In the wake of the recently launched New Polo, Volkswagen have taken yesterdays Polo, localised some components and once again badged it the Polo Vivo. Reuben van Niekerk reports
With 193 343 units sold since its market introduction in March 2010, the Volkswagen Polo Hatch has been the best-selling passenger model in South Africa for the past seven years.
Being the only locally built model in the competitive A0 segment, the Vivo has been a dominant brand in the entry-level hatch segment in spite of new models being launched on a regular basis, and, with an even greater offering in the new Polo Vivo, the model is once again set to be the best-seller in this segment.
The key product attributes such as affordability, German-built quality, safety, space and comfort, have set an unparalleled benchmark in the segment.
Polo Vivo has had the class-leading residual value in its segment in the used-car market, and the cost of ownership over a three-year cycle makes the Polo Vivo one of the most affordable cars to own in the South African market.
The Polo Vivo is basically the previous generation Polo, but with some localisation of components. Built in Uitenhage, Volkswagen has used their local supplier base as much as possible.
Changes, compared with the previous generation Polo on which it is based, include the mirrors, headlights and tail lights, repeater indicator in the body, a new upper and lower grille, and the wheel selection. The engine line-up is made up of the older MPI engines and a new 1.0 litre, three-cylinder.
Nearly 76% of Polo Vivo parts are sourced from local suppliers, ensuring that the parts remain affordable and contribute to the overall low cost of ownership that applies to both the outgoing and incoming models.
The driver assistance and infotainment systems, as well as the new TSI engine now available with a 6-speed manual transmission, have taken the new Polo Vivo to another level.
In addition, the new model introduces fresh colours, new interior materials and new specifications.
Some of the new specification includes ESC (on 77kW), tyre pressure monitor, hill hold assist, Isofix and seat belt pre-tensioners.
The range will be launched with three equipment lines, namely, Trendline, Comfortline and Highline, while it will also be available in a top of the range GT derivative.
Refreshed interior trims add an exciting ambience and feel to the cabin of the new Polo Vivo, with Volkswagen opting for a combination of hardwearing materials, and premium touches like a leatherette gear knob. Comfortline, Highline and GT derivatives now have a height adjustable driver seat.
The boot has a luggage volume of 280 litres, and when the seats are folded flat this increases to 952 litres.
In terms of in-car entertainment, there is an option of a radio that features four speakers and SD, USB and Bluetooth functionality on the Trendline and Comfortline models. Highline and GT get two extra speakers for sound enhancement as well as the Colour Touchscreen that incorporates App-Connect.
Active and passive standard safety features have been enhanced in the new Vivo, and ABS, alarm and remote central locking are now standard features across the range. Front fog lights are standard fitment in Comfortline, Highline and GT derivatives.
The Polo Vivo can be differentiated by new alloy wheels with the line-up consisting of the standard steel wheels (14 inch) or optional 15-inch Estrada alloys for the Polo Trendline and Comfortline. The Highline is equipped with 16-inch Rivazza alloys, while the top of the range GT model is equipped with 17-inch Mirabeau alloys.
Many ergonomic and visual improvements have been made inside the latest Polo Vivo, and aside from the three-spoke steering wheel, the instrument cluster has been updated.
The Vivo range is offered with three 4-cylinder petrol engines. The 1,4 litre engine in the Trendline model boasts 55kW at 4 800 revs/min and 130Nm at 3 750 revs/min while returning a fuel consumption figure of 5,7 litres per 100km.
In the Comfortline model the 1,4 litre delivers 63kW and 132Nm at 3 750 revs/min with an average fuel consumption of 5.9 litres per 100km.
The 1,6 litre which does duty in Comfortline, Tiptronic and Highline models produces 77 kW and 153Nm, allowing it to reach 100km/h from standstill in 10,8 seconds. On average it will use 6,2 litres per 100km and is offered with the choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.
With a top speed of 196km/h, the 3-cylinder 1,0 litre boasts 81kW and 200Nm, offering an exciting performance that does not impact on the fuel consumption, as Volkswagen claims a very frugal 4.6 litres per 100km.
The pricing is only slightly more than the model it replaces. In the place of the previous 1,4 Conceptline the 1,4 Trendline now costs only R600 more but features improved infotainment, enhanced safety, front electric windows, a bigger boot, and a more fuel-efficient engine.
The Polo Vivo Hatch comes standard with a 3-year/120 000km warranty and a 6-year Anti-Corrosion warranty.