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UITENHAGE, Eastern Cape – When Volkswagen SA confirmed its decision not to carry over the 1,2 TSI engine from the outgoing Polo range to the new generation, I was a little perplexed. Why? Well, that turbocharged four-cylinder mill is a genuine favourite of mine, which is saying something considering my generally less-than-positive stance on downsized engines.

In the new, sixth-generation Polo range, the only relatively large engine you can opt for it is the 2,0 TSI, which powers the GTI hot hatch that is due to arrive in South Africa later this year. That leaves the rest of the line-up to employ the 1,0 TSI three-cylinder engine, in one of two states of tune: 70 kW and 85 kW.

Of course, we’ve already had a taste of the 70 kW version, having enjoyed an exclusive pre-launch drive (read our full impression – including information on the benefits of moving to the MQB platform as well as design, inside and out – here).

The new 85 kW 1,0 TSI variant, though, essentially succeeds the 81 kW 1,2 TSI engine used in the outgoing generation. With more power and torque being produced from this smaller unit, the Highline-specification model feels a little more sprightly than before, particularly when mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Indeed, this output bump is evident in both urban and long-distance driving situations.

That said, when the revs climb, the otherwise refined 1,0 TSI sometimes feels a little overworked, with some engine noise (and a spot of typical three-pot vibration) making its way into the cabin. You might notice some turbo lag, too, although the quick-thinking DSG again assists here.

At R302 200, the Highline model comes standard with items such as VW’s Composition Media infotainment system, sports seats, cruise control and ambient LED lighting. Whether consumers will be willing to pay R22 500 more for this over the 1,0 TSI 70 kW Comfortline DSG model remains to be seen. Interestingly, the Highline model also comes close to treading on the toes of the Golf 1,0 TSI Comfortline, which comes in at R308 900 (albeit in six-speed manual guise).

Ultimately, the Polo in flagship trim is a comfortable, capable and above-all refined product, but I’d argue that there is better value to be found lower down in the range. And while I’ll certainly miss the old 1,2 TSI (and a small handful of buyers will perhaps be put off by the lack of a four-cylinder option in the standard hatchback), there’s little doubt that the Polo will retain its place near the summit of SA’s list of best-selling passenger vehicles.

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Cloth upholstery: Standard
  • Leather upholstery: Optional
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Split rear seat: Standard
  • Folding rear seat: Standard
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Optional
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Tyre pressure sensor monitor deflation detection system: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Curtain airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 6
  • Lane change blindspot warning assist monitor: Optional
  • Attention assist rest assist break alert: Standard
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Approach home safe lighting time delay park headlights: Optional
  • Engine auto Stop Start idle stop ecostop: Standard
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Driving mode switch eg sport comfort: Eco
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Navigation: Standard
  • Cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Voice control: Standard
  • CD player: Optional
  • USB port: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: Standard
  • Central locking: remote (opt keyless)
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Key less access start hands free key: Standard
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Optional
  • Auto dim interior mirror: Optional
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Heated exterior mirrors: Standard
  • Sun roof: opt panoramic
  • Panoramic roof: Optional
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Optional
  • Xenon headlights: opt LED
  • Frontfog lamps lights: Standard
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Rear fog lamps lights: Standard
  • Camera for park distance control: opt rear
  • Rear spoiler: Standard
  • Towbar trailer hitch: Optional
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Fuel range average: 851 km
  • Driven wheels: front
  • Driven wheels quantity: 2
  • Gearratios quantity: 6
  • Gearshift: manual
  • Transmission type: manual
  • Front tyres: 195/55 R16
  • Reartyres: 195/55 R16
  • Length: 4053 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1751 mm
  • Height: 1461 mm
  • Wheel base: 2548 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 10.6 m
  • Load volume / capacity: 350 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1046 kg
  • Load carrying capacity / payload: 604
  • Gross weight (GVM): 1650 kg
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 40l
  • Fuel consumption average: 4.7 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 107g/km
  • Emission control phase Euro EU level: EU 6
  • Power maximum: 85 kW
  • Power maximum total: 85 kW
  • Power peak revs: 5000 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: 81.3 kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 200 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 2000-3500 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 200 Nm
  • Torque to weight ratio: 191 Nm/ton
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 9.5s
  • Maximum top speed: 200 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 999 cc
  • Engine size: 1.0l
  • enginedetailshort: 1.0T
  • Engine + detail: 1.0 turbo
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i3
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 12
  • Turbocharger: Standard
  • Warranty time (years): 3
  • Warranty distance (km): 120000 km
  • Service plan: Standard
  • Service plan time (years): 3
  • Service plan time (distance): 45000 km
  • Service interval (distance): 15000 km
  • Brand: Volkswagen
  • Status: c
  • Segment: passenger car
  • MMcode: 640276792
  • MMVariant: POLO 1.0 TSI HIGHLINE (85KW)
  • Introdate: 2018/10/01
  • DuoportarecordID: VolkPolo4h20

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