The Volkswagen Polo was awarded three stars for protection in frontal and side impact. All the new frontal-impact criteria were met with the exception of the upward movement of the steering wheel in frontal impact, and the chest loading inside impact. In the frontal-impact crash test, there was limited intrusion of the passenger compartment which retained its stability. There were no particular problems with the knee-impact areas. Reducing the degree of intrusion in the footwell should improve protection of the feet and ankles. In side impact, reduced loading of the chest is needed, while, at the same time, controlling the loading on the pelvis.
The passenger compartment maintained its stability and deformed only by a limited amount in the frontal impact. Intrusion of the steering column was limited – 71mm back, and 87mm upwards. Collapse of the door aperture and intrusion of the facia were also found to be of limited extent. The driver's door, however, did require moderate hand force to open after the impact. The passenger door opened normally. Intrusion of the footwell was judged to be excessive.
The dummy's instruments recorded head protection of the Volkswagen Polo as good but the vertical intrusion of the steering wheel meant that this result was downrated to a rating of adequate. Head contact on the airbag was stable and neck protection was good. Seat belt loading on the driver's chest meant that protection here was marginal on the basis of the dummy's instruments alone. With only limited intrusion of the facia, the rating for the chest did not justify any downrating for different sized drivers or for other drivers using different seating positions. In the frontal-impact crash test, the driver's left knee impacted below the steering column adjuster which was supported by a stiff column mounting bracket. The right knee hit and deformed the foam-covered facia panel to the right of the steering column and deformed it by about 90mm in the process. Although no particularly aggressive items were impacted by the right knee, there was rather more load transmitted through the knee joint than would be desirable. Protection of both the drivers' knees was adequate on the basis of dummy instrumentation alone. There was no need to downrate this assessment for different-sized drivers or those with a different seat adjustment. Where the knees might have hit a different part of the facia or penetrated further into it, the instruments showed that protection of the left lower leg was good, and that of the right lower leg was weak. Excessive footwell intrusion into the passenger compartment meant that the protection of the driver's feet and ankles was rated as poor.
Protection of the passenger's head, neck, knee/femur/pelvis, lower legs and feet and ankles was good. Seat belt loading resulted in chest protection being judged as adequate.
Seat belt loading on the dummy's top rib in the side-impact test meant poor protection. The Polo's protection of the driver's head was good, with ratings of adequate being awarded for protection of the pelvis and abdomen.
A forward-facing Bobsy 18 child seat was recommended by Volkswagen for use in the Polo. The forward movement of the child restraint in the frontal-impact crash test was moderately well controlled. However, there was found to be insufficient restraint of the child's upper body which, in turn, allowed a large forward movement of the dummy's head during impact. In the case of the side-impact crash test, the lateral movement of the child restraint on the back seat was poor, with the upper part of the restraint being allowed to move as far as the mid line of the car. The child's head was, however, restrained within the sides of the child restraint during the test.
Child head impact
Three of the six test points gave better-than-average protection. Worse-than-average protection was provided on the bonnet above the screen washer bottle, the timing belt cover, and the suspension turret.
Upper leg impact
The three test points at the bonnet latch, in line with the inside edge of the headlight and above the centre of the headlight all provided worse-than-average protection.
Adult head impact
One of the three test points gave better-than-average protection. Areas on the scuttle and on the bonnet above the hinge provided worse-than-average protection.
All three test points provided worse-than-average protection. The test points were at the centre of the bumper, in line with the towing eye mount and the inside edge of the headlight.