An amazing pocket rocket has just been launched.
Volkswagen call it the Polo GTi.
A few months ago we reported about the Mazda MX-5 and how it had a grin factor. You just can’t help grinning while driving it. Well, this new VW Polo GTi also has a huge grin factor. It has four modes, eco, normal, sport and individual, which lets you fiddle a bit with the settings. Put it into sport mode and the GTi snorts, howls, growls and puts you into grin mode. Only beware, the fuel consumption will soar.
Polo GTI is powered by a 2.0-litre turbopetrol engine with 147 kW and 320 Nm of torque like its bigger sister the Golf, but detuned in the Polo.
This means the Polo GTI will sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 237 km/h. Fuel consumption is claimed by VW to be 5.9 L/100 km. From my experience with the car you will battle to get that figure. Depending on how much grinning you do your Polo will sip or guzzle. With enthusiastic driving expect around 9 L/100km or more.
The standard Polo GTI has sport suspension as standard but can be equipped with Sport Select suspension with active dampers as a quite expensive option.
Needless to say this little car is a gem to drive. Just the thing for a wealthy car enthusiast.
The interior is finished in either black, red, grey or chrome. Titan black accents are used to finish off the interior. The dashboard panel can be ordered in Deep Iron Metallic or Velvet Red as tested. Typical red GTI stitching is seen on the leather multifunction steering wheel, gear lever, floor mats and outer seat surfaces although the car we tested had grey stitching on the seats. The seats with the red trim costs R9 850 extra, but they are heated.
The cabin of the Polo GTi is pretty awesome and seriously well thought out with good ergonomics, and it appears really well put together. The chunky multifunction steering wheel is flat at the bottom and almost oval giving the car even more of a sporty feel. The new design and layout of the controls on the wheel and the paddles just behind the wheel are the best I have yet used. Very close to being a piece of art.
The seats are comfortable and supportive.
In a nutshell, a cosy, comfortable, classy, compact cabin.
The GTi is offered with a myriad of options, including:
Volkswagens’ latest Active Info Display. The high-resolution, 10.25-inch display can be adjusted using the ‘View’ button on the steering wheel or further configured via the standard 8.0-inch Composition Media infotainment system.
The panoramic sunroof is great, if a little pricey.
The advanced safety package which consists of parallel park assist, park distance control, rear view camera, blind spot detection and electric folding mirrors at a cost of R11 850.
You do not need a GTi, Polo or Golf, it has much more ability than you need for everyday motoring, but if you want a small high performance car, because you want one, the Polo ticks quite a few boxes, provided you do not have a large family, as it is on the compact side. It really is fun to drive… even slowly.
Pricing for the bog standard VW Polo GTI is R375 900. The example we drove is quite fancy and costs a little more, R423 900 according to the online configurator.
Additional items fitted to the car as tested: Metallic paint R950, Navigation with mapcare R12 150, Active info display R8 650, Park distance control R3 150, Light and vision pack R3 850, Luxury pack R8 650, Panoramic sunroof R10 550.
The option list is longer.
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.
Some alternatives will be the Mazda MX-5, Audi A1, Opel Adam, Abarth 595, Mini Cooper or Renault Clio RS.