Volkswagen Polo Mk4

Volkswagen Polo Mk4
Also called
Volkswagen Polo Vivo
2001–2009 (Germany)
2010–present (South Africa)
Wolfsburg, Germany
Navarra, Spain
Bratislava, Slovakia
Curitiba, Brazil
Uitenhage, South Africa
Luanda, Angola (Ancar)
Anting, China (SVW)
Body and chassis
Body style
3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
4-door sedan
Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Volkswagen Group A04 (PQ24)
SEAT Ibiza Mk3
SEAT Córdoba Mk2
Volkswagen Fox
1.2 L I3 (petrol)
1.4 L I4 (petrol)
1.6 L I4 (petrol)
2.0 L I4 (petrol)
1.4 L I3 (t/c diesel)
1.9 L I4 (diesel)
1.9 L I4 (t/c diesel)
5-speed manual
6-speed manual
4-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
Sedan: 2,465 mm (97.0 in)
2002–07 3-door: 2,460 mm (96.9 in)
2008–09 5-door: 2,454 mm (96.6 in)
Sedan: 4,198 mm (165.3 in)
2002–04 5-door: 3,897 mm (153.4 in)
2005–07 5-door: 3,926 mm (154.6 in)
2008–09 5-door: 3,916 mm (154.2 in)
1,650 mm (65.0 in)
Sedan: 1,501 mm (59.1 in)
2002–07 Hatchbacks: 1,465 mm (57.7 in)
2008–09 5-door: 1,467 mm (57.8 in)
2008–09 3-door: 1,452 mm (57.2 in)
Volkswagen Polo Mk5
Volkswagen Polo Mk4 (facelift)
Volkswagen CrossPolo
Volkswagen Polo Sedan
Volkswagen Polo GTI
Volkswagen Polo Blue Motion
The Volkswagen Polo Mk4 is the fourth generation of the Volkswagen Polo supermini car produced by the German manufacturer Volkswagen. It was marketed from early 2002 to 2009 in most countries except Brazil and the USA. It is still manufactured in South Africa, where it is sold as the Polo Vivo. The Mk4 replaced the Volkswagen Polo Mk3, while the Polo Vivo replaced the Citi Golf.


Launched in September 2001, the fourth generation Polo (internal designation Typ 9N) was made available in early 2002. In keeping with Volkswagen's aim of floor pan sharing it shares its platform with the SEAT Ibiza 6L, SEAT Córdoba 6L and Škoda Fabia Mk1. The car is all new, and bears more structural resemblance to the 6K than the 6N, outwardly the most recognizable change is the quad round headlights similar to the Volkswagen Lupo.
At a length of over 3,900 mm (153.5 in), the South African-built Polo Vivo is longer than the first generation of its larger sibling, the Volkswagen Golf Mk1, 3,820 mm (150.4 in) in length.

Release in North America

Volkswagen Polo clean diesel
In January 2009, Volkswagen Group of America CEO Stefan Jacoby announced that the Polo will finally reach North America to join the vehicle line-up as a true entry-level car below the Rabbit. However, the Polo Mk4 was never released in the North American market, leaving the speculation for its successor, the Polo Mk5. It is anticipated that it will be built at Volkswagen's plant in Puebla, Mexico.

Model and specifications

The model range includes the norm for current Volkswagen models, from the Comfortline to the Trendline and Highline, whilst featuring an extense list of extras that had now become norm in mid-sized small cars. Items such as ABS, power steering, front and side airbags and front and rear head restraints were standard on all models and ESP, brake assistance, air conditioning, satellite navigation etc. were optional on higher spec models.
It is the first Polo generation to use a semi-automatic air conditioning system, with automatic climate control, named Climatic, that adjusts the interior temperature automatically to the value set on the control panel, whereas the air distribution and air blower speed are adjusted manually. A fully automatic air conditioning system, named Climatronic, was also offered.
It was available with a choice of a five-speed manual gearbox, a six-speed manual gearbox, only for the sporty 1.9-litre 130 PS (96 kW) diesel model, or with a four-speed automatic gearbox, used only in combination with the 1.4-litre 75 PS (55 kW) petrol engine. A six-speed semi-automatic transmission (Tiptronic) was added from mid-2006, after the facelift, also available only with the 1.4-litre 80 PS (59 kW) or with the 1.6-litre 105 PS (77 kW) petrol engines.
There was also a crossover version of the Polo, with off-road styling, named Polo Fun (Polo Dune in the UK, Polo Soho in Spain), but despite its appearance the car was never available with four-wheel-drive. According to Volkswagen, the following generation of the Polo would receive the 4motion (four-wheel-drive) option.


The car was available with several petrol and diesel engines: a 1.2 L three-cylinder petrol engine with 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp) or 64 PS (47 kW; 63 hp) (depending on the number of valves per cylinder, two or four) and a 16-valve 1.4 L 4-cylinder with 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) or 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) petrol engine, the last one on the 16V-badged model.
Both turbocharged and unturbocharged diesel engines were available such as the 4-cylinder 1.9 L SDI (Suction Diesel Injection) which also offered 64 PS (47 kW; 63 hp) but with 125 N·m (92 lb·ft) of torque, slightly more than some petrol powered units. As well as the unturbocharged SDI engine, newer TDI PD turbodiesel units were also available, these being a 1.9 L with 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) and a three-cylinder 1.4 L model (the 1.9 with one cylinder less) with 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp). A sporty 1.9 TDI PD model, named Polo GT, was launched in 2004, with 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp).
Petrol engines
Power (Max output)
Torque (Max output)
Top speed
I3 SOHC 6V, multi-point sequential fuel injection
1198 cc
55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp) at 4750 rpm
108 Nm (80 lbft) at 3000 rpm
152 km/h
I3 SOHC 6V, multi-point sequential fuel injection
1198 cc
60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) at 5200 rpm
108 Nm (80 lbft) at 3000 rpm
157 km/h
I3 DOHC 12V, multi-point sequential fuel injection
1198 cc
64 PS (47 kW; 63 hp) at 5400 rpm
112 Nm (83 lbft) at 3000 rpm
162 km/h
I3 DOHC 12V, multi-point sequential fuel injection
1198 cc
70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) at 5400 rpm
112 Nm (83 lbft) at 3000 rpm
167 km/h
I4 DOHC 16V, multi-point sequential fuel injection
1390 cc
75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) at 5000 rpm
126 N·m (93 lb·ft) at 3800 rpm
172 km/h
I4 DOHC 16V, multi-point sequential fuel injection
1390 cc
80 PS (59 kW; 79 hp) at 5000 rpm
132 Nm (97 lbft) at 3800 rpm
175 km/h
1.4 FSI
I4 DOHC 16V, Fuel Stratified Injection
1390 cc
86 PS (63 kW; 85 hp) at 5000 rpm
130 Nm (96 lbft) at 3750 rpm
178 km/h
I4 DOHC 16V, multi-point sequential fuel injection
1390 cc
101 PS (74 kW; 100 hp) at 6000 rpm
126 Nm (93 lbft) at 4400 rpm
188 km/h
I4 DOHC 16V, multi-point sequential fuel injection
1598 cc
105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) at 5600 rpm
153 Nm (113 lbft) at 3800 rpm
192 km/h
1.8T GTI
I4 DOHC 20V, multi-point sequential fuel injection and turbocharger
1781 cc
150 PS (110 kW; 150 hp) at 5800 rpm
220 Nm (160 lbft) at 1900–4500 rpm
216 km/h
1.8T GTI Cup Edition
I4 DOHC 20V, multi-point sequential fuel injection and turbocharger
1781 cc
180 PS (130 kW; 180 hp) at 5800 rpm
235 Nm (173 lbft) at 2000–5000 rpm
225 km/h
Diesel engines
Power (Max output)
Torque (Max output)
Top speed
1.4 TDI
I3 SOHC 6V, Pumpe Düse (PD) injectors; optional diesel particulate filter (DPF)
1422 cc
70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) at 4000 rpm
155 Nm (114 lbft) at 1600–2800 rpm
164 km/h
1.4 TDI
I3 SOHC 6V, Pumpe Düse (PD) injectors
1422 cc
75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) at 4000 rpm
195 Nm (144 lbft) at 2200 rpm
170 km/h
1.4 TDI
I3 SOHC 6V, Pumpe Düse (PD) injectors; optional diesel particulate filter (DPF)
1422 cc
80 PS (59 kW; 79 hp) at 4000 rpm
195 Nm (144 lbft) at 2200 rpm
174 km/h
1.9 SDI
I4 SOHC 8V, distributor-type injection pump
1896 cc
64 PS (47 kW; 63 hp) at 4000 rpm
125 Nm (92 lbft) at 1600–2800 rpm
160 km/h
1.9 TDI
I4 SOHC 8V, Pumpe Düse (PD) injectors; optional diesel particulate filter (DPF)
1896 cc
101 PS (74 kW; 100 hp) at 4000 rpm
240 Nm (180 lbft) at 1800–2400 rpm
188 km/h
1.9 TDI
I4 SOHC 8V, Pumpe Düse (PD) injectors
1896 cc
130 PS (96 kW; 130 hp) at 4000 rpm
310 Nm (230 lbft) at 1900 rpm
206 km/h


A sedan version, called Polo Classic, is produced in Brazil, South Africa and China and exported to the rest of Latin America and Australia. With the introduction of the Polo Classic saloon in the Australian market in 2004, the Chinese version, has the distinction of being the first Chinese-built car to be produced in right-hand drive.
Compared to the hatchback model, the Polo Sedan (also "Saloon" or "Limousine") is completely re-styled from the B-pillar rearwards. The window line has a slight upward incline and the roof features Volkswagen’s trademark curves and the concise styling of the C-pillar provides aspects that are actually reminiscent of a coupe. At the rear, the large horizontally divided rear lights and sculptured panels complete a design that is classically Volkswagen.
Overall, the Polo Sedan is 28 centimetres longer than the hatchback version (4179 mm vs 3897 mm). Consequently with the rear seatback in place, the Polo Sedan offers 461 litres of boot capacity (211 litres more than the hatchback siblings and with the rear seats folded down, 1127 litres of storage capacity is available.
Under the bonnet is Volkswagen’s 1.6-litre multi-valve engine that delivers 101 hp (75 kW) of power at 5500 rpm and peak torque of 140 Nm (100 lbft) at 3250 rpm. Transmission is a five-speed manual.
Standard features including dual front and side airbags, semi-automatic air conditioning, CD player, ABS brakes and remote central locking with engine immobiliser.


In 2005, the Polo Mk4 was facelifted, creating the Mk4F (internal designation Typ 9N3) moniker, with new headlights, taillights and a different hatch, which resembled other recently launched models in the Volkswagen line-up of the time. The Typ 9N3 was designed by Walter de Silva and came in six different trims, ranging from the basic E model to the GTI. Like its predecessor, the standard models use the same engine range from the 1.2 L 55 PS (40 kW) 3-cylinder engine to the 1.9 L 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) TDI engine.
Volkswagen also launched the successor of the Polo Fun crossover, now called CrossPolo, available only with front-wheel-drive.

Polo GTI

With the introduction of the Polo Mk4, the Polo GTI Mk3 was discontinued and was given no direct replacement. It was not until late 2005 that the Polo GTI was reintroduced. It was unveiled on October 21, 2005 at the Australian International Motor Show. It featured a 20-valve turbocharged 1.8-litre 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) petrol engine which had been used in models such as the Golf GTI Mk4 and the Passat Mk5.
Its styling bears some resemblance to the Mk5 Golf GTI, with a blacked out central "scoop" in the bumper surrounding the honeycomb grille. In this new model the xenon headlights and fully digital climate control are options, unlike the Polo GTI Mk3 which featured them as standard. Although faster than the previous model, the Polo GTI Mk4 is less powerful than the top versions of theOpel/Vauxhall Corsa, BMW MINI and its stablemate SEAT Ibiza, most of which come with engines with a maximum output above 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp). This led Volkswagen to quickly beef up the Polo further to create the Polo GTI Cup Edition, which was tuned to around 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) and featured more aggressive styling.

Other versions

In 2006, Volkswagen released the Polo BlueMotion which has a fuel consumption of 3.9 L/100 km (72 mpg-imp; 60 mpg-USand the Polo GTI Cup Edition with 132 kW (179 PS; 177 hp), which sprinted to 0–100 km (0-62 mph) in 7.5 seconds.
On 11 March 2010, Volkswagen South Africa announced that the Polo Mk4 is being re-released as the Polo Vivo to replace the Citi Golf. The Volkswagen plant in Uitenhage, near Port Elizabeth, is the largest in Africa.


In the 2005 Top Gear Survey, the Polo was rated the third least satisfying supermini to own, only the Rover 25 and Fiat Punto were even worse to own.


Volkswagen Racing rallied a Polo Super 1600 in the 2003 Junior World Rally Championship, winning the Turkish round, with Kosti Katajamäki as the driver. The 1.6-litre engine developed 165 kW (224 PS; 221 hp) to the front wheels.
Volkswagen Racing in South Africa rallied a Super 2000 Polo, that won the South African Rally Driver and Navigator Championship for four consecutive years since 2005. Its 2.0-litre engine delivered a maximum output of 191 kW (260 PS; 256 hp).

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Last updated on 13 December 2014 at 14:54.

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