Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 10 June 2019

Last year we saw the introduction of the 6th-generation Volkswagen Polo. Packed with the latest in technology and riding on the well established and impressive MQB platform, the latest-generation Polo has really moved the goal posts further forward. We spent some time with the hot pocket hatch that is the new Polo GTI.

Performance, Power, Perfection

With its 2.0-litre turbopetrol engine which is now offered for the first time in the Polo GTI, the new car sprints from 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds, just 0.2 of a second behind its mighty bigger sibling, the Golf GTI. The motor powering the latest-generation Polo GTI is a detuned version of the engine found in the Golf GTI which packs 47 kW and 320 Nm of torque with all power pushed through Volkswagen’s excellent DSG automated transmission which is always ready for the shift.

1The standard Polo GTI features sport suspension as standard but can be optionally equipped with Sport Select suspension with active dampers. A clever XDS differential lock is offered with this latest-generation model, which further enhances traction and cornering ability of the Polo GTI. The small dimensions of the Polo body coupled with its ride on the VW Audi group MQB platform make for what is a delicate balance of fun, yet true sure-footedness throughout the drive.

Sensual, Sporting Styling

The Polo GTI rides on new 17-inch ‘Milton Keynes’ alloys. As we have come used to with GTI’s, the familiar red GTI stripe is present on the grille runs through into the sporting Polo “honeycomb” grille. The option of LED headlights helps make for what is a more grown-up and menacing face when compared to even that of its predecessor.

The Polo GTI features a customised interior in either black, red, grey and chrome. This culmination of materials and colours makes for what is a sporty and very fitting interior cabin space. On a technological front, The Polo GTI can also be optionally equipped with Volkswagens’ latest Active Info Display or equipped with the standard 8.0-inch Composition Media infotainment system. The media system allows for a lot of customisation, VW’s very intuitive and clean based layout as seen in the likes of the Golf and a wealth of media sources on hand including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Digital instrumentation cluster is also on hand with a wealth of options and even upfront navigation.

2From a safety front, the optional Advanced Safety Package is also available and includes Parallel Park Assist, Park Distance Control, Rear View camera, Blind Spot Detection and electric folding mirrors. Rear traffic alert is offered in conjunction with blind spot monitoring, and on top of all of this, the Polo GTI features the likes of 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, emergency braking, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with traction control, all to further aid the vehicles driver alert systems.

Conclusion & SA Pricing

Over time the Polo GTI has grown-up somewhat, but it has done so while retaining all its fun-loving elements. With more power than ever, a lot more technological and safety advancements and a big upgrade in overall performance, this new car is set to keep the Polo GTI’s legacy burning strong.

To top things off, Volkswagen South Africa has managed to offer the Polo GTI at a very reasonable price point, and one which has not been affected in the same way many other manufacturers have, thanks to the Polo’s local manufacture. As the saying goes “Local Is Lekker.”

R394,500 (Incl.VAT)

The new Polo GTI comes standard with a 3-year/120 000 km warranty, 3-year/45 000 km service plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.       

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