Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
4 minute read
4 Dec 2021
8:15 am

New VW Polo: here’s what we know about TSI and GTI

Charl Bosch

Facelifted version of South African favourite will be rolled out locally early in the new year.

New VW Polo R-Line in Reef Blue Metallic.

An updated version of one of South Africa’s favourite nameplates, the Volkswagen Polo, is making its highly-anticipated arrival early next year.

The facelifted VW Polo is expected to kick off a busy year for Wolfsburg. A confirmed product roll-out for 2022 includes the updated T-Roc in the third quarter, the revised T-Cross around the same time, plus the all-new Taigo.

Volkswagen will also reveal the eagerly awaited Golf R and soon after, the Tiguan R. The year will end with the similarly highly awaited all-new Amarok spun-off of the new Ford Ranger.

New VW Polo kicks off 2022

Before all this happens though, the new year for Wolfsburg kicks-off with the updated VW Polo and Polo GTI. A vital model both locally and internationally, the revised Polo will once again be made at the Kariega plant.

The facility is branded by Wolfsburg as “Polo Central” due to it having become one of the most important since model production started with the fourth generation of the hatchback in 2002.

Of the estimated 18 million Polos produced worldwide since 1975, a total of 700 000 have come from the Eastern Cape plant with South Africa also ranking second behind Germany as the biggest market for the VW Polo GTI.

ALSO READ: Volkswagen lifts the lid on facelift Polo’s pricing

How much power?

In line with global markets, the VW Polo will have a choice of two completely new trim-levels: base and Life. The familiar R-Line becomes a designation of its own. Completing the line-up is the GTI.

The new VW Polo R-Line rides on 16-inch alloy wheels.

For the first time since the Polo’s reveal, the powertrain options will be an all-TSI affair. This comprises the proven 1.0-litre three-cylinder in two states of tune; 70kW/175Nm and 85kW/200Nm and the 147kW/320Nm 2.0-litre in the GTI.

The choice of transmissions has also been cut with the 70 kW variant coming as a standard with a five-speed manual, and the 85 kW a seven-speed DSG. Like the latter, the VW Polo GTI also only comes with the self-shifter.

The new VW Polo GTI is said to reach 100 km/h from a standstill in 6.7 seconds.


Putting emphasis on technology and connectivity, the VW Polo’s specification sheet has been given a complete overhaul in response to not only market trends, but also customer demand.

This means the standard fitting of the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and the Composition Colour infotainment system with App-Connect.

Other standard features include LED head-and-taillights, 14-inch steel wheels, all-around electric windows and a new multi-function steering wheel.

Living the Polo Life

Upping the ante, the Life comes equipped with front and rear parking sensors, folding electric mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and front armrest.

It will also have 15-inch alloy wheels, lumbar support for the driver and passenger’s seats and an additional type-C USB port for rear passengers.

Aside from its sportier bumpers and door sills, additional items on the R-Line include 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and the Composition Media infotainment system.

Other features include wireless smartphone charger, R-Line fabric seats and anodised matter grey inserts.

2022 Volkswagen Polo spec South Africa
The new VW Polo’s revised interior comes with a choice of three infotainment systems.

Riding on 17-inch alloys, the GTI builds on the R-Line by coming as standard with Volkswagen’s Matrix IQ LED headlights, the Dynamic Chassis Control system and Front Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking.

Four new colours

The new VW Polo will have a choice of four carryover colours: Pure White, Reflex Silver Metallic, Deep Black Pearl Effect and Reef Blue Metallic.

Four new hues are added to the range in Ascot Grey, Smoky Grey Metallic, Kings Red Metallic and Vibrant Violet Metallic.

Polo Sedan returns

Scheduled to arrive in the third quarter of 2022 will be the new VW Polo Sedan. The current Polo Sedan is based on the previous generation Polo, which has been rebranded to the Polo Vivo.

According to Steffen Knapp, head of the Volkswagen Passenger Car brand, the new Polo Sedan will offer almost the same amount of interior space as the Jetta did.


During its launch in January, the new VW Polo line-up will consist of only the 70 kW models and the GTI. The 85 kW variants are expected to be rolled out locally in March.

All models are covered by a three year/120 000 km warranty will come as standard, along with a three year/45 000 km service plan.

  • Polo 1.0 TSI – R311 800
  • Polo 1.0 TSI Life – R350 000
  • Polo GTI – R489 400

For more information on the new VW Polo, click here.