Menu

Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Volkswagen Polo GTI vs Ford Fiesta ST


Volkswagen Polo GTI and Ford Fiesta ST go head-to-head in this comparative review.
 
 

value

Volkswagen Polo GTI

From $27,790

Polo GTI was a value champion when it was released, but now faces much stiffer competition. But at $27,790 for the 3 door and $28,990 for the 5 door, it’s still great value. Polo GTI comes with 17 inch alloys, fantastic tartan sports seats, rain sensing wipers, 6.5 inch touch screen entertainment system and climate control, but no satellite navigation or reversing camera.

Ford Fiesta ST

From $25,990

At $25,990 it’s great value and cheaper than all its turbo competitors – With Recaro sports seats, 17 inch alloys, cruise control, climate control, rain sensing wipers and headlights, keyless entry and push start button, it’s well equipped, but comes with three doors only. On the down side, no satellite navigation, touch screen, automatic transmission or five door option.

technology

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Brilliant 1.4-litre engine is supercharged and turbocharged, which delivers a wide spread of peak torque. It matches the Ford’s 132kW and narrowly beats it for torque with 250Nm, but lacks the throaty sound of the Fiesta. The seven speed twin clutch transmission is fantastic, but purists may lament the lack of engagement of a manual transmission, which is not available.

Ford Fiesta ST

Fiesta’s 1.6-litre turbo engine makes 132kW and 240Nm, and sounds fantastic. Close ratio 6 speed manual delivers the power to the front where the traction control, torque vectoring and electronic stability program keep it steady under power or braking.

design

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Polo GTI follows a more conservative approach, hiding its relative age well too (it was launched in 2010). Only the 17 inch alloys, dual exhaust pipes and red grill surround differentiate it visually from the standard Polo. Inside it is classic Volkswagen high quality feel, and visibility is excellent all round too. Tartan upholstery is a classy touch. The five door is a huge practical bonus over the Ford, but if you prefer the boy-racer look, pick the Fiesta.

Ford Fiesta ST

Fiesta’s design is now ageing, but it still looks the part, with the face lifted Aston Martin-like nose and wide track on the ST. It’s more aggressive and sporty than the Polo, both inside and out. Visibility is good but it could use a reversing camera. Practical, clean interior for five, but the sports seats limit access to the rear – shame there isn’t a 5 door option.

safety

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Five star safety again, but with six airbags. Polo GTI has excellent meaty brakes that resist fade. Electronic brake-force distribution, electronic differential and stability program amount to significant accident avoidance capability, and it’s a good thing too, because there is plenty of torque steer to keep under control.

Ford Fiesta ST

Five star safety rating matched by seven airbags. Excellent brakes and switchable electronic stability program keep the car on the road without spoiling all the fun. Even in heavy rain there isn’t as much torque steer as you might expect from such a small and powerful front wheel drive.

driving

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Polo GTI’s virtues are in being a supremely competent (and efficient) daily driver that is also astonishingly quick when it needs to be. It’s comfortable on the highway and in the city, and feels no more hard core than a normal hatchback. Squeeze the throttle though, and the Polo devours the road and clings on to the corners. Not quite as focused as the Fiesta ST, but the twin charged engine and DSG transmission do a great job of responding to throttle input immediately.

Ford Fiesta ST

Fiesta feels precise, agile and rewarding even with electric steering. Power delivery is immediate, with turbo lag reduced to a minimum – and it feels like a proper driver focused car. Great handling characteristics too, however the ST is still a comfortable highway cruiser. It’s the choice for properly spirited driving.

Verdict

Volkswagen Polo GTI

Ford Fiesta ST