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Old 13th March 2010, 17:42   #526
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Originally Posted by daredeviljpr View Post
This is just extreme. I own a Punto and have seen Indica Vista closely (including the special edition with leather and stuff). The plastics are far better in Punto then that of Indica.

I do not understand why people just get stuck on plastic quality, fit and finish when it comes to compariosn between a Punto and other hatchbacks. Is plastics the only thing that you look at while purchasing the car? Which other car provides the features provided by Punto in the same price range.

Punto may not be the best (I believe it is the best) but I am sure it not also bad leave alone being worse. Every car has issues and the point should be how well the issues have been addressed. Look around and we will find unsatisfied customers for every brand be it Maruti, Hyundai, Skoda etc.

FIAT has launched a good product with some very good features like BluenMe, displays the current mileage(km/l) which is correct to +-1 or 2, good use of electroics and software. The console displays various signals which gives an indication if something is wrong. The other day I saw a light glowing in the console and I found out that my indicator bulb was not working.

DO NOT just argue for the sake or arguing that Punto is not a good car etc etc. Comparisons should be made by taking all factors intyo account and not the -ve features of one car and +ve features of the other car. Every car has some good features and some bad features.
I wrote in a blog about Fiat in Dec 2009 and this is the reason I do not prefer Fiat even though their products (Presently Punto & Linea) are good.
Let us go 25 years back exactly when Maruti was launched. At that time Fiat had Premier Padmini - their flagship model. They launched Premier deluxe BE - kicked out Premier padmini - launched Premier 118NE - kicked out Deluxe BE - Launched Premier 137D - kicked out Premier 118NE - launched Premier 138D -kicked out 137D - launched Uno Petrol - kicked out 138D - launched Uno Diesel - kicked out Uno petrol - launched Sienna Petrol - kicked out Uno diesel - launched sienna diesel - kicked out Sienna Petrol - Launched Fiat Petra - kicked out Sienna diesel - Launched Palio Petrol - Kicked out Petra- launched Palio Adventure - kicked out Palio petrol - launched Palio multijet diesel - kicked out Palio Adventure - launched Punto and Linea. -- (The order may not be accurate )The last two are their current models from the fiats shelf. They had never retained their older versions even for a period of 5 years which is exactly opp to Maruti or Hyundai who always regain their No1 and No 2 spot. When a consumer buys a product he/she believes it to be available in the market for atleast 5 to 10 years especially in the auto arena. This is because of 2 reasons. Genuine spares availability. Good service availability. When the product is not available then these two becomes question mark. Due to this the resale of the product become worse by 50% striaght.

All thought this will change when TATA became their Sale partner but it did not.

Presently Fiat lives in the market due to their - Multijet diesel motor which is hot cake for all car manufacturers. Fiat has to produce and retain the good quality cars for atleast 10 years to have a long lasting customer relationship.

- Fiat products are good and it is accepted by all.

--If Fiat assures to produce & maintain Punto for another 10 years then I am ready to shift from Maruti to Fiat today.
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Old 13th March 2010, 17:51   #527
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Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post
Talk about creating a level playing field.

Maybe the Maruti folks want the customers to have a look at the trash () the competitors are offering and finally settle down on their models.
"trash the competitors are offering" well I would rather say once the customers take a look at those Puntos and Polos being displayed they would rather see that how competition has moved ahead in terms of build quality, design, features and how Maruti compromises on the same.

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Originally Posted by RGK View Post
I wrote in a blog about Fiat in Dec 2009 and this is the reason I do not prefer Fiat even though their products (Presently Punto & Linea) are good.
Let us go 25 years back exactly when Maruti was launched. At that time Fiat had Premier Padmini - their flagship model. They launched Premier deluxe BE - kicked out Premier padmini - launched Premier 118NE - kicked out Deluxe BE - Launched Premier 137D - kicked out Premier 118NE - launched Premier 138D -kicked out 137D - launched Uno Petrol - kicked out 138D - launched Uno Diesel - kicked out Uno petrol - launched Sienna Petrol - kicked out Uno diesel - launched sienna diesel - kicked out Sienna Petrol - Launched Fiat Petra - kicked out Sienna diesel - Launched Palio Petrol - Kicked out Petra- launched Palio Adventure - kicked out Palio petrol - launched Palio multijet diesel - kicked out Palio Adventure - launched Punto and Linea. -- (The order may not be accurate )The last two are their current models from the fiats shelf. They had never retained their older versions even for a period of 5 years which is exactly opp to Maruti or Hyundai who always regain their No1 and No 2 spot. When a consumer buys a product he/she believes it to be available in the market for atleast 5 to 10 years especially in the auto arena. This is because of 2 reasons. Genuine spares availability. Good service availability. When the product is not available then these two becomes question mark. Due to this the resale of the product become worse by 50% striaght.

All thought this will change when TATA became their Sale partner but it did not.

Presently Fiat lives in the market due to their - Multijet diesel motor which is hot cake for all car manufacturers. Fiat has to produce and retain the good quality cars for atleast 10 years to have a long lasting customer relationship.

- Fiat products are good and it is accepted by all.

--If Fiat assures to produce & maintain Punto for another 10 years then I am ready to shift from Maruti to Fiat today.
a point very well said we need manufacturers who show confidence in India, who have long term perspective, rather than doing some sales go back, come back some years later and then go back again. IMO VW has shown its confidence in India by investing 5000 Crores in its manufacturing facility. Also VW has a range of products which can suit the purchase power of mass market. This inclines me more towards VW

Last edited by Dippy : 15th March 2010 at 14:03. Reason: Back to back posts.
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Old 13th March 2010, 18:05   #528
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Originally Posted by RGK View Post
--If Fiat assures to produce & maintain Punto for another 10 years then I am ready to shift from Maruti to Fiat today.
As someone who has enjoyed and suffered at the hands of Fiat for a long time, I concur with your sentiment, though you must know that it is very unpopular here!
To be fair though, the saga you refer to falls under three management eras.
The first till about 1998 under the antiquated Doshi family, the next, till a couple of years ago, under arrogant Italian management, and the current, under Indian management and Italian ownership.
When the GP was launched, one look at it from inside, and the fact of Tata service was enough to make me realize that this would be more of the enjoyment cum suffering story, and I had had enough of that for decades. Bought a Hyundai instead for the first time, and no regrets till date.
I am getting a sense from reports here that the VW is a better built product, and to my mind the only open question about the petrol powered one is the after sales. If VW manage to get that right, I think the Polo will be a huge success because VW has the benefit of a clean slate.
But getting after service right in India goes much beyond German engineering! Time will tell...

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Old 14th March 2010, 16:31   #529
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by GTO "You think a giant like Maruti will be sitting idle? The all-new generation Swift has been spotted testing. India is the largest market for that car, and you can bet it will be tailor-made to our requirements. One of the reasons that the Swift is being outclassed by these newer hatchbacks is that, well, its SIX years old!"



If we forget that the Swift is six years old, what would be the choice?
Polo 1.2l Petrol comfortline or Swift 1.2l Petrol Vxi(with driver seat of Zxi-if we can change it and 185/70R14 wheels)??
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Old 14th March 2010, 16:45   #530
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One of the reasons that the Swift is being outclassed by these newer hatchbacks is that, well, its SIX years old!"
While this is a very relevant comment, the question I have is will Maruti be able to address the rattling issue. This comes from build and vendor part quality, not just state of the tech contained in the car. I suspect that if the Swift was rattle free, even the current K series model may be the better car overall. What it may lose on ride, it will get back on handling, engine refinement, FE and after sales support.
For some reason, Maruti does not seem to be able to address this - Hyundai - the Getz for example in the same segment from the time it was launched - and even GMI do a much better job these days on the rattle subject. And this is not new to them, I faced this issue with Esteems bought over ten years ago. Actually, the only rattle free car from their stable in my experience was the original Zen, the 1993-96 models.

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Old 14th March 2010, 17:04   #531
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Actually, the only rattle free car from their stable in my experience was the original Zen, the 1993-96 models.
Dude you are sooo right, my dad had one of those, it was completely rattle free & we drove it for more than 200,000 kms. & even after that we sold it for a lakh rupees in 2004... people were ready to buy it on the spot

we had one of the first 100 zen cars in India, You can still recognise them, they had something in particular & that was that their tail lamps had a black colored border.It even had a lot of japanese parts. Very hard to find these days but not impossible

Last edited by Mustang.101 : 14th March 2010 at 17:07.
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Old 14th March 2010, 17:13   #532
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it was completely rattle free & we drove it for more than 200,000 kms.
I drove mine hard too, not even a flat on the OE Michelins! I suspect that as the plastic parts got localized, the rattles started. As I recall, the Zens were being built in a different line/plant than all the other cars, which was the reason then attributed for their great build quality. Since this feature did not last, I suspect localization as one of the reasons for the rattles to come into these cars as well. On the other hand, Hyundai which is also just as localized in content, has been able to build rattle free cars here for a long time now, so I am sure I don't have the correct answer, or perhaps all of it.
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Old 14th March 2010, 17:22   #533
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I drove mine hard too, not even a flat on the OE Michelins!
I remember those michelin tyres, what joy! They were Michelin tyres with tubes, Yes i did say it right Michelin tyres with tube & not tubeless...

Good Old days! Anyways i think this is going way
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Old 14th March 2010, 17:23   #534
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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
While this is a very relevant comment, the question I have is will Maruti be able to address the rattling issue. This comes from build and vendor part quality, not just state of the tech contained in the car. I suspect that if the Swift was rattle free, even the current K series model may be the better car overall. What it may lose on ride, it will get back on handling, engine refinement, FE and after sales support.
For some reason, Maruti does not seem to be able to address this - Hyundai - the Getz for example in the same segment from the time it was launched - and even GMI do a much better job these days on the rattle subject. And this is not new to them, I faced this issue with Esteems bought over ten years ago. Actually, the only rattle free car from their stable in my experience was the original Zen, the 1993-96 models.
Maruti Swift till day has long waiting periods. I dont see Maruti being proactive and addressing some of the issues in Swift. Non T-Bhpians dont mind a rattle or two. So why bother? But now, we have some competing cars like Figo, Beat and Polo which can dent the Swift numbers. If these cars make an impact in a way that Swift has no longer waiting periods, like walk in today and walk out with car tomm, one can find Maruti management alarmed at order book going down. By the time, they decide to fix x,y,z issues, the current Swift would have reached end of lifecycle and Maruti would simply replace it with New Swift and see to that those x,y,z issues are not present in New Swift. Bang, New Swift will have all new levels of waiting periods. Anyways thats my reading of the current sitation, well I could be grossly wrong as well.

PS: My post is also OT. Lets have a new thread to discuss these.
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Old 14th March 2010, 17:33   #535
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Originally Posted by rajivn View Post
.

PS: My post is also OT. Lets have a new thread to discuss these.
Not quite, bringing it back by asking - from what people have seen of it, do they think the Polo will be rattle free and trouble free? Not sure if one can make that out from looking at it though. The only reason I would look to buy it is if I knew that it would, given reasonable maintenance, look as good as new 10 years on, in addition to performing without any fuss. The plastics may not be the best looking today, but they should continue to look the way they do, many years down the line. Along with the rest of the car. I think that would extract premium from quite a few pockets, and is what the VW brand stands for, but does the Indian built car live up to that brand promise? It should be a car that allows for getting off the 4 year new car buying treadmill.
As in the case of after sales, time will tell, I guess.
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Old 14th March 2010, 22:23   #536
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Hi everybody, Indian hatchback market is heating up like never before. There was a time when we had very little choice for cars, but a rising economy and purchasing power of Indians has met with good enthusiasm from car manufacturers from all over. A recent addition to this race has been VW. They say that life is beautiful if you have an American salary, Japanese life expectancy, Indian wife and a German car. I am more than delighted that today we have a possibility to own a German car. I have been following this thread right from the beginning as I am hunting for a hot hatch. Today was the day when I would come face to face with this much talked about hatch The Polo.

I went with my family to check the polo in real, because we Indians still do respect the opinions of our family when it comes to purchases, specially a car. For a while I have been using my Dads Honda city (2007) but now I wanted a car of my own. Let see my profile in brief,

I am single, working in a MNC, monthly running of 1400-1700Kms, budget of 5-6 Lakh. The car which I was looking for should have the following,
Petrol car, good fuel efficiency, looks, brand image, beige interiors, airbags and ABS, good build quality, maintenance cost.

Based on my requirements, we shortlisted the following cars,
- Punto
- I20
- Polo

Punto Ė Car looks really nice, good build, ride and handling. But Fiats tie-up with Tata gave me jitters. Also it was difficult for me to trust Fiat as they have been launching products in India for a long time but notoriously running away and then coming back and running away. Also Tata guys servicing Italian beauty, thatís leaves a lot to ponder. The black silver interiors donít excite me and the quality of plastics was questionable.

I20 Ė Again a good car, with good sales number, comprehensive service network, good looks, features inside. But I did not enjoy the ride quality, was bumpy even though it is heavy. The test car which I rode had done 6000Kms and I could see the damage it has taken on the inside. The color of gear knob had come off, OVRM were making squeaking noise, coffee colored interiors were a turn off, back seat windows too small and passenger seem to be cut off from outside. The bonnet is short (I like long bonnets) and body design is curvaceous (I like more straight lines and edges, again a personal choice, opinion varies widely)

Polo Ė Biggest plus was that it is a German car. I have studied and worked in Germany and I always wanted my first car to be German (provided it fits my pocket and my expectations) So here I had an opportunity to check it inside out.

I am not putting up any pictures because there are lots of them available in this thread itself.

Exteriors : As I am a fan of long bonnets, straight lines, edges, Polo did excite me a lot. The front view is simply amazing. It has that ferocious staring looks. The bumper is very sporty and looks up market. Headlamps could have been smoked, but I believe that an after-market solution would be available soon. The VW badge looks fab and tapering bonnet adds to the sporty yet straight forward stance of car. The meaty 15 inch, 7 spoke alloys with 185 profile tyres add to the character in side profile. The rear is simple, its nothing great to talk about but its not something to criticize either. Again VW badge (which doubles as boot opener) looks striking in rear. All in all Polo for me is the best looking hatch in the market and it has already received applauses for its character looks.

Interiors: Interiors are dual-tone (black beige). The plastics have good texture and reasonably good quality, nothing to complain about. The fit and finish was good. The steering could have been leather-wrapped, but it feels good in hands and the shining VW badge in middle is fab again (I really like VW badge, donít I ? ) The horn key placement is nice and practical. The speedo console lights up in white and looks upmarket. The MID is in red with good font size. It displays various parameters like fuel quantity, Mileage, trip, temp and so on. The central console is occupied by the music system it has all the regular features. Again it matches beautifully with the overall theme of interiors. Below the system are the climate control knobs, they seem to be a bit small in size but do their job. The AC vents are really large and chilly. For me they look more retro than modern. All the knobs and AC vents have chrome lining around them which makes the interiors look classy and elegant.

The seats have a very good travel and height adjustment. With an adjustable steering, height adjustable seat it was not difficult to find a good driving position. The height adjustment lever was sturdy and you can increase or decrease the height with relative ease. The gear knob has got a good grip, with chrome numbers. Lots of pocket holes here and there. What I liked the most was, place to hold 1.5lt bottles in the doors.

I have seen people complaining about rear legroom. Well I am 5 feet 10, I adjusted the driving position and came back to sit at the rear. The legroom was nothing to complain about and it was sufficient. This really delighted me as I was much worried about it. The seats have good thigh and lumbar support. The arm supports on the doors are comfortable. A good sitting position in rear and big windows give a pleasant airy feeling. The boot is really big (almost 300 ltrs) and wheel arches donít spoil the space. Boot opens to a very good height, I guess almost 7 feet high. When you want to close, you need not slam the boot lid, bring it down about 70% and it has a retracting action.

Overall I find the interiors classy and elegant. It feels roomy, with good leg space at the front and back. The car is wide and in the front you wont be brushing elbows with your fellow passenger. At rear the bench is comfortable for 2 adults. A 3rd person can slip in depending on the size of other 2 persons 

Fire and Drive : 3-cylinder engines are accused of being noisy. I fired up the engine, but it was not that audible. I turned down the stereo and AC to notice the noise, but it didnít irritate me at all. I felt it normal and nothing to worry about. Engine noise was also my major concern, had it been loud it would have been a big turn off, thankfully it didnít. I was taking test drive in Kolhapur and the showroom is on highway, so had the possibility to sprint the car. The gear shifts are butter smooth with short throws, absolute delight. Car has a good pickup and rev happy. From showroom to highway it is 500m, driving in 2nd gear kept the momentum of car and it did not feel sluggish at all. The steering is EPS and I like it (since my Honda city also has the same), its very easy to maneuver. Once we hit the highway, I started working on butter smooth gears and we touched 110 in good time. My uncle was sitting next to me and I said to him we have touched 110, he was surprised. He thought it was around 80. The car really felt heavy as if something is keeping it grounded. But by this time I could feel the grunt of engine, yes it grunts, its not fair to call it noise . The acceleration of car is good and it is not a lazy machine at all. It responds really nice to pedals. Pickup in high speed was also good. I had to brake and enter the service lane so as to go back to the showroom. I braked hard with confidence and car didnít let me down. Back in service lane, I shifted places with my uncle. The service lane was bumpy with potholes, but we didnít bounce around. Car was behaving very maturely, just like a big car. My father was seating on the back seat and he enjoyed both the highway and bumpy sections. From a passengers point of view he was impressed with no complaints at all. This kind of ride and handling I was missing in I20, which was my second choice. Its really a big difference I would say. We returned to showroom as satisfied drivers and passengers. All of us agreed on the value proposition and a green signal to book the car.

Only three colors are on offer, white, silver and red. I wanted to have pepper grey, but the sales guy said it would take a while to come !!! and he does not know how long ???? He plans to confirm me by tomorrow, if all goes well I would be booking the car on Padwa (16th Feb)

Some other points :
- Car has anti-pinching windows, meaning if windows are being rolled up and some one sticks his hand in between, the windows roll down.
- The driver-side viper cannot be lifted up completely
- USB port missing on music system
- Using the keyless entry key, you can roll up-down all the four windows, but all at the same time.
- Even while car is locked, the VW badge on boot lid flips, however it wont open the boot.
- Spare wheel is not an alloy
- OVRMs are manually operated
- No vanity mirrors or boot light
- Service interval is at every 15000Km. It requires 3 liter engine oil and service cost would be in range of 4000 Ė 5000 including synthetic oil change
- 2 years standard warranty, no option to extend it
- 3 years warranty for color
- 6 years anti-corrosion warranty
- 50000 is booking amount, 1% deduction on invoice price if booking cancelled.
- Waiting period is 2-3 months !!!!
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Old 15th March 2010, 00:06   #537
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Originally Posted by formel_eins View Post
Hi everybody, Indian hatchback market is heating up like never before.
Excellent review - thanks for that!

There have been many varying reviews about the engine but glad to know you found it adequate. Can't wait to test drive the car

Btw guys, the chennai dealer replied back - the optional navigation unit is a handheld one, it'll not be integrated into the dash. :(
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Old 15th March 2010, 00:19   #538
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Excellent review - thanks for that!

There have been many varying reviews about the engine but glad to know you found it adequate. Can't wait to test drive the car

Btw guys, the chennai dealer replied back - the optional navigation unit is a handheld one, it'll not be integrated into the dash. :(

yesterday i had tried the diesel I20, and ford fiesta TDCI. So if you enjoy diesels, this petrol may not meet the expectations. But as for the petrol I did like the ride and specially the grunt once it crosses 100kmph
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Old 15th March 2010, 10:51   #539
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Very Nice review, am getting inspired to book one (but only after test drive)!!!!!
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Old 15th March 2010, 13:31   #540
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Why no mention of weight?

I see that it is 1020kg from GTO review table. Why does VW not advertise the Polo weight in any of their promotional material eg in the brochure or in detailed tech spec sheet: http://www.volkswagen.co.in/media/co...cification.pdf
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