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Old 24th August 2017, 01:29   #46
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

VW has made a mess of many markets (US included) by not launching the right product at the right time. It seems like the Polo GTI is going the same route. I am surprised by the concern with the DSG gearbox though. I have not heard as many horror stories about it.
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Old 24th August 2017, 06:54   #47
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

Took a TD of the GTI yesterday and here are my impressions.

Exteriors :
The Polo is a timeless design and with the GTI front grill, DRL + Leds, new front bumper, rear twin exhausts and diffuser it does look smart. But you can't deny the fact that it loos too familiar and many folks won't give it a second glance (maybe that's a good thing). The 16" wheels and 215 section rubber does look meaty, but the alloys design could have been more exciting. The ride height is slightly lower than the Polo GT TSI, or maybe the bigger wheels were filling up the wheel arches a bit better, but a lower ride height would've made it look a bit more wicked.

Interiors : The dash layout is same as our desi Polos with the differences being, high grade cluster, soft touch dash, GTI steering wheel, touchscreen head unit, Octy like stalks, a slightly different gear stick base unit and of course the sport seats with Tartan fabric. The immediate feeling is that the seats are much more supportive and comfortable. For some reason I felt that the seats were a bit higher than the GT TSI even at their lowest setting! But I was able to find a comfy driving position. The three door layout is fancy but to be honest it is an inconvenience. Asking old folks to get into the back will be an 'apmaan' to them. At the rear I somehow felt the room was less than the desi Polo. This maybe due the fact that the seats are beefier and the rear seat base is longer, giving more thigh support but makes the legroom look like a joke. I love the Tartan seats and this with the GTI wheel gives it a certain character. The audio unit sounded better than the stock unit in my GT TSI. The boot is also slightly compromised compared to the regular Polo as the battery unit sits there. The boot floor is bit higher and as result there is no load lip. The spare is a space saver.

The Drive : I went for decent drive on Airport road. The first impression was that the NVH was well controlled. You can hear the deep growl from the engine, but outside noises were well cut out. As I set out my next reaction was that the DSG box seemed to be shifting faster than my GT TSI. Power is delivered in quite a linear manner and there is hardly any turbo lag. No turbo lag also means there is no sudden push back when the turbo spools up. The DSG just goes through gears even before you blink. One nice feature of this DSG unit is that sport mode is just a tap down. You don't have to press the lock switch and pull the lever down. To get back to D also you have to tap it in a similar manner.

The 1.8 TSI + 7 DSG pair is a deadly combination. I did not feel the typical DSG hesitation on take off, while the jerky deceleration was very much there. In D mode the gear box shifts at optimum points and is a joy to drive around city. The DSG is intuitive, so if you put your foot down it will hold gears for longer and if you lift off it will give you engine braking. You also get paddle shifters made in cheap plastic! Tapping into S is very easy and once you do that you always find yourself in the meat of the powerband with the engine + exhaust note providing you background music. The car is fast no doubt, but its a bit too clinical. I was expecting a bit more drama. This car will make you want to miss that green signal at traffic lights, so that you are the first off the line at the next turn of green.

The suspension is firm, but at the same time its not uncomfortable. Large potholes will jarr, but the set up is ideal for our road conditions and I felt its easy to live with on a daily basis and capable of handling the power and delivering fun when you want. The handling is taut and bodyroll is negligible. The steering is a bit heavier than my GT, but its a typical VW unit. Precise, but devoid of much feedback.

Brakes need a special mention. The all disc setup does a terrific job and is a joy. Braking is progressive, effective and confidence inspiring. The front discs too are larger than those found on the GT TSI.

Now the tough part. Is it worth 25 big ones in Bangalore? Options at this price for a hot hatch are very limited. The Mini is more expensive and less practical. I need a compact hatch for self driving in the city. So that rules out the upcoming Octy VRS. But the problem is : Its just another Polo. Getting into the car I don't even feel like I am getting into a new car. Its all too familiar. With the recent price cut, on road price in BLR comes down by a whopping 8 lakhs! Will we get such cars in India again?
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Old 24th August 2017, 09:16   #48
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Now the tough part. Is it worth 25 big ones in Bangalore? Options at this price for a hot hatch are very limited. The Mini is more expensive and less practical. I need a compact hatch for self driving in the city.
Mini is less practical then the GTI? I found the Mini quite spacious in terms of head and knee room, no idea of the boot capacity though. You're 100% correct about the typical VW steering setup, its precise but absolutely numb.. that alone makes the GTI just a normal hatchback with a big engine and that's it. I'd say the Mini is worth the price and you may adjust to it a lot quicker being an existing BMW owner. Short of that you have no other option other than the GTI if its an automatic compact hatch you're looking for.

I'd choose the Mini all day, everyday, the steering itself is worth the approx 12 large extra.
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Old 24th August 2017, 09:23   #49
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Took a TD of the GTI yesterday and here are my impressions.
Thank you Santosh for sharing your drive experience here.

I had accompanied my friend to VW Whitefield last weekend as he is considering the newly launched Tiguan. While he was "Interrogating" the SE on the VW SUV, I was all over the Red GTI in the showroom. Though I did not really check for a TD, I just loved the look of that all round disc brakes.
How I wish VW had offered something similar on the regular GTs at least.

But what really struck me actually mirrors your thought:

Quote:
But the problem is : Its just another Polo.
I have said this before as well, and will re-iterate it, the Polo GTI in India is ONLY WORTH 18 Lakhs (OTR Bangalore) at best.

Other than that stonking 1.8 TSI/DSG combo, IMO there is no real USP that this car brings to the track, which a regular GTs can't be fitted with.

Last edited by Vik0728 : 24th August 2017 at 09:26.
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Old 24th August 2017, 10:06   #50
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Will we get such cars in India again?
Yes I believe we will see more and more performance hatches. If you look at engine power itself, it has come to a point where a minimum of 100 bhp is fast becoming the norm. C segment sedans are closing on and some have passed the 120 bhp mark. The Jeep delivers all of 170 bhp from it's 2 litre diesel. As the market matures performance variants would start coming in.

Where I think VW missed the mark is misjudging the allure of the GTI badge in India and leveraging their strengths in the performance hatch segment better.

Drive on,
Shibu.
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Old 24th August 2017, 11:07   #51
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

Give the GTI all the goodies and all the possible bells and whistles, VW has to first understand that the Indian definition of a car is four doors; two doors is not a car, its only a toy and a very expensive one at that at 20 lakhs. Only the very rich can afford to own such toys and they are few and far between.
I wish VW had taken some lessons from a similar experiment tried out by Maruti in 2002 or 2003 for the Indian market when they introduced the two door iconic Zen. We all know that the move was a monumental flop.
Cheers.
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Old 24th August 2017, 11:29   #52
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

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Originally Posted by vkr15 View Post
I wish VW had taken some lessons from a similar experiment tried out by Maruti in 2002 or 2003 for the Indian market when they introduced the two door iconic Zen. We all know that the move was a monumental flop.
Cheers.
Don't think it was an experiment by Maruti and neither they had any intentions to launch two door cars as a concept. From my sources I heard that it was a stock clearance of their export versions. They had put up 600 cars only in two colours and once they all got sold they never made any further attempts.
They were able to charge a small premium and got away with it. I had booked one but it was apparently not the colour of my choice and gave it up.
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Old 24th August 2017, 14:57   #53
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
... ... Its just another Polo. Getting into the car I don't even feel like I am getting into a new car. Its all too familiar. With the recent price cut, on road price in BLR comes down by a whopping 8 lakhs! Will we get such cars in India again?
When I test-drove my TDI, my comment about the car in general was, "What's to say? It's a Polo: I feel 100% at home and comfortable "

What a shame I'll never be able to afford that GTi!

Thank you, and others. for your test-drive review. It's nice, if a little mouth-watering, to read these.

I don't agree that this is a toy for the super rich. Yes, it might be umpteenth car for a wealthy family, but primarily, I see it as bringing high performance within reach of the mid-level successful car enthusiast. This is a car for the successful, upwardly mobile, rather than for those that own the company.
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Old 24th August 2017, 16:41   #54
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Mini is less practical then the GTI? I found the Mini quite spacious in terms of head and knee room, no idea of the boot capacity though. You're 100% correct about the typical VW steering setup, its precise but absolutely numb.. that alone makes the GTI just a normal hatchback with a big engine and that's it. I'd say the Mini is worth the price and you may adjust to it a lot quicker being an existing BMW owner. Short of that you have no other option other than the GTI if its an automatic compact hatch you're looking for.

I'd choose the Mini all day, everyday, the steering itself is worth the approx 12 large extra.
Upfront the GTI is roomy enough to accommodate my 6'2" frame, no complaints. The Mini too is spacious in the front but at the back the Mini is terribly cramped and you would really struggle to fit 2 adults back there. The GTI is a bit better in this respect. Since I have a Polo GT TSI currently, I know what's it like carrying 4 on board. All I have to do is pull up the driver seat to an uncomfortable position (for me), but 2 adults can sit in the back of the Polo for reasonable distances this way. Also the Mini's boot is tiny and it does not come with a spare which can be a problem over long distances.

Secondly the Mini rides on run flats and the suspension is extremely stiff. Yes I know these cars focus on fun and they are not made for comfort, but the overly stiff ride can be taxing for everyday life on our great Bangalore roads. You know their current state right? . Also the Mini looks bad on stock 16 inchers and I'd be compelled to pick the 17s which would compound matters further.

Mini with some decent options ticked will easily hit 40L OTR and at that price, the BMW 330i is at touching distance. In the UK, the Mini and the Polo GTI compete in the same priceband. So at current prices, the GTI presents decent value.

Coming to the steering, though I currently own a BMW (X3), I am also a current VW Polo owner and Ex Skoda Laura owner. I have lived with VAG steering setups and frankly I am at home with them. They don't communicate that well, yes, but they do their job just as well. Yes, the Mini is better at this art, but 12L for just this? Nah I don't think so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
I have said this before as well, and will re-iterate it, the Polo GTI in India is ONLY WORTH 18 Lakhs (OTR Bangalore) at best.

Other than that stonking 1.8 TSI/DSG combo, IMO there is no real USP that this car brings to the track, which a regular GTs can't be fitted with.
Yes I'd love the GTI at 18L OTR and the Mini at 25L OTR. But that's not happening is it? Current taxes for India built cars itself is 43% + another 20% for Road tax, and this is a CBU. We can't expect such prices unless tax rates come down.



Quote:
Originally Posted by shibujp View Post
Yes I believe we will see more and more performance hatches. If you look at engine power itself, it has come to a point where a minimum of 100 bhp is fast becoming the norm. C segment sedans are closing on and some have passed the 120 bhp mark. The Jeep delivers all of 170 bhp from it's 2 litre diesel. As the market matures performance variants would start coming in.

Where I think VW missed the mark is misjudging the allure of the GTI badge in India and leveraging their strengths in the performance hatch segment better.

Drive on,
Shibu.
Its not about the BHP figures alone, but cars that are built with the purpose of delivering driving pleasure. All we get is commuter cars with raised and overly soft suspensions and light steerings because that is what the market demands. The focus these days is on features like ICE and auto this, auto that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
When I test-drove my TDI, my comment about the car in general was, "What's to say? It's a Polo: I feel 100% at home and comfortable "
My feelings too. But that can be a good thing and a bad thing at the same time.

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 24th August 2017 at 16:46.
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Old 24th August 2017, 17:04   #55
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

If you are used to a DSG7, the Mini's 6 speed autobox does feel a bit dim witted. That is my only real complaint against the mini from the driver's perspective.

It is the same Aisin 6 speed that exists in the Volvo v40 d3 with different programming. Not a big fan of it.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 24th August 2017 at 17:05.
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Old 24th August 2017, 18:24   #56
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post

Its not about the BHP figures alone, but cars that are built with the purpose of delivering driving pleasure. All we get is commuter cars with raised and overly soft suspensions and light steerings because that is what the market demands. The focus these days is on features like ICE and auto this, auto that.
Yes I agree. But it's a start what with the GT twins in a higher state of tune, the Figo Sport with it's suspension tweaks. Currently the price differential between the stock Polo and the Polo GTI is just too large. They could have at least brought the 4 door version. It is almost three times of the stock car.

I would like a state of play where the differential here is similar to that of the stock Polo and the Polo GTI in UK, or the stock Ford Focus and the Ford Focus ST perhaps. In the US the Golf GTI costs less than 50% more than the standard Golf. Even the R is just about double. The current developments give me hope that we may see this kind of a product strategy in future.

Drive on,
Shibu.

Last edited by shibujp : 24th August 2017 at 18:41.
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Old 24th August 2017, 18:58   #57
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

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Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
If you are used to a DSG7, the Mini's 6 speed autobox does feel a bit dim witted. That is my only real complaint against the mini from the driver's perspective.

It is the same Aisin 6 speed that exists in the Volvo v40 d3 with different programming. Not a big fan of it.
I believe MINI has plonked a new 8-speed Aisin in the Clubman Cooper S in 2016, and the same gearbox has been silently introduced in the 3-door hatch as well. I'm not 100% sure about the gearbox being made available on the 3-door hatch, though.

The refreshed Mini Cooper S (2018) is slated to come with a dual-clutch unit.

Also, I wouldn't go so far as to call it "dimwitted". Its shifts may not be as 'snappy' as the DSG7, but it's pretty quick.. certainly not dimwitted!

The 6-speed Aisin gearbox in the V40 D3 is very slow and cumbersome. It literally takes a second and a half to shift gears. It may be the same gearbox in the Mini, but it sure doesn't feel like it.
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Old 24th August 2017, 19:53   #58
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
I believe MINI has plonked a new 8-speed Aisin in the Clubman Cooper S in 2016, and the same gearbox has been silently introduced in the 3-door hatch as well. I'm not 100% sure about the gearbox being made available on the 3-door hatch, though.

The refreshed Mini Cooper S (2018) is slated to come with a dual-clutch unit.

Also, I wouldn't go so far as to call it "dimwitted". Its shifts may not be as 'snappy' as the DSG7, but it's pretty quick.. certainly not dimwitted!
There is no 8 speed still. It is still the 6 speed according to reviews:

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review...r-hatch/design

It was supposed to get the 9 speed zf meant for fwds but hasn't got it. Most uk reviews say get the 6mt as the aisin at box is slow. We have no such option.

There is only one aisin 6 speed box currently in production. The shift logic is different but the basic box is still the same.
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Old 26th August 2017, 07:54   #59
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Now the tough part. Is it worth 25 big ones in Bangalore?
Santosh, brief but superb review. Could you do any tight turns or u turns to test the famous e-diff?

How much is the OTR in BLR and what was the stock position? Have they sold off most of them or struggling?

Last edited by itwasntme : 26th August 2017 at 08:07. Reason: XDS
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Old 26th August 2017, 10:04   #60
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Default Re: Scoop! VW Polo GTI stock clearance. Now at Rs. 19.99 lakh

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Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Santosh, brief but superb review. Could you do any tight turns or u turns to test the famous e-diff?

How much is the OTR in BLR and what was the stock position? Have they sold off most of them or struggling?
Thanks Sanjeev. No I wansn't able to test the e diff or XDS in VW lingo. Since the test drive was on city roads during day time, I did not have guts to be adventurous.

Another plus point I forgot to mention is safety features. The car comes with 6 airbags, full underbody protection, ISOFIX points for child seats on rear seats, front and rear parking sensors with graphic display on head unit and of course, the XDS. All of these are over and above the standard Polo.

OTR in BLR is about 24.60L without extended warranty (60K for 2+2y). Seriously tempted to get one, mainly due to lack of alternatives more than anything else. They say they've sold about 50 so far pan India. Interest has spiked ever since price cut I believe. Had a word with the service manager as well. Availability of standard consumables also is a cause for concern due to such limited numbers and CBU nature of the car. Not more than 8 cars running in BLR as of now.
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