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Car doctor: 'Should I buy the new Volkswagen Polo?'

2018-06-17 00:00

Justus Visagie

Image: The car doctor Justus Visagie answers all your car questions PHOTO: Cornel van Heerden

In this week's Car Doctor column, Justus Visagie  helps a reader decide what's the best vehicle to buy his wife as a retirement vehicle and another whether the new Polo is a wise buy.

Bongi writes: I like the new Jaguar E-Pace, but I have read news articles saying it is very heavy. What does this mean and is this important?

Justus says: Weight is the enemy of performance and road holding, especially when that weight is relatively high above the ground, as is the norm with SUVs. This is why many racing cars are light and low, with the driver’s backside mere centimetres off the ground.

                                                                           Image: Motorpress

The E-Pace is heavier than most of its rivals, yet it doesn’t feel that way when driven. I can’t say the same of its bigger sibling, the F-Pace.

Johann writes: I am considering the BMW M240i Convertible as my retirement gift to my wife and I. What do you think of it?

Justus says: Ah, the golden years. Just you and Mevrou, the sun and wind caressing you as you drive.

There’s a lot to be said for alfresco motoring, but rather buy a cheaper version of the ragtop 2-Series. Because it’s an open car, the 240i Convertible doesn’t feel as solid as the 240i Coupé would.

                                                                       Image: Net Car Show

I believe there’s little point in buying a car with a powerful engine if the body and chassis aren’t rigid. A “bendy” chassis doesn’t have the dynamic abilities of a solid one. Rather choose the more affordable 220i or 420i Convertible if you want to drive topless. But if you still want all that power – and a car that feels unflappable – order the 240i Coupé.

Temba writes: I drive a 2013 VW Polo Vivo with the 1.6 engine. I want to upgrade to the new Polo, but it has a much smaller engine of 1.0 litres. They say it has a turbo for extra power, but how reliable is a turbo? Will it be expensive to repair?

Justus says: Turbo-chargers are more reliable than they were 10 years ago, so you can buy the Polo without fear of it’s blowing it’s turbo.

                                                                        Image: Quickpic

The Polo comes with a three-year or 120 000km warranty included in the sales price and this will cover the car for mechanical failure. When the warranty expires, buy a new one or sell the car.

Jacques writes: I read your explanation to George’s question regarding buying a used Ford Ranger 2.2 manual 4x2 with great interest. What are the electrical weaknesses that you mention in your reply to George? Also, should I buy the auto or manual version?

Justus says: The weaknesses in question relate primarily to the charging system, which appeared to have negative effects on the battery’s lifespan.

Simply put, the batteries would deteriorate prematurely, leading to all manner of strange errors in the electronic systems.

                                                                          Image: Ford South Africa

The other weaknesses involve mainly convenience and comfort items, such as the door electrics and infotainment system, which could stop working, and the system may refuse to lock the doors or close the windows.

The infotainment issues tended to reset themselves with a power-off/reboot, while the convenience system malfunctions would usually only be remedied by auto electricians or the dealerships.

As for which model derivative to buy, the manual is a safer bet than the automatic.

Talk to us

Do you have a car question you’d like Justus to answer?

Using the words CAR QUESTIONS in the subject line, email justus.visagie@media24.com. You can also SMS the keywords CAR QUESTIONS and your query to 35697. Please include your name. SMSes cost R1.50

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