Polo TSI Bluemotion
VW have dominated the hatchback segment of the market since before I could drive and there’s little wonder when they produce little gems like the Polo TSI Bluemotion.
Styling is crisper than on previous models of its 40 year history. Yes that’s correct, forty years in production. South Africa didn’t get the Polo right away as the Citi Golf was still in production when it was launched in Wolfsburg.
This little beauty continues the overseas trend towards smaller turbo charged engines to reduce emissions and consequently aerodynamics, weight reduction and new materials are continuously being developed to achieve lower fuel consumption rates for the urban commuter.
The TSI Bluemotion mates a 5-speed gearbox to a 1.0 litre petrol turbocharged motor and delivers a surprising 70kW. Fuel consumption is claimed at a miserly 4.2 l/100km but we could only manage 4.9 on the urban cycle. In our defense the super low fuel consumption can probably only be achieved without switching off the auto stop-start option.
The open road is the domain of the TSI though with ample power to accelerate for overtaking and easy cruising with the excellent sound system for company.
Passengers in the rear seats have ample leg room and the driver’s seat adjusts with ease to a comfortable position. The cd player, SD card and USB readers are all neatly tucked away from prying eyes in the glove compartment and don’t clutter the center console.
It was extremely easy to connect the Bluetooth to my Samsung mobile but not as impressive as the voice command in the CX-3 we drove recently. The large touch screen is a pleasure to navigate while the steering wheel is jam packed with switches and navigation buttons to control everything from mobile phone to audio system.
If there is one item in the Polo which doesn’t scream premium quality it is the indicator and light stalks.
The Polo has a 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating! Safety is almost guaranteed with 4 airbags including side protection and driver and front seat passenger airbags. The wheels are 15″ alloys shod with 185/60 rubber and road-holding is superb as a result. Under steer, over steer and loss of grip are monitored and corrected by the ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) system.
The Polo is very well built, the doors close with a solid thunk and the seats are comfortable. The Bluemotion TSI we drove included an excellent climate control system that we put through it’s paces in the recent heatwave. Slightly unusual in this class is the centre armrest for the driver. I found it to be in the way whenever the handbrake was required but in open-road-motoring it added to the comfort of the cabin.
For those wanting to be more frugal the Bluemotion suggests gear changes to optimise fuel consumption. For those wanting to experience the sheer pleasure of the responsive engine, these changes can be ignored blissfully.
Top speed is claimed at 191 km/h and acceleration from a standing start is around the 10.5 second mark. All very impressive when one remembers the power plant only displaces 999 cc.
The model we drove was fitted with R 23 000 of creature comforts and no doubt they added to the experience of the Bluemotion but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this car to anyone looking for a hatch in the premium sector.
The retail price of the Polo Bluemotion is R235 800 and you’ll have to put in a little extra if you want that climate control (R3 550), bi-Xenon headlights (R8 650), front and rear park distance control (R3 050) and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with rain sensor (R3 700). It’s up to you if you need all of these extras but we would definitely recommend the climate control and the front and rear PDC. The large touch screen display gives great detail feedback from the park distance sensors. Another fantastic feature is the way the headlights appear to shine around the corner when turning, greatly enhancing the view ahead.
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Price when driven: R 235 800
Warranty: 3 years / 120 000 km
Service Plan: 3 years / 45 000km
Service Interval: 15 000km