Most of my friends had Mk1 Golf’s at school; therefore, I have spent a fair amount of time in these iconic machines and understand the affinity we have for them. They are the trusty go-to car for the youth and those seeking basic transportation, and there’s something very special about that.
Now though, the Citi badge has been revived and placed on a limited number of Polo Vivo models. I recently attended the media event where the new Citi Vivo was launched. Much like its predecessor, the new Citi is also only available in red, blue and yellow from an exterior colour perspective.
The Vivo was the obvious choice to wear the Citi badge as it is consistently the best selling passenger car in the local market, and was of course the replacement for the iconic CitiGolf back in 2010.
What’s new in the Citi?
If you’re expecting anything other than a visual update, you may be disappointed as the Citi Vivo is a regular Vivo, but with the Citi nomenclature attached. That means that the interior is very much the same as the Conceptline model on which it is based, however, that means it receives features such as ABS, air-conditioning, power steering and a four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth/USB compatibility.
The extra R5 000 premium that you’d pay for the Citi versus the Conceptline gets you white 15-inch Lakeside alloy wheels which match the side mirrors, white door and tailgate handles and white Citi logos. The Citi also retains the same 55kW/132Nm 1.4-litre motor with a claimed fuel consumption of 6.2 litres/100km
Whereas the previous CitiGolf was produced in massive numbers with some 377 000 units moving off the production line in its 25 year market run, the Citi Vivo will be produced in limited numbers, with just 2 000 units planned. In that sense, it really is no longer a car for the people if so few are to be built, but I suppose as a project to pay homage to a legend, it may prove a good brand exercise for Volkswagen.
The new Citi Vivo will retail for R177 300 and at that price, it really isn’t batting in the same ballpark as its predecessor for the most affordable car crown. The really affordable new cars in South Africa are some R40 000 less than the Citi, although many of those aren’t something I’d recommend in any case.