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VW Polo Vivo prices in South Africa – From 2010 to 2023

The starting price of the fan-favourite VW Polo Vivo has risen by an average of 222% between when it first debuted in March 2010 and today, November 2023.

At its launch in 2010, the entry-level Vivo retailed for R101,500 and the top-end one for R144,900, and now, two generations later, the base model goes for a headier R255,600 and the flagship for R341,800.

This reflects an increase of R154,100 for the cheapest and R196,900 for the most expensive Vivo over the past 13 years and eight months, or approximately

The yearly prices in more detail are shown in the below table. Due to the limited info available on old car pricing, not all the prices could be taken exactly one year apart.

Date Entry-level Polo Vivo price Flagship Polo Vivo price
March 2010 R101,500 R144,900
October 2011 R104,350 R155,320
August 2012 R107,200 R153,900
April 2013 R111,900 R161,100
September 2014 R142,700 R180,900
September 2015 R145,700 R184,500
August 2016 R168,800 R200,300
September 2017 R173,800 R207,200
September 2018 R182,200 R248,200
September 2019 R192,700 R263,800
September 2020 R215,900 R291,700
October 2021 R227,900 R307,100
August 2022 R237,000 R319,000
November 2023 R255,600 R341,800

A brief history of the Polo Vivo in South Africa

The Polo Vivo was introduced exclusively to the South African market in early 2010 as a hatchback and sedan, positioned as the replacement to the immensely popular Citi Golf and a cheaper alternative to the normal Polo, which already at that time started to edge towards the more premium end of the sector.

The Vivo was upgraded with airconditioning as standard in September of its launch year, and by May 2011, just over 12 months after its arrival, 25,500 units of the nameplate were sold in the country proving it to be a good move from VW.

Original VW Polo Vivo Hatchback and Sedan

This rapid climb to the top led to the introduction of an automatic gearbox in early 2011, and later the same year, the first Polo Vivo GT landed with a 77kW 1.6-litre engine that let it haul to 0-100km/h in “just under 11 seconds.”

It featured lowered suspension, too, as well as cosmetic upgrades like a spoiler, twin chrome tailpipes, GT badging, and a custom interior.

In February 2013, the burgeoning Vivo family gained another member, the crossover-inspired Maxx, which slid in at the top of the range for a price of R160,300.

Offering the same power as the GT, the Maxx struck a more rugged appearance with its raised suspension, 17-inch “Budapest” alloy wheels, painted exterior mirrors, twin exhaust tailpipes, aluminum roof rails, and a matching cabin to boot.

2013 VW Polo Vivo Maxx

Come 2014, a total of 149,500 examples of the Vivo were sold to South African customers, and the time came to give the original its first facelift.

This included exterior tweaks like new wheels, headlights, and a chrome-lined grille, in addition to improved equipment such as a standard fit height-adjustable driver seat and leatherette gearshift.

Between June 2015 and March 2017, five more trims of the hatchback were released – three stylish special-edition models, one homage to the original Citi Golf badged the Citi Vivo, and one utilitarian version aimed at commercial customers.

At the end of its production run in 2018, the original Vivo gained the favour of 193,343 South African buyers.

2014 VW Polo Vivo GT

February 2018 saw the introduction of the second-generation Polo Vivo, based on the fifth-generation Polo but slightly enhanced both visually and technically.

This was the debut of the same style of hatchback still roaming our roads today, and also the loss of the Vivo in sedan form.

The entry-level VW was updated with a new instrument cluster and radio systems, slightly refined 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre motors, and more optional extras such as Vienna leather seats.

Four months later, the Maxx edition was welcomed back, and in August 2019, the Vivo Sound Edition was introduced.

By September 2020, the Vivo had just passed its first 10 years on the market boasting a sales tally of 261,285 units, and to celebrate the occasion, the South African-inspired Vivo Mswenko was made.

Mswenko – isiZulu expression for the slang word “swag” – sported unique side decals, a chrome tip exhaust, 16-inch Portago alloy wheels in Anthracite, a black painted roof, privacy glass, and mirror covers in two colour variants.

Inside, it came with Ocean Blue seats, an Anthracite headliner, and silver dashboard inserts.

2020 VW Polo Vivo Mswenko

Still seeing space for more fashionable interpretations of the Vivo, VW added a Black Style Pack option in late 2021 ranging between R8,250 and R9,000, depending on the trim level.

The add-on included black 16-inch Portago alloy wheels, gloss black mirror caps, a gloss black painted roof, gloss black B and C pillar covers, black side sill covers, a body-coloured boot spoiler, privacy glass, chrome exhaust tip, as well as anthracite headliner and sun visors.

It was also only available with the Flash Red, Pure White, Reef Blue, and Reflex Silver exterior paints.

2021 VW Polo Vivo Black Style Package

In January 2022, VW’s Kariega plant in the Eastern Cape reached the incredible milestone of manufacturing the 100,000th second-generation Polo Vivo, which in addition to 254,683 units of the first generation, meant the plant has built just over 354,000 Vivos in 12 years.

At the time, the best annual sales performance for the current Vivo model was recorded in 2019 when it sold a total of 29,618 models in one year.

In terms of monthly performance, it proved most popular in October 2018, when 3,009 Vivos were sold in a single month.

100,000th 2nd-gen VW Polo Vivo built at Kariega, Eastern Cape

Now in 2023, in April to be exact, the second-generation Polo’s sales stood at just 321 vehicles shy of 120,000.

Simultaneously, VW launched the updated flagship GT derivative, which was treated to select visual tweaks to shake off the dust of the now five-year-old car.

While the rest of the Vivo line-up was left unchanged, the GT was the recipient of silver mirror caps, GT decals on the front door, a GT rear decal, wheels, and dash inserts, red and grey contrast needlework inside the cabin, and embroidered floormats.

It also received a model-exclusive Wild Cherry Red metallic exterior hue.

Still sitting near the top of the country’s best-selling car ranks, the Vivo has proved to be an invaluable asset for VW South Africa as it clearly hasn’t lost its appeal in the 13 years it has dominated the local market.

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