VW South Africa has added a new Maxx derivative to its most popular product line. The Polo Vivo, which is South Africa’s best-selling passenger car, now features something with crossover styling bits and some gravel travel credibility for slightly more adventurous buyers keen on exploring the country’s more isolated destinations.
This new Maxx derivative adds black-plastic protective cladding along the lower section of bodywork, all around the car. The purpose of such a non-colour coded styling change is to mitigate any paint repair damage that could be incurred from stone chips, and if you are a keen long-distance gravel road traveller – you’ll be aware of how ruinous an un-scraped bit of dirt road can be to any vehicle’s finish.
Beyond the black cladding there are 17-inch alloy wheels and if you wish to be rather daring with the colour chart, a bright orange finish too, which contrasts quite neatly with the aluminium roof rails. VW’s engineers have added 15mm of ride height to accommodate some additional suspension travel, which might be required when traveling at speed on rural backroads, where undulations and gravel road potholes can be quite severe.
VW’s only marketing one engine derivative with this pseudo-crossover Vivo and it is the proven 1.6-litre petrol, good for 77kW and 153Nm. Drive is to the front wheels, as is the case with all other Vivos, through a five-speed manual gearbox. Unfortunately, VW’s 1-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which has been introduced to the Vivo range as part of a product update earlier his year, has not been consider for the Maxx application.
Inside there’s a leather covered helm, six-speaker sound system with touchscreen functionality and comprehensive Smartphone connectivity and App mirroring. Safe too, with dual front airbags, electronic stability control and ABS brakes.
The Maxx features a tyre pressure warning system too, which is unusual for any Vivo. It’s quite handy if you are going to be doing a lot of gravel road exploring in a car rolling relatively thin ’40 profile tyres, which might require tyre pressure adjustments to make a notable difference in ride quality. Best invest in a portable compressor for that eventually. Vivo Maxx retails for R225 000.
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