Back Catalogue | Volkswagen Polo GTI

With a new Volkswagen Polo GTI announced, we’ve taken a look back at the previous versions of Wolfsburg’s supermini that have worn the fabled hot hatch badge. And not just because ESM’s editor has owned two of them… Ok, maybe the ownership history plays a small part in it, but there’s also the motivation to…

New Metal | 2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI

The all-new sixth generation Volkswagen Polo was revealed to the world last week, along with an enhanced GTI model. Yet certain things have left ESM feeling slightly bittersweet about it all. With a life spent living in the shadow of the bigger Golf GTI, it’s unprecedented for Volkswagen to announce a new Polo GTI at the same…

200th Post Special – Volkswagen Polo R-Line 8,000 Mile Review

It seems hard to believe that a year has now passed since ESM picked up a very shiny Volkswagen Polo R-Line on a chilly January afternoon. So 365 days and 8,000 miles later, just what has life with the R-Line been like for the past twelve months? In short, the R-Line has been virtually flawless throughout…

Volkswagen takes 2013 WRC Drivers’ Championship

He might have only needed one point, but Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sebastien Ogier wasted no time in wrapping up the WRC Driver’s title on his home turf.  With a third place on Rally France’s ‘Power Stage’ on the opening night of the event, Ogier cemented his grasp on his first World Rally Championship by making impossible…

EngageSportMode Shares the R-Line Love

If you just cannot get enough of hearing about my Polo R-Line, but would rather read about it elsewhere, then you prayers have been answered. Over the coming months I’ll be documenting my ownership of the R-Line over at PoloDriver.com But in all seriousness, I am genuinely honoured to have been asked to contribute to…

Music Makes it Better – Driving Tunes

Does music turn a drive into a journey? It’s something that struck me last weekend, as I found myself piloting the Polo R-Line along a short stretch of road from Crakehall to Catterick in North Yorkshire. It’s the one highlighted in blue on the image below: It’s a road I’ve driven a few times, but…

Friday Photo From the Archives #5

Continuing with the theme of ESM’s BTCC correspondent, here is a (fairly) recent photo of our two cars chilling out together: A few similarities; both black, both VW-group, both petrol-turbo and both with motorsport pedigree. Our correspondent’s is the rather rare Seat Leon TFSI, which existed for only a short period of time in the…

VW Polo R-Line – 1,000 Mile Review

As you might have just read, after a huge period of indecision, ESM finally acquired a Volkswagen Polo R-Line. That was back in late January so, several months and miles later, just what has the kitted-up supermini been like to live with? First, some photos from when it arrived and the cleanest it has been…

ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #6 – The Finale

Recently I wrote about the end of my ownership of the 9N3 Volkswagen Polo, following the epically long saga to replace it which began all the way back in October last year. So after several months of searching, test driving and negotiating, just what did land on the EngageSportMode drive? Originally when my quest began I…

End Of The Road: The VW Polo 1.4 SE (9N3)

I intended to write and publish this item many, many, weeks ago. However, certain events transpired to prevent me from doing so. So here it is, now, slightly later than planned.   In short, the 9N3 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 SE pictured above is no longer with me, having been traded in for something else, which…