Lineage: Volkswagen Polo

How many generations of the Volkswagen Polo have there been? What’s a Polo Classic and where does the Polo Vivo fit in? Find out here in our handy lineage of this highly popular German hatchback:

First generation (Typ 86)


Looks a bit like a Mk1 original Golf, doesn’t it? That is because, even back then, Volkswagen identified a need for an even more compact and affordable hatchback so the Polo was born.

This first-generation was never sold in Namibia or southern Africa.

Available with the following engines:

  • 0.9L, 1.1L & 1.3L i-4 petrol

Second generation (Typ 86C)


Again, the next generation of Volkswagen’s popular Polo compact hatchback had a remarkable resemblance to its bigger Golf brother.

The Polo generation 2 was also not available in our parts of the world.

Available with the following engines:

  • 1.0L, 1.1L, 1.3L i-4 petrol
  • 1.3L, 1.4L i-4 diesel

Third generation (Typ 6N/6KV)


Ahh, now this is starting to look a bit more familiar, isn’t it? This third generation of the Polo finally came to southern Africa and was a very common sight on Namibian roads. It also spawned the “Polo Playa” and Polo sedan versions.

Available with the following engines:

  • 1.0L, 1.3L, 1.4L, 1.6L i-4 petrol
  • 1.9L i-4 diesel

Fourth generation (Typ 6Q/9N/9N3)


This generation of the Volkswagen Polo was probably one of the most popular versions in Namibia and the rest of southern Africa because the facelift version (below) spawned the affordable Polo Vivo derivative in 2010 (click links below).

Available with the following engines:

  • 1.2L, 1.4L, 1.6L, 2.0L i-4 petrol
  • 1.4L i-3 turbo-diesel
  • 1.9L i-4 diesel & turbo-diesel

Fifth generation (Typ 6R/6C/61)


VW’s Polo grew bigger, more refined and clever with each generation. This fourth iteration is arguably one of the biggest leaps because it ushered in more turbo-charged engines, advanced driver aids and today’s impeccable standard of Volkswagen build quality.

When this version came to an end, it donated its tooling (shape) to the second generation of the budget Polo Vivo; which is still in production. Click the links below to read our various articles about the Polo and Vivo:

Available with the following engines:

  • 1.0L i-3, 1.2L i-3 petrol & turbo-petrol
  • 1.4L i-4 petrol & turbo-petrol, 1.6L i-4 petrol
  • 1.2L i-3, 1.5L i-4, 1.6L i-4 turbo-diesel

Sixth generation (Typ AW)


And here we are at the current generation of Volkswagen’s amazingly successful Polo range. To read some of our reviews on the latest versions, please follow these links:

Leave a Comment