After an initial frontal test, Volkswagen improved protection for the driver's lower legs and the results for the modified car are given here. The Polo performed well and suffered only relatively minor deformation of the passenger cell after the frontal impact. Side impact protection was good. Volkswagen decided to fund an additional test to show the benefits of the car's optional head impact curtain airbag. The protection given by the child restraints varied across the tests and protection for pedestrians proved to be poor.
The Polo has a front passenger airbag fitted as standard. It helped reduce the risk of chest injury below that for the driver and both were acceptable for a small car. Modifications to the driver's foot rest made after initial testing reduced the chances of leg injury. While efforts to protect the driver's knees are commendable, they did not satisfy Euro NCAP's requirements, which are difficult for a supermini to meet because of its compact size. The centre rear belt fitted to the test car was of a two-point, lap-only type, which provides less protection than a three-point belt would.
The car achieved maximum points for the test. VW provides an optional head-protecting side airbag (curtain) and the company paid for a pole test to be conducted. The car passed, confirming that the head-protecting airbag performs well. But, because it is an option, these results are not included in the official rating.
Airbag safety advice was given in a pictogram on the centre pillar and a peel-off label on the windscreen. Neither warned of the dangers of using a rear-facing restraint on the front passenger's seat. The 3-year-old and 18-month-old used the same forward-facing restraints. Their heads were protected in the frontal test but not in the side impact. Apart from the high neck load experienced by the younger child, body protection was good for both.
The large windscreen helped the Polo to benefit pedestrians but this was a poor performance otherwise.