RAC Cars News


Ford Fiesta vs VW Polo | RAC Cars

By raccars Published

Ford Fiesta or the VW Polo?

Used Ford Fiesta - What Do You Need to Know?

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is showing little sign of moving away from the top of the UK car market. We are due a new model and yet the old ones are still performing extremely well. So it’s going to take a monumental effort from another manufacturer to knock it off its perch.

● Built to last

● Not really practical for families

● Real supermini pedigree

● Lots of hard plastic in the interior

● Extremely economical to drive

View thousands of used Ford Fiesta models on RAC Cars today.

Used VW Polo - What Do You Need to Know?

VW Polo

Not many cars have the kind of following that the Volkswagen Polo is able to enjoy, with that iconic, compact shape and large front lamps.

● Really strong build quality

● Quite a firm ride

● Economical to run

● Generally more expensive than the Fiesta

● A really refined drive

View used VW Polo models on RAC Cars today.

A Short History of the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo

Both the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo are leaders in the supermini class and after more than half a century of refinement between them, these cars are up there with the best.

The VW Polo has always offered a strong, steady build to go alongside well made interiors. You can see that since its inception in 1975. Conversely, the Ford Fiesta has always been about that rallying, wedge-shaped dynamism. Something its predecessors had in abundance and the newer models are getting back to.

The Ford Fiesta tops the supermini sales chart month after month, year after year and is a firm favourite with small families, drivers who have just passed their test and also learners.

The Volkswagen Polo is another giant within the supermini segment and is a solid example of German technology and build quality at its very best. But which model comes out on top in our comparison listing?


The Mark 1 of both of these cars was a beauty. Both laid the foundations for a successful lineage through clean, defined lines and a focus on its own strengths. Ford wanted a party with the Fiesta, while VW went for a sturdy, reliable supermini.

Both vehicles have bulked out and then been drawn again as time has passed, and today we see tightly packed superminis with only square pegs in square holes.

Ford Fiesta - What Should You Look Out For?

● If you can hear a creaking sound over speed bumps or up a curb take note. There’s a possibility the front suspension drop links are failing. Double check on the older models if the links have been replaced.

● Fiesta’s are known to run for a really long time, but if you catch one still blinking its engine lights after you turn the motor on, there may be a serious issue. Or if you really like it, get an RAC Inspection Check to gain more of an understanding of whether there’s anything to look out for.

● You might notice that the front carpet is a bit soggy. If that’s the case then an air conditioning leak or water seal break could cost upwards of £250.

VW Polo - What Should You Look Out For?

● Check the vehicle’s service and maintenance history for front brake replacements. The Polo is particularly heavy on the front calipers.

● If the car is a 1.6 litre and made within the last 10 years it might need to be fitted with a flow transmitter to help the computer of the engine calculate the correct level of fuel and air being combusted.

● Without the aforementioned update the electronic sensors may malfunction, which in turn causes problems with the Diesel Particulate Filter.

How Do They Compare On Driving Dynamics?

Both the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo have good reputations when it comes to driving dynamics and the high-end models in each line-up offer blistering performance stats.

For example, the Fiesta ST200 can race from 0-62mph in just 6.7 seconds. The Polo GTI TSI completes the same dash in an equally fast time of 6.7 seconds.

With the older options the Fiesta delivers the more engaging driving experience. The Polo feels a lot more solid and the interior build quality is superior to the Fiesta.


There is quite a lot of hard plastic in the Ford Fiesta’s cabin which makes it feel sturdy but not as welcoming as other cars. In addition, this plastic is also easily scratched. On the plus-side, the seats are very comfortable and the dashboard does have some nice soft-touch materials.

The VW Polo is spacious and, like the Fiesta, has plenty of leg space for rear passengers.

Both models offer good storage options. The Fiesta boot has a capacity ranging from 290 litres to 974 (with the rear seats folded). The Polo boot is slightly smaller and ranges from 280 litres to 952 litres.

New Ford Fiesta and VW Polo Models

Engines and gearboxes

The choice of engines for both the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo is extensive.

Petrol fans should consider the Fiesta’s award-winning three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine or, if diesel is the preferred fuel, then the 1.5-litre Zetec ECOnetic can deliver up to 88.3 mpg on a combined run.

The Fiesta is available with a five or six-speed manual gearbox or a dual clutch automatic transmission.

Similarly, amongst the vast range of engines, the VW Polo has a punchy three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine and an economical 1.4-litre diesel option that can achieve a combined 83.1 mpg. The Polo is also available with a manual or automatic gearbox.

New Ford Fiesta models are available in many generously-equipped trims including Zetec, Titanium, and ST. Prices new range from £13,545 to £22,895. We recently talked about the future of the Ford Fiesta on RAC Cars. Used Ford Fiesta prices can range from £200 to £18,000.

VW Polo models are on offer in S, Match, BlueMotion, R-Line, BlueGT and GTI. Prices new range from £11,525 to £21,100, whereas used VW Polo models can be purchased for a price range between £600 and £10,000.

If you know the registration number there are tools available to check the tax such as the gov.uk tax rate calculator.

View thousands of used Ford Fiesta and used VW Polo models today on RAC Cars and find your next car.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars