By ERIC PHIRI
THE Polo hatch is the most popular car in its class in South Africa, with sales also doing well in other markets in the world. This fact however keeps Volkswagen on its toes, as seeks new ways to make the Polo not only to remain relevant but to retain its status as market leader.
It is for these reasons that VW brought out new range Polo, which arrived in dealerships in South Africa from June. The new new range is all about fuel efficiency, as both petrol and diesel engines of the new model indicate saving of up to 21% over the other models.
Fuel consumption and emissions of the entry-level engine with 44 kW − in the version with a stop-start system and regenerative braking − have been reduced from 5.5 l/100 km and 128 g/km CO2 to 4.6 l/100 km and 106 g/km CO2.
The new Polo range includes a 66 kW engine for the new Polo 1.0 TSI BlueMotion, the first one-litre three-cylinder turbocharged direct injection engine in this model series. It consumes just 4.1 l/100 km and emits 94 g/km CO2. The previous model with an identical power output of 66 kW consumed 4.9 l/100 km (equating to CO2 emissions of 113 g/km.
Of the latest petrol versions, the BlueGT with cylinder deactivation (ACT – active cylinder management outputs 110 kW instead of the previous 103 kW. New diesel engines which include three direct injection three-cylinder turbo diesels (TDI) that all generate their power from 1.4 litres displacement (previously 1.2 and 1.6 litres).
The power range is identical to the previous model: 55 kW, 66 kW and 77 kW. The versions with 55 kW and 66 kW will be offered at market launch, while the 77 kW version will follow with a schedule offset.
Depending on the engine choice, the 2014 Volkswagen Polo can be configured with five- and six-speed manual gearboxes as well as a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission.
Exterior and interior enhancements
Not much has changed on the exterior, apart from the slightly reworked front bumper and an updated grille with horizontal lines. The headlights are also the same except the upper-spec models now come with LED technology for the main beam function.
Designers further developed the front and rear styling to be more distinctive. In the rear bumper area, there is a revised bumper featuring a cleaner horizontal layout and a wider cut-out for the licence plate.
Inside, many new ergonomic and visual improvements have been made. There’s a new three-spoke steering wheel, modified instrument cluster with its 3D tube look, along with an updated centre console packing new controls for the AC system. 5- and 6.5-inch touchscreen displays are also available and so is a rear view camera system.
2014 Models and Prices
As in the previous model, the 2014 Polo is offered in three equipment levels – “Trendline”, “Comfortline” and “Highline”. (Versions such as the BlueGT, GTI and BlueMotion will be available here from the first quarter of 2015.)
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI 66 kW Trendline: R188 300
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI 66 kW Comfortline: R209 700
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI 81 kW Highline: R233 300
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI 81 kW Highline DSG: R247 800
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI 81 kW CrossPolo: R241 000