In short, even if you're shopping for a next-size-up small hatch, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Polo.
Safety equipment is strong across the range, with even the $25k entry model getting Front Assist with autonomous braking and pedestrian recognition, Side Assist including blind-spot monitor and driver fatigue detection, and rear cross traffic alert.
If the range was comprised just of the three-cylinder models, Polo would still have been a strong contender for our Top Car supreme award. But the just-launched GTI version adds a whole other dimension.
We've had Polo GTI models before, but this is the first time that VW has really developed it as a standalone performance model. It packs the 2.0-litre turbo engine from the Golf GTI, slightly detuned for no other reason to make the car (slightly) slower than its big brother to maintain the pecking order.
The GTI can be a mild-mannered town car, but when you're in the mood it pops and bangs like a proper hot hatch. It gets VW's trick XDS electronic differential at the front and the Kiwi model also rides on the dual-mode Sports Select suspension that remains an option in Europe.
It's still not as grown-up as the Golf GTI (which will cost you at least another $21k), but then that's the idea.
The tartan seat upholstery tells you everything you need to know: this car captures the spirit and size of the original Golf GTI of the 1970s, while still being state-of-the-art in terms of safety equipment and comfort/convenience.
If there's anything missing in the Polo range to really connect with these SUV-obsessed times, it's a high-riding version (although may we direct your attention to our Top Small SUV of 2018, the Seat Arona, which is pretty close).
From a strictly VW perspective that'll change next year with the launch of the just-revealed T-Cross, which takes the Polo into another market segment and another few centimetres further up towards the sky.
There's much more to our Top Car of 2018 than first meets the eye, in so many ways.