The Volkswagen Polo is one of the most popular superminis on sale in the UK, courtesy of its clean styling, strong reliability, punchy but economical engines and big car feel.

However, the Polo is also one of the most expensive small cars on sale, meaning that savvy buyers will want to make sure they pick the best version for their needs, to avoid spending over the odds as prices for the top models soar up to more than £20,000.

We’ve rounded up some of the most appealing models, for those on a budget, those after the most bang for their back and those after a long list of standard equipment.

The smart choice for those on a budget – 1.0 75 SE 3-dr

Prices for the Polo start at £11,250, but we’d steer clear of the most basic ‘S’ models with a 59bhp 1.0-litre engine. That’s because these models do without air conditioning and have an engine which will struggle to lug this weighty small car around – especially if you load it up with people and luggage – requiring a hefty 15.5 seconds to lumber to 62mph.

If you can stretch to £13,110 you could get yourself the keys to a 74bhp 1.0-litre model, which still offers strong claimed fuel economy at 58.9mpg but gets to 62mph in a slightly more responsive 14.3 seconds. Annual car tax bills should also prove inexpensive at £20 per year. Standard kit on this model includes air conditioning, a digital radio, Bluetooth, 15-inch alloy wheels and a 6.5-inch touchscreen media system, plus handy split-folding rear seats.

The smart choice for value for money – 1.0 95 BlueMotion 3-dr

Those with a little more to spend should be well served with the 1.0 95 BlueMotion. This model may beat the versions above for performance – zooming to 62mph in a sprightly 10.5 seconds, but it is also the most economical petrol Polo, returning impressive claimed fuel economy of 68.9mpg and emitting low enough amounts of CO2 to warrant free annual car tax under the current rules.

Prices for the three-door may start at £14,730, but the list of standard equipment is reasonably long, with air conditioning, a digital radio, Bluetooth, 15-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a touchscreen media system and a trip computer all included.

The smart choice for technophiles – 1.4 TSI 150 BlueGT 5-dr

This Polo is definitely not the most affordable option – weighing in at £19,865 in five-door ‘DSG’ automatic form – but it offers a very strong combination of equipment, economy, and performance for the money. Official fuel economy for the BlueGT stands at 60.1mpg in DSG form, though it can still scamper to 62mph in a rapid 7.8 seconds. Annual road tax bills are similarly good at a mere £20 per year.

Standard equipment for this model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension and sports seats along with air conditioning, electric, heated mirrors, electric front and rear windows, cruise control, along with a host of cosmetic changes which give this Polo a sportier look.

Picture: Volkswagen