We can expect a barrage of new products in the South African new vehicle market this year... the popular compact hatchback segment, in particular, will feature a throng of newcomers. Here are 5 new hatchbacks that are worth looking out for...
New Volkswagen Polo
The new Polo is expected to land in South Africa in January 2018. Its larger footprint will result in a more spacious cabin and its interior packaging will be more attractive than the current iteration with a new dashboard, steering wheel and switchgear enhancing the look of the Polo significantly.
Engines for South Africa have yet to be confirmed but the current range of TSI engines are likely to remain with the possibility of a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine being introduced. The Polo GTI derivative will be powered by 147 kW / 320 Nm 2.0-litre TSI lifted straight from the Golf GTI. Transmissions will include a 6-speed manual and 7-speed DSG. We will keep you in the loop as more information becomes available.
New Ford Fiesta
The new-look Fiesta is due to arrive locally in Q2 of 2018 and its freshly designed interior with a centre mounted tablet-style infotainment system represents a major improvement over the current Fiesta.
Engines expected in SA includes a 3-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine with 92 kW and 170 Nm will be offered in 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic guise, with the automatic offering 74 kW / 170 Nm. A 1.5-litre turbodiesel with 63 kW and 215 Nm of torque with a 6-speed manual transmission is also expected. The range-topping Fiesta ST will now employ a 3-cylinder 1.5-litre turbocharged engine with cylinder deactivation for the first time with 147 kW and 290 Nm of torque powering the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission.
New Suzuki Swift
The Swift is one of Suzuki’s best-sellers on the local market and the all-new Swift is headed for our market in Q2 of 2018. It’s lighter and bigger with more interior space and a 7-inch touchscreen is a welcome addition to the cabin.
Engines for the SA market have yet to be confirmed but you can expect the familiar naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine with 63 kW and 113 Nm as well as the 1.4-litre petrol engine with 70 kW and 130 Nm of torque offered with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Swift Sport however, will now be powered a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol (previously a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre) with 103 kW and 230 Nm and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. Weighing some 80 kg less than before, the new Swift Sport should be a ton of fun to drive. We will keep you informed as more details are revealed ahead of launch.
New Nissan Micra
A new, more upmarket Nissan Micra is en-route to Mzansi in Q2 of 2018 and will benefit from attractive exterior styling and a stylish and more modern interior design.
Engines and transmissions for SA have yet to be confirmed but a punchy 3-cylinder, 0.9-litre turbo petrol with 66 kW and 140 Nm is a possibility as well as a naturally-aspirated 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder engine with 52 kW and 95 Nm, but we are definitely hoping the latter makes it to SA. On the diesel front, a 1.5-litre turbodiesel with 66 kW and 220 Nm is also on the cards and a 5-speed manual transmission is likely.
New Volkswagen Polo Vivo
Yes, Volkswagen is preparing to introduce a new Polo Vivo in February 2018 and production has already kicked off at Volkswagen's plant in Uitenhage. The firm, however, remains tight-lipped about the details surrounding the new Polo Vivo. We do know, however, that it will be based on the body of the outgoing Polo and re-packaged to slot in beneath the new Polo which is also expected early in 2018.
We suspect that the new Polo Vivo will feature a turbocharged engine for the first time and the Vivo sedan will likely be discontinued. The new Polo Vivo and new Polo will be launched in close succession in 2018. Exact engine, transmission and specification details have yet to be confirmed, but we will keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available.