Viva la Vivo!

I remember attending the launch of the spectacularly popular Polo Vivo last year and literally feeling the South African market jump for joy. One of the most beloved brands – and beloved vehicles – to have graced our roads, the Polo Hatch, in its sixth generation now, remains a brilliant small family vehicle. Our partners at Lindsay Saker Edenvale, running numerous specials at present, also boast having the Polo Vivo on their showroom floor.

The Concept:

Launched last year, the Polo Vivo is a familiar, reliable and family-friendly hatchback vehicle – with a starting price of around R191 400, you can kit your Vivo out to be budget-friendly or as a GT-line hot-hatch!

The Looks:

Not all change is good, and with the new Polo Vivo, the designers have done an excellent job of keeping it familiar enough – with sufficient refreshing – to make it look modern and vibey. The new grille has the same clear horizontal lines that distinguish the new VW range from the older siblings, while the inside is clean-cut, simple and contemporary. The Polo Vivo isn’t here to confuse you, make your life difficult, or give you an overload of stuff to pay attention to – it looks like part of the family, and it functions the same.

The Feel:

What I love about the new Polo Vivo is that although there are enough new touches throughout the cabin (and with some updated styling on the exterior), it doesn’t feel like a spaceship or a fighter jet when you slip behind the wheel. There is something comforting about getting into a VW, and even more so the new Vivo, because everything is so sensibly laid out. It’s almost like the designers thought ahead, trying to anticipate exactly what you would need, and putting it right there, within reach. It’s comfortable (although not the most spacious at the back), but is ideal for school runs, the working mom, and the vibey executive. Naturally suited to being a student car too, it looks funky enough to fit in with the campus crowd!

The Features:

The range of Vivo’s allows you to buy according to your budget – but every Vivo is equipped with air con, power steering, height-and-reach adjustable steering column, as well as airbags and ISOFIX mounting points for baby seats. A radio with SD card, USB and Aux is available, and can stream Bluetooth and App-Connect through four-speakers. On the Highline and GT models, which are slightly pricier, you get a premium six-speaker sound system, cruise control, and a few extra appearance enhancements.

The Drive:

Technically there are five models in the range: the cheapest Vivo available is the 1.4-litre Trendline, with an engine that produces 55 kW of power and 130 Nm of torque. This is the variant that does the best in terms of fuel consumption too, using only 5.7-litres per 100km. In the middle of the range is the 1.6 Comfortline Tiptronic or Highline model, which features a more powerful engine and an optional automatic gearbox. The top-of-the-range GT model is the most stylish and offers a powerful engine that can have you hurtling down the N1 at 196 km/h (if that was legal, of course). We took the entry-level 1.4 -litre for a spin and found it to be a really easy, comfortable drive. Having had numerous VW’s over the course of my life – including two of the Vivo’s predecessor Polos, I loved that there is a confidence in the way it drives. It is light as a feather to manoeuvre but can accelerate without hesitation when you hit the pedal.

The Score:

We love that the Vivo has such a broad range, with costs ranging from R191 400 to R262 000 for the GT version; we score this reliable hatchback at 8 crowns out of 10.

Where to Find It:

Edenvale Lindsay Saker Volkswagen have an interactive website where you can view their products and services: www.lindsaysakeredenvale.co.za.

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