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Old 2nd July 2011, 00:11   #1
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Default My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

We got our Vento a Few weeks back. This review is right after a long tour. Not that long. 350 kms roughly. I drove only a part of it.

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My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!-rimg0208.jpg

WHATS EXCELLENT

1.6L TDi
The TDI engine is definitely the best in the segment. As of today no other car in this segment offers performance at par with this engine. The only decent competitor is the Verna 1.6D. But I personally feel the Vento is much more enthusiastic to drive. There is a rush of torque that kicks in from very low in the rev-range and lasts all the way to 3000 RPM. (That is the limit it was pushed). Flooring the throttle at 1000 RPM in 2nd gear it accelerates like a naturally aspirated petrol engine till 1700 RPM after which the turbo spooled in and it pulled like a jet plane. The gear ratios are perfectly chosen and throttle response is excellent. Any speed any gear power delivery is instantaneous as long as you are above 1500 RPM. It is one of the rare cars that have amazing punch as well as negligible turbo lag.

WHAT’S GOOD

Ride & Handling
Suspension is set on the stiffer side for the interest of handling. But this does not take a big toll on the ride quality at low speeds. Definitely on extremely broken patches, cars with soft suspensions feel better but the Vento is not uncomfortable. My vote on ride quality would be Linea > Vento > T-Jet > Fiesta > Verna.
The chassis feels solid, suspension stiff enough to control the body roll. Although marginal roll can be felt at high speeds but is not at all a concern for handling. The low stance inspires confidence in driving.
Stability at high speeds is unmatched. It is rock solid. However I would still prefer hatch over sedan since in a hatch you don’t have to slow down for each and every broken patch and bumps. The boot is an extra load is always a baggage.
The steering is light and understandably feedback is less. But on the flip side parking is easier & more chuckable in the city. I have no complains with the steering. I drive both Fiat and Vento and I can tell that you can only appreciate the steering of Vento after you get used to it. Grip with 185/60 is good but with an upgrade to 205/55 it logical. Braking is excellent. Easy to modulate as well.

5 Speed MT
This is the best transmission I have used so far. Short, precise and not at all rubbery. A little bit effort is needed to slot in reverse and 5th. Sometimes (very rarely) the stick slips from the hand if shifted carelessly. Maybe it needs a better grip.

Built quality
No part on the inside feels cheap except the A/C vents plastics. The ICE and A/c control buttons, Wiper, Dipper control stalks, power window switch, the sun visor everything feel robust and durable. The materials are hard. I would have preferred some soft touch Laura materials, some Fiesta type futuristic design but ended up with old school design. Fit and finish is also segment best. Lots of chrome is thrown in here and there.

Space
There is decent amount of space for both front and rear passenger. Legroom is better than its competitors. There is a lack of headspace but when you are looking for a low stance car you can’t have all. The central tunnel is a bother for the 5th passenger but overall for a family of 4 it is extremely spacious. No complaints regarding boot space as well.

Looks
Polo is my favorite looking Hatch but in sedans it is Linea. Then comes City. Vento comes next. The front looks clean. I would have preferred it to look a bit different from Polo though. Side view is excellent. Boot integration is superb. The rear is not my favourite, specially the tail lamps. But over all a very proportionate design with clean lines. It is going to offend none.


FE
Any one who has driven only petrol will appreciate the FE of diesels. In the same route (100% city with 100% AC) where 1.2L petrols deliver 12.5, the Vento impresses with 14.5. Highway milage is a bit disappointing. 17.5 only. After running in it is expected to increase further. But when it is already a diesel why bother about FE at all?

Smaller yet significant things1. Automatic climate control works well. Easy interface to operate. Cools very well. A/C starts a few seconds after starting the car in case you leave it on (which you must).
2. MID shows a lot of information.
3. Steering adjustment rocks.
4. Ergonomics is perfect.
5. Front visibility is decent. Thanks to the A pillar & driver sear height adjustment.
6. Rear quarter glass creates an airy ambience. And with the beige interiors the cabin is extremely well lit up.
7. The rear window line is low so visibility for rear passengers is superb.
8. The rear A/C vents works well too. Unfortunately it can’t be completely shut off.
9. 1 touch window up/down is useful.
10. Boot release button integrated in the key is extremely useful.
11. The wiper spray works very well.
12. Front passenger seat adj. though not that useful is a thoughtful touch.



WHAT’S BAD

Refinment
The 1.6D may be powerful but is the least refined in the segment. On the outside it sounds like INDICA if not TATA SUMO but thanks to the insulation there is little noise on the inside with windows rolled up. At idle with the music system off you can hear the clatter. Not at all pleasing. Better turn the music system on.

ICE
The sound clarity is not at all upto the mark. Even with Max treble it is pathetic. The only frequency I can here is mid and lower mid. Add to that lack of surround/dolby digital.
There is no AUX/USB/BT/Steering controls. This system in the open market is not even worth 7K with all 4 speakers.

Smaller yet annoying things
1. There is some vibration at the clutch pedal.
2. The boot does not feel as solid as the rest of the car.
3. Idle RPM is quite high (900). So whenever the clutch is released the car jumps forward.
a. 7Kmph in 1st gear
b. 15 kmph in 2nd gear
It is on the higher side without accelerator input. So it is a bit difficult/ tricky to drive without clutch riding in start stop traffic.
4. Rear view is seriously hampered due to high bootlid and headrests.
5. Rear windows do not roll down completely.
6. Head lights are very weak. I don’t prefer to tamper with electricals, hence can’t understand how to deal with it.
7. Single reverse lamp. Don’t know why the hell they do it. Feels cheap. Extremely cheap cost cutting.
8. Headlights and wipers orientation are different. This setup is for left hand drive. Not for India. Yet VW claims Vento is made for India specifically.
9. Driver armrest creates problem everywhere. Be it in parking brake, be it in shifting gear, be it in fastening seat belts.
10. After a long drive the only thing that pains is the thumb. Insanely hard horn. Placed far away as well from the steering.
11. The exhaust pipe is neatly hidden but not the toe hook. Ridiculous.
12. Panel alignments are not as great as everyone claims.

*Thanks to GTO for making the selection process easy by providing such a fabulous review.

Last edited by oxyzen : 2nd July 2011 at 00:16.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 01:05   #2
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

@oxyzen:
Excellent observation. I agree with you on almost all the points.
Only difference I felt is the suspension to be on the softer side than what you have mentioned and the steering is a letdown for me (particularly for a car with such a superb diesel motor )And if I remember correctly, the engine revs almost like a petrol motor and goes past 5000 rpm with flourish.. Hope you experience it soon. Definitely the best diesel engine in the segment.

But as you said, the refinement is bad. Couple of days back, I was having a smoke at my balcony on 8th floor and I heard a car being started below - it sounded awful and I thought it must be a Sumo or Qualis or something like that only to figure out that it's a Vento. In my extended TD, found the refinement to be sub par but not this bad -so the insulation must be good. Actually, if you observe, this is true for other VW diesels like Laura as well.

Last edited by adimicra : 2nd July 2011 at 01:07.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 10:08   #3
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
We got our Vento a Few weeks back. This review is right after a long tour. Not that long. 350 kms roughly. I drove only a part of it.

.
Congrats mate on getting this addictive car - given that you were on the lookout for a performance car, I am sure that you would love the Vento. I agree with you on the engine noise it needed a bit of getting used to it specially since I was used to petrol cars . I agree with adimicra that VW TDi are on the noisier side.

The clutch pedal vibration was reported by a few on the forum , if I am not mistaken all of them reported that the same vanishes after the run in period.

I agree with you on the headlamps , I felt that it was inadequate especially since a lot of my daily drive is on broken roads which are underlit. I have upgraded to Philips 90/100

I use a compromise position for the arm rest , keep it at a slightly upwardly angle which allows comfortable access to the seat belt lock , handbrake as well as gives comfortable support to the hand.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 10:13   #4
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

Oxyzen, nice summing up of what we love (and hate) about the Vento!

A suggestion: switch your front foglamps on highways or dimly-lit areas: it will help visibility significantly.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 10:23   #5
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

Oxygen, first of all many congratulations on getting your Vento & you writing your initial experience right after the long drive speaks a lot of how eager you were to drive the Vento. The review is of course fantastically written. I found many points in your write-up against the Vento rather than for the Vento, but I salute your decision to opt for the Vento as it is a car with all the basics right & this is what matters the most for a well informed driver. Your attempt to draft a GTO style mini-review is quite admirable. Keep up the good work & give us more bites as you start munching miles with your Vento.

All the best & Happy Driving.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 11:57   #6
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

Thank you guys adimicra, noopster, souravc & autoindian.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adimicra View Post
@oxyzen:
I felt is the suspension to be on the softer side than what you have mentioned and the steering is a letdown for me (particularly for a car with such a superb diesel motor )
I like the suspension this way. The one on T-Jet and FiestaS is too hard to handle the broken roads of India. They do have their advantage in highways. But since most of the time will be spent on city than Highways, ride can not be too much compromised. The only thing I repent is the boot. I would love a Polo 1.6D. Hatches are more FTD than sedans IMHO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by souravc View Post
I agree with you on the engine noise it needed a bit of getting used to it specially since I was used to petrol cars .
The noise is at par on the inside. Good insulation I presume. But on the outside it is a bit embarrassing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by souravc View Post
The clutch pedal vibration was reported by a few on the forum , if I am not mistaken all of them reported that the same vanishes after the run in period.
That is a relief.



Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
A suggestion: switch your front foglamps on highways or dimly-lit areas: it will help visibility significantly.
It is the fog lamps that rescue the day. But since the range is less it works well at moderate speeds only. An upgrade is needed if too much night driving is needed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoIndian View Post
I found many points in your write-up against the Vento rather than for the Vento, but I salute your decision to opt for the Vento as it is a car with all the basics right & this is what matters the most for a well informed driver.
All the best & Happy Driving.
Absolutely spot on. I can live with 100 small points against a car but Performance, Ride & Handling has to be top knotch.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 12:26   #7
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Default Re: My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

Hi Oxyzen,

Congrats on the car, and many thanks for sharing this review! I've moved it into it's own independent thread.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 14:07   #8
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Default Re: My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

Congrats on your new car.This colour is very rare.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 20:46   #9
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Default Re: My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

Congratulations for your new Volkswagen Vento. The car looks very cool in this shade.

So update the thread with more pics and regular service upgrades.

Wishing you happy and safe driving.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 21:35   #10
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Default Re: My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Hi Oxyzen,
Congrats on the car, and many thanks for sharing this review! I've moved it into it's own independent thread.
The reason I did not create an independent thread is that I will not be driving the car all the time. I can only get my hands on it when I come home on leave.

So expect more leave application for my employer.
It is hard to stay away from such a driver's delight.

But since this new thread is created anyway, I will try my best to keep it updated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cityvic View Post
Congrats on your new car.This colour is very rare.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
Congratulations for your new Volkswagen Vento. The car looks very cool in this shade.

So update the thread with more pics and regular service upgrades.

Wishing you happy and safe driving.
Initially we booked the Silver. All of a sudden a call from sales executive.
We have got some Terra Beige delivered. You can it off shelf if you like the colour. Firstly this one looked better than silver (to me). Silver looked like it had a blue tint. It was not pure silver. Although I feel white is the best suited (But very common) colour for Vento.
And secondly a reduction in 1 month waiting period was good enough.

You will have to wait 1 year for service update.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 22:53   #11
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Default Re: My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
Initially we booked the Silver. All of a sudden a call from sales executive.
We have got some Terra Beige delivered. You can it off shelf if you like the colour. Firstly this one looked better than silver (to me). Silver looked like it had a blue tint. It was not pure silver. Although I feel white is the best suited (But very common) colour for Vento.
And secondly a reduction in 1 month waiting period was good enough.

You will have to wait 1 year for service update.
Yes.But I love the way this car drives,the turbo kick after 2500rpm is amazing but the lag before that sucks.
We have already got 2 silver Vento's in May and are getting another Dark Blue one in a month.
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Old 2nd July 2011, 23:38   #12
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Default Re: My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

Congratulation on your new car! Btw if you do mind can you please share the time you had to wait for getting your Vento? Also what was the OTR price of the car ? Vento is one car that is on everyone's list who are looking out for sedans. It excels in all the basics which is what I like about this car.
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Old 3rd July 2011, 22:53   #13
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Default Re: My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
Congratulation on your new car! Btw if you do mind can you please share the time you had to wait for getting your Vento? Also what was the OTR price of the car ? Vento is one car that is on everyone's list who are looking out for sedans. It excels in all the basics which is what I like about this car.
It was booked on Feb 1st week.
I was told 3-4 months waiting period. That means I would be expecting it somewhere around May. But with the colour change from Silver to Biege it was May 1st week. It could have been a week earlier but since we got it delivered with Permanent Registration it needed time. Waiting was not an issue.

Price = 9.3 + .4 (Insurance: you can get it at .3) + .5 (5 yrs road tax for West Bengal + Misc) -.15 (corp discount) = 10.05 (approx).

Contrary to popular VW bashing on Sales experience we had an extremely good one. We were greeted with cordial & polite behavior from VW representative. His name was David. I tried pinning him down with questions. He answered what he could. What he could'nt he admitted. But never for once I found in him any ego or even exaggeration.

Lets hope the service experience also is equally good.

Last edited by oxyzen : 3rd July 2011 at 22:55.
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Old 4th July 2011, 00:56   #14
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Default Re: My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cityvic View Post
Yes.But I love the way this car drives,the turbo kick after 2500rpm is amazing but the lag before that sucks.
Thats surprising indeed , Vento's lag is well known to be minimal and thats its major strength

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
Price = 9.3 + .4 (Insurance: you can get it at .3) + .5 (5 yrs road tax for West Bengal + Misc) -.15 (corp discount) = 10.05 (approx).
Thats a whopping 50k cheaper than Mumbai prices and around a lakh off Bangalore prices ! Registration being a state subject business is unfair in so many ways
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Old 4th July 2011, 01:05   #15
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Default Re: My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!

Congratulations alot oxyzen for buying the New Vento TDi. IMHO, even after New Verna's launch this is the best Sedan one can buy in Sub-10 lakh range.
Its Fantastic looking & comfortable Interiors are truly unmatched by anything else in the segment.
By the way what the actual colour of your Vento, as from my Android it seems to be somewhat Beige like shade. Is it the same or else!
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