Polo Vivo 1.0TSI GT: Is the “People’s Car still a Timeless Budget-Beater?”

Article display image
Article image thumbnails
Article image thumbnails
Article image thumbnails
Article image thumbnails
Article image thumbnails
Article image thumbnails
Article image thumbnails
Article image thumbnails
Article image thumbnails

Polo Vivo 1.0TSI GT: Is the "People's Car still a Timeless Budget-Beater?”

Prashirwin Naidu

The Polo Vivo has long held its ground as a beloved choice among South African car buyers. Undoubtedly, it has endeared itself as the "People's Car" regarding performance, fuel efficiency and price. 

Diehard fans of the GT badge will attest to its fuel efficiency, driving experience, and affordability. The price tag of R341,800 raises the bar. 

My long-term report on the Polo Vivo GT leaves one feeling that soon, it may evolve into something other than a budget-friendly car. Still, the Polo Vivo GT captures its faithful followers' hearts – and wallets.

While the Polo Vivo has received subtle updates over the years, it's fair to say that its visual design leans on the side of nostalgia.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with the Polo Vivo GT. It's a city slicker, stylish enough to stand out and sufficient for daily run-around and errands.

Under the hood, the Polo Vivo GT delivers an engaging drive. It's powered by a 1.0L turbo-petrol engine generating 81kW and 200Nm of torque. Paired with a smooth six-speed manual transmission, its shifts are smooth and precise.

The zippy city runabout was delightful, providing a delicious recipe for fun. If there were any faults, I didn't see it. Blind vision? It's just Blancmange. They were an eighties band, Living on the Ceiling. 

The Polo Vivo GT is a sturdy, capable car with a premium feel on the ground.

Fuel efficiency is another area where it was decent, with the Polo Vivo GT achieving an average of 6.7l/100km. Spirited driving takes it to 7.1l/100km.

Harbouring on the point of practicality, boot space is tight. Offering 289 litres of room, it was well served for grocery shopping. But on long journeys, it will be a tight squeeze. A family of four may complain about the cramped conditions. But for a couple and a spare wheel, one can use the foldable rear seats, which expand to 952 litres, giving extra cargo room.

Yet, some aspects could use modernisation, such as manually adjustable mirrors,  rear windows, and limited rear-seat amenities—it is time to push the button. Rear occupants might find it a constricted space.

Inside the cabin, the GT offers soft finishes, GT lettering on the floor mats, aluminium pedals, and sports seats adorned with cloth inserts and red stitching. The infotainment system retains a classic feel with solid dials and icons.

However, given the relatively modest specifications, the R341,800 price tag may raise eyebrows. Nevertheless, the Polo Vivo GT compensates with its compact car build quality. Features like automatic headlight control, automatic wipers, cruise control, and an adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel add to its appeal.

The Polo Vivo 1.0TSI GT is visually distinct, featuring 17-inch Mirabeau alloy wheels, GT decals, silver mirror caps, a black tailgate spoiler, and eye-catching design details. Its lower ride height and LED daytime running lights compose a rather smart and tasteful look.

Regarding safety, the Polo Vivo GT has ABS braking and stability control. I was alarmed that it only had two airbags. For a top-specced GT, one would have expected more to wrap one in the event of a calamity, which is shared on our manic streets.  

The Polo Vivo GT isn't known for its many gadgets and gizmos. It's for the driver who wants to feel engaged with the car. Indeed, this vehicle provides the quality and elegant performance one would expect from a vehicle carrying the GT badge. It's a fun little city-slicker car that many may like.

It has a design that stands the test of time. But there's room for improvement regarding safety features and modern amenities; the stylish and dated "People's" Polo Vivo GT gets the thumbs up. Long may it rule the hearts and wallets of motoring enthusiasts. 

The Polo Vivo GT comes with a 3-year/120,000km warranty but does not include a service or maintenance plan as standard, which needs to be purchased separately.



Buy a Volkswagen Polo Vivo at a great price.
We put you back in control, make a single request and get up to 3 quotes from dealers nationally.
  • Choose your perfect car
  • Dealers come to you with their best offers
  • Compare offers and buy with confidence

More Volkswagen Polo Vivo reviews

Ready to purchase a vehicle like this?

Get Quotes

Related articles

More volkswagen news