• Monday, July 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Crossover for all occasions

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Today, there are quite a handful of automotive manufacturers that have gone the route of bulking up their smaller cars, raising rdieheights and then selling them to the motoring public as lifestyle crossovers.

Volkswagen did this some years ago when it gave its Polo added muscle and created the CrossPolo

This vehicle which is now in its second generation, has achieved  moderate success and on average, the carmaker sells 110 units a month, but is quite pricey. Since the original CrossPolo’s launch, many new contenders have entered the market  and the ones that seem to have the biggest impact are cheapies such as the Renault Sandero Stepway which does 230 units a month.

It is a vehicle that offers the best elements of a crossover at the price of an entry-level hatchback. VW decided to take a page out of Renault’s book and emulate the formula with the budget-oriented bestseller  Polo Vivo, In excess of  2,500 Vivos leave VW dealers showroom each month.

Enter the Maxx. Based on the Vivo 1.6-liter Trendline, the Maxx looks funky with its raised suspension that has increased the ground clearance from 115 to 141 mm,unique 17-inch alloy wheels, colour-coded exterior mirrors, aluminum roof rails, sporty decals along the bottom of the doors  and dual exhaust tailpipes. Inside, the max gets a titanium-look facia.

By comparison, this beefed-up Vivo boasts a similar driving feel to the Vivo GT.  The 1.6-liter engine delivers 77 kW at 5250 r/min and 155 N.m at 3,500 r/min. It wont raise your blood pressure, but itcertainly has charm. It is the perfectly judged gearing of the five-speed manual transmission that makes this  Maxx shine. Drivers can make full use of the rev range and wring as much out of this engine as possible.

This translates into healthy acceleration times, so overtaking is not a laborious process. Adding to this is the well-weighted steering and slick five-speed manual transmission. Even the handling is impressive. Put all of this together and it’s pretty easy to forget that one is driving a humble 1.6-liter engine car.

The cabin has aluminum inserts on the pedals, new paint scheme on the centre console, power front windows, manual aircon and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with chromed inserts. In 2012, VW sold 34 873 models of its Polo Vivo, which is manufactured at the VW’s South Africa’s plant in Uitenhage.

In GT, the ride appears stiffer than the standard Vivo’s and sometimes, it can feel slightly uncomfortable on uneven surfaces. For those who wants to sing along to their favourite tunes, the Maxx comes with an MP3-compatible audio system with USB and SD connections as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

Standard creature comforts include electric windows, manual air-conditioner and a three-spoke leather-covered steering wheel. In terms of safety, the Maxx is equipped with driver and passenger airbags, an immobilizer,central locking and ABS with EBD. The breaking helped Vivo achie a good rating ve an average 100 to 0 km/h stopping time of 3,1 seconds, which earns it a “good” rating scale.

In summary, the Maxx is not as cheap as some of its rivals and a service plan is optional. However, if you have your eyes on the CrossPolo, but it is not fall within your budget, the Maxx should be worth consideration. It is abeefy looking hatchback that offers fun driving experience and a generous amount of standard specification.

In the opinion of some industry followers, The VW CrossPolo is  a lot more solid than its rivals and looks a greta deal better too.  Put side by side its match-ups like the Renault Sandero Stepway, the Volkswagen Polo Vivo Maxx is the most expensive, but feels more solid that’s its rivals. It offers playful driving characteristics and a good amount of standard specification.

MIKE OCHONMA