Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT

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We recently had the privilege of test driving the Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT which could possibly be the perfect vehicle for those who are not willing to break the bank when searching for value, quality and a more premium feel. It is also the only Vivo with a turbocharged engine and an impressive starting price of R248 200 with a 3 year/120 000km warranty. (A maintenance plan is optional.) The Polo Vivo competes with the Mazda 2, the Renault Clio and the Opel Corsa which all offer a similar price tag.

The Vivo boasts contemporary finishes as well as new and improved safety features. The GT beautifully mimics its previous fifth generation Polo and has inherited the famous chassis and luxurious interior trimmings however some new, sportier features have allowed it to transcend its predecessor such as new headlights, taillights, an improved grille and new alloy wheels. Standard features such as body-colored side mirrors, a rear tailgate spoiler, black side molding, chrome trimmed exhaust and GT lettering as seen on the tailgate, side sills and grille are standard styling features on the GT.

The Bluetooth-enabled audio system and 340G touchscreen arrangement complete with App Connect system is worthy of being mentioned. The App-Connect effectively links to smartphones and allows for the utilization of select apps and navigation, together with MP3 playback and USB ports to connect devices. It is important to recognize the praiseworthy fact that 70% of this vehicle is made up of locally sourced materials.

The Polo Vivo GT offers a turbocharged 3-cylinder 1.0 litre petrol engine with 81 kW and 200Nm of torque which is more than sufficient for your daily commute. A combination of speed and elegance has been created with the lowered suspension and sporty pedals and seats. The suspension is much firmer, and the ride is harsher, but we really didn’t mind, it shouldn’t be something you should be too concerned about. Corners can be taken with confidence while the lowered suspension reduces body roll and reach adjustment on the steering column allows for an optimal driving position for driver. The multifunctional steering wheel is also covered in leather. A top speed of 196km/h can be achieved with reduced CO2 emissions of 109g/km. The Vivo GT offers an entertaining drive due to its burst acceleration, mostly useful in traffic and overtaking which it does effortlessly. We managed to average close to 6.0 L/100km during our test and a range of close to 800kms on a tank which was well received.

The interior is quite snug and having the Polo Comfortline and the GT back to back really made me notice the difference. Our test vehicle offered leather seats which was nice and made me think GTI but it does cost an extra R 9 350. The driver and passenger were offered electric windows but the rear passengers were still forced to manual window winders, no fun there but really shouldn’t be the case on a car that costs 245K. The GT offers just 2 airbags with ABS, EBD and stability control. Brake Assist and traction control are not offered.

The Vivo makes use of a single piece folding rear backrest and exposed metal backing, it still serves convenient access to an incredible amount of utility space.  The Polo Vivo comes with 280 litres of boot space which is about 10 litres more than the old Vivo and with the backrest dropped this goes up to 952 litres, but we really didn’t like the fact that the seats weren’t split to allow you to use that extra space while still being able to carry a third passenger.

Purely based on our road test, we firmly believe this model will continue to remain at the peak of car sales for all the right reasons. We really enjoyed the punchy performance combined with low fuel consumption which is definitely a bonus when the cost of petrol stands at R16/L. The Polo Vivo is really something that we would consider as a daily driver. Based on a model which topped car sale charts, it guarantees success.

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