South Africa
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Polo Vivo GT timely reminder of how much fun driving can be

Charismatic hatch lends a unique touch of Blackberry-ness to our iPhone world.

It’s not every day The Citizen Motoring gets to drive a car like the VW Polo Vivo GT.

Carmakers’ constant strives towards technological superiority and connectivity have resulted in many of their products becoming very sanitised. Cars with personalities are a dying breed in a world where your car sometimes needs more data for software upgrades than it requires fuel.

That is exactly why we enjoyed our week in the Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT so much. In offering simplistic driving fun with striking good looks and a rich heritage to boot, the VW Polo Vivo GT has a dashing personality that is hard to rival.

Polo Vivo GT vs GTI

Reserved for the Polo Vivo, the GT moniker should not be confused with the GTI performance offerings it shares a stable with. But in its unique way, it has managed to carve a little niche for itself in a proud long line of iconic Volkswagen hatchbacks that is interwoven into local automotive folklore.

The flagship of the second-generation locally built Polo Vivo, that has been around since 2018, the GT where recently given a few styling enhancements. While they might be subtle, they are crucial in keeping fresh a body design that is already 13 years old.

ALSO READ: Class act Volkswagen Polo and Polo Vivo show their worth

On the outside, the Polo Vivo GT now features 17-inch Mirabeau alloy wheels and silver side mirror caps. The black GT-decals on the doors and bootlid have in turn made way for silver.

While VW has added an eye-catching new colour called Wild Cherry Red metallic to the Vivo range, we thought the Reef Blue hue our test car was clad in provides a much better contrast along with the silver decals.

VW Polo Vivo GT wheels
VW Polo Vivo GT wheels
The Polo Vivo GT rides on 17-inch alloys. Picture: Jaco van der Merwe

ALSO READ: Polo Sedan excels in filling the void left by VW Jetta

Sporty touches

Inside, cloth inserts and stitch colour on the seats have changed from blue to red. Grey stitching now features on the gear lever and handbrake, while the floormats boast embroidered GT branding.

The sporty theme is further complemented by silver metallic finishings on the racing-style foot pedals.

There is no hiding from the fact that the Vivo’s cabin is dated, but the styling enhancements do lend to its overall charm. An old school charm that acts as a timely reminder of a bygone era when the focus of a cockpit was purely on functionality.

ALSO READ: VW Polo shows why it’s one of the most popular cars in Mzansi

A very basic infotainment system with actual turning knobs on top of three manual aircon selectors bereft of any fancy digital details are as good as it gets in the centre of the dashboard.

The simplistic theme is continued in the instrument cluster. Here two good ol’ analog dials flank a small TFT-screen which tells you all you need to know in basic monochrome display. This info, as well as the infotainment system, can be operated via buttons on the steering wheel. Not something you would automatically assume will feature in a car with mechanical window winders in the rear.

VW Polo Vivo GT cabin
VW Polo Vivo GT cabin
The cabin is basic and functional. Picture: Jaco van der Merwe

Fun to drive

Our choice of words in the next paragraph needs to be spot on. What we are trying to say is that any doubts over the Polo Vivo GT’s apparent Blackberry-ness in an iPhone world is quickly eradicated once you hit the road. But such an action would require turning a key (remember those?) and releasing a clutch (a what?) … which isn’t exactly supporting the narrative.

We’ll rather work our way back from the engine, which is less dated than the rest of the components. Setting the GT apart from its Polo Vivo siblings is its 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine borrowed from the Polo. This three-pot blown mill produces 81 kW of power and 200 Nm of torque. Quite an upgrade from the 63 kW/132 Nm 1.4-litre and 77 kW/153 Nm 1.6-litre garden variety derivatives.

ALSO READ: R4k a month can buy you a VW Polo, Polo Vivo or Ford Fiesta

Frugal Polo Vivo GT

While the engine might not pack the punch of a GTI product, its acceleration was always going to be outmatched by its fuel consumption. Claimed to sip only 4.6 litres of fuel per 100 km, this has to be the most frugal car VW has to offer.

We achieved fuel economy of 6.2 L/100 km while racking up a total of 290 km in and around Johannesburg. A number we thought was very credible. But when we did try and challenge the claimed number with a 71 km-trip from the East to the West Rand, we were astounded to not only match, but beat the claimed number with an incredible consumption figure of 4.4 L/100 km.

VW Polo Vivo GT rear
VW Polo Vivo GT rear
The VW Polo Vivo GT is an appealing package. Picture: Jaco van der Merwe

The TSI mill is mated to a six-speed manual transmission that sends the twist to the front wheels. This is the only six-speed manual box on offer across the entire Polo and Polo Vivo range. And it plays a major part in giving the GT its character.

ALSO READ: Polo Sedan a reality check for today’s woke generation

The clutch and gearbox combination make manual shifting ridiculously easy and great fun too. Add adequate power and easy handling to that and you have a level of driver satisfaction that’s hard to match. This enjoyment factor more than make up for the lack of fancy little modern features.


You simply can’t consider yourself a car enthusiast if the dashing Polo Vivo GT doesn’t strike a chord with your soul.

Some will argue that for R1300 more than the R341 800 Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT you can buy a Polo. But a garden variety 1.0 TSI 70 kW Polo simply does not have the personality of the charismatic GT. It should, therefore, be cherished before it is rendered obsolete in VW’s not-too-distant all-electric future.