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The top 10 Volkswagen Polo alternatives

The Volkswagen Polo is brilliant but it’s not for everyone. Fancy something else? Here you go!

It’s one of our favourite superminis – the VW Polo is spacious, solid and offers the lowest possible insurance if you’re happy to stick with the entry-level engine.

But there are loads of other superminis to pick from, and maybe the Polo just isn’t your thing. In which case, we’ve picked a few cars that offer many of the Polo’s strengths without such a minty badge.

SEAT Ibiza

Better than the Polo for: style

If you know even a little about cars, you’ll probably know that the SEAT Ibiza and the Polo are sisters from different misters. The Ibiza benefits from a little more flair and more of a party island fun factor than the slightly more straight-laced Polo. SEAT’s effort is marginally better to drive than the Polo, and better value too.

Shop used SEAT Ibiza cars for sale or read our SEAT Ibiza review

Audi A1

Better than the Polo for: interior materials

Audi’s miniature offering is another car that owes its existence to the Polo, and you’ll notice a few of the same parts inside if you drive one then the other. But there are some more premium-feeling materials on the dashboard, from textured trim finishers to the odd bit of leather or metal. We love Audi’s MMI infotainment system and its Virtual Cockpit digital dials, too.

Shop used Audi A1 cars for sale or read our Audi A1 review

Peugeot 208

Better than the Polo for: va va voom

Forgive us for reaching into our bank of cliches so early on, but the 208 offers the enticing French style that the Polo just doesn’t offer. The 208 looks the part and treats occupants to a quirky but high-quality interior. It’s perhaps a little easier to love than the Polo, and it’s the sort of car you’ll look back at once you’ve parked. Check out the fully electric e-208 for zero local exhaust emissions and punchy performance.

Shop used Peugeot 208 cars for sale or read our Peugeot 208 review

Mini Cooper

New Mini Cooper in yellow

Better than the Polo for: go-kart feel

The Polo is satisfying to drive but, if you want something a little more engaging, the Mini Cooper hatchback is where it’s at. It involves you in the driving process and encourages you to seek out twisty roads where you can fling it about with abandon. Just don’t expect the Mini to be much good at taking passengers or luggage – a Polo is much better for practicality.

Shop used Mini hatchback cars for sale or read our review of the outgoing Mini hatchback

Toyota Yaris

Better than the Polo for: hybrid tech

There’s no doubt that the Polo’s petrol engines are efficient but, to cut running costs further, you need hybrid power. The Yaris will return 65mpg or so, and it can run on pure electric power around town – despite not needing to be plugged in. It now gets a funky design and a long equipment list, too.

Shop used Toyota Yaris cars for sale or read our Toyota Yaris review

Vauxhall Corsa

Better than the Polo for: price

You pay more for a VW badge than a Vauxhall one – that’s been the case since ancient prophets made their declarations. So, if the Polo’s price is a bit more than you’d ideally like to pay, check out the Vauxhall Corsa. It’s youthful and even a little bit sporty, and a fair bit cheaper too. Happy days. What’s more, you’ve a choice of approximately a zillion used Corsas, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect.

Shop used Vauxhall Corsa cars for sale or read our Vauxhall Corsa review

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta front driving shot

Better than the Polo for: fun

It’s long been one of the main VW Polo alternatives, and the Fiesta is still a top choice if you want a car that’s small and easy to park, but big enough to take four adults and most of a weekly shop. While the Mini has the crown for outright handling ability, the Fiesta isn’t too far behind – and it’s noticeably bigger and cheaper than the Mini. The Fiesta ST is a real gem, but even the most basic Fiesta is affordable and fun.

Shop used Ford Fiesta cars for sale or read our Ford Fiesta review

Renault Clio

Better than a Polo for: comfort

If you’re looking at a Polo, you should also have the Renault Clio on your shopping list. Not only is it a sleekly styled thing with a swish interior, but it has a massive boot and it’s one of the most comfortable superminis. Handy if you live in an area where the council has forgotten how to use its road scraping machines (which is nearly everywhere, isn’t it…?).

Shop used Renault Clio cars for sale or read our Renault Clio review

Volkswagen T-Cross

Better than the Polo for: practicality

The T-Cross is one of a few small SUVs that are based on the Polo, so you get the hatchback’s many qualities with a bigger body and a taller ride height. While the Polo’s 351-litre boot is very good, the T-Cross bumps that up to around 400 – and a bit more if you make use of its sliding rear seats.

Shop used Volkswagen T-Cross cars for sale or read our VW T-Cross review

MG 4

Better than the Polo for: electric driving

You might not think the MG 4 is a car that’s similar to a Polo, but these two models occupy similar price bands on the used market – the MG is one of the best-value electric cars you can buy right now. The MG is a bit of a jump into the unknown compared to the reassuringly familiar Polo but, make the leap, and you’ll get a surprisingly high-quality EV with a decent range and up to seven years of warranty. Its instant electric punch will leave a Polo in the weeds, and the MG 4 doesn’t embarrass itself through corners, either.

Shop used MG 4 cars for sale

Hyundai i20

Better than a Polo for: warranty

The Polo is well built and feels very durable – especially so for a supermini – but it only comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty from new. A number of rivals now offer five or seven-year warranties. We’ve chosen the funky Hyundai i20 for this list. Its five-year warranty doesn’t come with any mileage limit, so you’re free to drive to your heart’s content and benefit from the backup. Of course, with any car, you can purchase an extended warranty to give you even more peace of mind.

Shop used Hyundai i20 cars for sale or read our Hyundai i20 review