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Old 22nd June 2011, 23:44   #1
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Default 0 – Polo in 18 days

Hello All,

This is my first post and also the story of how I got my 1.6 Polo Highline in 18 days flat.

In December 2010, I was changing jobs and had decided to give up my Ford Figo 1.2 Petrol Zxi acquired in May 2010. The reasons for this were-
1. The under-powered engine
2. Soft suspension which lead to frequent underbelly scraping when I had more than 1 passenger in the rear seat.
What I liked about the car were its handling capabilities at higher speeds and all together value-for-money appeal. I had acquired this car on the company’s car lease program. A colleague was willing to take the car off my hands and so I didn’t think twice about handing over the car to him.

And just like that, I was once again in the market for a new car in less than a year’s time. I had the following criteria for the next car-

The must haves
1. Good engine
2. Good handling at high speeds and in the city.
3. Good ground clearance
4. OTR price of 6,50,000 INR Bangalore
5. Enough space for 3 passengers and a boot big enough for short weekend getaways.
The nice to haves
1. A mileage of over 10 KMPL. I drive around 900 kms per month so I wasn’t concerned with diesel cars.
2. Good build quality
3. Good looks
4. Good after sales service
Since I had been researching cars for close to 1.5 years at this point I was clear in my head about the choices available in the market. I was also clear about not wanting to wait for <insert-name-of-upcoming-next-best-car>. So what were my options?
1. The Swift
2. The i20
3. The Punto 1.4 Petrol
4. The Figo Diesel (just for my curiosity)
5. The (now classic) Ford Fiesta 1.6 Zxi
6. The Indica Vista 90 HP and the diesel (because my father owns and loves his Indica V2)
The Swift was rejected because it wasn’t roomy enough and frankly the interiors disappointed me. It is however a decent drivers car. I do feel that in comparison to the competition it is now overpriced. 2-3 years ago, it would have been the right choice.

The i20 was rejected because of (terrifying) light steering and lack of power in 2nd gear. I found myself having to shift between 1st and 3rd gear in moderate Bangalore traffic during the test drive. I did like its interiors and found the cabin space acceptable.

The Figo diesel was rejected because of the defective demo car from Metro Ford. It had problems starting. I tried an uphill test and found it wanting in power. Whilst driving this car I kept thinking only one thing – it drives exactly like the petrol variant. It had exactly the same advantages and disadvantages as the petrol variant (See above). Lathangi Ford didn’t show any interest in coming to give me a test drive.

The Ford (classic) Fiesta Zxi was over budget. The lowest I could get any salesman down to was 8 lacs OTR Bangalore. So long Paprika Red Zxi.

Next I went to the VW Downtown showroom and as always, the sales staff seemed least interested in selling a car to me. “No sir, no test drive vehicle available”, “There’s a 4 month waiting list”, “No test drives on Sunday”. This was discouraging, to say the least.

Yes, VW salesmen I get it. Middle class folk like me who can’t afford the Jetta and Passat are now polluting your pristine show rooms, but guess what? VW is and will always be a mass market player in every market they are in – so deal with it. In a visit to VW Downtown in March 2010, I had even lost my temper with the sales head after being subjected to his disinterested and anaemic attitude to my queries. It was insulting to say the least.

The Indica Vista was rejected because I felt that Tata has overpriced this car. Tata and Fiat now share showrooms. When you see an Indica Vista 90 HP which costs 6.2 Lacs INR standing next to a Punto 1.4 Emotion which costs 6.5 Lacs INR; you have to wonder what Tata allows their marketing execs to smoke! (Aria anyone?) This car’s engine is rough, stutters when you let your foot off the accelerator and don’t even get me started on the clutch!

Maruti, Hyundai and Tata if you’re listening – I know you sell tonnes of cars every hour. But please reconsider your pricing strategy. Your top end variants aren’t as good as (premium for the Indian market) offerings from Fiat, Honda and VW.

The Punto 1.4 Emotion: Liked this car, loved its handling, loved its gorgeous exteriors; liked its power. I overlooked its bad stereo, mediocre gear shift and modest interiors. So I booked this gorgeous machine in Medium Grey 1.4 Emotion. Then I began to wait.

I was initially told to wait 3 weeks, “5” I thought to myself. The car was booked in the 3rd week of February and I thought I would have it around mid-March. After 2 weeks I’d upgraded to the 1.4 Emotion Pack in hopes of getting the delivery faster. Mid-March came and there was no sign of the car and even the sales rep was unsure if the car would get to Bangalore before April.

So now what? A friend of mine is a fellow car enthusiast who owns a Palio. He’d been after me to go look at the Polo 1.6. Despite loving the Palio, he’d assured me that the Polo was the hatchback in the Indian car market. And keeping in mind VW’s intention to be the #1 car maker in the world by 2016(?), the after sales service would improve. (Keeping my fingers crossed!)

In mid-march, prodded by my friend and Radio Indigo’s frequent ads for VW – I went to see the Polo 1.6 at VW Downtown. For a change, they had a vehicle available for TD and most importantly, there was none of the snooty and surly sales staff attitude I had been subjected to in previous visits to every VW showroom.

Fun fact: VW doesn’t believe that under 30 year olds can afford their cars. It is true, I had to add ‘< 30’ to their enquiry form just for laughs (well, mostly for my ego)

30 minutes later I had come back from a test drive of a blue 1.6 Polo. It was fast, it handled like a dream and it gave me a big, goofy grin (which lasted the rest of the weekend). I didn’t care that it had no leg room at the back or that the visibility wasn’t as good as the Ford Figo.

This was the car I had to buy. Yes, it was over my budget by more than a lac. But I had to have it and I was not going to wait for it. So, I told the sales rep that I would be interested in purchasing the car if and only if I could be assured delivery of a Polo 1.6 manufactured in 2011 before 1st April 2011. I didn’t care for the colour – no black or red though. I have disliked the red on the Polo and the Punto with a passion. Give me “Paprika Red” from the Ford Fiesta or any other dark red metallic shade. My neighbour has a black Polo 1.6. It is stunning but impractical for the Indian climate.

Well, this sales rep didn’t fail me. On 30th March 2011 I drove away from VW Downtown in my Blue Polo 1.6

Note: The management of Metro Ford and VW Downtown do not allow PDI checks. I did manage to get the VIN numbers before delivery to pacify my inner neuroses. To be fair, I didn’t insist strongly.

I’ve done 2800 Kilometres in this car since then and every time I put my foot down on the accelerator or when I go over bad roads my love for this car is only strengthened.

Till date I’ve driven this car around the city, and a few times on the highway. It is fast enough to force the impatient cab drivers and rash drivers of big vehicles to behave themselves since they’re used to intimidating hatchbacks. It has a loud enough horn to get jay walking pedestrians to pay attention. The suspension is good enough to go over most speed humps and uneven roads without hassle. I have yet to scrape the under belly of the car. The steering gives the right amount of feedback at low and high speeds.

Driving 70% of the time on Old Airport Road to WhiteField I get a mileage of about 10.5 KMPL. This is measured with the tank-to-tank method. The rest is in regular Bangalore traffic. I do avoid bumper to bumper traffic when I can.

This is not a car you buy if you have (older) kids. This is not a car you buy if you’re over 5’8”. And apologies if you’re elderly and have back problems (my father complained non-stop in the front seat). This isn’t a car for the mileage conscious. Nor is it a car for the speed junkie.

Wait, what? Yes, you heard me right. This car has a 1.6 litre petrol engine capable of belting out 108 Bhp; but it isn’t tuned for speed. The Palio 1.6 GTX will still beat it in a straight line. The Polo will however, handle better, stop faster and give more mileage than the GTX.

Special mention for the stereo – the speakers are fine, but I will be replacing the stock stereo which lacks Bluetooth, Aux, USB inputs. For the moment, I am listening to the radio and beaming music via the built in FM transmitter in my N900 and N8.

So this, folks is how I came to own this peppy German hatchback.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 00:49   #2
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Here are some pictures taken on a trip to Eagleton Resort on Mysore Road.
Attached Thumbnails
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0 – Polo in 18 days-22042011062.jpg  

0 – Polo in 18 days-31032011097.jpg  

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Old 23rd June 2011, 01:02   #3
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Congrats on the Polo.

Love the sportiness of the Polo. Definitely recommend a change of the stock HU. Looks drab for an energetic car.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 09:32   #4
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Welcome to the forum. Nice way to start your post and the enjoyed reading the crisp narration on your experience in buying the Polo1.6.

Congrats on getting the best in class hatchback - Polo 1.6!



Cheers!
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Old 23rd June 2011, 09:43   #5
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Congratulations! That was a cool, unbiased review of the Polo 1.6.
Can you please post some interior pics as well?
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Old 23rd June 2011, 10:31   #6
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Congratulations on your VW Polo. Please post some interior pics as well.

Keep the thread updated regularly with pictures.

Drive Safe.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 12:50   #7
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Smile Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Congratulations on the new Polo. Happy mile crunching and drive safely, Request you to post some pics of the interiors too.

What is the OTR cost for the car? Any mods planned ahead. How does the Polo handle in the city and highway driving.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 15:16   #8
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Hi euroexotic, Welcome to the forum!
And I must add, what an entry! Absolutely loved to read your ownership report. Crisp and to the point, no nonsense. Just like the car!
Congrats on the purchase and wish you many happy miles.
Some more pics would be great. Interiors specially.
Also, do mention the accessories/mods you intend to do. If any.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 18:16   #9
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

The OTR price of the car in Bangalore was 7,56,000. This is after a 10,000 INR corporate discount. I believe the prices have gone since from April 1st. That's why I insisted on delivery before April 1st.

I have planned for an upgrade of the basics - seat covers and sun films. After having gone significantly over budget for the car even these upgrades will have to wait for a while! After the seat covers will come the ICE. At best I would upgrade to a Dual DIN unit with Bluetooth and AUX in. As I mentioned before I am happy with the factory fitted speakers which are capable of decent bass. I haven't planned for any other upgrades. I quite like the Polo's clean and polished looks.

As regards pictures of the interiors, is there anything specific you guys would like to see? Sadnabrina and WhatNext have already detailed pictures in their ownership threads for their 1.6 Polos.

The handling is always firm, light and makes you feel always in control irrespective of the speed. I haven't gone past 100 Kmph so I can't comment on handling beyond this.

I would also like to mention that owners of the 2010 Polo 1.6 spoke about the car veering off to one side. I haven't encountered this. I have however found that the gear shift has issues slotting into 1st. I worked around this issue by quickly shifting to 3rd and back to 1st. Not sure if there's something wrong with the car or in the way I'm shifting gears.

Additionally, the 2011 Polo Highline has given up control of the rear power windows from the driver's control. The driver can lock down the rear power windows but cannot control them otherwise. On the plus side, it now has electric ORVMs. Why VW, Why?
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Old 23rd June 2011, 21:01   #10
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Nice detailed review euroexotic. Congrats on the fast Polo.
Somehow I find that this color blends in too much with the surroundings and does not accentuate the lines of the Polo.
Regarding the deletion of rear power window controls from driver module - that's a cheap trick VW has played - and I equate it with Figo having rear manual windows. Any chance a retrofit can be done by using the control module from an earlier Polo (they must be making it as spare)? Can you post some pictures of the 2 button window control module on driver side?
Do keep us updated on you ICE venture - you shall find plenty of Polo related threads in the ICE section.
Happy revving!
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Old 23rd June 2011, 22:45   #11
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Congratulations. That was one cool buying and ownership experience. Loved the zoomed out pictures of the shining silver car. The four potter 1.6 is supposed to be one smooth drive (I am planning a for TD for a long time, not happening).

Is the Polo bottoming out at the same places where the Figo used to?

And frankly the comparison with the Palio 1.6 ends with the engine specks only.

Wishing you many years (definitely >1) of happy driving experience.

Last edited by dot : 23rd June 2011 at 22:47.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 22:55   #12
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Congrats euroexotic! It is nice to see you are happy about the purchase and enjoying your new ride.

How does the handling of Polo compares to that of Figo?
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Old 24th June 2011, 07:00   #13
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

@Dot:
The Polo has never bottomed out since I've started to drive it.

@Jammy28
The Polo is easier to maneuver in the city, despite its larger width. On the highway, it feels in control. One thing I'd like to say is that the car can be safely controlled at any speed with just one hand on the steering and you never have to be concerned about it loosing control.
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Old 24th June 2011, 10:32   #14
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Default Re: 0 – Polo in 18 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
The four potter 1.6 is supposed to be one smooth drive (I am planning a for TD for a long time, not happening).
Even I am planning for a TD. Did TD the 1.2, but to be honest, didnt turn out to my liking. How about this weekend?

OT: Dot, isnt the color of this Polo similar to your Scorpo?
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Old 24th June 2011, 10:48   #15
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Congrats on the new polo, I Guess you have written a very crisp review and an unbiased one as well.

Are you planning to change Tyres? I think that would be awesome for a 1.6 car.
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