup on this?
  Posted by sid at 24th July,2010
@summit here are my two cents swift is an aging design, to be replaced by a new one soon. secondly, it is called rattle king and you would know why the moment you come out of showroom. plastics are worst i have seen on a 6 lakh hatchback, interior space is very less. ride quality is harsh especially if you are traveling with parents. here are some redeeming points - fuel efficiency, good performance, maruti's network (but hyundai is no slouch either), features are very less compared to the price it offers. looks are personal opinion but i feel its outdated. i20 is much better in all above aspects except that its dynamics are a bit off, but for that you can have a fiesta S for same price and no one would crave corners in a hatchback.
  Posted by Nabajyoti at 24th July,2010
Can you please let us know which one is more likely develope rattling sound after two years? While caomparing vehicles, why dont you put a column comparing the service and maintenance costs so that the prospective buyers get a comprehensive idea about the cars? Does Punto 90 HP fall in the same league as with these two?
  Posted by Doc at 24th July,2010
Well Srini, glory be to you for not being overwhelmed by the VW brand and choosing the more sensible i-20! Hardly any of us are going to carve corners esp with the family on board. But - is there anyone around who could transplant the i-20 heart into the Polo's thorax? That'd be great innit? BTW, I tend to agree with Sunit below, though personally I hate the Swift's build quality AND its looks. Doc
  Posted by SUMIT SINGHAL at 23rd July,2010
It looks like no car is complete 100% satisfaction and these two are considerably more pricey as compared to Punto, Swift, figo and Vista. I can buy any of these two cars by stretching myself but I want complete satisfaction for that extra money spend. Therefore it appears that Swift should be choice amongst all deisels whether its the looks, features, pricicng and driving dynamics and not to forget Maruti pricing. Am I right? Please tell.
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