I consider myself a tough customer when it’s comes to leaving an impression, and when I had the opportunity to test the all-new 2018 Polo beats edition, I thought that it, wouldn’t be able to blow me away. I was certain there’s no way that a 300watt sound system and a 1.0tsi engine could enthuse me.
But let me tell you something, VW proved to me that my opinion could be swayed. This car was magnificently crafted from inside to out, from the ‘beats’ foil on the bonnet and roof, to the cloth and semi-leather seats with touches of red and light grey to give the interior a funky feel. The 16 inch ‘Torsby’ rim with the black diamond look from GTI range, instantly gives the Polo beats a sportier look and the limo style rear tinted glass added some character.
Being the ‘Beats’edition, the car proudly wears a ‘B’ badge on the outside of the door pillars, on the door sill protector’s, on the tweeters as well as a customized message on the composition media system (CMS) which reads, ‘Welcome to Volkswagen, Beats audio’. I personally did some investigation into what sound systems is in the car and I could only find two tweeters in the fronts pillars, four woofers, one in each door, and one subwoofer, which is cleverly hidden next to the spare wheel bin in some sort of plastic enclosure. All this powered by an 8-channel Panasonic amplifier which is mounted under the passenger seat. This sound system is obviously not going to have your mother’s glass cabinet rattling, but it will give you more clarity and a punchier bass line that is rather impressive for a ‘standard’ system.
During my first day testing the Polo there was one thing which was very apparent to me…there is no replacement for displacement. This 1.0tsi was a great performer engine from start but initially I kept getting annoyed at the turbo lag. This could be a result of pairing this 1.0 tsi with a 5-speed manual gearbox, but I found that I had to drive the car in the sweet spot of above 2500rpm, only then would the car get into boost and perform like a champ, but don’t expect to take a steep hill in 4th gear and think that this engine is going to make loads of torque. We must remember it’s only a 1.0 Three-cylinder, and although the fuel consumption is amazing, this car was not built to win races. I felt I had to put my mind into ‘DSG mode’ and manually change gears as if it were an automatic, only then did this car have a satisfactory drive.
My particular model came in black with the sporty red stripe on roof and bonnet, which I think added to its appeal. This car got all sorts of attention everywhere I went, even my neighbor’s Grandmother came out of the house to congratulate me on my ‘new wheels’, she said she noticed how beautiful the car is through her kitchen window and she just had to commend me. Well done VW, the Beats Edition has proved to me that you have built a car that can be appreciated by young and old people alike.
One of the nifty features on the media system was the Think Blue feature, which to me is essentially an interactive driving system, that felt a lot like playing a game whilst driving. If you drive well, you get a good score from the system, but any reckless driving and the system would dock you some points, and this system resets itself every time the car is put on and off. Apart from the interactive driving system there is a host of drivers assistance features such as parking sensors, park assist, rear view camera and adaptive cruise control which were included on the model I had but you are welcome to add many optional extras. When it comes to colour the Beats edition is only available in three colours, Flash red, Deep black pearl and white silver metallic, and the upholstery only has one option which is the standard beats black, red and grey, with beats logo.
For an additional R12,900 you can help your 2018 Polo stand out from the rest by adding the beats package or if you prefer performance, you can wait for the GTI version to be launched. Nonetheless the Polo beats would make an excellent daily driver that will make your driving experience an absolute pleasure, and like me, you will find yourself taking the long way home just so you can spend as much time as possible behind the wheel, and the best part is that you will ask yourself if this petrol gauge is actually working because this car consumes such a little fuel.
VW has their marketing spot on because when they say ‘beware the confidence’, they are not lying. You get so much attention in this car that you will feel more confident for sure.