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Driven: VW Polo 1.0-litre R-Line DSG

2017-03-13 15:16

PURPOSEFUL LOOKS: Volkswagen has given the R-Line treatment to its Polo for the first time. Image: Motorpress

Sean Parker

Port Elizabeth - Before you comment about how Volkswagen is diluting its R badge, let me remind you this Polo is kitted out in R-Line kit, which includes the following: R-Line logo on the radiator grille, front and rear bumpers, sill extensions, a rear diffuser with an integrated chrome exhaust tailpipe, a rear spoiler in body colour and 17-inch Serron alloy wheels.

Incidentally, it's the first time the Polo receives genuine 'R-Line' treatment. Although, I've seen many after-market R-Line kits slapped on Polos.  

New Polo destined for 2018

But that’s not the big news about this derivative, added to the range as the current Polo reaches the twilight years of its life, a new Polo, the sixth-generation, will be available in 2018. 

Volkswagen has popped a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine into its third smallest model and I’ll admit after testing it on some typical ‘b-roads’ in the Eastern Cape that it’s a stonking good engine. 

You genuinely would never know underneath the hood is a 999cc engine producing 81Kw/200Nm. The adequate power is transferred via a seven-speed DSG gearbox. 

But the manner in which the power is delivered could fool you into thinking you're driving a much more powerful (read: bigger-engined) car. 

VWSA reiterated that small capacity forced induction engines will spearhead their engine strategy, i.e not diesels.

The 1.0 TSI The three-cylinder 999cc engine will be the base engine of the updated Golf 7 which will be launched locally at the end of the second quarter.

Not a GTI alternative

Don't be fooled into thinking this model can rival a Polo GTI, which retails for R373 300, just over R80 000 more. But what the 1.0 TSI does offer is decent performance, it feels quicker than the quoted 9.3 second 0-100km/h time, in a well-made package with an inkling of sportiness. 

I understand VW's reasoning for introducing this car now, but in reality, we should have had this offering on our plate ages ago. 

I enjoyed this little sprightly Polo and it does a damn good job of doing what's asked of it. The seven-speed DSG 'box again shows why it's one of the best in the business in city and freeway driving. 

So, what does R290 200 get you?

A 12.7-cm composition Colour, Connectivity package with Bluetooth and USB as well as iPhone/iPod interface, fatigue detection, sport front seats with ‘Cell’ interior cloth and door trim, multi-function steering and front fog-lights. 

...And what's optional?

Options include a 14.7cm Composition media interface, App Connect, Light and Vision package (includes rain sensor wipers, auto-dimming interior mirror, automatic headlights and coming home function), cruise control, climatronic air-conditioner, panoramic sunroof, park distance control (front and rear), rear view camera and LED headlights with separate LED daytime running lights.

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