Five things to know about the new 2021 Volkswagen Polo
Though Wednesday's controversial internet leak may have dampened proceedings somewhat, Volkswagen on Thursday morning officially whipped the covers off its new facelifted sixth-generation Polo hatchback. Here are five key things you should know about it:
1: More tech across the board
In a world where consumers seem to care more about technology than the actual driving experience, VW has gone and given its new Polo a far greater spread of standard gizmos. According to the press release every model in the range will now come equipped with ultra-bright LED headlights and LED tail light clusters, a digital instrument cluster, touchscreen infotainment system and a multifunction steering wheel, among other things.
2: It can almost drive itself
The new Polo uses technologies that have previously been the preserve of higher vehicle classes. For example, there is the optional assist system IQ.Drive Travel Assist. Available for the first time in the Polo range, this cutting-edge system brings together the new predictive ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) and Lane Assist — which now comes as standard in every Polo — to create a new assist system that enables partly automated driving.
3: New trim levels
The revitalised Polo line-up now boasts four new model derivatives.
Kicking things off is the entry-level Polo that's aimed at budget-conscious buyers. Be this as it may it does come equipped with an impressive amount of kit as standard. In addition to those new LED head- and taillights we mentioned before, customers can expect to find lane assist, a multifunction steering wheel, a new centre airbag plus electrically-adjusted and heated side mirrors. Other niceties include an eight-inch 'Digital Cockpit' instrument cluster, Bluetooth and a Composition Media audio system with a 6.5-inch monitor.
Next up is the Life that includes additional standard features such as 15-inch rather than 14-inch wheels, App-Connect, a centre armrest with an additional USB-C port in the middle of the passenger compartment and a leather steering wheel and gear knob.
Identifiable by its IQ.Light LED matrix headlights, the Style sports chrome-look crossbars on its front grille, LED fog lights and 15-inch Ronda alloy wheels. Its upgraded cabin is home to Park Distance Control plus a larger 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro (including image of caller, Coverflow, map view and Slide Show), background lighting and an eight-inch Infotainment system Ready2Discover, which includes App-Connect Wireless.
The flagship R-Line really ups the visual ante with a unique bodykit all its own. In the front bumper, the high-gloss black cross and longitudinal bars of the air intakes and their surround give the nose of the Polo a much more aggressive appearance. IQ.Light LED matrix headlights and LED fog lights are fitted as standard. A diffuser — once again in high-gloss black — with chrome-look integrated exhaust panels helps to distinguish this range-topper from its lesser siblings. Finishing things off in style is a set of sporty 16-inch Valencia lightweight alloy wheels that are fitted to the Polo R-Line as standard fare.
4: No changes beneath the bonnet
We expected some powertrain tweaks but we were wrong — the Polo will keep rolling on with the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo motor in two states of tune (70kW and 85kW). These can be paired to either a five-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission. The GTI model will of course still make use of the 2.0-litre turbocharged EA888 engine.
5: Yes, of course it's coming to SA
Volkswagen has confirmed that Mzansi can expect to see the new facelifted Polo hatchback in the first quarter of 2022. Pricing and final specification will be announced closer to that time.
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