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Volkswagen’s Yin and Yang Polos


WITH the fuel price going up and down like a yo-yo lately, it‘s getting quite worrying for customers. Most people are finding their way into smaller, more fuel efficient cars these days. Manufacturers are forever trying to improve fuel consumption on their models and Volkswagen has been one of those manufacturers. They have just introduced two new frugal engines into their ever popular Polo range.

The Polo is not exactly a fuel guzzling monster, yet every bit counts, I guess. Volkswagen has dropped two new engines into the Polo to better help customers save fuel while still enjoying German engineering. They have also gone completely bonkers with the new Polo GTI but first…

The Polo BlueMotion model

The Polo is now offered with a tiny three-cylinder 1.0-litre TSI Turbocharged engine that produces 70kW of power and 160Nm of torque. This is also the first Polo BlueMotion with a TSI engine. The little AAA battery-sized engine doesn’t feel sluggish at all thanks to its forced induction. Volkswagen has made some vast improvements to the engine management system, which has resulted in reduced fuel consumption figures. Volkswagen claims an impressive fuel consumption figure of around 4.2 litres/100km.

Besides the engine, what has changed?

For starters, Volkswagen has lowered the ride height and improved the aerodynamics over the radiator grille and the under-body of the Polo BlueMotion models. Furthermore, the Polo TSI BlueMotion also benefits from reduced rolling resistance tyres and longer gear ratios in the upper transmission stages. Other factors contributing to greater driving economy is the Stop/Start system, regenerative braking and a gear-change indicator for the driver. One can expect a wide range of standard and optional convenience and safety technologies which are unique in this class.

Polo with new diesel power

Volkswagen has also replaced its 1.6TDI unit with a 1.4TDI unit. This little turbocharged diesel unit can be specified with two different outputs, a 55kW model with 210Nm of torque is on offer as well as a 77kW/250Nm. The latter will reach 100km/h in around 9.9 seconds and will consume about 4.1 litres/100km. To be honest, these diesel models would be my pick of the bunch, especially in the Cross Polo.

There’s also an updated infotainment system

Volkswagen has 'reconceptualised' its infotainment system with the addition of an optional 5.8-inch touchscreen. All media, trip information and radio functions can be controlled via the colour screen. The standard system offers CD and MP3 functionality, SD-card reader and six speakers. Volkswagen is also offering a connectivity package as an option, which includes Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones and audio streaming, as well as USB port.

Polo GTI manual

My eyes deceive me… a manual gearbox in the new Polo GTI? It’s true. Following the launch of the updated Polo GTI, Volkswagen has decided to offer customers the choice of either a DSG gearbox or a six-speed manual. It was about time really, as cars such as the Ford Fiesta ST offered a much more engaging drive thanks to its manual gearbox. Now don’t think that the Polo GTI just gets a slick six-speed box, oh no, it gets more torque as well. The DSG Polo makes do with 280Nm of torque while the manual version gets a good 320Nm. Add to that its 141kW, the manual gearbox and the Polo GTI has just become one awesome little pocket rocket.


1.0 TSI 70kW BlueMotion  R235 800
1.4 TDI 55 kW Trendline R223 500
1.4 TDI 77kW Highline  R252 000
1.4 TDI 77kW Cross   R260 000
1.8 TSI 141kW GTI manual R313 300
1.8 TSI 141kW GTI DSG   R328 800

The new Polo comes standard with a three-year/45 000km Service Plan, three-year/120 000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 15 000km.

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Article written by Justin Jacobs
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