Saturday Star

Mswenko has swag but has its work cut out

- | Willem van de Putte

THEY’RE like doves in the CBD. Everywhere.

Small wonder though, because the Volkswagen Polo remains a best-seller for the group and is closing in on 300 000 units sold since its introducti­on almost 11 years ago.

The Mswenko is a twist to the South African melting pot and found only within our borders. Loosely translated it means swag, so VW have added a couple of extras to make it stand out from the standard run-of-the mill Polo.

First things first. The Mswenko is not aimed at me or most of the people I know, we prefer swank to swag, but I know enough young people to understand

“APRIL new vehicle sales told an inspiring story of the South African motor industry’s resilience, while also providing a harsh reminder of the bleak outlook experience­d a year ago,” says Lebogang Gaoaketse, the head of marketing and communicat­ion at Wesbank Vehicle and Asset Finance.

With April 2020 sales essentiall­y at a standstill as motor retailers were closed, the rejuvenate­d picture a year later, while reassuring, remains under pressure, he says.

The reality was that April’s 35 779 sales were 17.6% lower than March – 7 649 units fewer. the marketing around the car, because after all, the Mswenko does stand out from the safe and mundane.

Based on the Polo Comfortlin­e, it sports the same underpinni­ngs with a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre engine producing 63kw and 132Nm driving the front wheels via a five speed manual gearbox. It’s a perky combinatio­n and provides a spirited drive through the first couple of gears especially, because it doesn’t mind the rev counter getting close to the red line, while highway driving proved equally comfortabl­e, although it did require a shift down to fourth gear when overtaking slower traffic – not a biggie though.

It doesn’t mind tackling the twisties either, with light and direct steering giving you enough feedback to keep it safe. It’s the exterior and interior trimmings though that give it its swagger.

Outside, tastefully placed “Mswenko” decals set it apart from the standard fare, a chrome tip exhaust, 16-inch anthracite alloys, anthracite side mirrors and a black roof round off a well-thought out package.

The interior couldn’t be more different to its rather outdated and slightly boring sibling, with the Ocean Blue seats and anthracite headliner.

They certainly add to the cool factor.

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 ??  ?? THE Mswenko interior with its Ocean Blue seats and silver dashboard.
THE Mswenko interior with its Ocean Blue seats and silver dashboard.

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