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Old 25th June 2012, 20:23   #1
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Smile The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

– A Chinese ode*

Last edited by joslicx : 30th June 2012 at 01:10.
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Old 25th June 2012, 20:25   #2
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Default The Wittels Chronicles – my 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

A word of thanks to numerous people here on TBHP whose inputs helped a lot with my conviction to go for the Vento. I very much appreciate the efforts people have put in here to record their experiences for everyone’s benefit.


The beginning of the journey on road on four wheels

My first car was a humble Blue eyed Maruti Suzuki Alto Lxi.

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I was riding a Hero Honda Karizma at the time my father gifted it to me. It faithfully spent 3 years with me before going back to parents. I really loved the Alto and have only good memories to reflect upon as far as ownership is concerned. It gave around 15-17 Kmpl in city and around 22-24Kmpl on those highway runs (~100% AC use). An extremely nimble car, it was so easy to drive in any kind of traffic and even taking it in the smallest galis (small, typically side streets). To date, Alto is my favorite small car even over the likes of Swift, i10, Polo etc and is only rivaled by the Honda Brio and Fiat Grande Punto. After spending about 5.5 years in the family it was recently replaced by an Energetic Blue Honda Brio V MT.

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-brio1.jpg


Came 2009 and

Expectedly or unexpectedly the marriage happened! And along with my wife welcomed a new member, a dark blue i10 Kappa1.2 Sportz.

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-20120323-11.04.071.jpg

Though an i20 Asta was originally booked but it was not delivered in promised time by dealer (so the i10 came instead.) Actually I had considered going for an Automatic sedan at that time and checked out the Honda City. All New Honda City had just been launched and City CVT was still available (although only 1 or 2 remaining pieces per dealer and mid-2008 manufactured.) I took a test drive of the All New Honda City (at Ace Honda, Noida) but the City CVT parked in the showroom actually stole heart (for its plush-er interiors and equipment, it came with fog lamps, alloys, 2-Din Alpine etc that were notoriously absent in All New Honda City at that time) Unfortunately they didn’t give any satisfactory offer on the already phased out car (only free insurance was the offer) Eventually on scurrying around various dealers in Delhi, I got a good enough offer from one dealer in Delhi (City CVT for 7.8L on-road price – same as Ex-showroom) but it was white in color and was promptly vetoed by my future wife! The only other car that was considered was the Skoda Fabia (took a test drive on the Greater Noida expressway. Immensely likeable car – I drove it at high speed without any qualms! That’s the only car I’ve driven so fast in India. For some inexplicable reason didn’t go for it though.)

Anyway, coming back to i10, it was a satisfactory and uneventful experience while it was. It returned around 12Kmpl in the city on full AC use which is acceptable, though not commendable. Front seats are the place to be in the i10, and it is strictly a small family (read husband wife only) car. I realized its limitations once my baby girl came into this world, for her stroller wouldn’t fit in the small boot. So people with infants should better go for cars with bigger boot space (like i20, Jazz etc.) Otherwise the i10 is quite a competent small car.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd July 2012 at 17:04. Reason: No mention of illegal speeds on public roads please
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Old 25th June 2012, 20:28   #3
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Default The Wittels Chronicles – my 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

The pressing need for a change circa 2012

It just happened one day.

People in Bangalore would know how driving here is becoming more of a nightmare day by day. My office is just 6 KM from my home and both are on the now dreaded ORR (on either side of Marathalli). 2 years back when I had moved to Bangalore I could cover this distance in 10 – 15 mins. Nowdays, it normally takes 30 mins and at times it could take 1 hour or even more. This means lot of clutch play. An hour of drive in mad office rush hour and you are exhausted, mentally as well as physically. One such day, I said enough is enough! Told wifey in the evening that I am buying an Automatic car! She was shocked. The i10 had not even completed 3 years (and less than 20k on the Odometer) and I was thinking of a new car!!!


The Automatic experience(s) in the past

I first drove an Automatic in US during my month long visit in 2007.

It was an old Subaru Impreza notchback. I did not know how to drive an AT when I got it. I couldn’t change gear to drive (D) and thought the car had some problem! Then the friend who had driven me to Hertz told me to keep brake pressed while engaging gear and voila it worked! Its quite funny, that was my first day there as well and I did not know the routes around. I had asked for a car with navigation system but unfortunately Hertz did not have one that day so they gave me the Impreza and asked me to come back next day for a car with navigator. Now from the rental agency back to office I was supposed to follow my friend but lost him at one signal and after that I lost my way!!! Drove around like a vagrant for almost 3 hours (I did not even know how to take turns and in that part of New Jersey they had some weird turns where you took a right first for left turn etc and most of times I’d be in wrong lane when I approached intersections to take turn so couldn’t take them) Nevertheless, got used to driving in US in those 3 hours and eventually found my way to office. Totally loved the convenience the Automatic offered (at that time I was driving an Alto in India) and immediately took to it like a fish to water!

Next day I got upgraded to a navigator equipped Hyundai Sonata Transform (4-speed Automatic with Triptronic). Quite a wonderful car to drive for a novice like me! It was perfect size car, very easy to drive, easy to park, easy to reverse, I just loved it! Initially I did not know about the Triptronic, for Automatic for me meant no changing gears manually at all! So one day while driving by mistake I engaged Triptronic and started off, pressed the accelerator and heard the vehicle roar quite a bit before gear changed to 2 and then it stayed in 2 (max I was driving was below 50mph only as it was in the city.) I could not understand what had happened. Only last time I saw gears go all the way upto 4 (on the MID) and now it was not going beyond 2! Anyway eventually I figured out that I could upshift or downshift by just moving the stick up or down. Absolutely loved it really. On my later visits I got, at different times, the same Sonata, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cobalt and Ford Taurus to drive. All these other cars were simple automatics, that’s why till date that Triptronic Sonata remained my favorite automatic car, bested now by my Vento AT.


The selection process. What selection?

It was love at first sight.

The requirements for the upgrade were laid down before the approving authority:
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Safety features (dual airbags and ABS minimum requirement)
  • Competent and Comfortable to drive, especially in the city as that’s where it will be used 95% of the time.
  • Sufficient boot space (big enough to carry our daughter’s stroller and some luggage as well.)
  • If possible, few unnecessary luxuries
  • Monthly drive is around 500-600Km. So Petrol still OK to buy.
  • Brand new car; so pre-owned cars not even an option.
  • Budget – 10L was the initial ballpark figure with 10% flexibility.

Since Automatic was the first and foremost requirement, it automatically eliminated most of the options in the market!

Among small cars only A-star, i10 and i20 come with Auto option. A-star and i10 were instantly rejected as not being an upgrade and for the small boot. i20 AT price comes dangerously close to some very competent sedans, so it was also eventually rejected. So it was decided to go for a Sedan.

Vento was an automatic choice then. Once I saw the Blue Vento on Nilesh’s thread it was sort of decided in the heart! I read almost all of the Vento ownership threads here (Blue ones again and again just to ogle at the pictures!) Honda City was also thrown in to make up numbers (Though it was my wife’s automatic choice as she has a few in her family. She had not even heard of Volkswagen till I told her about it!) I did not consider Verna or the Rapid (Verna because of the old 4-speed automatic and Rapid because of Skoda fame!). Secretly I also wished there were a Jazz AT option to make things more interesting!

Last edited by joslicx : 29th June 2012 at 10:14.
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Old 25th June 2012, 20:31   #4
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Exclamation The Wittels Chronicles – my 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

Test Drive(s) and booking experience

Sometime in early February I registered on Volkswagen website for Test Drive. The site promised me that somebody will call me in next 10 mins. The call did come, from Volkswagen customer service, only in about 2 weeks!

Anyway, they told me about different offers on Vento and promised me that some local dealer will call me regarding the Test Drive but expectedly that didn’t happen as well. So eventually I decided to bite my pride and anyway head to the showroom.

Dealer name: Apple Auto Pvt Ltd (aka VW Whitefield) Sales Rep: Mr. B. N. Srinivas
Dealer Name: Whitefield Honda Sales Rep: Mr. Manjunath (I think)

One fine Sunday we decided to check out both Honda and Volkswagen. First stop - Whitefield Honda. As usual, a very happening place (so unfortunately didn’t get parking and had to park my i10 on the road). We were attended in no time and were promptly offered test drive. However, the i10 parked on the road was on the back of my mind all the time so I asked the salesperson to bring City AT to my office instead later during the week. On-Road price for Honda City V AT (without sunroof) was 11.57L and absolutely no discounts were offered whatsoever.

Next stop was Volkswagen Whitefield. Compared to Honda Volkswagen wasn’t that happening place but still there were some folks there checking various cars. We were properly attended there as well by Mr. B. N. Srinivas. On asking for Test Drive of Vento AT, he disappeared for a min and then came back and to our delight offered the same. Although by no means was it comprehensive one (our fault, should have had more time for it but there was a Manchester United game and I don’t miss that for nothing!) but the short few KMs drive was quite good. Initial impression was that it was very good to drive in the city, noticed how 5th gear came up in no time! The car felt very solidly built (compared to the Suzukis and Hyundais and even Hondas I’d been exposed to so far) yet it was amazingly easy to drive. Tested rear seat comfort over bad road (on the service road just outside their showroom) and it felt miles better than the i10. Since the Honda City test drive was still pending didn’t make the booking then and there (well the real reason was I wanted to do the booking on the auspicious day of Holi that was next week). All in all, given my requirement of a comfortable city car, Vento seemed perfect choice.

To cut a long story short, I did test drive the Honda City AT later during the week, liked it (also suited all my requirements) but still went with Vento. What I liked in the City was rear seat. What I didn’t like was price (exorbitant for what it offered at 11.57L on road), the sparse equipment list and the interiors, especially the gaudy center console. The Honda sales rep still follows up with me, the Volkswagen one didn’t bother at all after the Test Drive. I had to call him and ask him to come to my office to collect the booking check (50k). What tilted it in Vento's favor was an inclination to fulfill a long cherished dream of owning a German car (Yes, I do perfectly understand it is not German enough for many knowledgeable folks out there, but still, it is German enough for me).

Now that the Vento was decided, color was an easy choice. It was always going to be le Blue! Thankfully my wife's views also converged on this. However, I really wish Vento was available in more exotic colors like Passat's mocca Brown or City's Maroon/Titanium or an exotic dark green as well.

The booking was done on the eve of Holi (7th March 2012). Delivery was promised in 20 days (Honda promised guaranteed delivery in 2 weeks for all colors). Actual delivery time – almost 2 months! But this delay was not their fault. I came to know later that Volkswagen were not manufacturing any Petrol Highline cars for quite some time (since late last year). The only grouse is that they could have been upfront about it (but then, if I knew about these uncertainties at that time then I might have jumped over to Honda camp and got home the City V AT instead! Honesty does not pay in India!)

On Road price for Vento AT (at that time) was 11.37L and a corporate discount on offer (which is about 14k in my case). Overall it meant Vento was priced about 40k less than the City AT which put a smile on my face. [Note: For 2012 model Volkswagen have increased price by about 60k so Vento AT is now actually more expensive than the City V AT.]

Actually at that time we were told about the existing offers on Vento Petrol AT cars (2011 manufactured) that amounted to a massive 1.2L+ in discounts on the OTR price (so about 10L OTR price with KA registration.) This included a cash discount of 50k, free insurance (worth about 37k), Corporate Discount (worth 14k in my case), AMC for 2 years (worth almost 20k), extended warranty (worth about 10k) and some accessories worth almost 10k (parking sensors, mats etc). The only caveats were that it was 2011 model (so without the 2012 upgrades) and also April 2011 manufactured (so almost 1 year old car) and only one color (white) was available. I let it pass, though I would have given it serious thought it was late 2011 manufactured. I should mention here that Srinivas was honest enough to furnish all the vehicle details (when asked).

Last edited by joslicx : 27th June 2012 at 17:47.
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Old 25th June 2012, 20:33   #5
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Question The Wittels Chronicles – my 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

Waiting and Delivery experience

If you really want something bad enough, the universe just conspires to make it happen for you!

For long it looked like things were taking shape for the worse. The promised delivery timeline of 3 weeks wasn’t honored and during that time came to know from Facebook the various Petrol Highline (and AT) delivery woes. Volkswagen were not assembling any petrol Highline cars, they were only clearing old stock from 2011 and there were people waiting as long as Nov' 2011 (or maybe even longer) for their allocation! Around end March I called Srinivas for status update and he confirmed the same and committed new delivery schedule of April end. Thankfully at that time I had a 6 week overseas travel lined up so I told him that if the car didn’t arrive in that duration, then the booking shall be cancelled (That I pretty much meant as well, with a view to go for Honda City AT instead and not wait any further. I started going thru the City AT ownership threads on TBHP and went thru charthom, B.hP, B103, guna, madsaab’s threads) During that period in April came across many more delivery related horror stories, cancelled bookings by dealers etc on Volkswagen India Facebook page. It just looked like it was not meant to be! But then just as someone wise has said: if you really want something bad enough, the universe just conspires to make it happen for you! It actually happened for me!

Around April end finally got confirmation that my car has left the factory and was on its way to dealership. I was still away in Sweden at that time. Asked Srinivas for vehicle details and promptly got VIN and engine number. Got VIN decoded (thank you wildon) and it is a 24.04.2012 manufactured vehicle. Unfortunately as I was not in Bangalore at that time so asked the dealership to keep the vehicle for me. To their credit they did that (I was afraid all along that they might sell it to some other customer! Maybe there was no other customer for the Blue!)

Around end of May I came back to Bangalore and immediately got into the act for delivery. First step was to call the bank to start loan process. I went with Axis Bank as they made a good enough offer (3 year loan at 10.95% rate and no processing fee). For insurance I went with Tata AIG’s Pearl plan that cost me Rs. 32118 with zero depreciation benefits. Also visited dealer yard before making the rest of the payment and did a PDI there to my satisfaction.

Here is the first look of the vehicle (they had cleaned it that morning before PDI).

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-vento_firstlook.jpg

Finally all formalities were over and tentatively delivery was planned on 7th June 2012. But due to some delays at the bank this got shifted by one more day and finally on 8th June 2012 we could welcome Wittels home.

On the delivery day we reached at the dealership at around 3:30PM. The Gods were in the mood and they blessed the occasion with rains throughout the evening. That made it all the more lovely really. My SA (Mr. Srinivas) was on sick leave and our delivery was handled by one Mr. Imran. We had to wait for about 30 mins to finish all the formalities (signing papers etc) and then got to see the car. I made one more thorough inspection of the vehicle inside out and also got Imran to explain most of the features (though I already knew most of them). Checked that Odometer at the time of delivery read 11Km (I had forgotten about it at the time of PDI earlier.) Also asked him about the VAS activated features like speed activated lock etc and those were already present in the car! Finally at around 5PM we got the keys and were free to drive off! Words cannot describe the feeling I was having at that time.

Now for some ratings:
Rating Srinivas: Borderline good. Once the vehicle was available he was quite communicative, approachable and enthusiastic about the delivery. Earlier during waiting period there were times he was vague and at times, even unavailable. Imran, who handled our delivery, was also quite good. He was patient enough to answer all my querries to my satisfaction. I would actually recommend both of them.

Rating Dealership: Somewhere between satisfactory and Good. In comparison, the i10 buying experience at Capital Hyundai, Noida was borderline unsatisfactory.

Final On The Road Price (Karnataka registration)

Ex-Showroom: Rs. 9,84,095
RTO: Rs. 1,52,928
Insurance: Rs. 32,118
Accessories: Rs. 3,192 (mats and mud flaps)
Handling Charges: Rs. 7,000 (no receipt for this)
IND Number plates: Rs. 1500
Corporate Discount: Rs. 14,222
Any additional Discounts: None
Final OTR Price: Rs. 1166611 (What a number!)

I am egregiously bad at negotiating. So could not extract any useful deal sweeteners at all. Did not even get a keychain for free!

Last edited by joslicx : 29th June 2012 at 14:23.
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Old 25th June 2012, 20:35   #6
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Default The Wittels Chronicles – my 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

Initial impressions

From the dealership we drove home straightaway as it was too long for our daughter and she was hungry. Then in the evening we decided to visit the temple for formal puja (to please my mother who is very religious). First drove to my usual petrol bunk (HP bunk next to Cosmos mall in Brookefield) and got a tankful (~45.5L of Normal Petrol for Rs. 3600). Had the Vento embarrassing moment No. 1 there as I realized I did not know how to open the fuel lid! I searched for the lever at the usual place (below driver’s seat as is there in other cars) but it was not there! I should have asked Imran about it before taking delivery but that’s the price you pay for overconfidence (I thought I knew this car inside out as I have been devouring Vento threads here for months now). Anyway somebody came to the rescue and opened the lid for me. I also got Nitrogen filled there in all 4 tyres (air pressure kept at 34 psi for now. Cost me Rs. 120 @30 apiece.) Next stop was the temple. An Etios also came there that evening for car puja. When we reached back home the MID showed a mileage of 11.7 Kmpl. It felt good

So far my overall impressions with the car have been good. The engine feels sufficiently relaxed in city drives even on flyovers (though the i-VTec on my father’s Brio is in a class of its own when it comes to refinement). I have now got used to the Auto transmission and can change gears in either direction at will using only the accelerator pedal (so I haven’t tried the Triptronic so far.) There haven’t been no issues with overtaking other vehicles so far (still need to test this on highways though). Doors exude wonderful build quality every time I close them (sadly same cannot be said of the boot door that feels tinny in comparison and makes a sorry noise every time it is shut.) I have not touched any speed breakers which is good (maximum load has been 6 people including my 2 year old). The best mileage I have have got so far was 12.7 Kmpl during one 12 Km run to the Phoenix mall while the worst was 7.7 Kmpl on a very bad traffic day (stuck for about half hour at the Cisco junction, took one hour to drive 6 Km that morning). Usually I am getting between 10-11 Kmpl (the number is on the higher side on weekends and on the lower during weekdays). It passed the “tomato test” with flying colors (this I’ve designed to test ride quality. Normally in my i10 I had to tie knots in my shopping bags else things would be everywhere in the boot. Not so for the sack of tomatoes in the Vento! Things were still intact when we reached home.) There is no discernible change in my driving style here between the two.

First Tank to Tank FE measurement:
Tripmeter reading: 630 Km
Fuel consumed: 19.22L + 45L of normal petrol = 64.22L

Average FE returned ~ 9.8 Kmpl.

Accessories planned/installed
  • Vento side step garnish – OEM from VW Whitefield (Rs. 950)
  • 3M paint sealant – 3M HSR Layout (Rs. 2995+taxes)
  • 3D Kagu mats – From Torque, Indiranagar (Rs. 5300)
  • Osram Nightbreakers+ H4 headlamps 60/55W –Torque, Indiranagar (Rs. 1150)
  • Leather seats/covers – Karlsson – Scandinavian 1.5mm leather in Sandstorm Beige (Rs. 32k)
  • Boot Mat – Under consideration. Any pointers?
  • Sunfilms – On hold till there is more clarity from hon’ble Supreme Court.

Accessories planned (including mid-life upgrades after 2+ years)
  • The angel eyes setup similar to noopster/ninja’s.
  • Multimedia music player with navigator (something like this Witson unit)




Now I will let a few pictures do some talking

It really looked worth a million after the 3M treatment

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-another.jpg

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-front_lamp.jpg

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-bonnet.jpg

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-another2.jpg

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-rear.jpg

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-side_front.jpg

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-side_rear.jpg


A look at the heart of it. This picture was taken while changing the bulbs to NBPs. Changing bulbs is a child's play really. The guy did that without unscrewing anything!

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-engine.jpg

The battery is wrapped in some kind of insulation sheet. Is it to avoid rattles there?

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-battery.jpg

The blue and the curse of it! It gets dirty in no time! Notice the dirt in this pic. This car was wiped clean in the morning and this pic was taken after driving about 10Km to my daughter's school. Also notice the body colored parking sensors on the bumper. Look very neatly done.

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-insignia_dust.jpg

Look I got a stubby Antenna! No it isint the stock one. I got this from fellow TBHP member and Polo owner speed kills. Thank you man for it! By the way, he has done some pretty interesting mods to his Polo including the sharkfin! Check out his thread.

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-stubby.jpg

Apollos on Volkswagen Castille alloys. If it were Vectras then I might have gone for tyre change now itself. Am satisfied with Apollos so far.

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-wheel.jpg

Interior shot at night. Looks fabulous but the MID kind of spoils it somewhat. The South African one would gel better here.

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-interior_night1.jpg

Mileage I got in one of the drives. So far my drive has been very short in the city (longest in one trot was only 12 Km).

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-mileage1.jpg

They've provided a neat folder for all the manuals. I got the Polo/Vento car manual, a manual for RCD310 music system and a manual to record service history.

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-manuals.jpg

Wittels has been Karlssonised! I went with 1.5mm Scandinavian leather in Sandstone Beige. This was recommended over Napa leather by the man himself, Sajith. Napa apparently needs more handling care which would be difficult given that we have a naughty 2.5 year old. In the end, it has come out awesome. Here are a few pics.

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-karlsson1.jpg

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-karlsson2.jpg

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-karlsson3.jpg

The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-karlsson4.jpg

I need a better photographer than myself to do full justice to the car and to the Karlsson seats. All these pics were taken with my HTC Sensation hence these are a bit amateurish only.

I also got some Meguiars stuff to take care of le Blue. Plan to do some detailing periodically, at least for the first few months.
  1. Meguiars Quik Wax
  2. Meguiars Ultimate Polish
  3. Meguiars Quick Detailer
  4. 3M micro fiber cloths
  5. Some more microfiber cloths for dusting
  6. Meguiars Wipes for Interiors
  7. Some wipes to clean wheels etc
  8. Jopasu duster for a quick wipe every morning

Following details from el lobo's thread, my plan is to wash and then do some quick detailing (clay followed by polish followed by wax), maybe once a month. Lets see how long I can keep myself motivated.


What I like in the Vento
  • Looks: Totally a sucker for the Teutonic elegance. Good job Volkswagen.
  • Build Quality: The Japs/Koreans are no match. Much better than my previous drive, the i10.
  • Paint Job: Looks really outstanding.
  • Interiors: Very well done. Contrary to popular sentiment here, I like the light colors used inside. I had light color interiors in my i10 and even after 3 years of use they looked new. Somehow I am able to maintain interiors well (have received this compliment from multiple co-passengers at different times).
  • Features: Some very nifty features like window up/down using remote key fob, anti-pinch windows, gear indicator on the MID, the MID itself, climate control, rear AC vents, remote boot opener etc are great to have. These were the unnecessary luxuries in my list of requirements
  • Space: Coming from an i10, it feels royal!
  • Convenience: The AT makes life so easy. I can’t believe that more Indian people don’t go for AT. It can be a practical solution for road-rage problem. Secretly I wish that all taxis should mandatorily be ATs, so that taxi drivers don’t/can’t drive like lunatics!
  • Driving ease: It is so easy to drive. This car has just the right dimensions and the right power for my liking.


Another list of what I don’t like in the Vento
  • Rear Bumper design: The way it hides the exhaust tip. They have done much better job on the new Jetta.
  • Steering wheel design: Fiat Linea, new Ford Fiesta, Honda City and Skoda Rapid all have much better design
  • Alloys: look too “soft”. The Antares of the Skoda Rapid would have been fabulous but I truly lust for these Monzas as on this GTI

    The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT-polo_gti.jpg

  • Front Handrest: It interferes with operating hand brake and also makes it difficult to buckle seatbelts.
  • Door pads: The bare door panels on the inside don’t give a very plush feeling. Would have liked it if Volkswagen had provided perforated leather cover there.
  • Last but not the least: “Wrong side” placement of the stalks!


And while we are at it, why not a wishlist for the Vento!
  • Music System: For this price, they should provide the RCD510 not RCD310 (that would be a segment first, they anyway gave it for free in the promotion offers like the various limited editions.)
  • Instrument cluster: Should get the one on the South African Vento (to distinguish from the Polo). Also it would gel with the new music system/AC colors better.
  • Handrest on rear seats: Could become more useful if they implement cup holders a la ANHC
  • Electrically retracting side-view mirrors: Pretty useful in Indian context.
  • Headlamps: The smoked headlamps that are present in European Polo would be awesome.

Last edited by joslicx : 29th June 2012 at 13:37.
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Old 25th June 2012, 20:42   #7
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Default The Wittels Chronicles – my 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

The eternal City vs Vento comparison (City V AT vs Vento Petrol Highline AT)

Given that City is presumed to be the iPhone of this segment, here are my personal thoughts on its comparison with the Vento.
  • Looks: For me Vento is the winner. I just cannot help admiring one whenever I see one. The timeless elegant looks (though slightly spoiled by the unimaginative rear) but still miles better than City that is too flashy from some angles. (For reference, I think the new Jetta is just perfect!) I have lived in Germany for some time and am totally in love with German cars, their amazing designs and attention to detail, technology and general craftsmanship.

  • Equipment: With its ACC, desmodronic foldable key, MID, Triptronic, rear AC vents etc Vento again trumps the (relatively) Spartan City. City does have cruise control and paddle shifters (and an optional sun-roof and leather interiors on a higher priced version.) but it misses out on some unnecessary luxuries like a sunglasses holder and leather clad steering!

  • Fuel Efficiency: Give it to City based on hearsay. In any case, real world figures for both are around 10KMPL (100% city use) only with maybe marginally in favor of City (source: ownership threads of mdsaab(9-10), guna(10-11), charthom(8-10), Bh.P (9-10), B103(10-11) for City AT, noopster(9-10),anilkalvani(9-11), subodh(9-9.5), nvluv(11.5) for Vento AT).

  • Ride and Handling: For me both are good. The real experts here on Team-BHP maintain that Vento is better in this department

  • Brakes: No complaints with both of them. Vento’s braking distance is better than City though.

  • Ground Clearance: Had no issues with both City and Vento on Bangalore speed breakers. Both had load of 3 people for comparison.

  • Interior (dashboard design): In my honest view Vento is better designed. The silver finish façade looked simply too garish (the gunmetal finish on the refreshed City is a welcome improvement.) Also on the refreshed city they have changed color of the instrument cluster to blue while music player is orange which makes it look strange at night. The AC control knobs look tacky and a few segments down (slider switch for air circulation mode?!) It is not possible to change HU in City to a multi-media player and still retain good OEM finish. That’s poor in my books.

  • Music system: Can be reviewed from two aspects: design and function. In terms of design, Vento’s RCD310 has the edge (it is also used for parking aid). In terms of function both are good enough.

  • CD/USB/iPOD/BT connectivity: CDs I don’t usually use (haven’t bought one for an eternity now), USB is there in both, iPOD I don’t care frankly (as an official Apple hates-person) and BT I don’t use at all!

  • Overall interior quality: I feel Vento is marginally better. City has regressed compared to NHC that used to be segment best.

  • Tyres: City loses with its puny tyres compared to Vento although Volkswagen cheats by providing only a smaller spare tyre. Is it the same in City as well?

  • Alloys: Like City’s. The “Antares” on Rapid, although betters them both. Worth noting is the fact that Honda has indulged in petty cost cutting here by using 4 nuts only (Taking cost cutting inspirations from Tata here!) Both provide only 4 alloys.

  • Front design including bumper: Definitely Vento. City has quirky looks, especially the fog lamps look out of place (read aftermarket) and too much chrome after the facelift. Vento has got fog-lamps inspired from Audi and are quite neatly integrated and further accented using subtle chrome.

  • Rear design including bumper: City takes the cake here, very neatly and subtly done, especially after the facelift. The SUV inspired bumpers with reflectors definitely add class.

  • Exhaust finishing: Full marks to Honda on this as well. Chrome lip adds class. Vento’s exhaust tip is hidden behind the bumper so no possibilities of doing anything there to enhance the looks.

  • Rear visibility: Pretty bad in both cars, Vento is poorer.

  • Door Handles: body colored on Vento add class, Chrome on City look cheap!

  • Front Seats: I like Vento’s front seats. Honda’s seats are a tad bit softer than optimum. Or maybe both are equally good. Too close to call. In any case, after leather treatment both feel great enough.

  • Rear Seats: Definitely City. There is no competition to City in this department across segment.

  • Front handrest: Vento’s handrest is designed poorly (problems with engaging hand brakes + buckling seat belts) but some positive points for the thoughtful multi-stage inclination offered.

  • Rear handrest: City very good. Vento OK. Would have loved Vento to provide some storage facility integrated in the handrest.

  • Key: Honda gives only one key with remote – Stingy Honda. The fob on Vento key is smarter as well as more functional (boot opener, integrated windows up/down etc.) It is very well built as well.

  • Antenna: The short stubby one on the City looks smart. Wish Volkswagen had provided a Jetta like sharkfin on the Vento.

  • Steering wheel: No doubt the City. In terms of design, looks, feel etc it is markedly superior to Vento. Vento is saved only the rake and reach adjustment feature it offers and the fact that it is leather clad (Honda doesn’t give that on a Million+ rupee car!!!) Both are very easy to use in the city.

  • Triptronic vs Paddle shifters: I like the Triptronic more. Others might disagree and I think it is a personal choice. Having Triptronic has a benefit that your left hand can still rest on the armrest while changing gears. City’s paddle shifters have one clear advantage though. They work in S mode as well as D mode (while the Triptronic of Vento works only in D mode.) But I think this point is moot as once you engage the Triptronic, it does not matter if you are in 'D' or 'S'. But you have to engage it, while the paddles rest on your thumbs all the time so that is one clear advantage there.

  • MID: Vento by a big way. Lot of useful information and is neatly placed on the instrument cluster.

  • Instrument Cluster: City’s looks generation older. They should move on to something better with a more comprehensive MID integrated. I would love to see Honda getting some inspiration from present Civic and provide something like that in the City.

  • Safety features: Call it even stevens in this round. Both are equally well equipped. Although it can be said that the Vento does feel safer. This could just be a feeling and there might not be anything scientific about it so I am not considering anything based on a feeling here.

  • Horn: Though I rarely use it still Volkswagen horn is class of its own. The one on Vento can wake up a hibernating bear!

  • AC Performance: I think Volkswagen’s AC is better. It chills me to the bone and normally I keep it at 24 and lowest fan setting unless car was parked under sun on a hot day when it takes around 5-6 mins for the cabin to become comfortable. From experience our Brio's AC is nowhere (dont know if that can be extrapolated to comment on City's AC)

  • ORVM: With them integrated turn indicators, City is the easy winner here. Functionally both are good enough. On the flipside, replacing the one on City will be much more costly than Vento.

  • Front headlamps design: Like equally both of them, though feel City has an edge here. Vento should have the European smoked headlamps to visually distinguish from Polo.

  • Rear lamps design: The one on the refreshed City is better looking and gels better with the rest of the car. Vento’s rear lamps look uninspired though at night it is another story altogether.

  • Engine: No comments, although I do admit that the i-Vtec on the Honda is much more refined. This one is actually for the experts to comment. Honda has more power while Vento has more torque! For me both are good enough for all my needs.

  • AT in D mode: I call Vento the winner here based on test drives of both cars in D mode. One very nifty feature in the Vento is that the MID displays the current gear engaged. I missed that in the City. Gear stalk itself also looks more sophisticated in the Vento.

  • AT in S mode: No idea. Haven’t used it in the Vento so far, neither did that in City at the time of Test Drive.

  • AT in Manual override: Like Triptronic more than paddles.

  • Boot: Both are sufficient enough.

  • Rear legroom: Ample legroom in both the cars! No clear winner here as such.

  • Useful storage space in the cabin: I think both are matched pretty well in this segment but I give it to Vento here as City does not have a sun glasses holder (why Honda?)

  • Colors: City comes in better shades (personal opinion). Vento has very limited choices (only 5 colors!? So if somebody doesn’t want White (light colors)/Black the only choice is Blue that they don’t produce enough!). There should be some nice color options like Titanium/Grey, Maroon, Azure, Brown etc.

  • Pre-buying experience: Honda good Volkswagen borderline OK. Simple!

  • Maintenance costs: Regular maintenance costs (annual) for Vento are seemingly higher than City. Ballpark figure is difference of 2-3k in favor of City. Though for each second year they are almost same (City 20k interval service costs about 8k+)

  • Spares/Accessories costs: Contrary to popular perception, spares actually are on higher side for City! And ditto for Accessories! Honda seems to simply overcharge for everything. Vento is not cheap either though. This might shock lot of people here but it is actually true!

  • Price: Honda City AT is very expensive at 11.7L (OTR Bangalore), Vento AT is simply obscenely expensive at 11.98L OTR (OTR Bangalore after recent price hike). Volkswagen is offering Corporate Discount on Vento. It ranges from 14k to 31k (depending upon your profession/corporate.) Neither car is in Value for Money category for me. [Although City has a VFM variant in the Corporate Edition.]

Verdict: In a nutshell, both are equally capable cars with little to differentiate. It all boils down to personal preferences and an inclination to live with what one wants most: rear seats or the front ones, more power or more torque, Paddle shifters or the Triptronic, German build quality or Japanese reliability and most of all – Honda peace of mind or Volkswagen adventures!

Last edited by joslicx : 29th June 2012 at 10:24.
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Old 25th June 2012, 20:44   #8
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Talking The Wittels Chronicles – my 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

One feature I would love to beg/borrow/$teal from competition
  • Honda City: The center armrest with the cup holders on the back seat
  • All New Hyundai Verna: Its auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • SX4: The illuminating key ring hole for ignition
  • New Ford Fiesta: Well no thanks!
  • Skoda Rapid: Those gorgeous “Antares” alloys! Why, Volkswagen, you gave the better thing to Skoda?
  • Fiat Linea: Its meaty multi-function steering wheel


And from its own siblings:
  • New Jetta: That sharkfin antenna, the rear bumper cluster
  • New Passat: The instrument cluster, the analog clock, the RNS510 music system, the steering wheel, alloys, leather seats, <<this list is endless>>
  • New Phaeton: ?! I probably might not be able to afford anything in that!


Finally the Vento experience so far

In two words: Pure Bliss!


Epilogue

Le Blue has been christened and we've decided to call her Wittels, inpired from Der Blaue Wittelsbacher, once a proud posession of the house of Wittelsbach who once ruled over the city of Wolfsburg, the present Volkswagen city. Its interesting to note that this diamond, actually, is originally from India, from the now defunct Golconda mines! All diamonds eventually turn out to have lot of interesting histories. I hope, in times to come, Wittels will also have some interesting stories to tell.

Last edited by joslicx : 29th June 2012 at 16:31.
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Old 30th June 2012, 11:19   #9
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Default Re: The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th June 2012, 14:01   #10
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Default Re: The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

Hey Congrats on the Vento. Looks really nice in that colour. Can you please list out the changes in the 2012 model ?
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Old 30th June 2012, 16:22   #11
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Default Re: The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

Isn't it funny that although you practically get to read similar ownership threads (similar to own experiences), it's fun to read a new one everytime! On several points you get that thought in your mind - Aha, even I opted for that! or Yea, even I faced that situation!

Lovely thread - keep posting updates - this forum needs more active VW AT threads (now that our new-est mod has become more occupied with his moderation activities )

A few suggestions from another blue - owner :
  • Unless you really love it, please lose that Karlsson sticker from the rear window. Sticks out like a sore thumb
  • Do validate if you would want to put door guards (image attached) - I have several of these dot-scratches on the door edge. Someone or the other eventually scratches the door while opening. Since you already have had two blue cars in the past, guess you can decide easily!
    Name:  Door Guard.jpg
Views: 13069
Size:  37.1 KB


Edit:
- I don't think I have that insulation for the battery in my Tdi. Seems to be a new addition!
- Wow, that engine bay seems to have a lot of empty space! Mine's quite messy!
- Correction in above point - three blue cars in the past!


Quote:
Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
New Ford Fiesta: Well no thanks!
The awesome speakers. Although better ones can be resourced from after-market!


Quote:
Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
The eternal City vs Vento comparison (City V AT vs Vento Petrol Highline AT)
Lovely comparison! Would want to add just one more point
- Ingress/Egress : City has it better. Especially the front seats


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancham View Post
Hey Congrats on the Vento. Looks really nice in that colour. Can you please list out the changes in the 2012 model ?
Mainly leatherette seats, i.e. if you consider both petrol & diesel models. Depends on which earlier model you are comparing to - Vento has had several face-lifts/upgrades recently.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 30th June 2012 at 16:31.
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Old 30th June 2012, 18:03   #12
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Default Re: The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

@joslicx - Congratulations..!!

I enjoyed reading your detailed write-up.. and thanks for those lovely pictures. I liked those seat covers very much and would go for the same sometime later.
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Old 1st July 2012, 07:29   #13
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Default Re: The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

Many congratulations on the new car, extremely well written review. I had the very same design as yours for the seat covers, only difference was mine was from Stanley.

And regarding the new fiesta, the EPS steering set-up is to die for, Just imagine vento with a similar set-up, it would be awesome.

Wishing you a very pleasant and memorable ownership experience.
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Old 1st July 2012, 12:14   #14
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Default Re: The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

@josclix- Congrats on the new car. The shadow blue is easily the best colour option on the Vento and it's nice to have more AT users on the forums!

The pic of the interiors is very telling- the headunit doesn't gel well at all (purely my opinion), unlike the 2011 model which is superbly integrated. Obviously the need for additional functionality like USB, AUX-in supercedes any cosmetic considerations.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 11:16   #15
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Default Re: The Wittels Chronicles - My 2012 Shadow Blue Volkswagen Vento AT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancham View Post
Hey Congrats on the Vento. Looks really nice in that colour. Can you please list out the changes in the 2012 model ?
Hi Panchan

Thanks for the wishes.

If you wish to know the changes in 2012 Petrol Highline model vis-a-vis 2011 model, here is the list:
1. RCD310 music system with 4 speakers
2. Multi-function steering wheel (meaning steering mounted audio controls).
3. USB functionality (for ipod a separate cable is needed that is available outside/with Volkswagen dealers?)
4. Parking sensors with a 2D distance display on the HU
5. Dummy BT button
6. Removal of the interior surveillance system.

2012 Diesel Highline additionally gets Leatherette seats (that are also there in Jetta).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Isn't it funny that although you practically get to read similar ownership threads (similar to own experiences), it's fun to read a new one everytime! On several points you get that thought in your mind - Aha, even I opted for that! or Yea, even I faced that situation!

Lovely thread - keep posting updates - this forum needs more active VW AT threads (now that our new-est mod has become more occupied with his moderation activities )
Thanks ninja. Will try to keep this thread alive. Am planning for my first long trip (to Ponducherry) in the month of Aug.

Quote:
A few suggestions from another blue - owner :
  • Unless you really love it, please lose that Karlsson sticker from the rear window. Sticks out like a sore thumb
  • Do validate if you would want to put door guards (image attached) - I have several of these dot-scratches on the door edge. Someone or the other eventually scratches the door while opening. Since you already have had two blue cars in the past, guess you can decide easily!
    Attachment 949075
Yes the Karlsson sticker shall be done away with.
These door guards are interesting. Do you have them on your car? can you post a pic how do they look please? And where did you source them, cost etc?

Quote:
Edit:
- I don't think I have that insulation for the battery in my Tdi. Seems to be a new addition!
- Wow, that engine bay seems to have a lot of empty space! Mine's quite messy!
- Correction in above point - three blue cars in the past!
engine bay has lots of empty space. One thing I'm worried about it I can see the ground looking from above! So there seems to be no protection to the compartment from flying stones/gravel/water etc underneath. Is it like that in your Tdi as well? Somebody told about an engine sump guard. Is it supposed to be there? How do I know if it is there in my car?

Quote:
The awesome speakers. Although better ones can be resourced from after-market!
Well I do not have any idea about the Fiesta. I've seen it in pics only. I should see how the speakers setup there sounds. Though I do not have golden ears so I doubt I'll make out any difference. I think the speakers on Vento are also pretty good. But if you find them average, will take your word for it.

Quote:
Lovely comparison! Would want to add just one more point
- Ingress/Egress : City has it better. Especially the front seats
Spot on. I missed that! City is easy to get in/out. Vento is not, strangely Brio is similar to Vento in this regard rather than City!


Quote:
Originally Posted by fiesta View Post
@joslicx - Congratulations..!!

I enjoyed reading your detailed write-up.. and thanks for those lovely pictures. I liked those seat covers very much and would go for the same sometime later.
Thanks fiesta. From your profile you seem to be based out of Pune. You might have to go to Stanley there. Karlsson is present only in Bangalore I think. They are really good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bala80 View Post
Many congratulations on the new car, extremely well written review. I had the very same design as yours for the seat covers, only difference was mine was from Stanley.

And regarding the new fiesta, the EPS steering set-up is to die for, Just imagine vento with a similar set-up, it would be awesome.

Wishing you a very pleasant and memorable ownership experience.
Thanks Bala. How are you settling in the States

I have read a lot about the steering setup on Fiesta, so much now that there is an itch to go and take a test drive of that! I didnt do it earlier when I was in shopping mode. I have had only driven a Maruti Alto and a Hyundai i10 so far (and a Subaru, Sonata, Corolla and Taurus for short intervals in US) so my reference is mostly these two cars only.


Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
@josclix- Congrats on the new car. The shadow blue is easily the best colour option on the Vento and it's nice to have more AT users on the forums!

The pic of the interiors is very telling- the headunit doesn't gel well at all (purely my opinion), unlike the 2011 model which is superbly integrated. Obviously the need for additional functionality like USB, AUX-in supercedes any cosmetic considerations.
Thanks noopster. Blue is nice color but gets dusty so soon! Its very tough color to drive here in Bangalore.

I agree with you that the earlier HU gelled better with the interiors. I anyway plan to change it sometime later, not for performance but for function (would like to have navigation functionality there). But I am not touching any electricals for 2 years at least. Hopefully in this time we will have lot of safe tuning options in the market for Volkswagen cars.

Last edited by joslicx : 2nd July 2012 at 11:17.
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