Trying to get over 100km/h on the N12 East on a Friday afternoon can be frustrating. Everybody is in a rush to kick-start their weekend, but nobody seems to be moving. Luckily, I had the privilege of 300 watts of sound to curb my irritation.
And that is just what the Polo Beats was for me. A comfortable space to enjoy my music. The car comes fully equipped with two tweeters in the A-pillars, two woofers in the doors, another couple in the rear and a subwoofer beneath the boot floor. Something that would never let you forget about Dre.
I could bump hip-hop, feel the base in my soul, throw on R&B and just enjoy each element the song had to offer and engage with pure vocalists in my sad hours. And not being one for EDM, but overridden by curiosity, I would soon experience a state of trance.
The journey from Johannesburg to Springs didn’t provide the usual drag it so often does. It was fairly pleasant.
But I still wanted to test it out for what it actually is: a car. There was no better way to do this than to take it down the N12 again, but this time on an empty road. Sunroof open, pedal to the metal, it was time to face whether I was driving a moving iPod or a middle-class beast.
A touch slow out of second at times, it would annoy me. But as it got going, the smoothness I felt almost made this 5-speed’s transmission feel like an automatic. Fortunately, my dashboard computer was always reminding me to change the gear when I needed to.
And into fifth I went, and this is where I was expecting to feel that kick of turbo into this one litre engine. It hit hard. I almost felt bad for being that guy who gets directly behind you on the highway and asks you to switch lanes. The wideness of the car in relation to the older Polo’s just elevated the stability when hitting high speeds.
But when I reached the end of the highway, I knew I had another dull meeting with the slowness of being in second gear once again.
That lack of speed got me admiring the interior. Aesthetically sound to say the least, the red underlining on the dashboard which stretches from the steering wheel to the cubby and around the infotainment system adds to the stylish seats finished off with a Beats logo as the centrepiece.
It was capped off by the undeniable comfort it provided. There was solid area for me to sit back and relax while driving, without having anyone in the backseat telling me to move my seat forward. That also meant that the passengers were enjoying the space. I was loving this car on the inside and out.
That was until I had to pick my fiance up from the airport. The boot struggled to take two bags. It left me disappointed, because an old Vivo would gobble those bags up without stress.
And this just sprung my thoughts further. The sound, the drive and the aesthetic was perfect for a road trip, but maybe you would have to travel that trip alone.
Also ideal for a road trip is the fuel consumption of the car. Urban driving and highway driving had this baby’s reserve light flash after 600 km of driving. Not to mention that Joburg traffic can sometimes be a mood killer and fuel killer.
At above R250 000, it may be worth it if you are looking for the closest thing to a Polo GTI, but cannot afford it. Plus it gives you a sound system that will have you in awe each and every time you drive the car. But, if you are over 35, it might be smart to drop the look and sound and just get yourself a Polo Baseline or Trendline that offers
nothing extra, but saves you some cash.