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VW gives the Polo Vivo a facelift

By: IOL Motoring Staff

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Port Elizabeth - Volkswagen's Polo Vivo has been a sales phenomenon ever since it hit the scene over four years ago as a repositioned and refreshed version of the previous Polo model. For the relatively small trade-off of driving around in an older-generation car, South Africans were essentially given a high quality and locally-built compact car for a bit less than they'd otherwise have been charged for one. To date just over 149 500 South Africans have voted for it with their wallets.

Now VWSA is freshening it up with some subtle exterior updates as well as new derivatives and features to keep it competitive until, well, who knows when it'll eventually be replaced?

A NEW(ISH) LOOK

The biggest styling changes take place at the front end where the headlights have a new inner design and a lower chrome strip that lines up with the new chrome insert that runs along the bottom of the grille. The Trendline and Comfortline grades (the latter being new to the range) also boast colour coded exterior mirrors and door handles. On that note those mirrors are of a new and more streamlined design.

Inside the basic design remains with its conservative Germanic lines and soft touchy-feely plastics that you wouldn't otherwise expect at this price point, but VWSA has jazzed things up with some new interior fabric designs as well as a redesigned instrument cluster with red and white illumination and a new gearshift lever.

THE RANGE

1.4 55kW Conceptline: This is the new entry-level grade, which gains additional standard features in the form of remote central locking, an alarm and ABS brakes. As per the previous entry model, air conditioning and power steering are standard, but you'll have to wind the windows up and down with your own elbow grease as well as adjust the mirrors manually and if you want an audio system you'll have to pay extra for that.

1.4 55kW Blueline: The most efficient model in the range adds 15-inch 'Lakeside' alloy wheels with lower-rolling-resistance tyres, a rear spoiler and suspension lowered by 7mm.

1.4 63kW & 1.6 77kW Trendline: This model offers you extra power and the option of automatic transmission (1.4 only). While it loses the goodies found in the Blueline, it does gain some luxury features. Compared to the Conceptline, Trendline adds front electric windows, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a four-speaker audio system with MP3/CD/USB/SD Card reading capability and Bluetooth connectivity.

1.6 77kW Comfortline: Opt for the 'luxury' model in the range and you gain two extra speakers, front foglights and 15-inch 'Sinalma' alloy wheels.

1.6 77kW GT: The 'sporty' Vivo - now a five-door since VW has discontinued the three-door body style - sets the scene with blingy features like 'Rocket' seat trim, a leather steering wheel with aluminium inserts, front sports seats, a rear spoiler, 15-inch 'Cordoba' alloys and lowered suspension.

1.6 77kW Maxx: The 'bush baby' of the line-up comes with raised suspension, 17-inch 'Budapest' alloy wheels and Anthracite/Black/Pearl Grey seat trim.

SIX COLOURS

Choose between Pure White, Deep Black Pearlescent, Reflex Silver, Urano Grey, Titanium Beige and Flash Red.

POWER

Nothing changes here. Given its positioning as an entry-level model the Polo Vivo does not get the new range of turbopetrol engines fitted to the latest Polo, instead soldiering on with VW's range of proven 1.4- and 1.6-litre normally aspirated petrol variants.

The 1.4-litre engine is available in 55kW and 63kW states of tune, with both producing a rather decent 132Nm of torque. VW claims a combined cycle consumption of 6.2 litres per 100km for all versions barring the Blueline (5.8) and Tiptronic auto (6.9). Against the clock the 55kW Polo Vivo will get to 100km/h in 12.9 seconds and the 63kW will take 12.2, according to VW.

The more effortless 1.6-litre offers 77kW and 155Nm, with a claimed 10.6-second 0-100km/h sprint and 6.6 l/100km combined consumption.

PRICES

Five-door hatch:

1.4 55 kW Conceptline - R142 700

1.4 55 kW Blueline - R148 000

1.4 63 kW Trendline - R157 500

1.4 63 kW Trendline AT - R172 800

1.6 77 kW Trendline - R171 500

1.6 77 kW Comfortline - R177 200

1.6 77kW GT - R177 200

1.6 77kW Maxx - R180 900

Four-door sedan:

1.4 55 kW Conceptline - R148 700

1.4 55 kW Blueline - R154 000

1.4 63 kW Trendline - R163 500

1.4 63 kW Trendline AT - R178 800

1.6 77 kW Trendline - R169 300

1.6 77 kW Comfortline - R177 500

BACKING YOU UP

The standard warranty is valid for three-years or 120 000km and a five-year/60 000km service or maintenance plan is available as an option.

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