06 April 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo is one of UK’s most popular cars as deposit offer is launched

2017 Volkswagen Polo BlueGT (UK)

Following February’s re-entry into the UK’s top 10 most popular cars chart, the Volkswagen Polo was once again in the most wanted chart for March. In seventh place, 10,711 Polos found new homes last month, according to the latest registration figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). That puts the small Volkswagen in eighth place for the year so far.

The Ford Fiesta once again ruled the roost, with 25,428 units moving from the nations’s forecourts. In general, the registration total of 562,337 vehicles was up 8.4 per cent on March 2016, as new car buyers took advantage of a change in Vehicle Excise Duty rates from 1 April 2017. In fact, March 2017 was an all-time high for the UK car market.

The UK’s top 10 most popular passenger cars during March 2017 and the year overall (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 25,428 (38,205, 1st)
2 Ford Focus: 17,119 (23,886, 2nd)
3 Vauxhall Corsa: 16,045 (21,305, 3rd)
4 Nissan Qashqai: 13,742 (19,701, 5th)
5 Vauxhall Astra: 11,680 (17,915, 6th)
6 Volkswagen Golf: 10,819 (19,223, 4th)
7 Volkswagen Polo: 10,711 (15,453, 8th)
8 Mini: 10,003 (12,973, 9th)
9 Ford Kuga: 9,561
10 Mercedes-Benz C Class: 9,471 (15,461, 7th)

(The 2017 year-to-date top 10 most popular car absent from March 2017’s registration figures was the tenth-placed Nissan Juke with 12,935 cars registered.)

To help buoy sales further, Volkswagen has released a range of special offers to entice prospective Polo buyers. Volkswagen Retailers are currently offering an extended deposit contribution of £1,800 at 6.2 per cent APR for customers taking advantage of Volkswagen Financial Services’ Solutions Personal Contract Plan before 30 June 2017.*

* With Solutions Personal Contract Plan. 18s+. Subject to availability and status. T&Cs and exclusions apply. Offer available when ordered by 30 June 2017 from participating Retailers. Indemnities may be required. Offers are not available in conjunction with any other offer and may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Accurate at time of publication (April 2017). Freepost Volkswagen Financial Services.

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15 March 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Racy R-Line-trimmed Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI launched in South Africa

2017 Volkswagen Polo R-Line 1.0 TSI (South Africa)

Volkswagen South Africa has added a 1.0-litre TSI model to its Polo range. A precursory step towards a smaller-capacity engine range in the country, somewhat surprisingly, Volkswagen South Africa is only offering the Polo 1.0 TSI in sports-orientated R-Line trim.

Performance and parsimony
Retailing at R290,200 (VAT and emissions tax included), the Polo R-Line’s 999cc three cylinder engine develops 81kW/108bhp and posts a 0-62mph time of 9.3 seconds. Peak torque of 200Nm/148lb ft is available from 2,000 to 3,500rpm. Top speed is 197km/h or 122mph, while economy is quoted as 4.4 litres per 100km/64.2mpg. Performance and parsimony: it would appear the Volkswagen South Africa Polo R-Line has it all.

Key to that impressive fuel economy is a Stop/Start system paired to BlueMotion Technology with a battery regeneration system, as well as a standard seven-speed DSG transmission. Yes, that’s right, there is no manual version of the South African Polo R-Line. It’s interesting that the 1.0 TSI tiddler is only aimed at drivers of a ‘sporty’ bent (ie the young), in South Africa: in the UK Polos with this engine come in similar R-Line or ‘luxury’ SEL variants.

As with other markets, R-Line trim means a front fog lights, a logo-ed front grille, chrome exhaust pipe, ‘R-Line’ front and rear bumper, sill extensions, rear diffuser and spoiler body kit package as well as 17-inch ‘Serron’ alloy wheels, a common and attractive rim seen in Europe but hard to spot in the UK, as they are only available as an option on the Polo GTI.

Personalisation options
Inside, the South African Polo R-Line 1.0 TSI has a five-inch ‘Composition Colour’ touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth/USB and iPhone/iPod connectivity, fatigue detection warning system, ‘Cell’-trimmed sports front seats and a multifunction steering wheel. Personalisation options include an upgrade to a 5.8-inch ‘Composition Media’ infotainment system with App-Connect functionality as well as a ‘Light and Vision’ package (auto-dimming mirror, automatic headlights and wipers).

Over 155,600 fifth-generation Polo hatchbacks have been sold in South Africa since its launch in February 2010, and the multiple award-winner is the second best-selling car in the country. Only its Polo Vivo relation beats it. Available to order now, the Volkswagen South Africa Polo R-Line 1.0 TSI is offered with a 3-year/45,000km service plan, a 3-year/120,000km warranty in addition to a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are 15,000km.

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08 March 2017 ~ 0 Comments

1,250,000th Polo production jubilee celebrated by Volkswagen South Africa

Volkswagen South Africa celebrates production of its 1,250,000th Polo

On 6 March, Volkswagen South Africa celebrated the production of the 1,250,000th Polo at its factory in Uitenhage. Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa joined in the celebrations, together with employees and management of the vehicle assembly line.

Local and international markets
The South African Volkswagen plant which is 1,000km from Johannesburg builds both the current fifth-generation Polo, Cross Polo and its entry-level sister, the Polo Vivo, which is based on the 2005-2009 facelifted fourth-generation Polo. Uitenhage Polos are produced for local and international markets, with some right-hand drive models exported to the UK.

Polo Vivo meanwhile is an African-only model, introduced in 2010 to replace the Citi Golf. From December 2016, Kenya joined Uitenhage as a production facility and the car is sold in both countries. Both Polo and Polo Vivo have been the best-selling passenger cars in South Africa for the past seven years.

The 518,912 square-metre Uitenhage plant is a Volkswagen ‘Think Blue’ sustainable-initiative factory, and employs 4,000 people. In 2015 it built 120,000 Polo, Cross Polo, and Polo Vivo cars, in addition to 113,000 1.4 and 1.6-litre ‘EA111’-series engines for consumption by the whole VW group. Fifty-five per cent of the vehicles produced at Uitenhage in 2015 were exported.

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07 March 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo is once again one of the UK’s most popular cars

2017 Volkswagen Polo (UK)

After missing the chart in January, the Volkswagen Polo is once again one of the UK’s top 10 most popular cars. In February 2017 – and despite being only months away from the end of production – 1,746 examples of the fifth-generation VW supermini found new homes, putting it in seventh place.

The latest registration figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) once again saw the Ford Fiesta at the top of the most popular cars list, even as, like the Polo, that car is due to be replaced by a new model very soon. A total of 4,282 Fiesta were registered in February, the small Ford sitting pretty at the top of the year-of-date figures pile, too.

The UK’s top 10 most popular passenger cars during February 2017 and the year overall (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 4,282 (12,777, 1st)
2 Volkswagen Golf: 2,949 (8,404, 2nd)
3 Vauxhall Astra: 2,170 (6,235, 4th)
4 Ford Focus: 1,971 (6,767, 3rd)
5 Nissan Qashqai: 1,829 (5,329, 6th)
6 Mercedes-Benz C Class: 1,760 (5,990, 5th)
7 Volkswagen Polo: 1,746 (4,742, 9th)
8 Audi A3: 1,532 (4,650, 10th)
9 Vauxhall Corsa: 1,362 (5,260, 7th)
10 BMW 3 Series: 1,341

(The 2017 year-to-date top 10 most popular car absent from February 2017’s registration figures was the eighth-placed Nissan Juke with 4,759 cars registered.)

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15 February 2017 ~ 0 Comments

A little more power, a little more obvious: the Volkswagen Polo GTI 230

2016 Volkswagen Polo GTI 230

This one slipped past us rather unnoticed. The latest Polo GTI ‘6C’ has attracted largely favourable reviews from both the press and owners, the 1.8-litre TSI-engined version of Volkswagen’s smallest sports hatchback having first appeared in 2015. With a 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds and 189bhp, it is the most powerful series production Polo GTI to date. Or at least, until yesterday, we thought it was.

Power boost to 227bhp
It turns out there is an even hotter version of the legendary-badged Polo. Say ‘hello’ to the Volkswagen Polo GTI 230, which, as its name suggested, receives a power boost to 227bhp (230 PS). More surprisingly, it is an officially-sanctioned Volkswagen production product. Launched in April 2016, it is limited to Switzerland only. And, as restricted as its market availability is the number available: only a paltry – but rather neat – 230 examples are available to buy.

German tuner ABT has been roped in to help with upping the power to liberate an extra 38bhp over the standard Polo GTI, which sees the special edition make 265lb ft/360Nm of torque and romp on to a top speed of 149mph. The 0-62mph dash is now 0.2 seconds quicker, too, and thankfully – enthusiasts rejoice! – a six-speed manual is available alongside the seven-speed DSG transmission. Sadly, choice is rather more limited when it comes to the looks: the Polo GTI 230 is only available with five doors.

‘GTI 230’ decal badges
As befits a special edition go-faster model, ‘unique’ graphics tell other hot hatch fans what you are driving, with the Polo GTI 230 featuring carbon fibre door mirror caps, as well as a ‘GTI 230’ decal badge on the tailgate, and ‘GTI 230’ red and carbon-coloured foils on the door bottoms, front bumper upright sections and the bonnet. While they are more on the tasteful side, if you’re really a restrained type of driver, they may still be a little too much.

Standard equipment is upped on the regular Polo GTI, too. The ‘Sport Select’ package (amplified cabin sound, enhanced accelerator and steering response, and adjustable suspension), ‘Composition Media’ (with Bluetooth/DAB+ and App-Connect) infotainment system, electrically-folding door mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, front central armrest, LED headlights, Volkswagen ‘Plug & Play’ subwoofer-fed 300W sound system, and a winter package all feature on the GTI 230.

‘Motorsport’ alloy rims
Perhaps more excitingly, although the Polo GTI 230 comes with the same 17-inch ‘Parabolica’ black and diamond-cut finish alloy wheels as the standard car, a set of black 10-spoke ‘Motorsport’ rims are also thrown in, complete with winter tyres and snow chains to deal with the sometimes harsh Swiss seasons. Optional kit on offer is the same as the regular Polo GTI, and includes a panoramic sunroof and leather or alcantara-trimmed seats.

How much for all this limited number, souped-up Polo GTI? CHF 29,100 to you sir or madam, around £23,251 at today’s exchange rates. A ‘customer benefit’ (yep, us too, no idea) of CHF 5,000 is available but with that not included, the Polo GTI 230 costs around £2,000 more than its standard 189bhp sister. Not that all that matters, as it’s all academic anyway: unless you’re in Switzerland, you can’t buy one.

Will the Polo GTI 230 sell? It still appears on the Volkswagen Switzerland website, so we’re guessing it hasn’t sold out already. The Swiss do have form, though, when it comes to special Polo GTI models: the 100-unit run GTI Carbon Edition of 2012 was even more limited. So it seems, in Switzerland at least, there is clearly a market for a slightly more obvious example of a not-usually-obvious German hot hatchback…

Want to find out more about the Volkswagen Polo GTI 230? Download a brochure here.

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