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Old 6th June 2012, 14:01   #1
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Default The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update

Warning : Relatively Long Post.

Prologue:

4 Years back when I started to look for a affordable Diesel hatch, there was no real choice and settled with the fantastic Swift Vdi.
Today 65K down, I really don't think my swift is old enough too warrant a change but the niggling rattles and recurring minor issues was all the push I needed to start contemplating an upgrade.

Let me be clear, I love my Swift the daily drive of 60+ kms was never a boring one since I had the Sea-link stretch. It is one of those cars which despite all its rattles, hard suspension ( Great for the curves, not so great on Mumbai roads) always makes you smile when you are in the sweet zone of 2-3rd gear and 1600 -1800 rpm, that turbo kick always brings a smile, even the most cynical diesel hater would have to admit that kick was addictive. And It has this sweet cruise zone at around 80 Kmph with the tacho hovering at 2k.

I have to give special credit to Maruti A.S.S at Vitesse Prabhadevi, they have really been at their best towards the car, I don't think i ever had to complain their levels of service.

But all good things come to an end, and my love affair with the swift was fading and I wanted to end it before it became a nasty one.

My Swift on the day of her departure
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0164.jpg


Current Day

When I started to look for an upgrade January onwards I was confident of jumping a segment and going straight to the Jetta /Cruze /Laura category and I would have, had the excise hike in budget and the Road tax hike by the state simply made this segment unaffordable.

On a side note, I work in an area, which simply put is the boulevard of car dealerships in Mumbai. Within my walking distance of office I have the following brands:

Skoda
VW
Honda
Mercedes
Tata-Fiat
Hyundai
Nissan
Chevrolet
Lamborghini

and a 10 min cab ride away
Maruti
Toyota

So spoilt for choice (or so I thought) I started my hunt for the ideal 10-15 Lakh Car

1.Cruze LTZ (MT&AT)
That 2L engine was solely the motivator enough for this car, and I'll be honest this was my first choice for the car, yes it has relatively poor interiors and seriously cramped back seat, but come on that engine was good enough for me . I test drove both the MT and the AT, and was all set on the AT but the hike in price, pushing them to North of 17 L simply made it Unaffordable.
2.Laura Tdi (MT & AT)
I drove the Ambition AT first and was really impressed with the build quality and the overall feel of the car, it blew the Cruze out of the water on this count alone. But, some how the engine did not feel as visceral as it feels in the Cruze. And it was even worse on the MT because it was down on power v/s the AT and the Cruze MT and to add to the misery the price hike put it square in the 17L+ bracket.
3.Hyundai Verna (CRDi MT)
I think I happen to be in the minority who is not a fan of the new Verna’s looks, that aside the biggest downside for the car that ‘floaty’ feel, I mean for someone who drives on the sea-link on a daily basis somehow that feeling of wafting is not great. On the plus side, this was one of the most silent diesel engines this side of 20L and is loaded to the gills.
4.Linea D
If looks could kill, I just love the way this car looks, but alas this is not going to make me drop my precious pennies on it. I found the car a tad under powered and the legendary Tata A.S.S was weighing very heavy on my mind.
5.Mahindra XUV 500
The dark horse in the race, great Car (if i dare say), great features, and great price if you could buy one. the XUV W8 in Mumbai in Feb cost 13.5 L on road, today it cost 16.5L with no guarantee on the availability.
6.Tata Safari
This is one of those car which I wanted to buy since the day it was launched, its a heart thing and deciding not to buy the safari or for that matter not wanting to wait for the New Safari was perhaps the hardest decision. I just could not afford a car with niggling issues, I and I alone know how much those little rattles in swift have bothered me, hell I lined my glove box so that my ipod does not clunk around
7.Skoda Rapid
I think it is unfair to call this the cheaper Vento (no offence to both Rapid and Vento owners), I think what ever tuning the Skoda chaps have done esp in the case of NVH have made it stand out and hold its own against Vento. Personally even though the changes are purely cosmetic, it were those little things that made me choose its Twin.
8.VW Vento Tdi - HL
I just love the way this car looks, it has these classic lines that are just outstanding. With the refresh in late 2011 and some more features in 2012( and losing some), VW finally has the right balance of equipment vs. price for the car. While i test drove a late 2011 car, I also have driven a 2012 Vento Tdi, and it seems that the refinements of the rapid have been baked into the late 2011 and 2012 Vento's as these were relatively quieter than the pre refreshed ones. However with the current on road price of 12.15L in Mumbai, somehow Vento Tdi HL just does not feel value for money.
9.Skoda Laura Tsi
Yes I did test drive this despite it being a petrol and boy am I glad I did. WHAT-A-CAR man sorry this is the car to have if you enjoy driving (and I am talking about mortals here) that engine is simply amazing. All the Tsi Owners out there, I have a serious case of envy against you people. But alas while I can buy it I will have no money left to fill it up for driving it.
GTO's thread http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ura-et-al.html (The Diminishing Value of D1 Segment Sedans (Altis, Cruze, Civic, Laura et al)) makes a great case for the fallacy of the D segment cars today. For me personally the biggest fail was the fact that the price gap (at least in Mumbai) was just too much to justify the additional premium on the Laura over the Vento. Ok When i Spend 12 L i can stretch it to 13 - 14 L but somehow stretching it to 17L just does not makes sense. So for me the D1 segment will have to wait for now


I choose the Vento because:
  • Well I prefer the looks of the Vento
  • I got Free Insurance + Corporate Discount, narrowing the price differential (but they refused any cash discount), but I did pay for the Zero Dep Cover.
  • Purely cosmetic I like the red interior back light over the green one in rapid
  • Slightly softer sprung than the Rapid, made it better for city driving
  • Better (hopefully) After Sales Service.
PDI
Armed with the Team-Bhp PDI checklist I went to the Shaman Stockyard on Saturday to do the pdi, the drive was pleasant less traffic, and easy to find. In addition, the staff was quite courteous too they let me spend all the time with the car in the yard.

First Look at her
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0172.jpg
Speedo Reading
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0174.jpg
Another Look at her
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0179.jpg

Most of the cars there Vento’s. I did see a fair share of 2011 mfg cars too.
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0178.jpg

Dealership Experience (VW Downtown)
Well I happen to build a good rapport with one of the Sales Advisors as, recently on of my colleagues had purchase a Polo 1.6. These guys were quite good. Since my Swift was given to them for exchange that part of the transaction was in incredibly smooth and organized (probably because they have a proper used car division). Once the payment was done, the guys gave me the VIN no and thanks to Member Wildon’s help, the car was a confirmed late May production car. I was pretty surprised that I got such a late production car. On the other hand when I went to the stockyard I happened to see even June production cars . We took delivery from VW Downtown's new showroom at Hughes road. The only downer was the discovery of a paint chip on the Left Passenger door, which was deep enough to remove the paint layer. They had done a brush touch up on the car and this was not there when I had seen the car at the stockyard. My Sales adviser also mentioned that this was not there in the morning so I guess it was fresh. They acknowledged the scratch and offered to get the area redone. Had it been a scratch, I would have let it go, but this was deep enough to remove the paint layer hence the car was sent to workshop on Monday and returned to me the same day. Before and after pix

The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0269.jpg
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0280.jpg


So Here it is my VW-Vento Tdi- Highline - Candy White

The Colour

I love the shadow blue color on the Vento, and considering the no of shadow blues on Team-Bhp, it is perhaps one of the best colors that shows of the lines of the way better than the other colors, but alas the price to pay for such a fabulous color, is that it needs a lot more care than any other color + even the smallest nick/scratch would look like an eye sore. Considering my car is parked in the famous BMC parking lots 5 day a week, it is just heartbreaking and wallet busting exercise. So I choose the most popular color by us Indians – White or in sales speak Candy White
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0279.jpg

The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0285.jpg

The Suspension
Considering Swift has one of the firmest suspensions (personal opinion) the way the Vento’s suspension works in Mumbai’s smooth (pun indented) roads it is outstanding. I have yet to try the high speed ride on the car as it is still in run in period. The only thing I did notice was if the car catches even a little air while going over a bump, the rear suspension tends to crash abit

The Build Quality and attention to detail
This was the single biggest quantum leap I found with respect to my swift. In the last 2 weeks of my ownership, when I was driving around sans music system, I discovered quite a few rattles which were masked by the music. Case Point I have had a niggling rattle in my driver seatbelt assembly, which according to Vitesse, could be or rather may be resolved if we changed the same. I was in no mood to fiddle with the only essential safety equipment that the swift had. I have lived with that rattle for 3yrs+ now. I think even the Micra is much better built than my gen swift, sure the plastics are cheap but today after 6 months plus on the same roads there are no rattles at all.

P.S. I just love the way the door closes. I think I must have open and closed them a few times just to hear the thunk!!!

One small point I noticed in the vento, VW has put a rubber lining on the lower side of the doors
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0276.jpg

The Engine, Clutch and Steering
Ok Lets make one thing clear Turbo Lag is annoying, but on the swift this was perhaps the most amazing thing, the kick at 1800 – 2000 rpm was the most redeeming feature of the car. The Vento on the other hand has a much milder turbo lag band, while there is still a surge at 2000+ rpms, the low rev drivability is much better than the swift. The Engine noise is still not at at par with the Rapid and there is still a decent amount of drive train vibration in the pedals (unlike the swift). The TD cars I drove the Vento was definitely the noisier one (both the Vento and Rapid were of similar vintage). But the Clutch is a bit on the firmer side in comparison to the Swift. The Steering is lighter than the swift, great in the city not so great when the speeds are in triple digits.

With the car still in the running in period, these first 1000km will be the hardest. Nannying the car below 2k rpm and under 80 km/h is quite annoying, but it has its rewards and nothing makes a car run in better than mumbai's stop go traffic + the sea link stretch.

The First Milestone
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0272.jpg

The Little Lovely bits
1. The torque + low turbo lag, makes it easier to drive in traffic.
2. The driver armrest is boon in the stop and go traffic.
3. I just love the red backlighting on the stereo and ACC.
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0275.jpg
4. One touch auto up on the windows.
5. Partially zinc coated body with 6 years anti-rust warranty (Yes, I faced rusting issues on my swift).
6. Remote on the steering wheel.
7. The horn.
8. The feeling of solidity.
Not Like bits
1.The leatherette seats, I am not a fan of the fake leather seats, they stick when the weather is hot and makes you sweat, honestly this is one upgrade which (personally) I would have been happy of they had kept the cloth seats.
2.The Stalks on the wrong side. Will have to get used to this. Why cant VW engineer this bit for India.
3.Cost Cutting. Come on VW removing the cutouts for the spare bulb and the first aid kit, I am sure they were not obscenely expensive. My Cheap solution, wrap in bubble wrap, no more moving parts.
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0286.jpg
4.The Sound System - Considering my setup in Swift, this setup is really the first things on my list of upgrades. However, the lack of moolah and not wanting to loose the Steering remote are big deterrents. I think the first piece meal upgrade I will do is changing the speakers and then upgrade in bits. I have my swifts amplifier and Sub which are itching to be deployed here
5. I wish VW gave the option of factory-tinted windows, with the current SC ban I have decided not to put any tints for the time being and with the glass area of the Vento, it does get hot.
6. The Rear seat hump – Not very comfy for the 5th passenger
7. You cannot open the bonnet if the drivers door is closed. Discovered this when the Mall Security asked me to open the bonnet.
8. Okay now I am nit picking but I would have liked it if they had lined the glove box. With the USB and the ipod inside they rattle over anything against the plastic
Accessories Fitted
1. Vento OEM Mudflaps
2. Vento OEM Door Sills
3. High Security Plates
4. Replica 3D mats

Planned Upgrades
1. Speakers – The First thing on my list to upgrade. Planning to put switch the Front for a pair of components and rear co-axials. Any Suggestions ?
2. Need the stubby antenna, currently out of stock.
3. Need a few sunny days for Kamyo’s Jehangir to work his magic on the car.
4. Tyres – Need advice, are the Apollo’s that bad?, my experience with the Yoko’s have been ok, I feel that the sidewalls are just a bit too soft for Mumbai road.
5.Getting an trunk spoiler – Well it is more like a lip actually and really like the way it looks
6. Door side strips. Seen in noopster's vento, love the way the black contrasts over the white.
7. Late Upgrade – Head Unit
Queries
1. The Revere gear is difficult to disengage. An tips on how do this as smoothly as possible?
2. The Radio tends to pick up interference quite easily. While there is no drop in reception, I noticed it does pick up noise easily.
3. I am currently inflating the tires at 32 all round, any suggestions?
4. I happen to sit on the rear seat and noticed a bit of squeaking noise from the rear door. I hope it is a new car thing. I hope it gets sorted out on its own
Finally thanks to the GTO for the fantastic review of the Vento, and all the members who put up their reviews and answered my pm's which helped me in choosing this car.

P.S. If VW now releases an Auto Tdi, I will be seriously pissed off. I hope it is a rumor at least till my car and me are in the honeymoon phase.

And thanks for reading and apologies for the Pictures, all pix from iPhone 4s.


and one last shot
The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0287.jpg

Last edited by siddharthdeb : 28th June 2012 at 00:07.
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:49   #2
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Default re: The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update

Siddarth congrats on the car. Very nicely written ownership thread, thoroughly enjoyed reading every bit of it. Candy white is one of the safest color with the least maintainance and Shadow Blue would have been just opposite it.

Regarding the queries:
1. You would get used to the reverse gear. In my car it goes like butter smooth.
2. In Mumbai the radio interference is quite a lot. As you have USB you wouldn't be bothering with radio
3. Tyre pressure is very dicey in Vento. I have currently kept 34 psi all round to have a stiff ride compromising a bit of comfort.
4. The squeak sound from Vento is its trademark, cannot do anything about it. Keep the door beading clean from any dust and small stones, that should help.

Have many more safe miles and drive safe.
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:05   #3
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@Siddharth
Congratulations on the Vento, the colour white I guess is the best for the Vento (ignoring the monsoon time in Mumbai)
Quote:
Originally Posted by siddharthdeb View Post
Within my walking distance of office I have the following brands:

Skoda
VW
Honda
Mercedes
Tata-Fiat
Hyundai
Nissan
Chevrolet
Lamborghini

and a 10 min cab ride away
Maruti
Toyota

So spoilt for choice (or so I thought) I started my hunt for the ideal 10-15 Lakh Car
This explains why you did not attempt to even check out the new Ford Fiesta which would have been in your budget but why no TD of Sunny. Or was it not even considered at all. What was the OTR cost and what Insurance did you get from dealer?

Happy mile crunching and drive safely.
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:07   #4
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Default re: The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update

Congratulations on your latest acquisition, looks great in pictures. Thanks for the great ownership review, enjoyed every bit of reading.

I will suggest you to continue with Apollo's, they're equally good tyres. Don't upgrade them, unless you want to up size them.

And ya, tyre pressure of 32 all around is all good by me

Wish you wonderful miles ahead, Drive safe,

Cheers,
Sameer
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:09   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
@Siddharth
Congratulations on the Vento, the colour white I guess is the best for the Vento (ignoring the monsoon time in Mumbai)

This explains why you did not attempt to even check out the new Ford Fiesta which would have been in your budget but why no TD of Sunny. Or was it not even considered at all. What was the OTR cost and what Insurance did you get from dealer?

Happy mile crunching and drive safely.
Well I had tried out the Sunny when I had picked up the Micra last year, some how Sunny just did not click, it looked too much like the Micra on the inside and just did not tickle me in the special place when i drove it.

Sid
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Old 28th June 2012, 13:49   #6
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Congratulations on your latest acquisition. Good to know you had a pleasent experience at VW- Downtown.
Wishing you great ownership and drive safe!

Cheers!

Last edited by volkman10 : 28th June 2012 at 13:51.
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Old 28th June 2012, 16:05   #7
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Congrats on the Vento! Indeed, it's one heck of an all-rounded sedan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by siddharthdeb View Post
Today 65K down, I really don't think my swift is old enough too warrant a change but the niggling rattles and recurring minor issues was all the push I needed to start contemplating an upgrade.
Link (ARTICLE: YOUR 5 year old car : Keep, Upgrade or Swap?) : Should have kept her for another year or two. With the savings, you might have managed a Laura

Quote:
I have to give special credit to Maruti A.S.S at Vitesse Prabhadevi
Vitesse @ Prabhadevi is clearly the benchmark for dealer quality. I used them for several years with my Zen & Esteem and they always impressed. Good to hear they're still running fit.

Quote:
On a side note, I work in an area, which simply put is the boulevard of car dealerships in Mumbai.
Prabhadevi?! Where is the Nissan dealer though? New one?

Quote:
I just love the way this car looks, it has these classic lines that are just outstanding.
Ditto. I'd buy the Vento for the looks alone.

Quote:
So I choose the most popular color by us Indians White or in sales speak Candy White
White is the new Black - Super cool & Classy. Some manufacturers agree that there has been a shift in favour of white (from silver) in recent years.

Quote:
Planning to put switch the Front for a pair of components and rear co-axials. Any Suggestions ?
This thread is your best friend.

Thanks for sharing your review with us, and drive safe.
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Old 28th June 2012, 18:04   #8
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Default re: The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update

Superb review and many congratulations on owning the diesel rocket. Once you are through that painful run-in period and put the car on the highway nirvana will be attained . For example, right now as I was returning from office I had stopped at the lights as they turned red while some other cars reluctantly stopped halfway into the crossing hoping to zip ahead as soon as it turns green. Once the light turns green, the Vento zips ahead and has already crossed the next lights which are green while the rest of the pack are not even halfway there . This is one mean machine.

Yeah its a good idea to first upgrade the speakers first. TBHP members Bala, Topspeeder Nileshch had upgraded their speakers too and have found a lot of improvement in sound quality. You can check their threads for more details.
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Old 28th June 2012, 19:15   #9
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Default First Visit to the Workshop

Well with today's downpour in the city, the first niggle cropped up. There was water seepin in through the door.

So it turns out my driver front door was completely out of alignment, so after some alignment the service guys claim says the problem is resolved. I can only wait for the next downpour to see if the work is done

Also got these done

The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update-img_0289.jpg

Pls got the other features enabled at the same time.

@ GTO

Well i could have waited for another year if I was not completely done with the rattles in the swift. They were just driving me up the wall. Plus my extended warranty was getting over soon so really did not want to keep it longer.
The car was mechanically in great shape, in fact the guy who took my car in the exchange asked me twice or thrice if I wanted to let go.

Well the Ichibaan Nissan is at Worli, so it is a slight exaggeration

Sid

Last edited by siddharthdeb : 28th June 2012 at 19:17.
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Old 28th June 2012, 19:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddharthdeb View Post
Well with today's downpour in the city, the first niggle cropped up. There was water seepin in through the door.

So it turns out my driver front door was completely out of alignment, so after some alignment the service guys claim says the problem is resolved. I can only wait for the next downpour to see if the work is done

Also got these done

Attachment 948434

Pls got the other features enabled at the same time.

@ GTO

Well i could have waited for another year if I was not completely done with the rattles in the swift. They were just driving me up the wall. Plus my extended warranty was getting over soon so really did not want to keep it longer.
The car was mechanically in great shape, in fact the guy who took my car in the exchange asked me twice or thrice if I wanted to let go.

Well the Ichibaan Nissan is at Worli, so it is a slight exaggeration

Sid
yes could understand how painfull it will be when you find out such things in a new car. Hope they have solved the problem, have you checked the rubber lining .
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Old 28th June 2012, 20:16   #11
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Default re: The VW Vento TDi Highline: 2 Year, 30K Update

Hey Congrats Siddharth. We both are the latest entrants to the Vento club here, mine is a Petrol AT though.

Its a very well written review. I am surprised about the rain water seeping inside issue. It has not rained yet over here in Bangalore since I bought the car (though it was raining lightly the day I took delivery) but this has got me worried. Lets see what happens.

Anyway, enjoy your new car and keep this thread updated. I am also jotting down my ownership thread and hopefully it would be up soon.
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Old 28th June 2012, 23:40   #12
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Congratulations, Siddharth. Welcome to the Vento club! Like you, I too was drawn to the classic clean sedan lines on the Vento!

You will get used to the reverse gear. The only force you need to apply when engaging this gear is downwards. And then holding it down, simply slide the stick into the 1st gear slot.
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Old 29th June 2012, 19:53   #13
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Finally got my hands on this

Name:  image860395940.jpg
Views: 8321
Size:  337.6 KB

My ipod is finally of some use.
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Old 29th June 2012, 20:11   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddharthdeb View Post
Finally got my hands on this

Attachment 948931

My ipod is finally of some use.

Hey can you please give some more details regarding that, where you sourced it from, price and how to get it installed.
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Old 29th June 2012, 20:41   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony05

Hey can you please give some more details regarding that, where you sourced it from, price and how to get it installed.
Well if you have the RCD 310 (pix above) installed in your car then in the glove box all you have to do is swap the USB cable with this one. I got this from US, but it is available in the VW After sales for around 3300.

You can also get it from eBay for much cheaper I think ( around 2500 via eBay global buy)

Sid
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