Volkswagen South Africa has quietly updated its Polo Sedan, handing the ageing model a front end seemingly inspired by the Mk5 Polo GTI.

Imported from India (where it’s known as the Vento and boasts a 1,0 TSI engine), the Polo Sedan is the only surviving saloon model in VW SA’s current line-up. Launched locally in 2010, the sedan was given a refresh in 2015.

Now, some ten years after its arrival in South Africa, the Wolfsburg-based firm’s local arm has made a few small changes to its small sedan, which is effectively a three-box version of the fifth-generation Polo hatch.

The most noticeable is the adoption of the Mk5 Polo GTI front end, including the honeycomb upper grille (sans the GTI badge and red stripe, of course, and replacing the previous horizontal slats) and the trapezoidal lower air-intake with the same finish. A new faux-diffuser round back likewise gains the honeycomb treatment, alongside new reflectors and revised taillamps.

Nothing GTI-inspired under the bonnet, though, where the previous engine options soldier on. That means there’s again the choice of a naturally aspirated 1,4-litre petrol engine worth 63 kW/132 N.m and a similarly free-breathing 1,6-litre petrol unit offering 77 kW/155 N.m. Transmission options include a five-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed automatic cog-swapper, with Trendline and Comfortline again the two available trim levels.

For the time being, VW SA still lists a diesel-powered variant – employing a 1,5-litre oil-burner generating 81 kW and 250 N.m – but we have it on good authority this derivative is on the way out.

From what we can tell, nothing’s been changed inside, although a direct specification comparison suggests the Polo Sedan’s hooter has been downgraded from a dual-tone to a single-tone item. The exterior colour palette, too, appears to have been tweaked, with Titanium Beige Metallic and Blue Silk Metallic falling away in favour of a new Sunset Red hue.

Markets such as Russia, of course, have upgraded to a new Polo Sedan, complete with increased dimensions and the option of a TSI powerplant. In South America, meanwhile, there’s the Virtus, which rides on the same MQB-A0 platform as the current-generation Polo hatchback.

Pricing:
Volkswagen Polo Sedan 1,4 63 kW Trendline: R244 300
Volkswagen Polo Sedan 1,6 77 kW Trendline: R266 700
Volkswagen Polo Sedan 1,4 63 kW Comfortline: R267 000
Volkswagen Polo Sedan 1,6 77 kW Comfortline: R289 700
Volkswagen Polo Sedan 1,6 77 kW Comfortline AT: R306 200
Volkswagen Polo Sedan 1,5 TDI 81 kW Comfortline: R305 600