Buyers' advice, Motoring News, new models, VW

Another chukka rolls round for VW’s Polo

  • VW’s contribution to the SA entry-level list
  • Five new Polo models still ‘entry level’
  • Prices rise to a quarter-million bucks
2018 VW POLO Image VW SA Quickpic Pos 1
2018 VW POLO:  Image VW SA Quickpic

ONCE-UPON-A-TIME, in the dark and dangerous 1970’s, there came the VW Golf and everybody and his mom loved it. They sold. Boy did they sold! Then the rand crashed and the then ‘entry’ Golf became a tad expensive for the ‘middle class’.

So VW SA ripped out all the fancy bits and created the VW Polo which looked like the Golf, went like the Golf, but wasn’t as bankrupting as the Golf. Sales recovered. The Golf went further upmarket.

2018 VW POLO Image VW SA Quickpic Pos 1
2018 VW POLO:  Image VW SA Quickpic

But things kept going skew with South Africa and even the Polo became a trifle on the dear side so in 2010 VW SA created the Polo Vivo, not to be confused with the Vauxhall (Opel) Viva of yesteryear.

UNIQUE MODEL IN SA

Same modus operandi as the Golf’s asset-stripping and since then, VW SA reports,193 343 units have been sold; indeed, the Polo Vivo has been SA’s top-selling automobile for seven years.

Good marketing, guys! Especially as it’s the only SA-assembled model in the A0 segment and, according to VW SA and has one of the lowest cost-of-ownership data over three years, helped by about three-quarters of its bits being tagged ‘Made in South Africa’.

So here comes another Polo Vivo, hatchback only…

2018 VW POLO Image VW SA Quickpic Pos 1
2018 VW POLO:  Image VW SA Quickpic

VW SA says the cars (there are five versions, including a quarter-million bucks turbo) is based on the fifth-generation Polo. The driving assistance and infotainment systems as well as the new TSI engine now available with a six-speed manual transmission.

SHARPER DESIGN

”That takes the Polo Vivo to another level,” VW SA says, and adds that it can be recognised by sharper (whatever that means?) front and rear design, a change in paint colours (there are six) and cabin upholstery, and new specifications.

READ MORE VW Polo features on Carman’s Corner

There are three models, each rather dated now but common across the VW ranges: Trendline, Comfortline and Highline. The hatch body version is also available in a top of the range GT derivative.

2018 VW POLO Image VW SA Quickpic Pos 1
2018 VW POLO:  Image VW SA Quickpic

Comfortline and GT derivatives have body-coloured exterior mirrors. The revised interior bits include a new shifter knob and, on the Comfortline, Highline and GT derivatives, height adjustment for the driver’s seat.

Active and passive crash-protection features have, VW says, been enhanced with anti-lock brakes, auto theft alarm and key-fob remote locking. Front foul-weather lights are standard on Comfortline, Highline and GT units.

The cars are 3.97m long, 1.682m wide and 1.46m tall.

2018 VW POLO Image VW SA Quickpic Pos 1
2018 VW POLO:  Image VW SA Quickpic

The frontal design has what VW SA calls ”a much more three-dimensional and sporty look due to its redesigned bumper and larger lower air intake”.

REFLECTING WIDTH

At the back, the automaker adds, ”the car’s width has been emphasised by a cleaner horizontal layout and a wider cut-out for the licence plate”

The red reflectors, now embedded in the bumper, are said to give an impression of greater width. The tail lights have also redesigned.

The wheel line-up consists of 14” steel for the Trendline and Comfortline and various optional 15, 16 and 17” alloys for the more expensive units. The 17” are standard for the GT.

Ergonomic and visual improvements have been made to the instruments and centre console and there are new audio systems.

Various engine options are available so, simplfied and with the prices, they are:

VW Polo
2018 VW POLO:  Image VW SA Quickpic

Polo 1.4 55kW Trendline – R179 900
Polo 1.4 63kW Comfortline – R192 000
Polo 1.6 77kW Comfortline a/t – R221 900
Polo 1.6 77kW Highline – R214 900
Polo 1.0 81kW TSI GT – R245 000

The Vivo Hatch will be delivered with a three-year or 120 000km warranty and a six-year no-rust-through warranty. VW maintenance plans are added-cost options.

Service intervals 15 000km.

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