What The Most Repeated Car Fact of the 21st Century So Far neglects to mention is that the minutiae of a car’s execution is just as critical as its gearbox, engine and chassis. Which is why the Polo GTI is better than two cars that are the same as it.
The extra sheen of the Polo’s interior is just the start – the biggest difference between the three cars is on the road. Seriously.
A Fabia vRS feels like a cheap car with a very expensive engine – fast, but also a bit tall and imprecise. The Ibiza Cupra by comparison gives the impression that it’s trying too hard… all shouty, darty and hard without much charm or feel. Blame it on the height of their bodies, sound proofing and weight distribution.
In comparison, the Polo feels like a perfectly judged hot hatch marvel. It’s the last of the three to go on sale, but the GTI gives the impression that it was designed first – the ideal calibration of a shared platform that Skoda and SEAT had to cheapen and differentiate themselves from.
The ride is fractionally less busy… the induction noise slightly richer… the steering infinitesimally meatier… you’ve got to be a real hot-hatch loser hell-bent on finding tiny traces of tweaked tactility to feel the difference, but that’s what we are. Give us a good hot hatch in Wales over anything else on the road. And the Polo GTI is a very good hot hatch.
Blame it on witchcraft, blame it on mysterious mechanical alchemy… but we honestly think the difference is big enough to avoid blaming our own exaggerated memories of the other two cars.
And yes. We also know that the fizzy brilliance of a Renaultsport Clio makes praising the tactility of a Polo GTI sound a bit overwrought. The best of the three is still second best to the Renault.