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Old 14th January 2012, 15:07   #1
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OK, after thinking around for quite some time, I decided to spare time & start this thread of my buying & ownership experience of my POLO TDI Trend line (Diesel).

My First drives:
Amusing it may sound, I first drove a Mahindra Govt. Jeep (off roader, with only 3 speed gear box), allotted to my father (he was then an engineer with irrigation dep’t., Haryana Govt., now retired) for his site visits in rural area, where irrigation projects of building Canals etc were going on& at times I used to accompany him. As a child, (I was in 7th Std then), driver used to take care of me, & I had quite a passion for driving. Upon my kiddish requests, He used to tell me about the gears, clutch, accelerators etc. & I used to fiddle with those while no one was around, changing gears etc, with engine turned off. One fine day, during one such visit, I persuaded the driver to let me drive & boy, what an experience. I drove only for a few hundred Meters on dirt road in a straight line but that drive is still fresh in my memory. It was a thrilling drive, as I was not even in my teens then. Thereafter, I had some more short rides, till my father got transferred & his new posting involved more of office work & hence full stop to my short drives.

Thereafter, for some years, I didn’t get a chance to lay my hands on any automobile, except in dreams). One fine day my father decided to book a Bajaj Super scooter, when I was around 17, so that I can lay my hands on one by my 18th birthday. Yes those were the days when there was “Waiting period of more than a year” for those machines. (I now hate anything that says: waiting period) By then, I had learnt two-wheeler driving on my friend’s scooter. Finally, after around 8 months, I got my scooter, my own set of wheels, to set me free. I was so passionate about that that I didn’t allow anyone to drive that machine. Every Sunday was meant for complete washing & polishing of my machine. Though basically meant for my college commute, I had some long drives as well on that. Well not so long by today’s standards, but 100-300kms in those days. I also used to drive it as fast as possible on a secluded road & touched 90 KMPH sometimes & used to brag about it. Well, back then a car at 90 was considered dangerous, imagine a machine running at that speed, with small 8” wheels & antiquated drum brakes to handle that speed. But that was a thrill in itself. Thereafter, owned some more 2 wheelers, out of which I still have a LML Vespa NV, parked since eternity, & Suzuki Access for very short rides (< a KM), when taking out car is more time consuming than the commute itself.
OK, enough about my 2 wheeler story, now cars:

My Previous Cars:
My first car was, usual suspect, a used Green M800, 87 model, bought in 1995@50K, with aftermarket LPG kit. Used & abused in every manner possible, whole lot of family members & friends taking driving lessons, but never a complaint from workhorse, & running cost: less than 50 P /KM on subsidised LPG. That was such a lucky machine that whenever we had a puncture, either it was at home or near a tyre repair shop. I remember once in chilly winter morning, driving for 50 odd kms, stalling in front of my regular mechanic’s shop, only to find that radiator had no water, plug cables had melted & head gasket had blown. After replacing these, the car was up & running again & served us for good 6 yrs before being sold off@ respectable 38 K. Second vehicle, also a used 800, didn’t perform that well, started giving troubles on arrival & had to be sold off after a couple of years of problems, paving the way for buying a first “New Car”. On a limited budget, I bought A “Midnight Blue Wagon R-LX”. I must say that it was an excellent car & what I loved most was “reclining” back seats & full flat folding front seats, which could be used as a bed As luck would have it, at that time my parents were suffering from severe back problems (Mother suffering from Sciatica & father a fracture in backbone) & taking them to Dr was possible only in an ambulance, where they could travel lying down, instead of sitting & or in this car, seats turned beds & my Wagon R did that duty obligingly. The car served me well for entire duration of ownership, till the price of fuel started to hurt real badly & decided to switch to “Dirty” fuel & hence the hunt for replacement began.

Decision making:
Now that we decided to replace the aging workhorse, the hunt for new “Nawalsingal Garage CAR” began. Since first priority was a diesel car, all gold powered vehicles went out of the equation. No, I don’t like CNG/LPG mills as well & hence these also went out of window. Now the list read:

1. Maruti Suzuki Swift: Disqualified even before the competition started, though first choice, but I told earlier, I hate waiting. Thank god for that as new model’s looks are not to my liking & too many brake issues cropping up in TBHP forum.

2. Nissan Micra: Again, waiting period, reported not so good high speed stability & dealer attitude, no test drive offered, killed the deal.

3. Skoda Fabia: Need I say anything after so many A.S.S. horror stories?

4. Hyundai I20: Any Hyundai car out of question from the day my cousin’s Accent’s bill had 3 head/tail lights charged in the bill & Santro’s fuel pump changed thrice @6.5K each in a span of 5 months.

5. Ford Figo: A good car with dated looks. Somehow, couldn’t convince myself to buy this one.

6. Chevy Beat: Lack of rear bench space, engine noise, rubbery gearbox, underpowered for high speeds & dealer apathy meant the deal fell through.

7. Indica: Tata to TATA for now, post our “GRANDE” experience.

8. Fiat Punto: Brother had a Palio, Parked Palio rammed by SUMO, in the garage for a year waiting for parts. Stories of pathetic A.S.Service. How to buy a Punto then?

9. Maruti Suzuki Ritz: A good car, in contention till last moment, but rear end looks killed it. Couldn’t convince my daughter for the car. Also, somewhere in the back of my mind, I wanted a brand other than MS. Despite all that, nearly made it to my Garage due to lack of response from one of the VW dealers in Pune.

10. VW POLO: The Car I Chose. More on this in Test drive section below.

Test Drive:
One of the dealers in Pune, M/S Vidyut automobiles, almost made me go for a RITZ by providing worst possible “Pre Sales Service” but thank god, we had another dealer, M/S B U Bhandari automobiles, more than willing to accommodate our requests & arranged a TD at my place. This was more of a formality as I was hooked on the car already, going through all the reviews & information available. I had a liking for this car since it was launched & Team BHP’s reviews made the choice easier. After numerous TD’s & extensive search on net & Team BHP (Special thanks to TBHP for making me arrive at this decision), I finalized that POLO was “The Car” I wanted to buy. During TD, I was impressed with the overall build quality & stability on road at high speeds. Also, I always wanted to buy a German machine & this was my chance to own one. Turbo lag issue, a bit unrefined 3 pot engine & low ground clearance (experienced firsthand during TD) as reported by TBHP were there but for the moment I chose to ignore these. Though I had heard of possible high maintenance costs, I decided to let my heart win this time. Also, I was confident of taking on VW in case of any issue, after successfully claiming refund of my cousin’s Grande, from the same dealer (M/S B U Bhandari). On looks front, like GTO, I also like its clean, understated elegance. Further, to me, interiors quality is best in class coupled with top notch paint quality. Though some people complain lack of functionality, I have don’t have much of an issue with that. To me, POLO has a decent equipment list for a base model as opposed to competition. Rear legroom, though a bit less, but is okay with me. I needed a bigger boot & the size this car has, is sufficient for me. Brakes have more than enough bite & can bring the car to a screeching halt & you can be sure that it’ll be a straight line, absolutely no waywardness. I only wish VW had given ABS & Airbags as an option on all variants. accommodated our request to buy insurance from outside & didn’t force any accessories on us. Hence the deal was sealed.

Buying:
Once the decision was made, rest of the process was easy & smooth one. Finally, I booked the car, a POLO TDI trend line sans “ANY ACCESSORIES & INSURANCE” for an on road price Rs. 594627/- on 10th Oct, 10 K cheque given as booking amount & was promised delivery within 2 working days of full payment. The car was allotted to me the same day & SA was more than willing to let me inspect the vehicle before proceeding for registration. I visited their warehouse in Wakad, checked the vehicle as per TBHP list & found it to be OK, ODO read 27 KM. Date of Mfg was 6th Oct & hence no issues. The Car had MRF ZVTV tyres. Other option was Apollo but I had read in TBHP that Apollo had some left side pulling issues, hence stuck to MRF’s. After making the final payment & getting the insurance from outside (16800/- for Zero Dep Policy from NI Insurance), the car was ready for delivery on 18th Oct at 3 PM, 2 Hrs before promised time of 5 PM. A special mention of dealer’s excellent support & SA’s commitment & follow up must be made. The way the accommodated all our requests & didn’t force anything on us, including accessories & insurance. It’s indeed commendable.
Once I got the phone call, I reached there in no time & there was my beauty, garlanded, waiting in all her glory, to let me sit in her Lap. After customary Puja, exchange of pleasantries & gifts (as suggested by TBHP), she was all mine. Fuel reading was at ½ & I also got a coupon for 20 Ltrs Diesel. The SA explained all the features to me (I knew more than him, again thanks to wonderful TBHP members). I was bit anxious to zoom off, & hence nodded in agreement, not bothering to check anything; finished demo in a hurry & Behold, the moment had arrived to turn the key. A gentle twist & she dished out perfect music for my ears, waited a little to let her warm up to my presence & finally, we hit the road together, ignoring the world, just she & me . I took her straight to Chatushringi temple, before finally taking her home.

Brief ownership report:
The car handles like a dream, absolutely stable at high speeds @160 & fast cornering, well controlled body roll, some turbo lag at <2k RPM, but absolutely a rocket after that. Cruises @150-160 KPH, tacho reading 3700-4000 RPM. Done 5100 kms, mileage-16.8 KPL (Long term avg., 5116 KM, fuel used: 315.9 Ltrs, DTE-190 KMs). Mature handling and cornering ability, No niggles/ rattles/ squeaks so far, touch wood. A special mention of excellent brakes, which I have already experienced, worked exactly as desired twice, bringing the car to a screeching halt in a straight line, while doing speeds in excess of 110-120 KPH. No dramas whatsoever. Accessories: all aftermarket include ICE(JVC 616 2DIN. Front Focal IS165 components), Sun Films (Garware NF40: Side & Rear, Ice cool shield for Front), & customized KAGU mats. Also, upgraded stock headlamps to Philips Extreme Vision 60/55 bulbs & difference is HUGE. My love for the car is growing by the day & hope it remains that way.

Whoa, that was a long write-up. Hope you people enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. Detailed ownership report coming soon, stay tuned.
P.S.: A couple of pics for now.

Detailed Ownership Report:
As promised, here is the detailed ownership report for my POLO. The car was bought on 18th Oct’11 & has clocked more than 5K on the ODO.

A few Likes:
Solid Build Quality, Made to last. Top class Fit & Finish. Best in class paint quality. High Quality Interiors, like the Beige/ Grey combination interiors. The sound of door closing-with a THUD. Loud India specific Horn, enough to get your way. Clean, understated, European looks. Full size spare wheel. Powerful AC. Excellent ride quality, handling, high speed stability & brakes. Excellent seats, provide adequate support & just the right kind of firmness, neither too soft nor so hard. Steering adjustable for Rake & reach, standard on all variants.

& A Few Dislikes:
Pathetic stock headlamps. Holding a torch while driving may be better. Low ground clearance, have to be ultra cautious on “Indian Speed Breakers. Reverse orientation of controls (OK with these now). Absence of Ticket holder on Sun Visor & Seat Pockets on front seats. Chrome finish on Gear Knob done away with on Trendline. Large transmissions hump in the middle, inconvenient for third rear passenger. Useless internal rear view mirror. Central locking button locks the doors from outside only while you can open the doors from inside with central locking ON. Lack of dead pedal. Overpriced accessories, but the fact that dealer doesn’t force them on you is soothing.

All the above poits & some more are mentioned in TBHP test report of POLO.

Accessories so far:

1. ICE: JVC 616 2 DIN HU with 2 Front FOCAL IS165 Components, Price: 22800/-(Including installation using Original frame, sockets for HU & Antenna, MDF rings for mounting speakers.
2. Sun Films: Garware NF40 for sides & rear, Icecool Shield for Front, Price: 6K
3. Kagu 3D Mats, customized for POLO, Set of 5, Price: Rs. 4500.

Accessories planned: Seat Covers, Amplifier, Rear Speakers, Sub woofer & Damping

Now that I have driven the vehicle for 5K KMs, so far, there has been One problem having driven only a few hundred KMs till then: steering noise while turning, got it checked at ASC, the fault attributed to lack of lubrication on suspension bushes, promptly rectified, the car picked up & dropped, no hassles. But why it should be there in first place? VW needs to get it QC right. Also, stock headlamps, as pointed out by number of others are no better than Candles & were promptly replaced with Philips Extreme Vision 60/55 bulbs, a 10 min job, cost me 1.2 K(could have saved a few bucks had I searched but was in a hurry) & difference is HUGE. I’d recommend these to all POLO owners, who have not upgraded their bulbs so far. Also I didn’t want 100/90 bulbs or HID kits to avoid potential warranty issues.

I have driven the Car extensively on highways: a trip to Ahmedabad from Pune, trips to Amby Valley, Mahabaleshwar, Mumbai, Mulshi, Sinhgad etc. The car handles the way you want it to, be it highways, straight line sprints or cornering on Ghats. I was able to cross 150 while returning from Ahmedabad, carrying 5 adults (including me as a driver) & packed to the hilt boot. The car never lost its poise or handling ability. Only sore point remains is Turbo lag, which forces you to downshift more than you like, though gear box is a joy to work with. Absence of dead pedal is sorely missed on highway cruises. Brakes are excellent (Repeating) & worked like a charm in 2 close situations. Once, on the way to Ahmedabad, while trying to overtake an ST Bus, the driver suddenly turned to right & I was looking head on in to barricades(Plastics one) screaming “Work In progress”. I was doing 120 then, applied brakes with full force, the tyres screamed, screeched but the car held its line & came to a totally safe halt, a few meters before barricades. I also made sure that no one was tailing me. Almost same thing was repeated on our way to Mahabaleshwar, safe again.

Recently, at 5K KMs, I got a puncture & along with puncture repair, decided to get alignment & tyre rotation done as well. Got this done at Anand Tyres, Dapodi. Very neat job, Alignment was almost OK, still, they brought closer to middle of tolerance levels. All 5 tyre rotation done in the order recommended by TBHP. Charge: Alignment/ rotation/ puncture repair with Nitrogen filling : 400 bucks & less than hour of time.

Before I conclude, a word on Mileage: So far, I have driven 5116 KMs, filled 315.90 Litres of fuel(Assuming 15 ltrs of fuel in tank at the time of delivery), DTE is 190 KMs, hence long term Avg consumption works out to be ~17 KPL, which to me is good, considering my driving style, as I can't drive slow on highways to enhance mileage & in city, you can't get good mileage).
This is my story with my beloved POLO so far. Hope you enjoyed reading this.
Attached Thumbnails
My first German Beauty: VW POLO Trendline TDI-polo1.jpg  

My first German Beauty: VW POLO Trendline TDI-polo2.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2012 at 17:15. Reason: Merging your opening post with the review post. Always more helpful that way, thanks :)
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Old 14th January 2012, 15:34   #2
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Default Re: My first German Beauty: VW POLO Trendline TDI

Thread moved here from Assembly line section. Thanks for sharing the review with us.
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Old 14th January 2012, 16:08   #3
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Congratulations, Lovely car and nice crisp writeup. Do post more pictures of the car when possible.

I had first hand experience with stability of Polo and Vento on Highway. While returning there were a Polo and Vento with us and they both were doing 150+ very comfortably hence we kept company till 50kms before hyderabad.
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Old 14th January 2012, 16:35   #4
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Nice one!!
Enjoy your VW. It is a lovely looking car that!
Incidentally, from the front photos you've taken + a little imagination, it could easily pass for a Vento!
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Old 14th January 2012, 17:44   #5
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Default Re: My first German Beauty: VW POLO Trendline TDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by nawalsingal View Post
This is my story with my beloved POLO so far. Hope you enjoyed reading this.
Good to see BuB giving good services to other fellow VW users - they are doing a commendable job as compared to other VW dealers across the country.

Can you give a more detailed description on the exact location of Anand Tyres, Dapodi? I live pretty close by (Sanghvi) - this can be quite useful!

Is the turbolag really that bad on the Polo? Haven't yet driven it. I hope VW improves the gear ratios in the new Polo that is supposed to come out shortly.

Happy driving!
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Old 14th January 2012, 18:17   #6
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Really glad to see one more happy polo user. Waiting for more pics especially of the HU.
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Old 14th January 2012, 18:23   #7
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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Good to see BuB giving good services to other fellow VW users - they are doing a commendable job as compared to other VW dealers across the country.

Can you give a more detailed description on the exact location of Anand Tyres, Dapodi? I live pretty close by (Sanghvi) - this can be quite useful!
Contact Person: Mr Rohit. Address: Shop No 1/2/3, Kundan Nagar, Mumbai Pune Road, Opposite Atlas Copco Limited, Dapodi, Pune - 411012. Phone: 020 - 27149161. It's on left hand side if you are coming from Mumbai towards Pune, just before AAI Mata Temple.

Is the turbolag really that bad on the Polo? Haven't yet driven it. I hope VW improves the gear ratios in the new Polo that is supposed to come out shortly.

Well, it's not that bad, but quite noticeable. If you are at 1000-1100 rpm, it takes quite some time to reach 1600 RPM, therafter progress is quick, & after 1900 RPM, you get pushed back in the seat, if you floor the pedal.

Happy driving!
My replies in bold. I stay at Bopodi & office at Khadki, hence we are quite nearby. lets catch up & meet.
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Old 14th January 2012, 18:24   #8
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Hey congratulations for the car!

Polo is one heck of a car, VW should really launch 1.5 TDI soon enough.

I own a Polo too but its a 1.6 version, and i am looking to change stock bulbs too! Could you tell me where in Pune did you buy them? And who did the install? BuB?
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Old 14th January 2012, 18:35   #9
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A quick word for those who are apprehensive about warranty issue after getting accessories installed from out side. I got ICE, Sun Films & Mats installed from out side, made sure no wires were cut. Then I had this steering noise problem( indicated in ownership report), which was promptly attended to by ASC, without even bothering to ask as to where I got my Acc from.
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Old 14th January 2012, 18:39   #10
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Hey congratulations for the car!

Polo is one heck of a car, VW should really launch 1.5 TDI soon enough.

I own a Polo too but its a 1.6 version, and i am looking to change stock bulbs too! Could you tell me where in Pune did you buy them? And who did the install? BuB?
Thanks Mate, I got these from Car Cupid, Baner Pashan road@1.2K, including installation, which is a 10 min job. Just bulbs replaced, no wiring/ extra fitments used. Difference is as big as Day & Night. I was in a hurry, so didn't bargain but you can get these for 1K max is you search a bit. I'd strongly recommend you to get stock bulbs replaced.
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Old 14th January 2012, 22:54   #11
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Since first priority was a diesel car, all gold powered vehicles went out of the equation.
Liked reading your write-up, and this line in particular had me in splits! The Polo looks the best after the Punto IMO, congrats on the car and wish you many safe miles with it.

How has the engine been ? especially in terms of NVH at the beginning and post 5k kms. Have you ever gotten to drive a Swift or ritz with the same kms on the odo as your Polo ? How does the 1.2 TDI compare to the 1.3 MJD in terms of NVH and power delivery ?
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Old 15th January 2012, 00:37   #12
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...
This is my story with my beloved POLO so far. Hope you enjoyed reading this.
Congratulations and wish you many many happy miles on your POLO.
Nice review and good to see an ownership thread on one of the most sought after hatchback.

Good to note that the steering noise issue is sorted out and there is no driver side front p/w window issue (probably they resolved this issue in new POLOs). Read few posts suggesting BUB as the better of the two VW dealers in Pune, even I was thinking of going there, but as of now, happy with Vidyut. It's always good to have multiple dealer of the same manufacturer in a city though, competition is always a good thing for the customer

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Old 15th January 2012, 11:25   #13
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competition is always a good thing for the customer
Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
Liked reading your write-up, and this line in particular had me in splits! The Polo looks the best after the Punto IMO, congrats on the car and wish you many safe miles with it.

How has the engine been ? especially in terms of NVH at the beginning and post 5k kms. Have you ever gotten to drive a Swift or ritz with the same kms on the odo as your Polo ? How does the 1.2 TDI compare to the 1.3 MJD in terms of NVH and power delivery ?
Thanks Avon & Shashank. @Avon, I agree, competition is always good for the customer. However, I don't understand why some dealers are so aloof to customers? If this is their attitude before sale, what about after sales service? Also, the same dealer was earlier dealer for Fiat & took more than a year to repair our Palio.May be fault was with Fiat also, but dealer can't escape a part of blame for that. I'd think twice before going there again.

@Shashank, I have driven Ritz of a friend & also, TD & happy to say that NVH levels are way below the test car but on par with my friend's Ritz & DZire of my nephew. NVH levels have gone down significantly as the car has run in. The engine is super silent on cruising speeds of 60-100 in top gear(RPM levels of 1500-2500). Also, gearshift, which was a bit hard when new, it's now butter smooth, almost comparable to Petrol POLO, which GTO described as a benchmark for the class in his review & I also felt the same when I drove my brother's Polo(Petrol). Though power delivery at low rpm's(<1300) is not that good, but after that, it's OK & sudden surge as the turbo spools up somewhere around 1900 RPM. Engine is quite rev happy & i have taken it to redline zone a couple of times in lower gears, but no complaints from the engine. Overall, quite happy with the car.

As regards line that had you in splits, is not "Entirely mine" hit upon this idea while going through TBHP, where a member mentioned fuel type of his car as "Gold", which also had me in splits for quite some time.

Last edited by nawalsingal : 15th January 2012 at 11:27. Reason: extra smiley removed.
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Old 15th January 2012, 11:58   #14
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NVH levels have gone down significantly as the car has run in. The engine is super silent on cruising speeds of 60-100 in top gear(RPM levels of 1500-2500).
Its good to know that the NVH are comparable to the MJD in the Swift and Ritz. When i was looking for a diesel hatchback for city usage i didn't TD the Polo due to apprehensions i had about the 3cyl engine. Will certainly take a TD to get a first hand experience. How bad is the turbo lag when driving within the city and in bumper-to-bumper traffic ?
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Old 15th January 2012, 12:10   #15
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Will certainly take a TD to get a first hand experience. How bad is the turbo lag when driving within the city and in bumper-to-bumper traffic ?
Do test drive Polo. Build & interior quality & standard features like Central locking, front power windows, Rake & Reach adjustable steering, Rear Headrests even in base model more than make up for 3 pot engine, may not be the best, but does it's job & can pull you @160+ speeds comfortably, coupled with confidence of it's handling & braking abilities, unlike some other cars. IN city b2b traffic, you'll not experience turbo lag as you'll be driving in lower gears anyway. Turbo lag is more prominent in 3rd gear onwards if you allow RPM's to drop below 1.4K. After getting accustomed, it's more of a non issue. However, orientation of controls may be more of an issue for sometime into ownership.
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