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Old 16th April 2012, 18:06   #1
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Default My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline

I have not had the need to break my silence on TBHP for quite some time; but in no way it undermines the understanding, cumulative knowledge and market awareness gained from TBHP, that has helped me to make my purchase decision. I purchased my first car, and information on TBHP community has been of great help.

Background

I had been using the company vehicle (Safari) for past few years, and hence there was no need of a personal vehicle. There are some perks to entrepreneur life after all !
Got married last year and there was a growing requirement of a personal vehicle, and with the imminent arrival of monsoon season in a few months I decided to take the plunge .
I had made up my mind on Jazz since the price cut of mid 2011, and called up all Honda showrooms and tollfree helpline, only to find out that anything short of 8 months on delivery is not realistic. On way too much coaxing it came down to 5 months, but it was pretty obvious that showrooms were just pushing out Brio and were absolutely non committal on Jazz. In such a scenario, it didn't make sense to go ahead with the booking, as dealers lack of enthusiasm would definitely come back to bite me in a few months. I had already driven all the vehicles of premium hatchback segment quite a bit, and started making my preference list, which definitely had an inclination towards the oomph factor in drive and looks, over and above the more reasonable requirement of the highest end variant equipped with atleast ABS and airbags. The monthly driving figures were expected to be within 2k per month, and only considerations for diesel were because of drive-ability factors rather than economics. The preference order turned out to be:

1. Punto MJD
2. Swift 2011 Zxi
2. Hyundai i20 Sportz
3. Punto 1.4
4. Polo
5. Figo 1.4 Diesel
6. Honda Brio
7. Micra

The process

Wifey had a quite a prejudice against Suzuki and Tata stables, but my insistence let Swift be in the list. We went out on a Sunday and test drove Polo 1.2 (Palace Cross), Figo (Metro Ford), Swift 2011 (Bimal), Brio (Magnum Honda), and Punto MJD and 1.4 (Aadya Motors) mainly to let my wife have a first hand feel of these vehicles.
Polo 1.2 was not bad, considering that the test drive was done from Palace Cross to Cunningham Road and back; but the drive did not ring a bell with me. Throughout the drive I was appreciating the interiors and their quality more than the performance itself. The sound of 3 pot was a big turn off ! Got the quotes from all of them and were on course to finalize when Palace Cross dealer on a casual enquiry told me that 2 vehicles of 2011 stock with well known discount offers are available. I had known about these offers through TBHP but was quite sure that the stocks would have been exhausted. Once curious I dug further and it turned out that 1 unit of Polo 1.6 (red color) is available. Had a movie outing schedule in the evening, so putmy mind to rest and went ahead to enjoy the rest of the evening with "Pan Singh Tomar" and Gentleman Jack !

When I woke up the next morning, only Swift and Polo 1.6 were on my mind ! Rest had faded away ! I am not going to list down objective reasoning behind this, as I am pretty sure all discard logics were flawlessly formulated backward to justify my decision rather than honest logical derivation. Called Palace Cross and pushed him to arrange a test drive of 1.6; no avail, they didn't have any. Anyway, got him to mail me a detailed quote with 50k discount, 17k corporate discount and VW finance offer. There were, obviously, no negotiations at Bimal Auto; any negotiation only resulted in reduction of quoted period by a couple of weeks.

Between these two, I started applying logic in all manners known to be correct ! I would not go into details, but what drove the decision in favor of Polo 1.6 apart from technical benchmarks , were three fold:

1. Wife's persistent aversion with Suzuki/Swift.
2. Availability of test drive vehicle with VW Downtown, and option of chosing between White, Red and Glacier Blue. (Option of only red with Palace Cross was initially a deterrent).
3. Polo OTR quote being 7.3 and Swift being close to 6.6-6.7, what drove the final nail was VW Finance. Given that I had to avail of finance for this purchase, my figures and computations indicated at par cost of these two considering interest costs. Even factoring in higher service and upkeep cost of Polo (with some general data available from 1st and 2nd service costs on TBHP), Polo was only marginally (<5k INR) expensive over a period of 3 years. The deal from VW was 0.5% interest for period of 3 years for a loan amount of 4 lacs INR.

The Drive

I decided to call in a test drive of POLO 1.6 and take the plunge ! On the Friday after the weekend of test drives, Karthik from Downtown came down with TD vehicle and booking forms (in his anticipation). The test drive was exhaustive, over 10 km including open road, bad patch road and paved mud road. Apart form the soft steering, nothing from my prerequisites went against this vehicle, and 3500-4000 rpm drive was much to appreciate ! I knew about the shortcomings of ICE, but that was not much of an issue.

Prerequisites/Checkpoints

1. Solid Build with neat clean looks. Quirkiness in design upsets me.
2. ABS and Airbags (Driver and Passenger)
3. Driveability in 2nd and 3rd gears.
4. Does the suspension setup get upset on typical BWSSB dug Bangalore roads?
5. a. Performance band (2500-4500), without redlining.
b. Handling (Chassis behavior and steering response)
6. Is it ala Palio 1.6 in terms of FE ?
7. Braking (judged my comfort level)
8. Refinement ( vibrations, clatter, NVH)
9. Gearshift
11. Boot Space
12. Available warranty period

Polo did well in all aspects but for the lifeless soft steering.

An objective assessment of the test drive:

Likes:

1. Build Quality
2. Driving Position
3. Gear shift was too slick. I really liked the gearshift of Swift 2011, and considered ANHC gearshift the best among manual shifts I had driven in India. I would rate this at par with ANHC gearshift.
4. All switches and knobs were of quality better then segment.
5. AC blower fan was little loud at 4; although in Bangalore more than 2 would not be required.
6. Sound quality of OEM stereo is average (without any negative connotation).
7. Engine response at mid level rpm is excellent.
8. Driveability in traffic in 2nd gear. Even 3rd gear was able o pull clean from 25kmph to 60 kmph.
9. Availability of torque even in fifth gear driving at 120 kmph.
10. Noise insulation within cabin
11. Boot space is good enough for one large suitcase and one medium size suitcase with odd pieces thrown in.
12. Glove box is nicely designed and exudes quality.

Dislikes:

1. Equipment Level, namely
a. Lack of USB
b. Rear Window control at driver door conspicuous by absence
c. Headlight seemed inadequate for highway.
2. Beige color carpets would be tough to maintain.
3. Hump in middle of floor. Not much of an issue for me though, as runs with 5 people on board would be limited to movies.
4. Rear view almost nil when two passengers are seated on rear bench.



Booking and Financials
The red and glacier blue were available at stockyard with manufacturing month of June 2011, as per Form 22. However the white was at Chakan Plant, and would be available within 2 weeks of booking

On the same day, March 9, 2012, I made the booking with INR 50k, and following conditional pointers to Karthik

1. He would communicate the VIN numbers to me next morning of available vehicles, to verify the manufacturing date.
2. PDI at stockyard.
3. Offer the the discount of 50k on Ex-showroom rather than on OTR price.

He agreed on all of them and I started my wait for the next 2 weeks. He had given me the option of confirming color within 1 week, as his management had decided to go ahead and place an order on white color Polo, independent of my color choice. Over next few days VW finance formalities were completed and nothing was left to do but to wait for the vehicle.
Final agreed deal was:

Ex-showroom: 6477216
2011 Depreciation Discount: 50000
Road tax (15.54%): 92808
Insurance: 26844
Reg.charges: 6000
Essential pack: Free (value 2850)
Ext.warranty: 7204
Corporate Discount: 17778
VW Finance Charge : 4500

Total On Road price :716794

PDI

Baby arrived at Bangalore on March 21, and on March 21, I went to the Hosur Road Stockyard to conduct my assessment as per TBHP checklist. The PDI revealed only couple of flaws, which were promised to be rectified prior to delivery. The first was a cosmetic paint chip on bottom edge of bumper. And second, was that the self lock screw mounts that hold the insulation material on backwall of engine bay, seemed to be missing a washer. whose impression on the insulation was visible.

Here are a few pics from the PDI, showing missing washer (it was later confirmed that there is no missing part here, and was shown in many vehicles), and chip-off paint.

My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img00033201203241441.jpg

My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img00034201203241446.jpg

My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img00038201203241458.jpg

The Glitch
Then on Monday began the harrowing part of this whole deal. Vehicle was sent to RTO for registration , where, the RTO Officer concerned, raised objection on invoice, citing the 50k discount being given on ex showroom value, thus lowering the road tax by INR 8858. The vehicle was returned to showroom and I was called up to handle the case on my own or pay the balance 8858 ! I made calls to the RTO next morning and they kept on insisting that they will charge the fee/tax on catalog value of the product and not on invoice value, which as per my understanding was blatantly wrong. I paid a visit the same day, hoping that face value along with an argument would resolve the issue. However, the officer refused to show me the valuation procedure book from where he was citing catalog value rather than invoice value. His attitude left me with two options, to pursue this the right way with an RTI or pay the balance and get it over with. Although I have legal resources available for consulting, I chose the latter, considering the
costs associated with time, legal resorts and investment of energy! It made me understand that legal procedures and RTI in all its benevolent form, is useless, in matters where incumbents know the deterrents associated for the beneficiary!

I paid the balance and passed a message to Downtown management, for not being more active participant in this matter.

Final OTR Price :725652/-

Delivery
The next day, Wednesday, we took the delivery at the showroom ! Karthik is gem of a person and my experience with him has been excellent in all aspects of this deal. Whatever issues I had are reserved for the senior management; the staff deserves all praises from me. My wife was coming in from her office in Domlur, and was running late, so had a general discussion with Karthik on VW Phaeton over a couple of smokes. Turns out the clientele is solely from Bellary Mining area and is limited to a couple of cars annually! People do move on to the Mercs and Audis at that price tag ! We spent about half an hour signing all paerwork and going through all warranty documents. Another 20 minutes were spent over explaining the features in detail to me. The VAS activation of features was denied to me, citing that VW has sent in a directive only for Vento and not Polo.

All-in-all, had a good delivery experience.

Here is a pic on the delivery day.
My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-delivery.jpg
My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img_3066.jpg

3M

After 2 days of driving I found the time to take the vehicle to 3M Car Care, UB City, for Paint Sealant Protection and sunfilms installation. Vinod is a great sport and does a great job. The guys at showroom had used some wax that had been acting as a grime magnet and vehicle was covered with dust and grime, when I took it to 3M. It was then, that Vinod pointed out to me the infamous key scratched act on my bonnet. Two long gashes, and one of them a little deep, had been carved out by some cursed soul ! I let out a sigh, and made it a point to talk to Apartment security when I got home. I am inclined to believe that the car washer boys whom I denied the job of washing my car, are the perpetrators. I have been washing cars myself, however infrequent, since I was a kid and my father brought home the Premier. Vinod and his guys were able to buff off one of the marks, but the second persists.

As for the sunfilms, I got CS50 on sides and back, and left the Crystalline 70 for windshield for after the monsoons. The economy infested part of my brain had started nagging me since the final invoice was received.
Anyway, total damages at 3M car care were INR 2696/- and INR 5250/- for the paint sealant and the sun-films respectively.

Some pictures of the morning after the day I visited 3M.

My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img_3084.jpg
My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img_3085.jpg
My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img_3086.jpg
My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img_3087.jpg

36-500 km

Observations:

1. Although clutch has slightly longer travel, it is quite soft and causes no issue.
2. Brakes do have a bit of a sharp bite. The response is improving towards the end of 500 km.
3. As already mentioned, there are no run in instructions. I am keeping below 3000 rpm till 1000 km.
4. FE can vary quite a bit. Third gear in peak traffic wouldn't go past 8-9. Fourth gear in mild traffic would let you hover around 11-12. If you are able to engage fifth gear for longer part of your distance traveled at a rpm of 1500 or above, you would be looking at 14+ kmpl. For the first refill done at 336 km, average FE achieved was 10.98 kmpl. This included 100 km highway, 15 km uphill, 15 km downhill, and rest mild to peak traffic (AC 100%).
5. 3rd gear is great for driving within the city. No need to downshift until traffic looks like coming to a stop.
6. There is an issue I have been facing. I haven't discussed with VW technical yet. Whenever I am in 2nd gear upwards, and take my foot off accelerator (coz of bumps in 2nd gear, traffic slowing down in 3rd, 4th or 5th), if rpm drops to lower but safe (high enough for engine to not stall) values, sometimes there seems to be some input by ECU, that causes car to accelerate for a couple of seconds. Although it never has caused any uncomfortable situation yet, I would like to get it checked. This ECU accelerator input, is over-ridden as soon as I get my feet back on accelerator and provide fractional input. Does anyone have an insight, or knowledge of a similar experience.
7. Even after the telescopic adjustment being at its maximum travel, I would have preferred atleast half an inch more travel. The current position is quite comfortable but that extra half inch would have made it great !
8. I am 5'9'', and have no issues with any leg room, lateral, longitudinal or vertical in driving seat. Can't comment about passenger bench; haven't been there, and don't intend to ! People who have been there rate it comfortable in terms of bench and back support, and average in terms of leg room. Leg room is definitely a little on the lower side, but would not be a deterrent until people closer to 6' that 5'6'' are your passengers.
9. The MID on instrument cluster has an awful reflection on the Right ORVM at night. Getting used to filtering it out from my visual response.
10. Rear View mirror is of no use if you have passengers. It only lets you see that somebody is flashing high beam at you from rear.
11. Ride quality is quite good and it soaks up everything quite nicely. The only negative aspect is the tyre thud on bumps and potholes at all speeds, that makes you nervous, althoough its just a sound and very little jerk/motion passes on to the cabin.
12. The tyres are Appolo Acelere 185/60/R 15.
13. There seems to be a rattle in engine bay over bad roads. Wondering if is the reported engine mount (hydraulic vs rubber) issue.
14. I do not yet have data to comment on the engine performance across all bands, as I have really not stretched her legs. The steering definitely is a let down on highway, and corners.

Here are a couple of more pics, and I would take leave till I log another 1000 kms to be able to add to my understanding of the engine.

My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img_3099.jpg
My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline-img_3100.jpg

Last edited by shobhit : 17th April 2012 at 09:00.
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Old 17th April 2012, 11:15   #2
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Default Re: My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17th April 2012, 13:51   #3
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Default Re: My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline

Congrats on your latest pick shobhit. The Hottest Petrol Hatch and by far my personal Favourite Color!!

After reading your post, I just noticed that you joined the forum in 2009 and till date have only 5 posts.
Hopefully, this will "Rev Up" now big time...just like your 1.6ltr Hot Hatch.

Last edited by Vik0728 : 17th April 2012 at 13:53.
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Old 17th April 2012, 14:17   #4
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Default Re: My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline

You have a car that is part of a very small group and only an enthusiast will buy one. Excellent choice.

I got to dampen things a little though. The Polo is not a Palio. Not in any sense of it. The Palio Gtx is a rocket in terms of the engine and the way it drives. But then, the Palio is no more and that makes your car the best petrol heads hatch on sale today. Buckle up nice and good before you unleash the beast within.
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Old 17th April 2012, 19:44   #5
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Default Re: My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post

The Polo is not a Palio. Not in any sense of it. The Palio Gtx is a rocket in terms of the engine and the way it drives. But then, the Palio is no more and that makes your car the best petrol heads hatch on sale today. Buckle up nice and good before you unleash the beast within.
Thanks Sandeep !

Oh, I do know the Palio Gtx so well ! A friend owned one, and we used to have our fun. I know Polo is nowhere close to Palio Gtx, and I wasn't looking for that as well. I expect my wife on the pedal a few times; and trust me, a Palio Gtx in her hands could be too much fun
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Old 8th November 2013, 16:28   #6
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Default Re: My German Dream: White VW Polo 1.6L Highline

Quote:
Originally Posted by shobhit View Post

Observations:

6. There is an issue I have been facing. I haven't discussed with VW technical yet. Whenever I am in 2nd gear upwards, and take my foot off accelerator (coz of bumps in 2nd gear, traffic slowing down in 3rd, 4th or 5th), if rpm drops to lower but safe (high enough for engine to not stall) values, sometimes there seems to be some input by ECU, that causes car to accelerate for a couple of seconds. Although it never has caused any uncomfortable situation yet, I would like to get it checked. This ECU accelerator input, is over-ridden as soon as I get my feet back on accelerator and provide fractional input. Does anyone have an insight, or knowledge of a similar experience.
Congratulations on owning this beauty to begin with.
I have a pepper grey 1.6 (Dec 2011) and I too have felt that surge on lower RPM's specially in the 2nd gear. It was a little unnerving initially and then I grew accustomed to it.
I believe it has something to do with the ECU map. I asked one of the service advisors during the first service and did get some strange looks, post which I didnt pursue the point!!

But I have to admit it feels fun now, specially when you suddenly feel the car accelerating on her own...

Have fun and keep posting.

Thank you,
Chiro
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