I feel a bit sorry for Volkswagen, and so should you. Although they were probably part of the culprits, our demand for ever-modernised vehicles has left us with countless premium brands and a handful of weird cheapies. Guess which one “the people’s car” now belongs to?
You should know: Yup. VW is a proper premium brand, which anyone will attest to after spending just a few minutes behind the wheel of a new Polo. My local Volksie-whisperer agrees with me when I proclaim that their (mostly interior) quality levels had some recent wobbles which no longer put this German marque ahead of the pack.
More info: That doesn’t mean this car’s cabin is garbage; far from it. It’s certainly on a level with the Hyundais and Kias of this world while differentiating itself with the sober layout one expects from this nation. Everything just works, nothing’s confusing and – hurray – this model had a physical volume knob!
Why you shouldn’t: The double-clutch automated-manual gearbox is a bit naff at low speeds; not my words, every one of my colleagues pointed it out first. The upside of this commuter-friendly self-shifter is that the lively 1L engine has an extra degree of vooma and, once on the move, this drive train is properly impressive.
Why you should: Besides the sensible brand and great execution of this compact hatchback, you could also choose this for its on-board technology, funky and comfy furniture, excellent ride and headlights, generous dimensions and great fuel efficiency.
VWSA claims 5.4L/100km from the 40L tank.
What else? I guarantee that this dearer R-Line model (which costs a whopping R52,500 more) will be everyone’s first choice. Our press vehicle’s Vibrant Violet Metallic paint job, most certainly not. I thought it looked superb. Almost unique. Something I would certainly want on such a popular and excellent vehicle.
FULL SPEC LIST
|Engine:||999cc in-line 3-cylinder turbo-petrol|
|Transmission:||7-speed DCT, FWD|
|Max. Power:||85kW @ 5000rpm|
|Max. Torque:||200Nm @ 2000rpm|
|Avg. cons.:||Claimed 5.4L/100km|
|0-100km/h:||seconds (claimed 9.7)|
|Top Speed:||Claimed 200km/h|