Shopping for a automobile is aggravating and troublesome these days. How a lot will it price? Will or not it’s dependable? What about resale worth? Don’t despair, SA’s best-selling nameplate is again and it simply made shopping for an A0 hatch simpler than ever
Electrification is the buzzword in the meanwhile however determination makers from Wolfsburg within the compact A0 section determined towards using any type of electrification within the new Polo – whether or not or not it’s full BEV or plug-in, self-charging or mild-hybrid answer. It might have made the Polo impossibly costly. As a substitute, the agency recognised that the Polo is – and at all times has been – all a few pragmatic, simplified providing that democratizes the most effective bits of the Golf at a extra inexpensive worth level. That’s it, secret sauce.
In fact, an ideal supply of nationwide satisfaction is the truth that Volkswagen has farmed Polo manufacturing out to South Africa’s Kariega (previously Uitenhage) plant since 2002. Greater than 700 000 items of Polo have been bought regionally because the first mannequin got here off the road, making us the tenth greatest client of Polos on the planet. However Kariega additionally produces vehicles and engines for essentially the most discerning markets on the planet.
Recognised amongst the group’s high services (out of 121 crops in complete) after a multi-billion-rand funding in 2017 to construct vehicles on the MQB A0 platform, we have been delighted to listen to loads of fascinating details concerning the Kariega plant on the launch occasion for the Polo.
Kariega produces each left- and right-hand drive fashions, it has a 1:5 mannequin combine – as in a single Polo Vivo is constructed for each 5 Polos – and, better of all, these vehicles sit nose-to-tail on one single manufacturing line. 1 200 elements are fitted in the course of the construct course of, there are 38 variants out there between engine, gearbox and spec line and, in complete, 692 variants of choices may be fitted by the client. Right here’s the fascinating bit although – one Polo/Polo Vivo comes off the road each minute and 42 seconds. That’s 680 vehicles per day, 165 000 per 12 months. I’m certain you’ll agree, these are spectacular numbers.
Let’s get straight to brass tacks on the brand new vehicles although. As earlier than, the Polo vary consists of two TSI engine choices provided in a excessive and low state of tune – a 70 kW guide and up-tuned 85 kW paired with a DSG – and the 147 kW Polo GTI which is DSG-only in fact. There are 4 trim strains: base, Life, R-Line and GTI, segmented with a reasonably fundamental car for entry-level and fleet prospects priced at R311 900, the Life retails for R350 000 with a guide and R370 000 for a DSG, that includes 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and the digital cockpit come as customary. Your R-Line 85 kW DSG will get 16-inch wheels and loads of extra trinkets like IQ Gentle and IQ Drive for R421 000. And the Polo GTI retails for R489 400 with all of the bells and whistles.
We seized a possibility to check Kariega’s new child by grabbing one straight from the nationwide launch and subjecting it to an exacting 800 km take a look at from Gqeberha to Cape City over the standard form of terrain a Polo will encounter every day. Issues began off uneventfully sufficient with a mild N2 cruise to Plettenberg Bay, affording us time to drink within the up to date inside and specification of the Life. It’s all common Volkswagen inside – simply as that we’ve come to know and love – delicate contact plastics on par with the Golf, the identical top-quality touchscreen infotainment system, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, electrical home windows all spherical and a helpful hill maintain help for the guide we have been driving.
Optionally fitted to our take a look at unit was the IQ Gentle (R15 500) bundle in addition to a sunroof (R14 500), which is outwardly South Africa’s hottest choice. The paint job is a brand new purple end know as Vibrant Violet Metallic, to make sure you’re not mistaken for an Avis rental automobile, and positively essentially the most hanging characteristic should be the full-length LED mild signature of the IQ Gentle system. That is made up of 24 LEDs per headlamp to present the most effective illumination potential. Certain, it’s elective, however for the cash the expertise is inexpensive. VW democratizing its expertise but once more.
And as we found once we dived off the N2 the place we might take pleasure in a few of the twists and turns of Nature’s Valley and Bloukrans passes, the brand new Polo is all about mild, simple reactions and driver-friendly enjoyable. The MacPherson strut entrance and torsion beam rear suspension retains you related to the highway with out fuss, whereas the electrically assisted energy steering imbues the car with the sense that there’s an absence of any pointless weight. The Polo activates a dime and for a mass-market A0 hatch it drivers impeccably properly. What a automobile.
Switchback enjoyable finished and dusted, there’s nonetheless the small matter of the 400 km earlier than the Polo is dwelling secure in Cape City, time to knuckle down. From the quiet and cozy cabin, you’ll be able to take all of the dawdling vehicles and cut-and-thrust overtakes on the N2 in your stride. True to kind, with (elective) adaptive cruise management set, we settled in for the lengthy haul and soaked up all the thrill of the Backyard Route.
The 1,0 TSI is such a driveable motor when the highway clears, its seemingly meagre 70 kW/175 N.m is greater than up for the duty, proving splendidly quiet at velocity. At 120 km/h the needle registers at 3 000 r/min on the rev counter, which might ordinarily be a bit worrying, however the cabin is close to silent. You genuinely don’t want a sixth gear for noise suppression. Keep your momentum when overtaking and you’ll even preserve an honest common velocity and gasoline consumption. The CAR gasoline index charges the Polo Life at 6,50 L/100 km however we registered 5,50 L/100 km on largely open-road driving.
Expressed via its pure, easy linearity of kind, the brand new Polo, above all else, reinforces the important thing attributes that make an ideal compact hatch after which enhances them with VW’s digital knowhow. As we are able to now affirm, it’s a real delight to drive, and Kariega is constructing its peoples’ vehicles higher than ever. And that’s actually one thing to have a good time.
In a nutshell –
Volkswagen Polo 1,0 TSI 70 kW Life M/T
Engine: 999 cc, 3-cylinder, turbopetrol
Energy: 70 kW @ 5 000 r/min, 175 N.m @ 2 000 r/min
0-100km/h 10,8 sec*
Prime velocity 187 km/h*
Tyres: 15-inch alloys, 195/55
Economic system: 6,50 L/100 km (gasoline index)
Transmission: 5-speed guide
CO2 emissions: 124 g/km
Value: R350 000
Phrases: Ray Leathern