DRIVEN: The ‘new’ Volkswagen Polo Vivo will keep on delivering

Image: Wheels24 / Rouel Van Nelson
Image: Wheels24 / Rouel Van Nelson

Port Elizabeth - The Volkswagen Polo and the Polo Vivo are two of South Africa’s most loved vehicles. VW has kicked off 2018 with the launch of its sixth-generation Polo in January and now in February the automaker has released its new Vivo.

As the predecessor to the iconic Citi Golf, the Vivo has done exceptionally well in terms of sales. 

The new Polo Vivo has been launched in Port Elizabeth this week, with a route to Plettenberg Bay being mapped out to put the vehicles through its paces.

The new Polo Vivo Range: 

1.4 delivering 55kW - Trendline

The entry engine in the Polo Vivo model range is the 1.4-litre with the 55kW power output available 4800rpm. From 3750rpm, the engine peaks at 130Nm. VW says the 1.4-litre engine has a claimed fuel consumption of 5.7-litres/100km. 

1.4 delivering 63kW - Comfortline

The Comfortline has a 1.4-litre 63kW engine with 132Nm available at 3750rpm. Its average fuel consumption is 5.9-litres/100km.  

1.6 delivering 77kW – Comfortline Tiptronic, Highline 

The 77kW 1.6-litre engine is offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox as well as in automatic (Tiptronic) transmission. With 153Nm at 3800rpm, this engine delivers lively performance. On average, it has combined fuel consumption of 6.2 (6.1 for Tiptronic) litres/100km. 

1.0 TSI delivering 81 kW – GT

With a top speed of 196km/h, the 1.0 litre 81kW is the most powerful derivative. The 200Nm is available at 2000rpm. The 81kW engine has a claimed fuel consumption of 4.6-litres/100km.

                                                         Image: Wheels24 / Rouel Van Nelson

First impressions

In terms of design, as many readers have already pointed out, the new Polo Vivo doesn't differ much from the fifth-generation Polo. The automaker wanted to carry through with the simplicity of the outgoing Polo. It’s a case of "keep if successful, modify if reasonable", as VW put it.

The major exterior changes are slightly modified grille and bumper and new head- and taillights. Other than those aforementioned tweaks, you’re looking at a the outgoing Polo. 

Whats it like to drive? 

On the trip from Port Elizabeth to Plettenberg Bay, I experienced the entry level vehicle (55kW Trendline) and the top-of-the-range, Polo Vivo GT (81Kw).

In terms of ride quality, the entry-level Vivo ticks all the boxes. There’s no time wasted in getting used to the feel of the steering, gearbox and clutch. The locally-built Vivo is well put together and a breeze to drive.

The entry-level model costs R179 900 and is fitted with alarm sensors, front electronic windows, and a multi-function steering wheel.

                                                                  Image: Wheels24 / Rouel Van Nelson 

If you’re an enthusiastic driver but need something to suit your budget, the Vivo GT could be a good choice. For R245 000, you'll get a rather brisk 81kW 1.0l TSI hatchback, fitted with leather interior and a full touchscreen infotainment system. Compared to the entry level Vivo, this engine gives the driver more oomph to go a little faster on our roads and overtake with confidence. 

I drove about 250km from Port Elizabeth to our venue in Plettenberg Bay. A glance at the range metre revealed the tank was still three quarters full (Vivo GT too). Impressive to say the least.

In conclusion...

I foresee yet another top seller for Volkswagen - the Polo Vivo simply offers good value for money. For R179 900, customers will recieve a comfortable, locally-built and safer Vivo, compared to the outgoing model.

At the launch of the new Volkswagen Polo Vivo #newpolovivo

A post shared by Rouel (@rouel_) on

Key safety features

The new Polo Vivo comes equipped with ESC (Trendline), a tyre pressure monitor and Hill hold assist, optional for Trendline and Comfortline derivatives.

Each derivative has Isofix and seat belt pre-tensioners.

Active and passive standard safety features have been enhanced. ABS, alarm and remote central locking are standard features across the range. Front fog lights are standard in Comfortline, Highline and GT derivatives.

For in-car entertainment, customers have an option of Radio 140G SD/USB/Bluetooth with four speakers (standard on Trendline and Comfortline). Highline and GT get two extra speakers for sound enhancement as well as the colour touchscreen Radio 340G which includes App-Connect.

                                                                      Image: Wheels24 / Rouel Van Nelson 

The bootspace is rated at 280 litres and can be expanded to 952 litres with the rear seats folded.

Prices: The Polo Vivo is sold with a 3-year or 120 000km warranty.

1.4 55kW Trendline - R179 900
1.4 63kW Comfortline -  R192 000
1.6 77kW Comfortline Tiptronic - R221 900
1.6 77kW Highline - R214 900
1.0 TSI 81kW GT - R245 000

A Volkswagen Automotion Maintenance Plan as well as a Volkswagen Automotion Service Plan are available as options. Service intervals are15 000km.

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