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Old 31st January 2013, 21:57   #1
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Talking Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update

The Blue Berliner - Vento Highline TDI

The Background:


I needed a car that could accommodate the beating I put my vehicles through. I’ve owned and milked the life out of the alto, the M&M CJ340 and the Lancer GLXI which were my previous rides (I know the Alto and Jeep are odd choices for a self confessed speed freak, but hey, these things happen).
2 years ago, I picked up the Polo because I’d driven the Golf while in the UK and when I returned, figured the Polo would be the closest I can get to driving the Golf in India (oh, I was so wrong btw. The Golf and the polo are worlds apart when it comes to performance. Sentimentality cost me dearly, I admit)
This time though, I had to let go of the Lancer cause she was becoming a nightmare to maintain. Aging gracefully isn’t her forte. And considering the fact that she was 12 years old, figured it’s time to let go. Having decided it was time for a new ride, I spent the next 3 months doing my research and test driving every vehicle that I thought worth the while before finally settling on the Verna

The Final Five:
Hyundai Fluidic Verna
All New Honda City
Honda Civic
Mitsubishi Cedia
Renault Duster

The Shootout
Hyundai Fluidic Verna: Was among the top 3 for a long time. The level of gadgetry was awesome. The design was breathtaking. The engine purred like a happy kitten.
But something about the build quality seemed to be dicey for an inherently rash driver like myself. From the extremely un-reassuring thud of the closing door to the floatation therapy I was subject to at moderate to high speeds, I felt uneasy. Then during the test drive I decided to push the car and when it crossed 120, there was this decidedly uneasy feeling I had. I can’t explain it but it felt like this was a car that was ready to crash and burn the moment you put it through a speed test.
All New Honda City: Liked the reliability of the Honda. Loved the smooth drive. Enjoyed the comfort of driving a machine that’s been around the block but still holds its own. The new shape gave it a nice aggressive stance which I really liked.
But I didn’t like the plastics. Didn’t like the lack of power and the quality of the fit and finish seemed to be below par compared to what was on offer. I tried to get her to show me some spirit when it came to the acceleration, pick up and response, but I may have as well as gotten on a moped and tried to squeeze some speed outta that. Sorry Honda owners, but it is what it is!
Honda Civic: What’s not to love about it? And to sweeten the deal, Honda was offering a substantial discount on it and brought the on road price to 12 Lacs.
But if they had only not made the mistake of telling me about how it was being phased out and that production had stopped, in all probability, this would have been the car of my choice. In doing that, they (understandably) tried to push the City on me again, which seemed to be a big climb down in comparison.
Mitsubishi Cedia: Say what you want about the Lancer, but it's an absolute pleasure to drive. Sure there are a lot of annoyances about it but what car doesn't have a niggle or two? Having owned one, I can safely vouch for the fact that it is a through and through driver’s car. Ditto with the Cedia, I absolutely loved the machine. Till the day I booked the Vento, it was in the running.
But the reason for discarding it was the same as the Civic. Mitsubishi’s decision to stop manufacturing sedans and concentrate on their SUV’s left me jittery. And for that kinda money, I’m not sure if I fancy being stuck with a car where servicing and parts become a problem over the years.
Renault Duster: Had a fantastic TD on the duster. I felt it didn’t quite have the sophistication in terms of the level of kit and performance that the Vento and Verna had. To a large extent I was willing overlook that too.
But, the 6 month wait period put me off. (never been one to wait for something when I’m paying the money for it now.)
And so the decision kinda made itself. (Also, sincere thanks to Joslicx, Saurav, Ninja and Bala for their reviews. You guys made my final decision that much easier!)
The Vento was going to be my next ride. And the (mostly) positive experience of owning the polo convinced me that it couldn’t possibly be all that bad. I was inclined to go with the petrol since I drive no more than 1000km a month, except for the odd months where a road trip beckons. Practically speaking, the petrol made more sense.


Then came the nut cracker that switched me to Diesel.
VW wasn’t offering any deal worth it’s salt on the petrol. But on the diesel, they offered me a mouth watering 0% for the first 3 yrs and 4.96% interest rate for the next 2 yrs covering a total 5 year tenure. Apparently, this was an exception they made for me as I’d taken the 0% on the Polo as well two years ago. When I did the math, buying the petrol for the same loan amount via a standard 11% interest rate was more expensive than the diesel. The deal was so staggeringly good that I had half a mind to switch to the Jetta instead. But alas, they wouldn't offer the same terms on the Jetta.

So that was that. I quietly handed over the 75k and booked my Vento, the color and manufacture date being Shadow Blue and Nov 2012 respectively.
No significant freebies but I did haggle and get them to waive the loan processing fees, the essential kit was free (mud flaps, caprets and door sills) and I got to opt out of the mandatory insurance and procure my own (Ended up getting Bajaj Allianz. Same policy that the dealer offered. Dealer’s price – 41k. Direct price – 33k!)


Total on road price: 11.67. Am exceptionally happy about it now, when considering the fact that after the recent hike by VW a couple of days ago, the new on road price in Bangalore for the Highline is 12.99!


I initially wanted the black, but then I saw the Shadow Blue and it was love at first sight. Thankfully, VW Whitefield had it in stock and promised me delivery within 7 days. Today, precisely 6 days after the day of booking, I picked up my new German girlfriend.

What I love about the car:

1. The Torque is mind blowing. It's taken me all my self control to not redline it already and it's just been a day!

2. Design - this may not be for everyone. While it lacks the "someone took a razor to my bodyline" style of the Verna, the simple but elegant design is enough for me. Styles will come and go but class is permanent. And this darling oozes class.

3. The vehicle feels so solid, it's hard to feel even the slightest bit of nervousness once you're seated and belted inside the copious cabin!

4. I absolutely love the leather wrapped steering and gear knob.

5. The dashes of practicality thrown in - front seat adjuster from the rear, card holder, adequately sized bottle holder, the coat hooks. What makes is stand out is that all of it blends in beautifully without looking conspicuous.

6. Did I mention the torque? Oh my god. I love the torque

7. The MID - the fact that I can record multiple trips and the mileage indicators are big pluses for me

8. The music system, while not the best I've seen, is certainly adequate and is good enough to muffle the clatter of the engine

9. The overall feel of the interiors feel very classy and high end. Am not a big fan of Chrome but they've added the bits and pieces of chrome inside without making it look gaudy.

10. The Blue. It is so rich and elegant, am surprised to see such few Ventos in this gorgeous blue in Bangalore. (Good for me though, makes me feel a little more special!)

11. The auto cabin lighting when locking up. I've been stopping and watching it light up and slowly dim down like a child in a candy store.

12. I may have mentioned this before: The TORQUE is bliss when you're trying to cut through traffic. It's really really addictive.

13. The leatherette is actually pretty good. I half expected a shoddy job on that but am very pleasantly surprised by the quality.

14. The ACC was incredibly effective. Took no more than 2-3 mins to bring the cabin temperature down to 18 degrees.

15. Amazingly vibration free at any and every speed!

What I dislike about the car:

1. The engine clatter and noise. I know it's been discussed to death on the Vento thread but it is a nuisance esp. considering that I'm used to the silent hum from my previous petrol cars.

2. The VW provided mats are pathetic.

3. The grey coffee mug like thingie. What is it? Is it an ashtray? A coffee mug? A spittoon? An emergency urinal? A pot pourri holder? I've never been so confused about an accessory ever before!

4. Unfortunately both the inside and outside of the cars are dust magnets. While I love the blue, it annoyed me to no end when within 30 mins of taking delivery of the car, there was a layer of dust on it. Sigh. As for the inside, the overdose of beige is basically asking all the dirt and grime in the world to make itself at home inside the car.

5. I found the clutch to be unbelievably hard. At this rate, i'll be justified in taking a trip to Thailand for a foot massage!

6. Ditto for the horn pad. I know Europeans don't honk, but hey VW, this is India. And in India, honking is a way of life! I'm worried that I'll end up slamming my hands on the steering in frustration in no time. And no this is not just a matter of getting used to it - I've got the Polo. And that one's horn pad is equally frustrating.

7. The rear view mirror is atrocious. Partly because of the head rests on the back seat but also the low slope of the rear window. I'm working on using the side view mirrors instead.

8. The reverse sensor display / distance indicator looks like an after thought. It is so basic and ungainly that you instantly notice it. Why go classy everywhere else to mess this one thing up? Such a pity.

9. I didn't go with the Garmin add on cause let's face it, anything aside of an integrated camera system is going to be asking for trouble. I have a friend whose Garmin was stolen while his car was parked at a five star hotel. It's a thief magnet once you have it mounted on the windshield or A Pillar. The alternative of removing both the GPS and the Mount each time I parked did not really appeal to me either. So yes, the lack of an integrated setup like the one in the Jetta is an oversight that Im gonna hold a grudge against VW for, for a long time.

10. I intensely dislike the push and switch action to engage the reverse gear. Primarily because I have a tendency to hold on to the gear lever when taking sharp turns and sometimes you almost end up engaging the reverse gear because you're leaning on the gear stick too hard in the middle of a high speed curve.

11. The position of the center arm rest makes using the handbrake an incredibly annoying affair.

12. The first gear felt a little too short and bouncy for my liking. (or maybe this is how all diesels are.. I frankly wouldn't know!)

13. The dummy bluetooth button. Infuriating to be reminded on a daily basis about a missing feature. Argh!!

14. The alloys are a disappointment when you compare it to the brilliant ones the Polo now gets. Sob!

Upgrades Planned:
1. Stubby antenna.
2. Undecided as of now but considering changing the tyres to Yoko or Bridgestones.
3. Definitely hafta get rid of the lousy mats VW provided and probably go in for Kagu 3D
4. Knowing that the 2013 Vento has a new HU which integrates BT and reversing, am contemplating switching to that one instead.

Mileage wise, nothing sensational yet. It's currently giving me a mileage of 12.0 km/l. Having said that, I've done just 60 km at the time of writing this so maybe there's hope for me yet. Haven't seen the superb mileage that I've read on other owners' reviews thus far. But that could be because I'm not the most patient of drivers!

That's it for now folks. Will keep updating her log book regularly from now on and let's see what happens. Have attached some pictures as well (Yes, the plastics will come off by end of day and so will the ribbon)
Attached Thumbnails
Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update-20130131_165149-793x1024.jpg  

Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update-20130131_165217-1024x721.jpg  

Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update-20130201_122742-1024x768.jpg  

Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update-20130201_122747-1024x768.jpg  

Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update-20130201_122956-768x1024.jpg  

Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update-20130201_123745-1024x768.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 2nd February 2013 at 17:02. Reason: Adding paragraph breaks
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Old 2nd February 2013, 17:03   #2
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Default re: Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2nd February 2013, 18:40   #3
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Hello Joey,

Many congratulations to you! Seems to be raining Shadow blue Ventos on T-bhp

Love the Vento in this shade! VW goofed up with the alloys on the facelift. The new Polo now comes shod with cool alloys and the same goes for the pre-facelift Vento :(

Wishing you many happy miles with this German beauty . More pictures please.

Also, as part of the tyre upgrade are you giving a thought to upsizing?

-Shivang Gandotra

Last edited by MetalBuff : 2nd February 2013 at 18:41.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 19:14   #4
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Default re: Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update

Hey Joey, Congratulation, wishing you many happy miles with her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joey645 View Post
tried to get her to show me some spirit when it came to the acceleration, pick up and response, but I may have as well as gotten on a moped and tried to squeeze some speed outta that. Sorry Honda owners, but it is what it is!
How did you test the car? Were you comparing the in gear acceleration, if so you are correct its bit lethargic when you try to accelerate hard from say, 40 - 100 in 3rd or 4th gear.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 19:43   #5
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Default re: Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalBuff View Post
Hello Joey,

Many congratulations to you! Seems to be raining Shadow blue Ventos on T-bhp

Love the Vento in this shade! VW goofed up with the alloys on the facelift. The new Polo now comes shod with cool alloys and the same goes for the pre-facelift Vento :(

Wishing you many happy miles with this German beauty . More pictures please.

Also, as part of the tyre upgrade are you giving a thought to upsizing?

-Shivang Gandotra

Thanks Shivang.
Could not agree more on the alloys! I keep lookin at the polo alloys with envy!
Thought of upsizing but from what Ive seen on the forums so far, it may not be the best way forward. Nevertheless, it's something I def will look into before making a final decision! Will def. put up more pics!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ecenandu View Post
Hey Joey, Congratulation, wishing you many happy miles with her.

How did you test the car? Were you comparing the in gear acceleration, if so you are correct its bit lethargic when you try to accelerate hard from say, 40 - 100 in 3rd or 4th gear.
Thanks ecenandu!
I tried it from second and found it really sluggish. To make matters worse, the sales guy asked me to try clipping on third and that just cemented my impression that the City wasn't what I was looking for
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Old 2nd February 2013, 21:12   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joey645 View Post

Could not agree more on the alloys! I keep lookin at the polo alloys with envy!
Thought of upsizing but from what Ive seen on the forums so far, it may not be the best way forward. Nevertheless, it's something I def will look into before making a final decision!
Doesn't VW offer an option of trading alloys with the new Polo's at a discounted charge? Yours are not even a 100 kms old. Those would really sit pretty on this Blue Vento.

The blackened headlight casing is just another positive highlight of this update.

Also, thought about getting the door guards installed? Would complete the look of the car IMHO and at the same time, prevent the doors from small knick-knacks while opening the doors with another vehicle pressed close enough.


Another point I forgot adding up in the previous post-

Two of my colleagues who switched over from a Petrol hatch to a Vento TDi are very happy chaps. However, when I had a test drive, I simply couldn't get myself off from the i-VTEC fever (interior plastic quality be damned ). The TDi felt very slow in building up pace (lag) but, post 2k and it was flying. Also, what didn't help matters was the slightly heavy clutch. I prefer acceleration right from ground up. To each his own

That said, the Vento is a very beautiful car and a capable one in it's own ways. No wonder, it found so many homes since, it's launch here.

-Shivang Gandotra

Last edited by MetalBuff : 2nd February 2013 at 21:31.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 21:18   #7
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Default re: Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update

Hey Joey, congratulations on your new car! You just purchased the best all-rounder in this class! And yes, welcome to the TBHP Shadow Blue club! We are not many but not too few either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joey645 View Post
2. Design - this may not be for everyone. While it lacks the "someone took a razor to my bodyline" style of the Verna, the simple but elegant design is enough for me. Styles will come and go but class is permanent. And this darling oozes class.

3. The vehicle feels so solid, it's hard to feel even the slightest bit of nervousness once you're seated and belted inside the copious cabin!

4. I absolutely love the leather wrapped steering and gear knob.

9. The overall feel of the interiors feel very classy and high end. Am not a big fan of Chrome but they've added the bits and pieces of chrome inside without making it look gaudy.

10. The Blue. It is so rich and elegant, am surprised to see such few Ventos in this gorgeous blue in Bangalore. (Good for me though, makes me feel a little more special!)

11. The auto cabin lighting when locking up. I've been stopping and watching it light up and slowly dim down like a child in a candy store.

12. I may have mentioned this before: The TORQUE is bliss when you're trying to cut through traffic. It's really really addictive.

...

What I dislike about the car:

1. The engine clatter and noise. I know it's been discussed to death on the Vento thread but it is a nuisance esp. considering that I'm used to the silent hum from my previous petrol cars.

...

10. I intensely dislike the push and switch action to engage the reverse gear. Primarily because I have a tendency to hold on to the gear lever when taking sharp turns and sometimes you almost end up engaging the reverse gear because you're leaning on the gear stick too hard in the middle of a high speed curve.

11. The position of the center arm rest makes using the handbrake an incredibly annoying affair.

12. The first gear felt a little too short and bouncy for my liking. (or maybe this is how all diesels are.. I frankly wouldn't know!)
Those are the exact same love/hate points I had when penning down my ownership review almost two years back!

Here's wishing you many many miles on the Blue Berliner!
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Old 2nd February 2013, 21:43   #8
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Default re: Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update

Many congratulations on your owning the Vento. Of late there seem to a spurt of blue Vento's ownership here from Bangalore.
Very true your observation on the Verna. Not sure why Rapid was not in your list. Could be the bad reputation of After sales?

Except for the alloys the updated version looks great.

Wishing you many happy miles with this German beauty .


Cheers!
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Old 3rd February 2013, 12:05   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalBuff View Post
Doesn't VW offer an option of trading alloys with the new Polo's at a discounted charge? Yours are not even a 100 kms old. Those would really sit pretty on this Blue Vento.

The blackened headlight casing is just another positive highlight of this update.

Also, thought about getting the door guards installed? Would complete the look of the car IMHO and at the same time, prevent the doors from small knick-knacks while opening the doors with another vehicle pressed close enough.


Another point I forgot adding up in the previous post-

Two of my colleagues who switched over from a Petrol hatch to a Vento TDi are very happy chaps. However, when I had a test drive, I simply couldn't get myself off from the i-VTEC fever (interior plastic quality be damned ). The TDi felt very slow in building up pace (lag) but, post 2k and it was flying. Also, what didn't help matters was the slightly heavy clutch. I prefer acceleration right from ground up. To each his own

That said, the Vento is a very beautiful car and a capable one in it's own ways. No wonder, it found so many homes since, it's launch here.

-Shivang Gandotra
Shivang, I asked em for that but it wasn't feasible - They said that if I were to switch before delivery, I had to wait an additional 4 weeks for switching to the new ones plus 10k per alloy. And if I were to do it after taking delivery, they'd switch it in 2 weeks but it would cost me an addition 15k per alloy. Found both the options ridiculous

Just got the door guards installed. That came free as part of the deal but they didn't have it in stock so just got it done today.

I agree - to each his own. The Honda just didn't cut it for me. If they come up with a turbo charged option though, then i'll run to the nearest dealer heh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nileshch View Post
Hey Joey, congratulations on your new car! You just purchased the best all-rounder in this class! And yes, welcome to the TBHP Shadow Blue club! We are not many but not too few either.



Those are the exact same love/hate points I had when penning down my ownership review almost two years back!

Here's wishing you many many miles on the Blue Berliner!
Thanks Nileshch you're right - I feel priveleged to be in the Shadow Blue club.. i've seen no more than 2 or 3 on Bangalore roads, long may it stay that way!

You'd think two years would be long enough for VW to take feedback seriously and work on it! But I guess we can't have it all. It's a pity though, cause I think VW can really own this segment if they just paid a little more attention to customer feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Many congratulations on your owning the Vento. Of late there seem to a spurt of blue Vento's ownership here from Bangalore.
Very true your observation on the Verna. Not sure why Rapid was not in your list. Could be the bad reputation of After sales?

Except for the alloys the updated version looks great.

Wishing you many happy miles with this German beauty .

Cheers!

Volkman10, thanks!
Youre right - I did consider the rapid fleetingly but every single one of my colleagues who owns a Skoda has suffered at the hands of Skoda's A.S.S. My job is stressful enough without having to worry about the stress of dealing with Skoda. With VW, I get the feeling that the worst is past them as far as A.S.S goes so took the plunge.
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Old 4th February 2013, 10:03   #10
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Default re: Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update

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I intensely dislike the push and switch action to engage the reverse gear. Primarily because I have a tendency to hold on to the gear lever when taking sharp turns and sometimes you almost end up engaging the reverse gear because you're leaning on the gear stick too hard in the middle of a high speed curve.
I would not call this is a design fault or a dislike. Your one hand should not be holding/resting on the gear stick when you have to deal with a sharp turn. Both your hands need to be on the wheel in this situation. It is still your decision on how to drive.

Surprised to read that the Honda was a disappointment. You can't find a more potent petrol engine in the segment.
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Old 4th February 2013, 10:43   #11
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I would not call this is a design fault or a dislike. Your one hand should not be holding/resting on the gear stick when you have to deal with a sharp turn. Both your hands need to be on the wheel in this situation. It is still your decision on how to drive.

Surprised to read that the Honda was a disappointment. You can't find a more potent petrol engine in the segment.
Sandeep, from a safety perspective, you're spot on with your observation that both hands need to be on the wheel. However, like you also mentioned, we all have our driving quirks.. and this is one of mine That doesn't change the fact that I don't like the gear switch action nevertheless.

As for the Honda, that makes the two of us. Maybe I got stuck with the lemon of the lot during the TD.
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Old 4th February 2013, 11:18   #12
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Default re: Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update

Hi! Joey, many congratulations for the new SB Vento. It is indeed the best diesel car in the segment.
Wish you many happy miles with your German girlfriend.
Take care of her and drive safe.
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Old 4th February 2013, 11:19   #13
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Originally Posted by joey645 View Post
However, like you also mentioned, we all have our driving quirks.. and this is one of mine That doesn't change the fact that I don't like the gear switch action nevertheless.
Personally; I am not a big fan of this reverse gear arrangement either. I would still correct this quirk of holding the stick. It is for your own safety and holding the wheel in the situation you mentioned feels so much better and secure. From what I make of this, you are holding the gear stick to counter your body movement or its the boy racer in you. We all do this, even I have. This could also cause a total wreak of the gearbox if the reverse gear happens to slot in by accident. You car manual will surely talk about not using your gear stick for any support as it may add some mechanical strain.
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Old 4th February 2013, 11:23   #14
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Hi! Joey, many congratulations for the new SB Vento. It is indeed the best diesel car in the segment.
Wish you many happy miles with your German girlfriend.
Take care of her and drive safe.

Thank you Sommos
With the dust magnet that she is, I'm gonna be taking care of her 24/7 indeed heh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
This could also cause a total wreak of the gearbox if the reverse gear happens to slot in by accident.
My gripe precisely.

I choose to conveniently ignore the part where I contribute to the damage cause I'm a bit shameless like that!

Note from Support - Please use the "multi-quote" option to reply to multiple posts, instead of submitting back to back posts.

Last edited by n_aditya : 8th February 2013 at 09:42. Reason: Posts Merged.
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Old 4th February 2013, 11:57   #15
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Default re: Achtung! My Blue Blooded Berliner, the VW Vento! 5000 kms update

Congrats on the car! This is absolutely the most stunning color on a Vento I guess. We need more pics please! After seeing a lot of Rapid interior pics, this interior looks so beautiful in comparison.

Wish you miles of happy & safe motoring!
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