Die-hard Polo racks up 1m smiles

2012-08-07 09:01

A salesman from Soutpan, near Bloemfontein, has driven his 2004 Volkswagen Polo Classic sedan for a million kilometres without accident or mechanical fault.

That's further than a trip to the Moon and back, or to driving around Earth's equator 25 times.


Gerrie Esterhuizen, 67, said he and his wife Magriet had long wondered what reading the odometer would show once their faithful car reached the million-kilometre mark.

Esterhuizen said: "After 999 999.9 kilometres, the [odometer] just shows six dashes, although the trip meter carries on working."

Volkswagen SA invited Esterhuizen to visit its plant in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape to celebrate his car's achievement. It still, Esterhuizen says, has its original engine and other key parts.

The Esterhuizens kept meticulous records of their Polo's odyssey that had spent most of its life on the roads of the Free State and parts of the Northern Cape, North West and Lesotho.


"We travel up to 800km a day from our home and back, often spending more than 10 hours on the road while seeing clients, mainly in small towns in our sales territory," Esterhuizen said.

The Esterhuizens clocked up between 8000km and 10 000km per month but in years gone by they often drove more than 12 000km a a month. They estimated that the millionkilometre journey used 66 666 litres of fuel.

"That's an excellent figure of about 700km per 50-litre tank, or 15km/litre. Working out the cost over the years at an average of R8/litre, that's about R533 000 in fuel costs."

Maintenance costs were too low to estimate, he said.

Although the car has required two new fuel pumps, "the engine has never been opened since we bought the car at Alan Hudson Motors in Nelspruit", Esterhuizen said.

"Its clutch, starter, alternator, exhaust system, radiator, and oil pump are all original. I have never experienced such outstanding reliability in any other vehicle I have driven."


  • naolifant - 2012-08-07 09:28

    is it a 1.4? 1.6? or 1.9TDi ????????????:?????????????

      erik.p.vanwyk - 2012-08-07 09:41

      I doubt its a tdi!lol.

      naolifant - 2012-08-07 10:46

      I asked this question yesterday to Matt Gennrich of VWSA, he's yet to reply to me.

      riaan.myburgh.58 - 2012-08-07 22:13

      It is in fact a Polo Classic 1.4 Trendline

      Vickers - 2012-08-08 06:29

      High mileage is not that impossible for a TDi. Granted it is a Golf and it didn't do it in our dusty conditions but it is still going strong after 450 000 miles (almost 800 000 km) http://www.autoinsider.co.uk/news/index.php?news_id=1400

  • riotousr - 2012-08-07 09:50

    Traversing the sub-urban peripheries and purely rural long distances is not bad for your car. I can also reach that mileage if my shameless Renault spend all week long on the N1 between Musina and Cape Town.

      lourensenchrisna.kruger - 2012-08-07 12:52

      Renault - I think not lol

  • don.odendaal - 2012-08-07 11:49

    I have a TATA 713 towtruck with 1.2 mil km plus not difficult on the open road

  • vickers.vermeulen - 2012-08-07 14:00

    Great stuff! This is the milage usually reserved for understressed bakkie engines.

  • snkomo - 2012-08-07 17:57

    And VW hands the old couple a dashboard, bloody hell give them a new Tiguan for goodness sake this is top class marketing what this couple has done for VW a new jollopie to the ou mense wont kill them.

      riaan.myburgh.58 - 2012-08-07 22:19

      As far as I have heard, VWSA took the car in and had all the dents removed, got rid of stonechips and gravel rash by respraying the bonnet and bumper, polished the car, had a set of new tyres fitted and replaced certain of the interior trim components.

  • terrence.naicker.1 - 2012-08-08 07:30

    Only 262 000 km on my Jetta 4 TDI. Early days yet.All major components still OE items.Over 1000 km per tank but I only drive +- 500 km a week.

  • pvuuren - 2012-08-08 10:22

    for a petrol it's awesome, even if its a V-dub although the record is held by a Taxi in macedonia, a 1976 Mercedes-Benz 240 D with 4.6 million on the clock

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-08-09 10:06

    Vwsa should give them a new odometer and a petrol card with R6K a month limit. Let them try for 2 million km's.

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