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#Flashback to 1975 - the VW Polo was born. 43 years have passed and so have several versions of the Polo. The 6th generation launched recently, promising to be the best version yet. The Polo brand is both a global and local success, selling over 14-million units globally since its launch.

Excitingly, the new Polo is produced locally at the Uitenhage plant in Port Elizabeth, which is one of three plants around the world to make the popular Polo.

At first glance, the city hatch is obviously bigger than ever. It shares the same MQB platform as the Golf, Touran, Tiguan, Passat and, soon to arrive, Arteon. The platform offers improved body stiffness, very good crash properties and unchanged body weight – despite the greater size and enhanced safety features. It is longer (8.1 cm), wider (9.2 cm) and sits lower to the ground. That 360-degrees of increased measurements make the cabin very spacious. The new Polo features a very generously sized front cabin, while the rear offers enough space for two big adults or three compact people.

From a design perspective, the Polo expresses its new looks in a more masculine manner, more than ever before, via a series of feature pleats that have been ironed into the bodywork of the car. They draw your eye along the bonnet and shoulder lines to the rear. As a result, the Polo looks purposeful and hunkered down to the road.

Moving with the times and keeping up with the business executives, the Polo features technology only seen on larger more expensive cars – things like Active Cruise Control, Park Assist with Maneuver Braking, Blind Spot Assist, Multi-Collision Braking System and LED headlights. Albeit these items aren’t standard – you’ll need to tick the optional extra box if you want them.

In addition to the three standard Trendline, Comfortline and Highline trim lines, the special edition models are as follows: The Polo beats features a rad 300-watt sound system, R-Line package features a sporty exterior: C-shaped front air curtains, side sills, boot spoiler, rear diffuser and 17-inch Bonneville alloy wheels. The performance-focused halo model, the Polo GTI, promise more excitement when it arrives in the next two months.

 

So, what is it like to drive? In short, it is perfect! No, really. Close the door; start it up, and there is silence. The cabin has been very well insulated. Together with the refined 1.0 TSI motor and slick manual gearbox, accelerations and overtaking are a breeze. The suspension has been set up with comfort in mind. This means uneven road surfaces, potholes and speed bumps are soaked up like a thirsty sponge. The downside, albeit minor, is that with this type of set-up, high-speed cornering isn’t that complimentary. Don’t get me wrong – the polo handles well. But if you’re looking for a sporty drive, rather wait for the GTI version.

As I mentioned before, the Polo features a lovely 1.0-L engine with a turbo and 3-cylinders. You get to choose between the “all-you-need” 70kW, or maybe I should get the more powerful 85kW version? I can confirm that after a week with the 70kW motor, I was more than satisfied. Expect to hit 100km/h in 10.8 seconds and glide all the way up to 187km/h - if you so wish

Fuel consumption can be as good as 4.5 liters/100km, but then you’ll need to drive predominantly on the highways at the legal limit. Pop into the city and dart from robot to robot and your consumption will be around 9.8 liters/100km.

 

To summarise – there’s very good reason for the Polo’s sales success – it is a very well thought out and put-together vehicle. Every aspect has been thoroughly thought out making the Polo the perfect “peoples’ car”.

Plus +

Generously sized

High-quality product

Modern engine

Refined

Driver-centric interior

Minus –

Arguably bland-looking

Very popular, making the Polo a common attraction on the road

Drum brakes in the rear – that’s a Throwback Thursday

The competition

Toyota Yaris, Renault Clio, Peugeot 208, Opel Corsa, Hyundai i20, KIA Rio, Suzuki Swift and Ford Fiesta.

Pricing

1.0 TSI 70kW Trendline - R235 900

1.0 TSI 70kW Comfortline - R264 700

1.0 TSI 70kW Comfortline DSG - R280 700

1.0 TSI 85kW Highline - R286 200

1.0 TSI 85kW Highline DSG  - R302 200

 

Service and Warrant

The new Volkswagen Polo models come standard with a 3 year/45 000km Service Plan, 3 year/120 000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service Interval is 15 000km.

 

My Choice

1.0 TSI 70kW Comfortline DSG                                 R280 700

www.vw.co.za

 

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