The Polo R-Line has grown up
The Volkswagen Polo has been a segment leader in South Africa for as long as we can remember. Locally, the brand just built the 100 000 facelifted Polo which was only launched about a year ago. The Polo has become an expression of achievement, social status, and an image booster. Is the updated Polo just a puff piece or does it still retain the same elements that have made it so desirable? We spent time with the latest R-Line model to see what all the fuss is about.
From a design perspective, the new Polo now sports a refreshed exterior design. The bumper and tailgate have been given a new look, as have the headlights and tail light clusters which come standard with LED technology. The Polo R-Line, seen here features unique, sportier-looking bumpers that most definitely attract the eye.
The latest Polo has a distinctive day-time and nighttime light signature which includes a new LED light strip along the radiator grille, in conjunction with the IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights as fitted to our test unit. We do adore the unique LED light bar as it adds an extra, attractive design element to the car, one which turns heads and garners the crowds' approval. The Polo R-Line also features 16-inch Valencia alloy wheels
The interior of the Polo R-Line now boasts a Digital Cockpit which is complimented by a re-designed leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, new-generation infotainment systems and wireless App-Connect. The Digital Cockpit and infotainment system create a coherent digital landscape. In the R-Line model, the two-zone climatronic air conditioner now has touch panels and sliders which replace the knobs and buttons in the previous generation.
The digital instrument cluster is a neat feature, which is now standard. It gives the interior a modern look and feel, it makes the Polo appear even more premium than it already is. The seats in the Polo R-Line are upholstered in high-quality fabric with Alcantara compliments. The seats proudly display the new R logo on the backrest which is a nice touch.
In terms of forward propulsion, 1.0 TSI in the R-Line develops 85kW when the DSG automatic transmission option is selected. The three-cylinder engine has, maximum torque of 200Nm. The numbers, in conjunction with the DSG gearbox, create a rather impressive driving experience.
The Polo is quite potent when you need it to be. It also offers decent levels of comfort and after spending a few days behind the wheel it is easy to see why the Polo is as popular as it is. Navigating shopping center parking lots is easy and the added safety is noteworthy. This test unit had the optional Safety package which includes Travel Assist with Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist. It also featured Pedestrian Monitoring and Front Assist.
The car is also fun-to-drive with an enjoyable character. Active the Sport driving mode and the throttle mapping and gearbox become sharper, and the car is ready to exploit all of its performance credentials. When playtime is over, select ECO or Comfort and the Polo calms down and becomes a light footed little run-around that will consume around 6.0-litres per 100km as our test car did, granted, that figure was 80% urban. Out on the highways we reckon it will drop to well below that.
While the options can become costly, it is worth ticking the boxes of the must have items that will add extra value to your Polo. It is also worth mentioning that while there are others out there, and some equally as good, the Polo has the badge appeal that others just don't have. It gets the job done and it does it well. Just be careful about the options as this can lift the overall price quite a bit.