Driven: 2018 Volkswagen Polo Comfortline

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We recently spent the week testing the 6th generation VW Polo which is the second best-selling passenger vehicle in South Africa, second only to its sibling the VW Polo Vivo. The new polo has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is the first polo built on VW’s new MBQ platform. Our test car was the VW Polo Comfortline, the mid-spec Polo fits between the entry-level Trendline and the range-topping Highline. The Polo competes with the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and the Opel Corsa.

The new 1.0TSI engine outputs 70kW and 175Nm of torque delivered to the front wheels via the 5-speed manual transmission. The 3-cylinder engine is impressive and offers drivers punchy performance to easily haul you around the streets of SA. Overall, we received a combined fuel consumption of just 5.5 L/100kms. VW claims 4.5 L/100kms combined and we think a more reserved driver could probably bring down our figure.

The Polo interior continues to offer a premium feel and that’s the one thing the Germans consistently get right. The cabin is well constructed and grown up; it has been completely redesigned to accommodate the new touchscreen. The infotainment is nothing short of spectacular, we are tech-focused and for me this was definitely one of the highlights on the vehicle. It would have been great to test out the Active info display (optional extra) but sadly our specific test vehicle was not fitted with it. The 6.5-inch touchscreen offers the driver ease of use with a simple and easy to navigate display. The App Connect is a must have and while it is an optional extra we think it’s well worth the extra money. The App-Connect seamlessly linked to my iPhone and offers access to select apps and navigation which is a big plus considering navigation will set you back an additional R 12 150. The Polo also offered Bluetooth connectivity, MP3 playback and 2 USB ports to connect devices.

The Polo offers a refined ride, easily absorbing the bumps on the road to truly give the driver a smooth and comfortable drive. In terms of safety, this model is equipped as standard with 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist, electronic stability control and traction control. There are additional driver assistance features optionally available. Our test car offered metallic paint, front centre armrest, cruise control, app connect, composition media, voice control, light and sight package and the smoker’s package totalling R 13 600. While we all love optional extras, VW's extensive list of styling, tech and safety extras can easily push up the price of the Polo to more than R300 000.

The Polo is larger than its predecessor thanks to the MBQ platform. The Polo now offers 350 litres of boot space which is up from 280 litres on the previous generation. The rear seats also fold 60/40 which is always great for those big loads you sometimes can’t avoid. The larger dimensions also mean more leg room for rear passengers, the polo can now easily accommodate two adults in the rear.

Overall, we think VW has once again done well redesigning the new Polo and have taken the time to design a car that gives consumers what they want. The Polo is an exceptional vehicle and we believe it will continue to dominate the local market. While the Polo pricing can become a factor with the optional extras, it’s easy to justify with high resale values, a premium build quality, more than sufficient performance and an impressive interior. We think the VW Comfortline is possibly the best in its segment.

Volkswagen Polo models come standard with a 3 year/45 000km Service Plan, 3 year/120 000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.

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