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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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New VW Polo driven

2005-07-12 07:27

Wilmer Muller

The facelifted Polo is now available in South Africa

Since the Polo's first introduction into the local market in 1996 it proved to be an instant hit with buyers and month after month the hatch and Classic models are on the best-selling list. To maintain its popularity Volkswagen gave the Polo a major nip and tuck.

Other great news is that VW didn't increase the range's pricing and in fact realigned its economical and award-winning 1.4 TDI model to make it even more affordable. This turbodiesel Polo in hatchback guise is now priced at below R130 000.

Furthermore VW didn't mess around with the Polo's engineering and under the skin it is still the same tried and tested model. After driving the updated Polo, it is again easy to understand why this car is in such demand.

Not only offers the Polo good build quality, but it is a solid vehicle on the road which offers great driving pleasure at an affordable price.

Despite the fact that it is a volume-selling vehicle, it does have a premium feel to it and this goes hand in hand with driving pleasure.

New face

Again the latest Polo is a showcase of good fit and finish and the cars still have the same crisp and spunky feeling to which Polo drivers are accustomed.

But it is the Polo's new face that will boost its desirability to tackle the onslaught from impressive newcomers such as the all-new Renault Clio, which will arrive here early in 2006.

Not that the pre-facelifted Polo looked outdated at all. However, VW also had to bring this range in line with the company's current design trend.

The most prominent design changes are reserved for the Polo's stubby nose where the familiar circular headlights made way for stylish single light units.

There is also a new V-shaped grill as inspired by the carmaker's new design philosophy.

As with the Golf the Polo now features indicators which is integrated into the side mirrors.

At the rear the changes are less dramatic. The rear windscreen also takes a V-shape in the lower frame area and the taillights are now more of a circular shape.

The boot design of the Classic model is unchanged.

Certain models such as the funky two-door 1.9 TDI also come with new alloy wheels to compliment the makeover.

On the inside the cabin and dashboard are unchanged but there are new clothtrim to freshen it up.

Except for the realigned 1.4 TDI model the standard and optional features are similar to that of the outgoing range.

The new 1.4 TDI is now a Trendline as opposed to Comfortline when the Polo was introduced about three years ago, which makes it more affordable.


The Polo range starts with the 1.4 fuel injected four-cylinder engine developing 62 kW at 5 250 r/min and 122 Nm of torque at 2 750 r/min.

The 3-cylinder 1.4 TDI gets a power upgrade from 55 kw to 59 kW at 4 000 r/min, but maximum torque stays at the equally impressive 195 Nm. This model has impressive fuel consumption and the claimed combined cycle is only 4.4 litres for every 100km travelled.

Then there is still the trusted 1.6 and 2-litre petrol models. As before there are again two versions of the 1.9 TDI engine, one producing 74 kW and 240 Nm of torque, and a more powerful 96 kW/310 Nm version.

The 74 kW derivative is available in both the Polo hatch and Classic and its average claimed fuel consumption is 4.9 litres per 100 km.   The more powerful 96 kW unit is only available in the two-door Sportline model.


As always Volkswagen is secretive about its future plans and declined to tell when the Polo will be replaced with an all-new model.

However, we reckon it is another three to four years before VW fans will see a complete new Polo - that is of course to say if Wheels24 doesn't spy it before such time?

But the updated Polo's stylish and modern appearance will give this range more than enough zest to retain its image of a trendsetter.

It also won't take a long time for the facelifted Polo to become as a familiar sight on our roads as it predecessors.

We know that South Africans have eagerly awaited the launch of this car as Wheels24 constantly received e-mails from possible buyers since we first published our word exclusive spy photos in February.

And to end the cycle of anticipation for the local introduction of the Polo since we spied it, Wheels24 can assure Polo buyers that it was worth the wait.


Polo hatch:

  • 1.4 Trendline - R105 210
  • 1.4 TDI Trendline - R129 000
  • 1.6 Trendline - R121 510
  • 1.6 Comfortline - R136 350
  • 1.9 TDI Highline (74 kW) - R158 000
  • 2.0 Highline - R149 930
  • 1.9 TDI Sportline (96 kW) - R168 600

    Polo Classic:

  • 1.4 Trendline - R110 690
  • 1.4 TDI Trendline - R134 200
  • 1.6 Trendline - R126 770
  • 1.6 Comfortline - R141 770
  • 1.9 TDI Highline (74 kW) - R163 230
  • 2.0 Highline - R155 160

    Photo galleries

  • Polo (five-door hatch)
  • Polo Sportline (three-door hatch)
  • Polo Classic (sedan)


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