Sprint Review: 2023 Volkswagen Polo Vivo Comfortline with Black Style Pack  

Nobody can accuse South African car manufacturers of being asleep at the wheel. Not long after I tested a competitor’s locally-made crossover with black accoutrements, this SA-built Polo Vivo pitched up with most of its trim dipped in Schwarz…

You should know: South Africans have gobbled up the international fad of “murdered out” blackness, where you paint or wrap anything shiny (or available) in black. This is, apparently, to make your diesel bakkie or city hatchback look meaner. I kid you not. Black is cool, although the African sun begs to differ.

Apparently it’s also sinister, or “gangster”, yet both of these are highly undesirable in my books.

More info: A wonderful fact I should mention is that this “Black Style Pack” is completely optional, so grouchy so-and-so’s like me don’t have to have it. We can still opt for the standard Polo Vivo 1.4 Comfortline or 1.6 Highline models. That means, unfortunately for any wannabe drug dealers out there, this optional package is not available on the base Trendline, 1.6 Auto or TSi GT models.

Why you should: Well, you actually get a bit more than just some added darkness. This package includes a black roof, black window surrounds, black side sills, black exterior mirror caps, black 16-inch Portago alloy wheels, privacy glass, R-Line boot spoiler (body colour though), lowered suspension and a chrome exhaust tip. 

Why you shouldn’t: I’m struggling to find disadvantages to a Polo Vivo, other than the obvious abundance in numbers, slightly mundane character, plus the threat of theft. You may want to look elsewhere if you’re worried about hijackings or parts theft, need a bit of turbo torque or want more specs for your money.

What else? We found the basic specifications (manual air-con, front power windows) acceptable and the simple infotainment system with smartphone integration quite refreshing. This Polo Vivo has agile handling around town, rumbles a bit under hard acceleration but easily cruises on the highway. VW claims an average of just 5.9L/100km.

Now add a decent amount of space and comfort, mix in its popularity and dealer count, blend with great resale values and simple maintenance to get a winning recipe for almost anyone in southern Africa. And if you somehow need to prove your nastiness to everyone – in a budget hatchback – then this Black Pack is just the ticket for you.


Engine:1,398cc in-line 4-cylinder petrol
Transmission:5-speed Manual, FWD
Max. Power:63kW @ 5,000rpm
Max. Torque:132Nm @ 3,750rpm
Avg. cons.:Claimed 5.9L/100km
0-100km/h:No claim
Top Speed:Claimed 177km/h
List Price:From R276,500 (excl. pack)

1 thought on “Sprint Review: 2023 Volkswagen Polo Vivo Comfortline with Black Style Pack  ”

  1. The way i see it these extra packs are there to give buyers more choise on budget vehicle like this, and thats great


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