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Volkswagen Polo Vivo Mswenko


Whenever a South African success story is told about a motor vehicle, Volkswagen invariably gets a mention. From the Beetle to the Golf Mk1 to Kombi,


By Thami Masemola on 22 Apr 2021
Whenever a South African success story is told about a motor vehicle, Volkswagen invariably gets a mention. From the Beetle to the Golf Mk1 to Kombi, we seem to really enjoy our time with the VW brand. And lately that mantle has been taken over by the Polo range, including the Polo Vivo, currently the country’s second-best selling passenger car, after the Polo.

Launched in 2018 here, the Polo Vivo is a sales star in its segment. Since the launch of the first-generation model in 2010, Vivo has sold over 260 000 units nationally. Buyers are keen on a good, solid car with proper aftersales support. The Vivo seems to tick the right boxes then, and the latest edition should further enhance this position. Called Mswenko (swanky or swag in the Nguni languages), the car gives extra life to the range, which is still some months away from being refreshed via facelift or other update.

Mswenko then is about standing out from the crowd using looks and features. The main of these are the Mswenko side decals, a black painted roof, 16-inch alloy wheels in Anthracite, mirror covers in two colours and a chrome-coloured exhaust pipe tip. Mswenko is sold in these colours; Reef Blue, Pure White, Limestone Grey and Reflex Silver.

Because Mswenko is aimed at the youth, or the young-at-heart, tech features and some lively colours are a must here. For example, we see the interior being fitted with Ocean Blue seats, which may not be desirable to a more mature buyer. Other standout differences from regular Vivo models include silver dashboard inserts and an Anthracite headliner. App Connect allows users to connect certain apps on their smart phones to the car and use them normally as they would on their devices.

Powering the Vivo Mswenko is the company naturally aspirated 1.4-litre engine that produces 63kW at 5 000rpm, and 132Nm of torque at 3 750rpm. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission that often feels like it needs that long sixth gear. At the Reef the car will accelerate from 0 – 100km/h in 13.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 177km/h. Where the car really shines is in fuel consumption; it will achieve a tank range of over 750km during mixed daily driving.
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