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Reader's test: VW Polo GTI

2011-06-27 11:43

Lawrence “The Stig” Twala

FUTURE CLASSIC: Reader Lawrence says his GTI is "perfect for everyday driving".

When you talk about hot hatches, there was a time when Volkswagen’s Golf was considered a benchmark amongst its peers, notably Mk 1, 2 and 3. Somehow Mk 5 was good but its peers, the Ford Focus ST, Renault Megane R26 were brilliant and stole the show on certain key aspects that defines a true hot hatch.

Then there was the introduction of the Mk3 Polo GTI to the South African market, but Opel’s Corsa OPC and Ford’s Fiesta ST were far too superior.


The Mk5 Polo GTI is powered by VW's award-winning 132 kW 1.4 TSI engine that uses both a supercharger and turbocharger to power it up. Not only does the Polo embarrass the Golf 5.1 on accelerating from 0-100 in 6.9 sec, I’m tempted to say it has now established itself as a true hot hatch.


The interior is defined by quality finishes all around accompanied by red stitches. The driving position is the same as the Golf. The suede leather seats are comfy and have a heating function.   

I manage about 5.9 litres per 100km, which is not bad for a rocket. This car epitomise what a car should be: it has speed, is fuel efficient and is classy. In fact, the Polo is perfect for everyday driving due to it being economical, especially when petrol costs are so high these days.


It’s hard to find fault with this car. It’s so brilliant in most key aspects that I actually had to get out of the car and notice those rims; VW could have done much better job.

It doesn’t come cheap though. At R260 000, a service plan is excluded and you are looking at between R10 000 and R13 000 for a service or maintenance plan.

All-in-all, this is a brilliant car that blows away the competition and has all the ingredients for being a future classic car. It will be interesting to see what the competition have in store to challenge this maniac. I’m a man of few words and I can only let this car do the talking on the road.

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