2 photos
Volkswagen Polo MK4 9N

Volkswagen Polo MK4 9N (2002-2010)

3.3 from 10 reviews

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Great buzz box

After adding roof racks it's a beast. Seriously, it's a tardis!
We use our polo for work and play. Seats 5 rugby players, acts as a station wagon for storage, burns through the Twisties even as a diesel. But.....
Issues with the coffee cup holder, it is broke plain and simple. Servicing is expensive, vw well duh. Headlight replacement is a mechanics job and requires battery box or air box removal.
Airbag and dodgy vs shenanigans aside......
Want to love it, don't, but I really really really like it.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level

Smooth and fast!

Bought mine with a 200K mileage on it a year ago. I have already drive about 65k miles in 1 year (i know, i drive A LOT!!) and no big issue. Of course some things needed to be changed such as rear shock absorber, headlight switch and brake pad. Thats it. Otherwise its a great car! It surprisingly drives really fast for a 1.2 (can reach 150 km\hr without any struggle) and stable on highway. Running costs is cheap. Servicing can be a bit costly (if you are buying genuine parts- highly recommended). Interior door handles are cheaply build. If anyone has any question on this car (mechanical or electronics), I might help since i know quite a bit on it.

Badge(No Badge)
Engine Size1.2L
Date PurchasedNov 2015

Buy only new

I bought it with 60k miles. Not that big trouble but after 5k problems started with engine, after other parts and so on so on. I wonder why VW made this car? Well maybe when you buy brand new it's worth, but old lady with 60k miles? Not worth, you will always meet problems!

Engine Size1.4L Petrol

Major engine problems

2007 Polo 1.2 Petrol. I bought this second hand with only 40k miles on engine, which is nothing. The car ran great 4 months and then the problem struck. Car started loosing the power suddenly when it is idle or waiting for traffic lights etc. The car will vibrate so much as if someone is shagging inside.

Took it to the garage and I found that engine 2nd piston is loosing power. It was the piston chamber that had the gap and hence loosing the pressure. The only fix was to buy either new or refurbished chamber which is bloody expensive plus the labour. The mechanic told me that this engine is a cheap and cheerful engine you will find in many other small cars and has a bad design.

Engine Size1.2L Turbo Petrol

265,000 miles with no faults

We run a VW Polo 1.4 Match as a driving school car. We buy every VW new from a local VW dealership and run them for about 250,000 to 300,000 miles before we sell them. If you have them service by a main VW dealer they don't go wrong that often. Clutches last for about 120,000 miles and alternators and starter motors usually fail between 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

We replace the usual engine bits like water pumps when we have a new cam belt fitted. No point in paying for a cam belt job then having to pay again to have a water pump replaced three months later.

Had loads of learner cars over the last 25 years. VW and small BMWs last. Fords, Fiats and Vauxhalls died between 100,000 and 150,000 miles - if you are lucky. Citroen always die well before 100,000.

Never understand the VW quality comments. To me a VW is just a cheap car. BUT they do keep on working.

I also auto car wash the car every single day - twice in the Winter months. That's about 400 car washes per year for five years. A coat of wax every year keeps the paint work looking like new - try that in a Ford!

Engine Size1.4L Petrol

Enjoyable - in fits and starts

This car has its ups and downs - it can be a pleasure to drive and has the sense of high build quality and really feels like a large car but in pocket size form. The main issues are the reliability (gearbox and electrical) and cost of servicing (expensive), I'd recommend local mechanics rather than VW.
Ride, Handling, Size, Features, Looks, Fuel Economy
Reliability, Reliability and Reliability

Engine Size1.4L

Appallingly badly built vehicle

Unfortunately my daughter was swayed by her heart, not by her head when she bought a 2005 Volkswagen Polo 15 months ago. With 56,000Kms on the clock she felt the car had been barely run in, looked in good condition, and she was looking forward to years of economical motoring....How wrong was she!
She has not had 4 weeks straight without something major breaking down on this incredibly badly built vehicle. For the first 6 months, when driving, it would suddenly splutter and for a few seconds misfire and the tacho and speedo would stop reading until the car was switched off and started again...very handy in the harbour tunnel!! Took one of Sydney's major Volkswagen dealers 6 months to get that one sorted out. Then the inside of the car was saturated right through from the tailgate to the accelerator pedal from a faulty rear light assembly seal when it was left outside in one of Sydney's heavy rain showers earlier this year. The radio rear speakers do not, and never have worked. The left front power window jammed down and the mechanism had to be replaced, and within a month the drivers side one stopped working also...glass just fell to the bottom of the door...Whole of the inside door skin had to be replaced. The computer started causing strange problems with the motor and has just been replaced. The front suspension bushes have just been replaced. My God, where will it stop! These are the major things. In dash cup holder does not release, left rear indicator has failed twice, and there are other things which escape me at the moment. I am just so cross about this vehicle. This car gives a whole new meaning to the expression 'Lemon'!! The poor owner is now afraid to drive it. She has lost countless hours of work because it has continually broken down while getting her to work...she just cannot afford to replace anything else and she feels whenever she takes it out there is a strong chance she won't get home again.
My thoughts were that this vehicle had been a repairable write-off and that would account for some of the problems, but records show that is not the case...it is just an extremely badly built car and certainly not what we are lead to believe would come from the Volkswagen company. The vehicle has now covered 75,000Kms since new and the owner has spent more than half her original purchase cost just keeping it on the road.
BE WARNED, if you are contemplating buying a Volkswagen you had better have a mighty deep pocket because the purchase price could well be the minor outlay and I would hate anyone else to go through what my daughter has had to.
Put your money into a decent Japanese car where you know you will get reliability and quality.
The colour
Not a single component of any quality on this vehicle.

As a footnote to the above review, in the 3 months since that was written the problems keep coming along one after the other, the latest involving a coil that had to be replaced.I find it hard to comprehend that one company can source so many inferior quality components for their vehicles. A cut corner here or there maybe but this vehicle takes poor quality to an artform. I sent a link for this review to the customer care section of Volkswagen Aust and, as to be expected, did not even have the courtesy of a response of any sort from them. Their customer service seems to match the quality of there vehicles!! At last this vehicle is out of my daughters life, it has been sold. She has bought a Toyota Corolla, which is what she should have done, and wished she had done, in the first place.The purchase of a Volkswagen car was an extremely costly mistake, and one which nobody in (or associated with) this family will ever make again!! Buy German quality.......you absolutely have to be kidding, that would be up there with the worlds great oxymorons!!!Well there you go! After having this really nasty experience with a Volkswagen vehicle and absolutely no help whatsoever from Volkswagen, the EPA and the US government are demanding a recall of 500,000 vehicles and taking action against Volkswagen for tampering with their cars computers systems to give emission readings up to 40 times cleaner than is actually achievable in general driving. This is precisely what I would expect from this company!!!! This is what happens when companies get to the point where they consider that they ARE the law....not just governed by it. I hope the EPA screws Volkswagen and Audi into extinction!!!


A great looking little car, which is frugal and has enough punch (but just enough), sometimes you wish for greater power. It is small, but feels much larger, which is always a good feeling.
Quality issues through out the life of the car for me, such as rear door lock not working on first day of ownership (bought brand new), to a few rattles, then the clutch going and the cam belts having to be replaced made me never want to buy another Volkswagen again. I appreciate that not all models are the same, but I think that you buy a new car so you don't have any hassles. I like some other new Volkswagens but dont' wnat the same experience of ownership.
This is for the 2001 model> Feels much larger than it is
> At the time of purchase in 2001, it only came in one flavour, with 55kw> Clutch went with less than 60,000 ks on the clock> Cam belts have to be replaced at 60,000 ks - these cost a couple of thousand to replace


I owned a 2007 Polo GTI from brand new and only sold it when I needed a bigger car due to family reasons. I loved this car. It was smooth and refined and a breeze to drive. The additional power of the turbo made merging in peak traffic in Melbourne easy and safe. The car was whipser quiet with no rattles or squeaks.
Easy to drive, easy to park. Beautiful and solid reliable car, with a bucketload of safety features.
The new Polo GTI while now comes in a 5 door, only comes with the DSG gearbox. I am not sure why VW is trying to exclude drivers who prefer to drive a manual.

Engine Size1.8L Turbo Petrol


I love the Polo TDI and would strongly recommend that people buy this model. Lots of power and ability to get you out of trouble. Car looks good and sound system is excellent. I find the car economical to drive and to service. Very impressed
I have a 2007 Polo TDI-love the power and quality finish
The cupholder is troublesome and doesnt fit with the finish. Top of doors mark very easily.

BadgePacific TDI
Engine Size1.9L Turbo-Diesel

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Questions & Answers

I have a 2006 vw polo auto bky is the code a manual will not fit there is a rattle in engine, i took it to a garage they told me i needed a new engine. I phoned 70 breakers they said it would be very difficult, can any body help?
No answers

Looking at buying a 2002 Volkswagen Polo SE 9N Manual MY02 it has had all its services and major ones, is there anything i can look at when test driving the car to spot to see if something is wrong with it?
2 answers
Sorry Garren. We have not had the Polo long enough to pick any "Watch" areas. If it has Cruise Control and you plan on using Cruise Control on either a freeway or highway, I would try to take a test drive somewhere at 100kph using cruise. Also if it is an auto with a DSG gearbox, VW did have problems with the early versions of the DSG boxes.Its a manual. But thank you for your help


Volkswagen Polo MK4 9N (2002-2010)
Release dateJan 2002
Discontinuation dateDec 2010
Replaced byVolkswagen Polo MK5.I 6R
Compare all Volkswagen Polo

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