I had the honour of driving one of South Africa’s best-selling passenger cars, The Polo Vivo.
With a twist- under the Mswenko guise, it makes it even more interesting, I drove it for a month, all the way into 2021. It was nothing short of fun and memorable.
The Mswenko is based on the Polo Comfortline, which has 63kW from a 1.4l engine, and the one I tested was a manual. For those who do not know, Mswenko means “swag” in Zulu slang. The car aims to boast uniqueness and individuality and to give the driver a sense of coolness when driving the car.
The aesthetic advancements are quite minimal, with an Mswenko decal on each side, a chrome tip exhaust, 16-inch wheels in a lovely dark grey hue called Anthracite, a black roof and side mirror covers in two optional colours. As you step into the inside, you will find Ocean Blue seats, silver dashboard inserts, on-board technology like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a whopping 6 speakers (which sound incredible, by the way) and a leather stitched steering wheel plus gear lever and knob.
Ultimately after 3000 odd kilometres one can safely say that the Mswenko is a perfect car for a student or working-class person. VW is notorious for their affordable aftermarket maintenance and frugality with regards to fuel consumption. The Mswenko is spacious, comfortable and drives relatively well. The gear changes albeit manual, are smooth and it retains power amazingly.
I enjoyed the sound system a whole lot, it ticked all the right boxes, sounded really “dope” and it was crystal clear. I could not fault this car, honestly, VW had a concept- a fully loaded budget car and they executed that incredibly well.
The Mswenko went on sale in October of 2020, it retails for R246 900 plus has a 3 year/120 00km warranty, a 15 000km service interval and a 6-year anti-collision warranty.