5 Alternatives to the New VW Polo Vivo


Is the pricing of the new Volkswagen Polo Vivo out of your reach? What other cars should you be looking at before laying down your cash? Here are 5 budget hatchbacks that you should consider before making your final decision.

So, the new Polo Vivo has arrived. It’s an all-new car and it’s based on the fifth-generation Polo which is a good thing when it comes to build quality and ride quality. The interior is also more upmarket with some big car features, all good reasons for Volkswagen to charge a premium for a product that now sits in the upper reaches of the budget car tree.

Read our launch review of the Volkswagen Polo Vivo here!

The Polo Vivo offers 3 engine options including a 1.4 (55 kW/130 Nm), 1.6 (63 kW/132 Nm - 77 kW/153 Nm) and a turbocharged, 3-cylinder 1.0-litre engine (81 kW/200 Nm). Buyers also have the choice of 3 trim levels including Trendline, Comfortline and Highline.

As for Polo Vivo pricing, the range starts at R179 900 and goes all the way up to R245 000 for the range-topping Polo Vivo GT model. Budget? Who said budget? For price-sensitive buyers, pricing of the Vivo may very well be a push too far and if that’s the case, what’s the next best thing?

Here are 5 alternative budget cars that you should consider...

Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL

There’s an all-new Swift due in South Africa soon but the current Swift 1.2 GL is still a great buy in this segment. The Swift is a reliable and frugal daily runner that’s powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 63 kW and 113 Nm of torque. It is offered with a 5-speed manual transmission or in automatic guise (we’d stick to the manual). There’s much to look forward to in the new Swift, so it might be worth your while to wait until the new model arrives in Q2 of 2018, or if you're not too fussed about the new offering, search for a deal on the outgoing model.

However, the Swift does fall short when it comes to loading space, its load bay at 210 litres is much smaller than that of the Polo Vivo's at 280 litres.

The Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL manual is priced at R172 900.

Look at specification of the Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL

Buy a used Suzuki Swift on Cars.co.za

Toyota Etios 1.5 Sprint

The Toyota Etios 1.5 Sprint is a solid offering and is equipped with a 1.5-litre petrol engine with 66 kW and 132 Nm of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard. Reliability is a key strength of the Etios and it does a good job of being a dependable city runabout.

The Etios 1.5 Sprint is similarly specced to the Polo Vivo 1.4 Comfortline but it comes with alloy wheels and is over R17 000 cheaper. 

The Toyota Etios 1.5 Sprint is priced at R174 300.

Look at specification for the Toyota Etios Sprint

Buy a used Toyota Etios on Cars.co.za

Kia Picanto 1.2 Smart

Kia’s all-new Picanto is a much-improved product, particularly on the inside and its styling is funkier than most. This derivative is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 61 kW and 122 Nm of torque and can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission (we’d opt for the manual).

The Picanto is not as big as the Polo Vivo but it makes up for this shortfall in the style stakes. The Picanto still offers a reasonably-sized load bay at 255 litres, expanding to 1 010 litres with the rear seats folded down. 

The Kia Picanto 1.2 Smart is priced at R199 495.

Look at specification for the Kia Picanto 1.2 Smart

Buy a used Kia Picanto on Cars.co.za

Renault Sandero Stepway 66 kW Dynamique

The Sandero Stepway Dynamique is a feature-packed offering in this segment and represents good overall value. It’s powered by a perky 0.9-litre turbocharged engine with 66 kW and 135 Nm of torque and is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. It also has crossover appeal with a raised ride height, cladding and roof rails.

The Sandero Stepway Dynamique is fitted with a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and features such as cruise control and rear PDC are standard. Safety specification is also better on the Sandero Stepway with 4 airbags and stability control with traction control. 

The Renault Sandero Stepway 66 kW Dynamique is priced at R199 900.

Look at specification for the Sandero Stepway 66 kW Dynamique

Buy a used Renault Sandero Stepway on Cars.co.za

Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Glide

Hyundai recently updated its Grand i10 range which now features improved specification. A 1.25-litre petrol engine with 64 kW and 120 Nm of torque is the engine to have and it drives the front wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission.

The Grand i10 1.2 Glide is equipped with a touchscreen infotainment system (navigation optional), rear park distance control and 2 airbags. Load bay capacity is acceptable at 256 litres, expanding to 1 202 litres with the rear bench folded down.

The Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Glide is priced at R202 900. 

Look at specification for the Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Glide

Buy a used Hyundai Grand i10 on Cars.co.za