Volkswagen Polo Vivo GTS

For the past few years, Volkswagen has been doing reasonably brisk business with a sporty "GT" version of the Vivo. Compared with a standard Vivo 1.6-litre, the GT (and the new GTS) merely offer racy visual addenda over and above a widely loved package. With the GTS, this concept has been refined, so you can feast your eyes on a roof painted in black, side mirror housings in gloss black, striking 16-inch Rivazza alloy wheels in a grey metallic gloss finish, two-tone GTS side decals and a few other GTS-specific details. It is also offered in five colours; besides the Reflex Silver of our test unit, Pure white, Flash red, Sunset red and Pepper gray are also available.

So, if you've got around R200 000 to spend and you want something that looks a bit racy, but can't afford to sacrifice the convenience of 5 doors and good cabin features, then the Vivo GTS may very well be a good fit for you. With decent sales figures in its first two months on sale, it would appear that Volkswagen has judged the local market perfectly once again. In theory, the Vivo GTS should not succeed. After all, it is based on the previous-generation Polo, which was never a dynamic superstar. And to turn it into a Vivo, Volkswagen had to strip out many of the things that made the previous Polo feel like such an upmarket vehicle.

And yet... at the price, the Vivo GTS offers a desirable mix of look-at-me styling, sharper handling, spaciousness and a classy, well-made cabin. There is no direct competitor at around the R200 000 mark, so the facts that the engine is too coarse and that the GTS badge doesn't come with extra performance are likely to have precious little impact on its appeal.

Pricing and Warranty
The Vivo GTS sells for R199 900, which includes Volkswagen's usual 3-years/120 000 km warranty. A service plan is optional and service intervals are scheduled for every 15 000 km.

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