Car buyers desiring a Golf GTI most likely to settle for a Polo


Hot hatches dominate online searches for hatchback variants. Unsurprising perhaps South Africa’s fascination with performance cars.

But, the cars we aspire to are not necessarily those that we will contactall a seller for. Tellingly, it is chiefly hatchback variants with a somewhat more modest performance and price that get the most seller enquiries. As revealing, is the domination of Volkswagen Polo and Golf variants in both searches and enquiries to a seller.

According to AutoTrader data, all bar three in the ten most searched hatchback variants are potent hot hatches, with the legendary VW Golf GTI claiming pole position ahead of its VW Polo GTI and VW Golf R siblings.

One of the earliest hot hatches, the VW Golf GTI holds a special place in the hearts of South African petrolheads. In the VW stable, the turbocharged two-litre Golf GTI is only surpassed in performance (and cost) by its all-wheel drive Golf R sibling, with the fun-to-drive Polo GTI ogfering an enticing more affordable alternative.

Performance cars featured in the hatchback search ranking include the BMW 1 Series M140i (purportedly a smidgen quicker than its newer M135i sibling), and a fast little Ford, the turbocharged 1.6-litre Fiesta ST.

Yet, when it comes to most enquiries to a seller for the period 1 January to 31 May 2022, it’s the locally-built Volkswagen Polo 1.0TSI with its three-cylinder turbocharged engine that holds the top position, outshining its more affordable homebuilt stable mate, the VW Polo Vivo. Refined, brisk, and fuel-friendly, around R334 000 secures a 2020 model Polo 1.0TSI.

Testament to its iconic status, the VW Golf GTI also ranks in the top three most enquired cars. On average, a 2013 Golf GTI lists for around R436 000.

ALSO READ: VW Polo: Which is a better buy, nearly new or slightly older?

Budget-friendly and fuel-efficient, though not quite matching the safety standards of its peers, the naturally-aspirated Renault Kwid 1.0-litre is the most inexpensive of the newer hatch variants featured. On average listed for R150 900 for a 2020 model with 26 000 km on the clock.

“Information on average list price, mileage and registration year gives consumers an indication of what they can expect to find for sale in the market, added to which AutoTrader is the only marketplace in South Africa with the capability to provide a list of cars by variant,” says AutoTrader CEO George Mienie.

Hatchbacks that sellers get the most enquiries for on AutoTrader between 1 January 2022 and 31 May 2022 (model, average price, average mileage and year).

  • 1 Volkswagen Polo 1.0TSI (R333 922 – 35 125km – 2020)
  • 2 Volkswagen Polo Vivo 1.4 (R156 644 – 89 163km – 2016)
  • 3 Volkswagen Golf GTI (R436 456 – 98 683km – 2013)
  • 4 Volkswagen Polo 1.2TSI (R181 771 – 109 359km – 2015)
  • 5 Volkswagen Polo GTI (R358 506 – 70 135km – 2017)
  • 6 Kia Rio 1.4 (R205 675 – 75 706km – 2017)
  • 7 BMW 1 Series 118i (R299 170 – 88 986km – 2016)
  • 8 Volkswagen Golf R (R450 633 – 108 687km – 2016)
  • 9 Renault Kwid 1 L (R150 905 – 25 666km – 2020)
  • 10 Ford Fiesta Ambiente (R121 843 – 115 310km – 2013)

For more online search trends, read AutoTrader’s Mid-Year Car Industry Report.