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06 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

South African star: Volkswagen Polo rides high in registration charts

2018 Volkswagen Polo (South Africa)

The Volkswagen Polo was the most popular car in South Africa during February 2018, according to figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). The launch of the brand new sixth-generation Polo helped bolster registrations to 2,847 units.

A total of 6,247 outgoing and new Polos were also exported from Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory. The traditional South African best-seller, the Volkswagen Polo Vivo – based on the fourth-generation European Polo – was replaced by a new version last month, too, so registrations were down to 2,044 units. But, with the new-generation Vivo being a pared-down version of the outgoing fifth-generation model, you can expect those totals to rise once more.

Staying in South Africa, the latest Polo has claimed Car magazine’s ‘Top 12 Best Buys 2018 – Small Hatchback’ award, with the Polo Vivo and Mazda 2 as runners-up. Other contenders included the Kia Rio, Renault Clio, and Suzuki Baleno. Volkswagen South Africa also scooped the ‘Top 12 Best Buys 2018 – Company of the Year’ award.

The sixth-generation Polo has also collected the Auto Motor und Sport ‘Best Cars 2018 – Sub-Compact Cars’ gong, voted for by readers of the magazine. Over 33 per cent of the category vote went to the small VW. Other Volkswagen winners were the latest versions of the Up and Golf, taking the ‘Best Cars 2018 – Mini Cars’ and ‘Best Cars 2018 – Compact Cars’ category victories respectively. A total of 378 models in eleven categories were on the nominations list to be voted the best cars of 2018.

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13 February 2018 ~ 1 Comment

Five alive! New-generation Volkswagen Polo Vivo launched in South Africa

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo

The Volkswagen Polo Vivo has been phenomenally successful for Volkswagen South Africa, with 193,343 examples sold since its introduction in 2010. Replacing the Mk 1 Golf-based CitiGolf, the first-generation Polo Vivo was itself based on a past VW: the revised Mk 4 Polo first introduced in 2005. Now, after eight years as the best-selling car in South Africa, it’s time for the second-generation Polo Vivo.

Volkswagen South Africa states that the Polo Vivo’s key attributes are ‘ affordability, German build quality, comfort, safety, and space’, and those characteristics are about to be heightened, as the new Polo Vivo is based on the outgoing fifth-generation Polo, first sold in 2009, and only just out of production in Europe. Where the previous Polo Vivo was offered in hatchback and sedan (saloon) body styles, the new car will only be available as a hatchback, at least initially. And only with petrol engines.

Almost identical in appearance to the revised Polo ‘6C’ from 2014, the 2018 Polo Vivo has a slightly different lower front bumper housing and redesigned tail lights, but that’s about it. Six colours borrowed from the new sixth-generation Polo freshen up the Polo Vivo’s looks: Flash Red, Pure White, Limestone Grey Metallic, Reef Blue Metallic, Reflex Silver Metallic, and Deep Black Pearl Effect. The Polo Vivo is 3,972mm long, 1,682mm wide and 1,462mm tall, and has 280 litres of luggage capacity with the rear seats in place.

Polo Vivo Trendline
The new Polo Vivo range is available in four trim levels: Trendline, Comfortline, Highline, and GT. The Trendline is available with a 74bhp / 55kW 1.4-litre engine only, and is equipped with air conditioning, front electric windows, power steering, tinted windows, ‘140G’ four-speaker radio with SD / USB / Bluetooth connectivity, driver and passenger airbags, and ISOFIX child seat mounting points. On the outside, the Polo Vivo Trendline has 14-inch steel wheels and black door handles and mirrors. Options include cruise control, front fog lights, and 15-inch ‘Estrada’ alloy wheels.

Polo Vivo Comfortline
The Polo Vivo Comfortline builds on the specification of the Trendline and adds body-coloured door handles and mirrors, and front fog lights. Inside, there’s a multifunction steering wheel and display computer, ‘City’ cloth trim and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. Options include cruise control, leather trim, 15-inch ‘Estrada’ alloy wheels and a ‘340G’ colour touchscreen infotainment system with ‘App-Connect’ functionality. The Polo Vivo Comfortline is available with 1.4-litre 84bhp / 63kW and 1.6-litre 103bhp / 77kW engines driven through five-speed manual and auto Tiptronic gearboxes respectively.

Polo Vivo Highline
Sitting above the Comfortline, the Polo Vivo Highline offers ‘Cable’ seat trim, a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel, 16-inch ‘Rivazza’ alloy wheels, and a six-speaker ‘340G’ colour touchscreen infotainment system with ‘App-Connect’ functionality. The Polo Vivo Highline is only available with the 103bhp / 77kW engine.

Polo Vivo GT
Just as with the outgoing Polo Vivo, a sporty ‘GT’ model sits atop the new Polo Vivo tree. Building on the Highline, the GT additionally adds 17-inch ‘Mirabeau’ alloy wheels, black exterior side mouldings, rear hatch spoiler, chrome-trimmed exhaust pipe, lowered sports suspension, aluminium pedals, cruise control, front sports seats, and ‘Space’ seat trim. A smattering of ‘GT’ badges on the front, sides and hatch also distinguish the Polo Vivo GT from its siblings. Powered exclusively by a 1.0-litre turbocharged ‘TSI’ engine allied to a six-speed manual gearbox, the Polo Vivo GT has 108bhp / 81kW, and top speed of 121mph / 196km/h.

‘Low cost of ownership’
All Polo Vivos feature ABS, an alarm, and remote central locking, while almost 76 per cent of parts are locally sourced. With the sixth-generation Polo now rolling off Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage production lines, it made sense to put the tooling of the fifth-generation car to good use, and Volkswagen South Africa states that ‘this ensures that parts remain affordable and contribute to the overall low cost of ownership’. The outgoing Polo Vivo enjoyed the best residual value in its market and the cost of ownership over a 3-year cycle makes it one of the most affordable cars to own in the South African market.

Find out more details about the new Volkswagen Polo Vivo and download a PDF brochure for the new Polo Vivo here.


1.4 55kW, five-speed manual, 5dr: R179,900

1.4 63kW, five-speed manual, 5dr: R192,000
1.6 77kW, Tiptronic auto, 5dr: R221,900

1.6 77kW, five-speed manual, 5dr: R214,900

1.0 81kW, six-speed manual, 5dr: R245,000

All prices include VAT and emissions tax. The new Volkswagen South Africa Polo Vivo models come with a 3-year / 120,000km warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are 15,000km, and a Volkswagen Automotion Maintenance Plan as well as a Volkswagen Automotion Service Plan are available as options.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT

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12 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Bonza! New sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo available from $17,990 in Australia

2018 Volkswagen Polo (Australia)

Following Europe, Brazil, and South Africa, the new sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo lands in Australia next month. Priced from $17,990, the more accomodating MQB-A0-based car is largely the same as the European and South African versions which have already been launched.

Available to order now, the new Polo for Australia is available in Trendline and Comfortline trims, with a special Launch Edition model also offered. Engines are limited to two three-cylinder petrol units – both turbocharged TSIs, with outputs of 70kW / 94bhp (Trendline) and 85kW / 113bhp (Comfortline). The Launch Edition is exclusively available with the 85kW engine. Polo Beats and Polo GTI models will arrive mid-year.

‘Most significant generational change’
Volkswagen Australia states that the Polo represents ‘the most significant generational change to a Volkswagen since the arrival of the class-leading Tiguan SUV two years ago’. ‘Even the entry-level manual Polo 6 features the Golf’s elegant, flat bottomed leather steering wheel with multimedia controls,’ said Ben Wilks, Volkswagen Australia’s General Manager of Product and Marketing.

‘That literal touchpoint is emblematic of the Polo having graduated from its class not only in terms of physical growth, but in sophistication. The Polo 6 is obviously more upmarket than rival cars. We’re talking less than $18,000 for fixtures such as a soft-touch dash top, wide touch screen and dual USB charging ports.

‘Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remain standard. In terms of safety there’s autonomous emergency braking, six airbags, stability control, fatigue monitoring and a reversing camera as standard,’ he continued.

Trendline, Comfortline and Launch Edition
The entry Polo Trendline features 15-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, electric windows, a leather multifunction steering wheel, a rear view camera, and an 8-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth / USB / Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Standard safety kit includes front assist with city emergency braking and pedestrian monitoring, driver fatigue detection, and a low tyre pressure indicator. Five-speed manual and seven-speed DSG transmissions are available.

The Polo Comfortline builds on the Trendline’s comprehensive specification and adds 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights / rear view mirror / wipers, a front centre armrest, and ‘Comfort’ cloth upholstery. Launch Edition cars offer 16-inch alloy wheels, dark-tint rear window glass, front fog lights, inductive wireless charging, and tinted tail lights. These ‘85 TSI’ models gain an extra ratio for the manual gearbox.

An optional $1,400 Driver Assistance package can be added to Comfortline and Launch Edition cars and includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and park assist systems, and electrically-folding door mirrors. Five colours – Pure White, Energetic Orange, Limestone Grey Metallic, Reflex Silver and Deep Black Pearl Effect – can be chosen on Trendline and Comfortline models, while all bar Pure White cost an additional $500. Launch Edition new Polos lose the Reflex Silver and Deep Black Pearl Effect options.

Find out more details about the Australian-market new Polo by visiting the Volkswagen Australia website, where ‘runout’ deals on the outgoing fifth-generation Polo can also be found.


1.0 TSI 70kW, five-speed manual, 5dr: $17,990
1.0 TSI 70kW, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: $20,490

1.0 TSI 85kW, six-speed manual, 5dr: $19,490
1.0 TSI 85kW, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: $21,990

Launch Edition
1.0 TSI 85kW, six-speed manual, 5dr: $20,490
1.0 TSI 85kW, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: $22,990

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29 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

An icy inquest: Petter Solberg tests 2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in Sweden

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI R5

Volkswagen Motorsport’s new rally weapon, the Polo GTI R5 has taken to the roads again. This time the frozen tracks of Sweden provided the new 272bhp rally machine with a stern test, the car out through its paces by no fewer than three world champions: World Rallycross Polo RX pilot Petter Solberg, 2000 and 2002 title holder Marcus Grönholm and junior and WRC2 champion Pontus Tidemand.

The latest four-wheel drive Polo GTI R5 assessment took place near the town of Kall, north-west of Östersund. Temperatures were as low as -15 degrees Celsius on the 4km-long route. Solberg had Veronica Engan – who usually reads pace notes for his son Oliver – relaying back the route commands.

‘Fantastic to drive’
Solberg was impressed by the new car: ‘It was just fantastic to be back behind the wheel of a rally car again and to help out the Volkswagen family. It was a really fun day. The team has done such a great job and the car is fantastic to drive. I didn’t want to get out at the end of the day!

‘We covered almost 300 kilometres in one day – very different to what I’m used to in the World Rallycross Championship, but I used my extensive rallying experience to work with the engineers on small changes to the car,’ the Norwegian rallycross and rally star added.

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26 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo launched in South Africa

2018 Volkswagen Polo Beats (South Africa)

Following in the tyre tracks of the European, UK and South American launches, the new sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo has debuted in South Africa. Specifications and prices have also been announced, the range starting with the R235,000 Trendline, rising to the Highline DSG at R302,200.

Identical to the European-market cars – therefore not featuring the revised front bumper seen on South American new Polos – the new MQB-based South African Polos see the same 92mm / 81mm increase in wheelbase / length, as well as evolutionary but sharper lines, including the distinctive shoulder ‘Tornado Line’ which runs down the length of the car when viewed in profile.

There’s also the same larger 351-litre boot, afforded by the overall larger size (Polo VI is close to a Mk 4 Golf in dimensions), plus the raft of standard-setting safety systems including blind spot monitor, park assist, and multi-collision technologies. There’s also the same Active Info Display digital instrument pack as sixth-generation Polo models in other territories.

Three trim lines
The new Polo will be available in the three trim lines Trendline, Comfortline and Highline and also as a special Beats version (with a 300-watt Beats sound system). The 197bhp new Polo GTI will be launched in 
South Africa in the second quarter, and exposure for the car will gain traction with the new sportster providing a base for the new Engen Volkswagen Cup Polo racer for the 2018 season.

Personalisation takes a step up with the new Polo, and the sixth-generation model can be customised to create a car that is almost one-of-a-kind by way of many different trim lines, colours, interiors, wheels and options. The dashpad for example can be had in Limestone grey Metallic on Trendline and Comfortline models, while in Highline specification, a Deep Iron Metallic version is offered. A Velvet Red dashpad is fitted to models with the extra cost Beats package, while Reef Blue also brightens up the new, digital-focused interior.

Ten exterior colours are offered: Dark Petrol, Flash Red, Pure White, Deep Black Pearl Effect, Energetic Orange, Limestone Grey Metallic, Pale Copper, Reef Blue Metallic, Reflex Silver Metallic, and White Silver Metallic. Included in the options list are ‘big car’ features such as high-intensity full-LED headlights, LED tail light clusters and a panoramic sunroof. The digital Active Info Display instrument pack is available from launch as an option on Comfortline and Highline models.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Beats (South Africa)

New Polo Trendline
The entry-level new Polo Trendline features front electric windows, front / rear curtain airbags, LED daytime running lights, and the 6.5-inch Composition Colour touchscreen infotainment system with four speakers and USB / Bluetooth connectivity. It can be distinguished by its lack of brightwork around the front grille, and its 14-inch steel wheels, complete with full-sized trims.

New Polo Comfortline
Moving up the range, the Comfortline adds a driver alert system, a leather multifunction steering wheel, a ‘Plus’ multi-function display, rear electric windows, and an additional two speakers. External features include a chrome grille strip which connects the headlights, as well as colour-coded door handles and mirror caps, and 15-inch alloy wheels with ‘Salou’ wheel trims (15-inch ‘Sassari’ alloy wheels are a no cost option).

New Polo Highline
Drivers who opt for the range-topping Highline gain an 8.0-inch, glass-encased ‘Composition Media’ touchscreen infotainment system with ‘App-Connect’ (Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink connectivity options), cruise control, front sports seats, white LED interior ambient lighting, as well as voice control. Polo Highlines can be seen by their additional chrome strips in the lower ventilation grille and their 16-inch ‘Las Minas’ alloy wheels.

Highline-specification cars also feature a driving profile selection option as standard. Four driving modes can be selected: ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Individual’. When in ‘Eco’ mode, the air conditioning, engine control, and other auxiliary systems are regulated for optimal fuel efficiency. In vehicles fitted with DSG transmission, a coasting function can also be used with the Eco mode.

Beats and R-Line packages
The Comfortline and Highline models can be further enhanced by choosing either the Beats or R-Line packages. Beats-trimmed South African new Polos appear the same as their European counterparts, with black mirror caps, special bonnet and roof decal stripes, and ‘Beats’ badges on the B-pillars. Sixteen-inch ‘Torsby’ alloy wheels complete the striking look.

Inside, there’s a 300W Beats audio system with amplifier and subwoofer mounted in the boot, and perhaps the most colourful Polo interior this side of a Mk 3 ‘6N’ or ‘6N2’ Colour Concept model, with a ‘Velvet Red’ dashpad, Beats-branded door sill trims, and a distinctive three-colour (Aqua Graphite, Ceramique and Velvet Red) seat design.

R-Line package cars meanwhile get a new sports front bumper similar to the Polo GTI, with gloss black C-shaped air curtains. There are also gloss black side sills extensions, a gloss black rear spoiler and diffuser, and 17-inch ‘Bonneville’ alloy wheels. Available from the second quarter in South Africa, the new Polo R-Line provides GTI-style looks in a less expensive package.

Two engines, three transmissions
Two engines power the new Polo for South Africa. Both are turbocharged three-cylinder units, with 70kW / 93bhp or 85kW / 113bhp, and have been seen in new Polo models in other global markets.

The 70kW unit has 175Nm / 129lb ft of torque and can do the 0 to 100km/h / 62mph dash in 10.8 seconds, while the high-powered 85kW engine has 200Nm / 147lb ft. Top speed of the 70kW car is 187km/h / 116mph. The lower-powered car can be ordered with a five-speed manual transmission, while the higher-powered model gains an extra ratio. Both can also be allied to the optional seven-speed DSG gearbox.


1.0 TSI 70kW, 103g/km, five-speed manual, 5dr: R235,900

1.0 TSI 70kW, 103g/km, five-speed manual, 5dr: R264,700
1.0 TSI 70kW, 107g/km, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: R280,700

1.0 TSI 85kW, 107g/km, six-speed manual, 5dr: R286,200
1.0 TSI 85kW, 109g/km, seven-speed DSG, 5dr: R302,200

All prices include VAT and emissions tax. The new Volkswagen South Africa Polo models come with a 3-year / 45,000km Service Plan, 
3-year / 120,000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are 15,000km.

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