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Old 18th May 2011, 21:38   #1
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Thumbs up Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

The story starts with a thought to buy a new car in the month of August 2010. I had been using M800 for more than 7 years and wanted to switch directly to a sedan as I had already missed those middle years of driving a premium hatchback. In fact, I initially fancied with an idea of owning an SUV (like xylo, scorpio or safari); but as the thought matured, zeroed in on a sedan considering three reasons: SUV would have been overkill for my family of four, it would have been much more expensive with less mileage and it would have not suited my need of around 75% city driving considering Bangalore traffic problems.

Then I started hunting for a sedan and took TD’s of City & Verna (both petrol & diesel) in August. I liked City a lot, but thought it is priced a bit above what it deserves for a petrol car. In case of Verna, I didn’t like the new “transformation”. The process got dragged till September/October as I was lost in deciding whether to go for a petrol or diesel car! This was the time when I read about Vento making news around the country with lots of ads & not to mention the famous “talking ad”. I also read GTO’s wonderful review on Vento which had virtually sold Vento to me. I visited VW showroom to take a TD and well, it was as though it was my destiny to meet a Vento (in spite of annoying showroom experience)! I drove a petrol Vento first and was not really impressed; more so because of my earlier City TD effect. Then I drove a diesel Vento and was in love with it by the time I completed the TD! I almost decided to book a Vento Highline TDi, but was hesitant, largely due to the dealership customer relation issues. The treatment at the showroom was pathetic and they didn’t even have enough salesmen to attend to the customers! It was also that the car I test drove was making a bit more noise for a VW diesel car, forcing me to rethink on the decision. Meanwhile came the news of T-Jet launch, but a detailed review on T-BHP was enough to take it out of the race. I also tried to TD T-Jet once before rejecting it, but TD was not available at that time.

By this time it was November and already the Vento thread in TBHP was flooding with a lot of info on Vento. Though I was convinced with Vento Highline TDi, the only area which I had to gamble with however, was VW service as it was (and still is) not yet proven to a large extent. But I could come out with a decision finally in favor of Vento – thanks to BHPians’ initial experiences – and booked Vento Highline TDi on 8th November 2010 with 75K advance. Initial promise from the dealership was two months. By the way, they were supposed to issue me a proforma invoice at that time, which they didn’t. But I needed this later to process the loan application. I had a big fight with them to get this issued to me, because they wanted me to take the loan from their in-house team, but I was taking the loan from an outside agency! With my lot of complaining to their management, I could finally get it though. I also got a good deal from Bajaj Allianz for 25K including 24x7 Spot Assistance service from Mondial.

I started losing patience as the delivery date kept on getting postponed and I complained to the dealership management directly and also to VW through Twitter. It seemed to be fruitful to some extent as there were sudden calls from the dealer to pacify me. But two months became four months and the fight with VW & dealer continued! Meantime, I received a “personal letter” from someone addressing himself as “your Vento engineer” from VW in January asking me to wait for the car justifying that “great craftsmanship needs time & effort”. As my colleague pointed out after reading the letter, it is certainly “German engineering; made in India”

Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi-vento-letter-vw.jpg

Delivery & Driving Experience

The time finally came to take delivery of the vehicle in the first week of April 2011. I had clearly told the dealer not to add any accessories as I wanted to add them gradually after delivery. I took delivery on 8th April 2011, exactly 5 months after booking!

Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi-vento1.jpg

Oh! The delivery wasn’t smoother however. Just at the time of driving away from the showroom, I realized that the lock button on the driver’s door – used to lock the glass rolling in the rear doors – was not working! The button was always glowing & could not be switched off. I made a big issue of it with the head of the showroom and their apology was of little help as it seemed it was a manufacturing defect. The car was taken to the service area for repair on the delivery day itself much to my dismay I know you won’t believe this: they couldn’t repair the door control unit as it couldn’t be opened by them! They connected the car to a diagnostic computer unit, which clearly showed there was some problem with the driver side door which was quite impressive; but that also left with a question how this car passed their quality tests! They finally replaced the whole beige interior unit of the door with the one from another new car! I had no other choice but to accept it as the car had already been registered. Oh! Also I gave all below average rating in the feedback form in the show room; venting out my anger in that manner.

It wasn’t enough it seems. I drove the car home, but couldn’t come out of the driver’s seat as the door opening lever was not functioning! They had screwed up the connections while replacing the door unit. I had to use the outside door handle till I got it fixed from them the very next day. I was fuming when I went to their service center; though they fixed it in ten minutes. I forced them to perform the diagnosis once again to test for any more issues & then drove back.

Interestingly, there was a cute surprise after a couple of days. By 9th or 10th April, a courier package landed in my house from VW! It was a nice small table-clock but with a twist – it is touch & sound sensitive. It works as a mirror when not displaying time. Touch the clock or tap on the surface on which it is kept, it starts displaying the time. Has hourly-chime, alarm etc., It came with a small letter with the same handwriting that of the “Vento engineer” who had earlier written the letter. It looked like this was a consolation gift from VW compensating for the delay.

Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi-imag0236.jpg
Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi-imag0238.jpg
Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi-imag0242.jpg


It has been a month & I have just been able to complete 1000+ km, due to my tight schedule at work & home. I drive around 40 km a day, to & fro between home & work. MFD has been showing average 14 km/l in the morning when the traffic is less and shows around 11 to [COLOR=inherit][COLOR=inherit]13 in[/COLOR] t[/COLOR]he evening. The only long drive has been a visit to the airport – around 50 km from my home. After this 100 km, the average was 19 km/l. Also, couple of days back, when I was driving in NICE road (a long tolled stretch without much of traffic), MFD clocked 21.9 km/l which was really satisfying. I am planning for a trip shortly & will update the thread periodically.

Till date, in spite of those initial glitches, there has been no problem & I find it much smoother now. By the way, I got a call from VW customer service just a few days back, to take my feedback as I had completed one month with the vehicle. I gave back a complete negative feedback to them particularly with the dealership.

Thumbs up
  • Overall driving experience (while considering that I was switching from petrol to diesel)
  • The combination of driver seat adjustment (height & leg room) and the steering wheel adjustment (both in/out & up/down) has been very useful for me
  • The arm rest for the driver is very useful. Its height & placement is just enough for me, as I have started to like keeping my left hand on the arm rest almost all the time! Right hand is more than enough for the steering wheel. Isn’t it?
  • The gear shifting has been very nice. 3rd gear is very smooth in city driving.
  • Interestingly, the variable wiper setting is nice! Had rainy drives 2-3 days & found it to be useful! You know? There is no mention of this feature in the manual. Looks like this is an “India special” feature!
Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi-imag0229.jpg
  • The MFD! Truly good stuff! I found all values to be very useful except for the “instant mileage” one, which keeps fluctuating randomly. It is of no use I feel.
  • The headlight beam angle adjuster is a nice feature; though I haven’t used it in city conditions till now.
  • By the way, the key design is very nice! Particularly the key folding & the rolling-up of all window glasses by pressing & holding the key buttons.
  • I have seen the average mileage indicator showing 21 km/l in long drives, which is really nice! However, considering my city driving routes, I have not been able to get beyond 14. I have also noticed that if I run with “Auto” setting in the climatronix, I get lesser mileage! I hope the mileage improves by the time I touch 3000 km.
  • Brakes! During the initial few days, I felt the braking to be too sharp & was difficult in city chaos. Also I noticed a black powder deposits on the rims of all the wheels in a week or so. I saw this because the car had not been cleaned in the first week. But now I find braking to have just enough sharpness.
  • For a diesel car – unlike what I had felt during my TD – the cabin noise is less! This was one factor I was worried about before deciding on Vento.
  • AC is pretty nice & quick; though the noise is more when the blower is set to full – which is quite normal in all cars I guess.
Thumbs down
  • Hand brake is inconvenient; though manageable.
  • Rear view is really not enough for movement in reverse gear. Parking sensors are a must!
  • Sound quality is not really great. Can’t go beyond volume level 9 with the stock HU & speakers
  • It’s annoying to bring the wipers to service position every day before my car cleaner starts cleaning the car.
  • I have decided to use the same seating for a year till it becomes dirty enough; forcing me to change it. However, it seems it attracts dirt so easily! The beige could have been with a bit darker shade I think.
  • I would have liked if both rear window glasses rolled down completely. I know it is a standard feature in European cars; but would have been helpful.
  • Looks like the dashboard doesn’t show “wear seatbelt” warning symbol! According to the manual, it should it if speed goes up beyond 25 kmph while not wearing the seat belt. I would like to get this reminder.
  • Rear seat arm rest doesn’t have cup holders!
  • I badly miss the audio controls on the steering wheel. A company emphasizing on driving safely should have thought that change of attention of the driver from road to the HU is a big risk!
  • I have noticed one thing: if you use the spray to clean windshield while running AC, you will get a pungent smell in the cabin. This is actually against what is noted in the manual, where it is said that AC is automatically put on to circulation mode while using the spray to avoid the smell. But it doesn’t look like it is implemented in the Indian version of Vento.
  • If you drive for more than 15 km in one stretch, I find that my back gets wet as there is no air circulation near the back support area; even while using the AC. I suppose this is a common problem in all cars. I am planning to use a wooden seat support to enable air circulation.
  • Music system is really useless. I understand VW tried to reduce the cost by providing a basic HU. But what is irritating is that they don’t even have touch screen HU’s for optional purchase! That the IPL version is not available as an accessory is just to add further irritation. Also, according the manual, the stock HU has an aux-in at its back. But I am not sure if the one in Indian Vento doesn’t have it or just that they haven’t given the cabling into the main stow room.
  • I too feel the little grinding noise while depressing the clutch during first & second gear. I think @windsurfer had similar issue & was told by the Service guys that it is fine.
  • As already has been pointed out in TBHP, the noise during rain is considerably high! Listen to it in the below video.

Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi-imag0246.jpg

Accessories
  • After three weeks of waiting, finally managed to get Kagu 3D mats for 4.5K at Junction. I did a little research to find out who is actually manufacturing these mats & found out that the company is Formosa Saint Jose Corporation under the brand name 3D. The name 3D stands for: Deluxe, Designed, Distinguished. And of course it suits the design as all of their products are 3-dimensional. Here is a link to the KAGU 3D mats and also for all other products. BTW, "KAGU" is actually the material the mat is made of.
  • In search of the best HU. I wanted to go for Witson prior to car delivery. However, based on experience of other BHPians, I have now decided to find a different one. More info in this thread.
  • Initially thought of getting mud flaps later, once the rainy season starts. The time has come. Need to get them soon.
  • I have purchased 3M sunfilms through a friend. Did a bit of research too. Check this link & this one too. Planning to go for front windshield screen too & getting them fixed this weekend.
  • Considering an already blocked rear view due to a raised boot, I felt the middle rear view mirror is very small & added a bigger mirror attached on top of the existing one.
  • Still in search of HU compatible parking sensors. I think I will get them fixed along with a new HU.
  • Wooden back support mat for driver's seat. I know this may not look good, but I will have to find a suitable one.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd May 2011 at 12:24. Reason: Removing FONT Tags
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Old 18th May 2011, 22:08   #2
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Congratulations on your new car! It is certainly raining Ventos on T-bhp. One thing I have observed is that most of the Vento owners have had poor dealership experience. But the way you received personal notes from " Your Vento Engineer" is really great. Though it might not have reduced the waiting period but it certainly brings a smile to your face. I did not know VW went to such an extent of personal interaction. It really shows VW does things differently.
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Old 18th May 2011, 22:16   #3
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Congratulations blackdiesel on your new VW Vento. And WOW what a review! Vento looks classy in black color. You bought the value for money diesel car in this segment. Don’t forget to update this thread regularly. Take good care of her and Drive Safe.
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Old 18th May 2011, 22:19   #4
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

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Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
Congratulations blackdiesel on your new VW Vento. And WOW what a review! Vento looks classy in black color. You bought the value for money diesel car in this segment. Don’t forget to update this thread regularly. Take good care of her and Drive Safe.
Thanks. Will certainly update the thread with my experience.
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Old 18th May 2011, 22:28   #5
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Congratulations on the car. This is the first black VENTO I am setting my eyes on and it looks simply fabulous. Please keep updating this thread, its very interesting to read and completely unbiased.
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Old 18th May 2011, 22:39   #6
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Nice review...both positives and negatives. The most appealing car to me in that segment. Please do update this thread on regular basis
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Old 18th May 2011, 22:45   #7
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Congratulations. I'm sure you and your Vento will be happy together

Why don't you write to "your vw engineer" and ask why the final quality control check on your car did not reveal the malfunctioning switch? It would be interesting to see if you get a reply!

I love the clock, but feel that VW should spend the money improving on the showroom experience that people are reporting, or even on the spec of the car itself. Anyway, I'd still be glad to get that clock if I was buying <-- happy smiley, but green with a touch of envy for your great new car!

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 18th May 2011 at 22:49.
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Old 18th May 2011, 23:01   #8
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Hearty congrats mate!

Very interesting review.- more than that those letters (hand written)that you received from vw! I never got anything like that :( + that clock

Well the glass and door locking problem must have been really annoying, but I guess that's dealers mistake of not doing pdi properly. This problem must have been sorted out and you should have ideally never known of this problem to begin with.. Anyway it's fixed so it's good!

Keep us updated with alll your insights , enjoy the beauty
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Old 18th May 2011, 23:07   #9
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Quote:
Another being that if it is an owner-driven car while driving alone (like in my case – most of the time), the rear vent air flow is actually a waste! I would like to generally close all other vents except for the ones next to steering wheel (left & right). Try it & you will see good amount of air flow even for a one-bar AC setting.
With the ACC I wonder if closing of the rear vent actually consumes more power since the area to cool remains constant (in the absence of a partition between the front and rear)
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Old 19th May 2011, 00:18   #10
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Congratulations alot blackdiesel for buying the New Vento HL.
Nice to see that Feedback letter & Free Digital Table Clock.

Do post some more photos of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackdiesel View Post
Interestingly, the variable wiper setting is nice! Had rainy drives 2-3 days & found it to be useful! You know? There is no mention of this feature in the manual. Looks like this is an “India special” feature!
Attachment 547446
Why the Headlamp operating switch knob is without Chrome outlining in your Vento Highline variant ? as seen behind the wiper stalk.
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Old 19th May 2011, 00:32   #11
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

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Originally Posted by Frontosa View Post
Hearty congrats mate!

Very interesting review.- more than that those letters (hand written)that you received from vw! I never got anything like that :( + that clock
I also never got any clock even though i got the car after nearly 6 months

Happy driving mate, run in the engine and then enjoy the brute
You own the king of C segment !
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Old 19th May 2011, 00:52   #12
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

VW must've decided to start that "Your Vento Engineer" gimmick to earn at least some good points given the delays that their customers have had to put up with and the poor showroom experiences reported.

W.r.t. poorly covered side walls of the boot, I feel that the europeans especially always think they're doing a favour to Indians by selling their cars in India. The only folks I've seen at least trying to give quality and reliability in India are the japs.

Nice review. Congrats on your new Vento .

Last edited by sydras : 19th May 2011 at 00:53.
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Old 19th May 2011, 08:24   #13
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Hey blackdiesel, congrats! I was waiting for this review for a while now. Very well-written but we need to see more pics of the Black Bullet!

Sorry to hear about your first-day experience. Thankfully I was spared any of that: in fact, once the car was allocated I had a smoothrun, for which at least I am thankful.

The "VW Engineer" communications, though well-intentioned, are a fail. You should have received your gift before delivery and not after! Can't VW get anything right? The problem seems to be a big disconnect between their manufacturing and marketing arms. Plus, of course the supply chain management is terrible.

Anyway let me not rain on your parade- have fun with the new car and here's wishing you many million happy miles! BTW I noticed my ownership thread being linked in this- thanks for that and glad I could help!
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Old 19th May 2011, 08:41   #14
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Congrats on your new ride. Hope you are satisfied with the car. An awesome ownership report and very well covered. Waiting for more updates from you.

Happy driving.
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Old 19th May 2011, 10:15   #15
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Default Re: Black Bullet in Bangalore - VW Vento Highline TDi

Congratulations blackdiesel. Hope you have a great ownership experience for years to come. Please keep updating your thread regularly with your feedback & experiences. Even i am on the lookout for a good ICE system & have good references from Anoops's, Jesal's & various Polo threads.

Have Fun & Drive safe.
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