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Old 10th July 2009, 21:45   #1
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Smile VW Jetta A/T 1.9 TDi PD - Das Auto

Prologue

Had an accident on highway in our 12 month old Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDi Rider. Crashed head on with a camel cart at approx 40 - 60 km/h (after some hard braking) resulting in full frontal damage to car extending upto 'B' Pillar. Survived with minor bruises on knuckles due to shattered glass. Still Thank god for it. As is evident from Skoda, Airbags did not operate but seat belt saved life. The car was practically a junk and frankly we just ignored it. The 12 months of ownership were at best, pathetic. Anyways, A car less in home means search for a new car but only if this junk could be sold.

Finally last month, sold the car in as-is condition and well the loss was not as heavy on pocket as some service bills of the car.


Dilemma

A new car in the same range which would satisfy every person in family was difficult to find. Necessary qualification required (in priority order) :
1. Diesel Engine.
2. Priced below 20L.
3. Strong and sturdy build.
4. High on safety. (Accidents can sometimes bring good sense to people)
5. Easy to maintain.
6. Preferably Automatic

Once again, only two car ticked the right boxes, Skoda Laura L&K and VW Jetta. Hondas didn't as much as tick first box. Hyundai came close but lost on brand image and current sales figures. Chevrolet just couldn't bring enough confidence with current scenario.

Decision

Between the two cars left, Skoda immediately took back seat when compared to big brother Jetta. Additionally, Nightmare Service and pathetic dealer in Jaipur just did not match up to a good deal. On the other hand, Jetta had a build quality that just amazed us in the very first test drive. Its exclusivity in current scenario was additional benefit. To top it all, VW has always been a notch above cousin Skoda in overall feel. You may say that we were wooed by the badge to some extent.

Deal

Volkswagen Jaipur (Tanya Cars Pvt. Ltd.) was courteous towards our umpteenth test drive requests and all out practical comparison with rival Laura. We were also offered the company advertised Free Insurance and 3 year maintenance package. The maintenance package was icing on the cake as we had suffered a lot from Skoda. A further corporate discount and attractive finance scheme was also provided upon booking the vehicle. We put pen to paper by booking VW Jetta 1.9 A/T Comfortline.

Initial Impression

On 17th June, as per schedule and mahurat we reached dealership sharp at 9:30 am for a 10:15 deliver time. It seemed we had reached before salesman even though we had confirmed the time a day before. Anyway, in the mean time I for once had the time to actually look and admire the car. And the first thought that came to mind was, Understated Luxury. Every part in the car was well built and presented a sense of quality. The car may be low on features as compared to rivals but the sheer quality and feel and workmanship on every part made the car feel worth every penny.

Every bit of car was built for aesthetics and ergonomics. The grey leather interiors matched perfectly with the appeal. The knobs and buttons felt functional. Touchscreen Music System is nicely put-together in a very functional yet pleasing centre console. All the storage spaces are felt lined to minimise noise. Leather seats feel comfortable with additional side-supports and quality of leather is top notch. Features like Rain sensors and light sensors add to vast array of gadgetry.

Performance

This car is powered by the same 1.9 TDi PD motor sitting under the hood of cousin Skoda. One tends to notice lag in initial gears but it smoothens as we move up the speedometer. Automatic DSG Gearbox is great. You can feel every change of gear and I like it that way. Sports mode is great fun with engine revving to full potential every time. A lot of forum members have complained about the noise but I actually like it. It starts from a slow hum to full powered growl before changing into next gear. A drive from Jaipur to Delhi in this car was bliss. Overtaking was breeze. I could either opt for paddle shift to move down a gear or simply press harder on the accelerator to manoeuvre around NH8 traffic. Another great thing is that what this car loses in terms of Power, it more than makes up in terms of economy. I was able to get upto 17 kmpl on one way from Delhi to Jaipur.

Sales Experience

The sales experience with Tanya Cars (VW Jaipur) ranged from brilliant to downright shoddy. During the test-drive phase, I found them to be very enthusiastic as well as accommodating towards our every whim or fancy. After booking, a lot seemed to spiral downwards. Salesman was not on time during delivery. I had to wait for over an hour at RTO waiting for person to arrive with papers. Upon arrival, he hadn't even filled the papers and even missed my father's signature on one such paper causing more confusion. Even after umpteenth reminders about a trip to delhi, He delayed issuing a TRC and once again there were delays.We are still to receive the RC even after all payments are made at the RTO. But, managing a dealership myself, a lot of this could be attributed to our over enthusiasm over a new car than major slackness on their behalf, I must admit.

Pros & Cons
+ Build Quality (It is something not mentioned in brochures, you have to feel it to believe it)
+ Fuel Economy
+ A very executive, understated styling.
+ Level of detail & workmanship
+ 3 yr. AMC package

- Less features compared to rivals
- Performance could be tad better
- New dealers and setups
- No Sun Roof / Parking sensors (This is the only thing my brother found wrong with the car, but not so wrong that he would opt for Laura)

Pictures

VW Jetta : 14,000 kms ; 6 months....-img_0108.jpg

VW Jetta : 14,000 kms ; 6 months....-img_0109.jpg

VW Jetta : 14,000 kms ; 6 months....-img_0097.jpg

VW Jetta : 14,000 kms ; 6 months....-img_0104.jpg

VW Jetta : 14,000 kms ; 6 months....-img_0101.jpg

VW Jetta : 14,000 kms ; 6 months....-img_0088.jpg

VW Jetta : 14,000 kms ; 6 months....-img_0090.jpg

VW Jetta : 14,000 kms ; 6 months....-img_0095.jpg


Final Verdict

If you want feature with all the bells and whistles, This one is NOT for you. But, if you want to experience true German build quality, workmanship, and subtle luxury at a cheaper price tag... This car is made for you.

Someone said it before and I fully concur, VW is a richer person's (in comparison) Octavia and poorer person's (once again, in Comparison) Audi. This fits just right in context.

Ciao.
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Old 10th July 2009, 22:04   #2
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Nice review,congrats can you elaborate on the pricing front like ex-showroom,discounts and
on the road price even i'm getting inclined to buy one,thanks.
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Old 10th July 2009, 22:18   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braveheart_77 View Post
Nice review,congrats can you elaborate on the pricing front like ex-showroom,discounts and
on the road price even i'm getting inclined to buy one,thanks.
Ex-showroom price was in the region of 16.25 Lacs (Ex-Jaipur) which must have been altered by new central budget and state budget.

In terms of offers, we got free insurance (Rs. 49K), 3 yr. Maintenance Package, and a corporate discount.

Additionally, on this automatic version, we also got 0% finance scheme saving us hoards on Interest amount for a loan amount of 14L.
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Old 10th July 2009, 22:22   #4
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Congratulations on the car Akhilesh.

It's a very nice car and seems pretty reliable as well compared to the Skodas. VW service is also way better.

But I feel they really need to add more features at 20L. The least I expected was parktronic like the Laura, sunroof and xenons. These are the basic features anyone spending 20L will expect especially when the car is so much smaller compared to Accord at the same price.

I believe they just added the new touchscreen display from the Superb recently which is what you have.
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Old 10th July 2009, 22:31   #5
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Till now I have not heard too much negative about the car and also the A.S & S. part is known to be better than Skoda. I also wonder how much low Skoda can go, but VW is clearly more serious this time with VW badge and this car. DSG in Passat is known to give trouble, but I am not sure if its true for Jetta.
This is car is certainly made well. A few questions :

1) Is GC a problem ?

2) Cost of spares is higher than Skoda or not ? As far as mechanicals, I think they might be involved in parts sharing, though I am not sure on this. But I have heard that cost of spares are quite high, even higher than Skoda which is itself quite high. Can you give a bit of more detailed outlook on this ?

3) The wiper and lights stalks are still in LHD configuration ? If yes, its real bad specially considering that the car is made in attention to detail manner. I have experienced this in another car. At every turn I ended up activating wipers in hot Gujarat Summer.

4) What is recommended service interval ? What is cost of normal service that includes oil change ?
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Old 10th July 2009, 22:42   #6
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Quote:
If you want feature with all the bells and whistles, This one is NOT for you.
There'd be more than enough bells and whistles for me!

Looking forward to hearing about the ownership experience, and how VW measure up
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Old 10th July 2009, 22:44   #7
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Great car to own!

Although I think you could have waited for the Chevy Cruze and then decided.
As far as I have read,Cruze diesel engine is brilliant(same as the Captiva) and looks really cool.
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Old 10th July 2009, 22:53   #8
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Congrats on the VW. My only issue with jetta is, its too basic for a 20L car.

Looking forward to a detailed review.
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Old 10th July 2009, 22:55   #9
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Congratulations Akhilesh for your german tank,good review aswell.
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Old 10th July 2009, 23:48   #10
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Congratulations! No electric seats on a Jetta DSG?
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Old 11th July 2009, 00:18   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspur View Post
Congratulations! No electric seats on a Jetta DSG?
Nope only electric lumbar support.
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Old 11th July 2009, 01:59   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
Till now I have not heard too much negative about the car and also the A.S & S. part is known to be better than Skoda. I also wonder how much low Skoda can go, but VW is clearly more serious this time with VW badge and this car. DSG in Passat is known to give trouble, but I am not sure if its true for Jetta.
This is car is certainly made well. A few questions :

1) Is GC a problem ?

I did find myself scraping the floors on couple of speed breakers that I would normally cruise through, but then again my other car is Tata Safari

2) Cost of spares is higher than Skoda or not ? As far as mechanicals, I think they might be involved in parts sharing, though I am not sure on this. But I have heard that cost of spares are quite high, even higher than Skoda which is itself quite high. Can you give a bit of more detailed outlook on this ?

With the 3 year AMC package, one can be pretty relaxed on this front and not having kept a car for more than 3 years, we never paid too much attention to part costs.

3) The wiper and lights stalks are still in LHD configuration ? If yes, its real bad specially considering that the car is made in attention to detail manner. I have experienced this in another car. At every turn I ended up activating wipers in hot Gujarat Summer.

I beg to differ on the notion here. Having driven all sorts of car in UK which is RHD, I always found indicator stalk on my left and found it very comfortable. So, I wouldn't know which of the two configurations is correct. Anyways in Jetta, You would have it on the 'wrong' side as is with most European cars.

4) What is recommended service interval ? What is cost of normal service that includes oil change ?

15K Kms. It has one of the longest service schedules for a sedan and that goes to show the confidence company has on its machine and workmanship.
*My replies are in bold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joy_swift View Post
Great car to own!

Although I think you could have waited for the Chevy Cruze and then decided.
As far as I have read,Cruze diesel engine is brilliant(same as the Captiva) and looks really cool.
Cruze is a good car, no doubt. But, three problems: 1. When exactly is it going to come. 2. How will it be presented in India (stripping features etc.) and 3. As mentioned, My family clearly wanted to avoid GM for recent downturns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuttingcrew View Post
Congrats on the VW. My only issue with jetta is, its too basic for a 20L car.

Looking forward to a detailed review.
It is certainly basic on features especially when compared to Honda Accord but, it more than makes up for its tank like body and top level safety features. And, with the deals and offers, we only paid about 15L for the car, about 5L cheaper than basic Accord which is Petrol.
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Old 11th July 2009, 10:04   #13
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I love the Anthracite grey interiors more than the Vienna beige. The grey looks much more classy than the beige and will not get dirty also.
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Old 11th July 2009, 11:06   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
I love the Anthracite grey interiors more than the Vienna beige. The grey looks much more classy than the beige and will not get dirty also.
Lot of people feel beige is synonymous to luxury but, honestly I don't like the colour scheme for exact reasons you have mentioned. Another reason to choose this car over L&K.
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Old 13th July 2009, 19:28   #15
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Concise review + pictures. Congrats on the Jetta!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akhilesh51 View Post
Airbags did not operate but seat belt saved life
If you had a head-on 40 to 60 kph crash where the frontal damage was severe, why did the airbags not activate? I'd be concerned.

Quote:
The 12 months of ownership were at best, pathetic.
Quote:
Additionally, Nightmare Service and pathetic dealer in Jaipur just did not match up to a good deal
Quote:
as we had suffered a lot from Skoda.
We've gotten used to these kind of comments from Skoda owners!

Quote:
1. Diesel Engine.
2. Priced below 20L.
3. Strong and sturdy build.
4. High on safety. (Accidents can sometimes bring good sense to people)
5. Easy to maintain.
6. Preferably Automatic
The Jetta met your needs to the T! Just askin', did you test the Sonata at all?

Quote:
After booking, a lot seemed to spiral downwards
VW has performed consistently better than Skoda in our ownership reviews. Your experience shows that there are still some loose ends. VW better make amends, they cannot afford to mess up the aftersales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akhilesh51 View Post
In terms of offers, we got free insurance (Rs. 49K), 3 yr. Maintenance Package, and a corporate discount.

Additionally, on this automatic version, we also got 0% finance scheme saving us hoards on Interest amount for a loan amount of 14L.
Zero maintenance + zero interest finance makes for a killer deal! Gotta love it when newer players go all out to entice customers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
It's a very nice car and seems pretty reliable as well compared to the Skodas.
I don't know if the Jetta will be any more reliable / unreliable than the Laura, considering that they are identical under the skin.

Drive safe, Akhilesh!
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