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Old 22nd June 2011, 22:55   #1
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Cool My blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI HL - 15000 KMs update

Owning a car has always been an emotional experience for me. My previous car was a Zen LX that I had bought second-hand in 2004 and it has stayed with me through thick and thin. It has never left me stranded anywhere, it has been through two major Mumbai floods (including the 2005 one) and a recent water logging in Bangalore. All it needed was a day or two to dry up and a quick crank after that to be up and running! I have been emotionally attached to my Zen. I even talk to it at times!

My plan to upgrade the car started with a long test drive of the new(then) SX4 in 2007 on Palm Beach road, Navi Mumbai. That's when I started dreaming of buying a sedan. NHC in those days was beyond my reach. So never test drove it. Then came the (old) Verna and I was enamoured by it. And then the ANHC. This new car infatuation went on for every car that has come in the last three years. All have been nice but nothing really hooked my heart. I always found something missing in each of these cars. Good for me in a way -- every passing year, I could nudge my budget up a little for the new car!

Being a design enthusiast, I dig understated elegance and no-nonsense performance. All these cars were either flashy or too bland/awkward/quirky in design for my taste. The Linea with its long nose was not pleasant to my eyes, plus its a little too feminine in appearance. ANHC though it looks nice in the side & three quarter profile has a bit of quirkiness when looked at from the front. And then the Vento came along. With its clean curves, elegant design, understated aggressiveness and balanced stance, it won me over instantly. It looks great from all angles. Every time I pass my car in the office parking lot, I continue looking at it. And so do others! The design will age well as compared to other cars, IMO. In short, I am emotionally attached to my new car.

Booking & TD experience:
The test drive experience has been good, I'd say. I went on a Saturday to take a look at the car and the sales team was quick and responsive in answering all my questions. And I was blown away by the test drive! The factors that went in my favour, apart from the design:
  • The solid feel of the car as compared to the other C segment cars (except the Linea which is almost good)
  • The 'chuckability' factor and the stable road manners.
  • I actually liked the lightweight steering. After driving the carburetter Zen with no power steering for about 14 years (mine + dad's), I found this as a big big relief. I have not been spoilt by hydraulic systems to consider this as a big disadvantage. At higher speeds, I found the steering good enough. But to admit a negative, it lacks the strong feedback I was used to in the non-PS Zen.
  • Class-leading torque. It gives such adrenaline rush, bettered only by the Optra and the Cruze (having driven both). Overtaking is such a breeze.
  • Amazing confidence at high speeds.

Having read GTO's review tens of times and all the initial ownership reviews, I immediately booked the car the next day. This was mid-March 2011.

Like all VW owners on Team BHP, I had a frustrating experience waiting for the car. I kept quiet for about a month and then started making weekly calls to the dealer. Some day in April, the dealer told me that my vehicle is in production and should be at the showroom in the first week of May. That joy was as short-lived as a mayfly! Just a few days later, he changed his tune and said that the production has been delayed by a month. Come June and the same excuse was repeated. I couldn't take it any longer.

Following the lead of many t-bhpians, I shot off mails to VW customer care in Germany and India. Also lodged complaint with the customer helpline. There was no response from the India email address whatsoever! But the Germany customer care at least acknowledged that they had received my compliant and gave me a reference number. And then, one fine morning, I got a reply from Germany with an apology about the delay and said that I will receive communication from the India sales office. On the same day, the showroom sales manager called! He said that my car was in billing at the plant and would take a couple of weeks to reach their stockyard. He apologised for the delay and promised to speeden up the delivery process.

Later, I came to know that VW had alloted a car to me twice. In both instances, the dealer had surreptitiously re-allocated my car to other people. The only reason I can think is either these people are the dealer's friends or they paid more for the car.

Finally 10 days back, I got the keys to the Blue -- I affectionately call it the "Blue". Did a quick pooja at the showroom and drove it straight home. I was so excited that day that I could not sleep. I was standing on the porch admiring the design and the colour till late into the night!

The shadow blue colour accentuates the chrome on the car giving it a regal look. At night, it gives off a shimmering dark colour. In bright sunlight, it looks like an opulent sporty blue. Hard to describe in words.

So here is the teutonic beauty in all its glory:

My blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI HL - 15000 KMs update-20110703img_9649.jpg
My blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI HL - 15000 KMs update-20110703img_9655.jpg
My blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI HL - 15000 KMs update-20110703img_9658.jpg
My blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI HL - 15000 KMs update-20110703img_9662.jpg
My blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI HL - 15000 KMs update-20110703img_9679.jpg
My blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI HL - 15000 KMs update-20110703img_9664.jpg
My blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI HL - 15000 KMs update-20110703img_9660.jpg
My blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI HL - 15000 KMs update-20110703img_9656.jpg

Engine & Performance:
I have not driven much till now. Last week has been quite hectic in terms of work and we were not able to do any weekend trips. But, from the approx 300kms I have driven, I can say this is the best engine in this segment.

The good:
  • The torque is addictive
  • The base RPM (foot off the accelerator pedal) is useful in slow traffic. Releasing the clutch is enough. Second gear stabilizes at little below 15 kmph without the pedal push. However this is a disadvantage if there are frequent stops. The clutch is a little hard and has the tendency to push back easily.
  • The third gear is the best gear. Works from 20 kmph right upto 80kmph (that's where I stopped for the run-in). Very useful for quick overtaking on highways.
  • Amazing mileage!! Haven't seen this for years in my old car so was pretty excited when my first long drive yielded an average of 22.1km/l Now I know why Noopster mentioned that improving the mileage figure on the highway is so addictive!
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The bad:
  • Loud engine clatter at cold start. This sometimes irritates me. But as others are saying, this will smoothen out after the run-in. For now, I switch on the music system!
  • Like GTO said in his review, I can feel the drivetrain on the clutch. Coming from a petrol car, this is new to me and unnerving to start with. I heard this is common in diesel cars, albeit with varying intensities.

Handling:
  • Like I said, it is extremely chuckable and U-turns are a breeze in the city.
  • Braking is excellent. Got comfortable with the brakes in a day. Definitely not oversensitive like other new cars.
  • I have not experienced rides with wider tyres so don't have much to add. Satisfied with the Apollo Aceleres. However, going by TBHPians' feedback, Yoko-C drives seem to be a worthy replacement. Will keep that for a later date.

The gears are excellent. Quick to change with a flick of the wrist sitting on the driver armrest. However, I miss the super slick reversing I used to do in the Zen. In this car, you have to be careful about the reverse and the first gears. I used to have a bad habit of resting my left hand on the gear stick in the old car. Doing this in the Vento engages the reverse gear when you intend to slot it into the first gear. However, with the armrest being available now, I need to change my habits.

Interiors:
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  • Excellent build quality continues on the inside. No parts feel cheap. Can't say that about other cars in this segment, including ANHC.
  • The cabin is roomy and has lot of light coming in. Feels good that way.
  • Loved the small things that VW has done to make the interiors functional. Check the photos below.
  • Beige interiors means the seats start getting dirty from hour one of day one.

A fish-eye view of the cabin:
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Glove box has a pockets to keep coins, cards and also the sun-glasses:
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The first casualty of cost-cutting - the chrome-less light switch:
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The LED indicator for the car immobilizer:
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AC vents and parking light switch:
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Auto Climate-control AC:
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The AC is quite powerful, even at the lowest fan speed.

Controls for power windows and remotely operated ORVMs:
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Clean speedo & rev dials:
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Thoughtful front row ceiling lights:
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Need to watch this immobilizer sensor. May fall off as it did for some Vento owners.
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IRVM is too small. I will replace it with a larger one with the reverse parking sensors, when I get them...
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Clean curves on the dashboard. Love them
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Coat hook on the B-pillar. Nice
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Rear row reading lights. Again thoughtfully implemented.
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Got some 3D mat love for the Blue!
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Nice leather folder for storing the manuals and other important documents.
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Though this comes down in the list of my priorities. I would have preferred the chrome highlight and leather wrap on the steering wheel more than this folder. Nevertheless...

Music system:
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I found the music system to be kinda ok. Not too bad. If you reduce the bass level to below 0 dB, everything starts sounding normal. Even CDs sound better. For now, I have parked my decision to replace the HU and speakers. I too face the same dilemma as a few other Vento owners on TBHP. Not satisfied with the options currently available.

Bugswagen!!
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Phew!! This was long!

Stay on. More to come. Have a long road trip planned for this weekend. Yes, have to take it out on the highway before the run-in period is over. Something I can't avoid. Will report on how the car behaves!!

Last edited by Technocrat : 12th July 2011 at 22:22. Reason: Only 2 smilies per post allowed, Please read our board rules before proceeding, Thanks
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Old 12th July 2011, 14:01   #2
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congratulations!! This is the first time i have seen this color in Vento, it looks awesome. Thanks for sharing the review. Liked the detailed pics too.
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Old 12th July 2011, 14:12   #3
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Nice review. Loved going through the pictures. Congratulations on your Blue teutonic beauty Happy motoring! btw, is this the premium colour in the Vento? I heard the Highline comes with some premium paintjob. Looks absolutely smashing, especially the first few pictures. The instrument console with speedo / tacho looks cool with brilliant contrasting shades.
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Old 12th July 2011, 14:24   #4
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congratulations on your prized possession! Nice detailed review. Could you share the OTR price currently in BLR.

Cheers!
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Old 12th July 2011, 14:26   #5
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congratulations Nileshch on the new buy! Wishing you many happy miles with the Blue. It's a very different shade of blue that I have never seen on any of the Ventos before. I don't think VW Mount Road in Chennai had such a color in their showroom when I took my Polo last month.

Drive safe & have fun
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Old 12th July 2011, 15:14   #6
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congratulations! On getting the "Blue". definitely a very good car from the feedback that I have heard from many owners.

Shocking that leather wrapped steering wheel is not being given even though it is listed in the list of features.

I have booked a Vento AT and should be getting it early next month.

Happy Motoring!
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Old 12th July 2011, 15:58   #7
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

This is the best color on the Vento! How much I love that vento in Blue!!!

Congrats for your new car, enjoy the drive and keep writing in....

BTW for the engine start noise, I have a solution, keep the engine idling for a minute after the cold start, then switch it off for 5 seconds and start again, the shrill noise is gone...

No idea why this happens, but works in my Vento TDI
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Old 12th July 2011, 16:03   #8
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congrats. That's a nice colour for the Vento. Excellent crisp pictures too. Must be a great feeling to see the FE of 22 kpl. Hope you have many happy miles with the car.
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Old 12th July 2011, 16:41   #9
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
btw, is this the premium colour in the Vento? I heard the Highline comes with some premium paintjob. Looks absolutely smashing, especially the first few pictures. The instrument console with speedo / tacho looks cool with brilliant contrasting shades.
Karthik, don't know if the highline paint quality is different from the trendline ones, but this sure is a premium colour. You can see the car in different shades of blue at different times of the day. I simply love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Congratulations on your prized possession! Nice detailed review. Could you share the OTR price currently in BLR.
OTR came to 11 with insurance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenk25 View Post
Shocking that leather wrapped steering wheel is not being given even though it is listed in the list of features.
Yes Naveen, this is shocking. I have complained to VW. Yet to get a response. I don't expect one. They will be forced to respond only if it comes in the news!

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilshantanu View Post
This is the best color on the Vento! How much I love that vento in Blue!!!

Congrats for your new car, enjoy the drive and keep writing in....

BTW for the engine start noise, I have a solution, keep the engine idling for a minute after the cold start, then switch it off for 5 seconds and start again, the shrill noise is gone...

No idea why this happens, but works in my Vento TDI
Ah. nice. Will try this out, Shantanu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
Congrats. That's a nice colour for the Vento. Excellent crisp pictures too. Must be a great feeling to see the FE of 22 kpl. Hope you have many happy miles with the car.
Yes, it is a great feeling!! I am going to test the FE to its limits one day.

Last edited by nileshch : 12th July 2011 at 16:46. Reason: Yay!! 100 posts!!
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Old 12th July 2011, 16:42   #10
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congrats nileshch for joining VW Shadow Blue Club. This color is stunning one.

Excellent photos!

Happy motoring.
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Old 12th July 2011, 16:53   #11
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congratulations once again Nileshch. Blue looks smashing on the Vento. I haven't gone through the full post yet, but I am zapped just looking at the quality of the pictures you have shot. Those really depict your Vento in full glory .

My pic of the lot is the "Bugswagen!!"

BTW if you don't mind, which is the camera on which you have shot these pics?
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Old 12th July 2011, 16:56   #12
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congrats on the blue ,nilesh.I simply love the clean looks of vento.Vento looks the best in this blue,white and also black.Very detailed review and nice pictures too.Enjoyed reading the review.Drive safe.Wear seatbelts.
Regards
sreehari.
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Old 12th July 2011, 17:00   #13
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congrats on the Vento. This color just looks awesome and probably could be a major competitor for the candy white which seems so popular for this car.

I really like this color and I beileve is a similar color that you get in the Dzire.

And, Oh! that FE is mind boggling. Lucky you !!!

Enjoy and Drive Safe.....
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Old 12th July 2011, 17:39   #14
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Awesome Nilesh , I am very happy for you that the agonising wait has yielded such fulfilling returns . Welcome to the Vento family and thats one smashing Blue Teutonic you have got . Wish you many miles of happy driving .
Cheers
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Old 12th July 2011, 18:00   #15
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Default Re: Bringing home the blue teutonic beauty - VW Vento TDI Highline

Congratulations nileshch. The blue color looks AWESOME. I feel the car looks best in black and blue. The only problem with those colors is that they are difficult to maintain. I have booked a silver vento TDI but not a day goes by without the urge to change the booking to black or blue.
The pictures are very nice. With FE figures like that I wish you miles and miles of fun great driving.
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