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Old 12th May 2013, 01:26   #1
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Default My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

What is a good first car, with no prior driving experience ?

Opinions started flying around, from family, friends, neighbors, colleagues at office to passerbys on the road. Opinion was unanimous: Buy a good second hand car, get used to driving for some time, 6 months to an year or so. When you are confident, you go for a new car. If you bang that old car somewhere, it won't hurt you much (either way). There are several nitty-gritties which you must get used to before going for a new car. You will not loose much in fact, if you go for a second hand Alto or a WagonR. When I raised the point of a Sedan, people suggested I was making a mistake. Heck, even my home maid gave his 2 cents on this.

Nobody can take your decision and you should not live your life based on somebody else's decision (I am aquarius!). I did not like the idea of a second hand car; From day 1, I was in hunt for a new car. Also, I like to get things done with. The idea of going to market for a second hand car, then, again selling it, going for a new one etc., seemed too long a process. If I bang that new car somewhere, so be it, that's life. With this, I made a wish list based on, not what I need, but, what I want.

Must haves, The most important features:

1. Sturdy build quality (I hate rattles. I also plan to keep the car for as long as it serves me).

2. Fantastic free flowing engine with minimal turbo lag. Driving pleasure is more important than FE.

3. Good lasting interiors.

4. Decent road presence (no aggressiveness and attention please).

5. Balanced ride, Good dynamics and handling (city as well as highway).

6. Trouble free ownership.

7. ABS and Airbags.

8. I have a soft corner for European Models.

9. < 10L

I did a standard straight line curve fitting, which, showed maximum overlap with Vento and Honda city. If not a sedan, then, Polo it would be.

June 2012:

Next thing I remember, we were in VW showroom, checking out polo/vento . The SA did the by-now-familiar King-Kong swing on the doors to show how well built they are. Rest aside, I decided then and there, never to buy any product displayed in showroom ! When I raised the issue of 1.6 engine, the SA's reaction was: "Sir, you are looking for a car for a small family and 1.2 is enough". I said, what are you talking about? He said, "Polo, they are giving you a vento engine in polo, what will you do with it". I said, I was interested in Vento. The manager overheard our discussion and he too joined the bandwagon to convince me to take Polo 1.2 comfortline. At this time, we did not take a test drive, as my driving lessons hadn't even started you see! We listened to their arguments and walked out; for lunch that is.

December 2012

Meanwhile, I did my research and most importantly learnt driving! Read and re-read GTO's excellent review, ninjatalli, mikon, souravc, DieselDon and many others. I also test drove and read reviews on the cars below (strictly personal opinion and no offence to anyone), with the condition that I will consider them, if they surprise me with something exciting.

1. Swift and Dzire. Did not like the looks. The cars were too lightly build. I took a TD on Bhubaneswar-Cuttack highway and it was fun. Just that, I was more keen on a proper sedan.

2. Hyundai Verna. Too filmsy for my taste and cluttered look. In TD, the engine stalled multiple times and there was definite lag at low rpm's. Did not fit my driving style.

3. Chevorlet. Whenever I visited their showroom, I met confused SA's, who were pushing me to wait for a few months, saying that some great looking new models were being launched. I liked their Optra Magnum though, with some of them probably still left. If this car was updated, it would have probably confused me.

5. Ford. Visited their showroom twice and it was a dull experience. The Fiesta design turned me down anyway (My neighbor owns one). I was still willing to consider it, until I test drove the vento.

6. Skoda Rapid. The design looks stunning, beats Vento if you ask me. Much better package was also offered at a lower price point. If there is one reason, that is the after sales stories, and, I had no time or energy to explore that in Bhubaneswar. There are hardly any reviews of dealership experience in Bhubaneswar anyway. My wife rejected immediately.

6. Honda City: Great experience at showroom. I was explained all features and differences between different models of city. Phew, I lost count of number of options and models. I was offered coffee and a TD immediately. The drive was fantastic, super good engine. There was no reason not to go for this. Wifey was sold for the stunning looks combined with the heavy cash discount and irresistible offers. It was a deal. If I cannot come up with anything better, then we were going for Honda city either for higher model or going for the base model and adding stuff later on. My arguments were that, it is an ageing model, too common on streets, low FE of petrol. A first car in life would mean, accumulating miles for no reason and diesel is a better option (None of them are proper reasons, they were just to convince her !).

7. Volkswagen Vento. Visited their showroom again in December 2012 after receiving SMS about various offers. The same SA Mr. Alok, was truely honest about various features and I liked dealing with him. By this time, I had read GTO's review a couple of times more, and several ownership reviews of Vento. GTO had singled out the Vento TDI as the new torque King (well, someone's signature on this forum says: Live Life King Size !). All the 0% offers and finance were explained to us in detail. We were told to look for polo 1.2 P again (gosh, what was their obsession with that?). The test drive of Vento TDI was an altogether another matter of course. My wife had her heart in her mouth by the time we finished! I too was blown away by the driving experience and my wife by the build quality, cool interiors (for fun: the red back-lights inside the cabin (it was a late evening TD)), isolated feel after rolling up the windows, the premium touch of how an "actual" sedan should look, feel and handle. Though, she ranked the city ahead on many counts, she had no qualms if it was Vento. She could feel that I was more inclined towards Vento. We did not even discuss any other brands or cars further. Vento HL meant, our budget had to be stretched.

Enough said, I wanted to buy a VW over Honda. Needed some backing to convince my wife that Vento is better than City (don't flame me for this !). No opinion (first or second) was possible in my immediate family or friend circle, but tbhp rescued me here ! The million dollar question, which was still unanswered was, whether I could handle a sedan right away, with no driving experience? If something goes wrong, there were actually people in line, to tell me, I told you so.

Booking and Delivery:

We kept thinking for a month, whence I was only doing cars, both online and offline. Kept getting several calls, from Skoda, Hyundai etc., One fine day, my wife said, enough of your stupid research, you look like you need humdard ka tonic sinkara. Go book a Vento and lets get this phase over with ! I actually wanted to hear it from her ! Booking done on 7th Feb, one day before her b'day (we are not sentimental). I never check good day/ bad day for business, being in science profession for a while now. Of course, it turned out to be a good day. Not withstanding, the date of delivery was fixed by my sweet MIL, to be March 4 based on some calendar (who applies for leave to take a new car delivery on a working Monday: me, me) and I had no say in it. The color was decided to be white (We like dark colors, but, how do you maintain them?). Overall, the dealership experience has been pleasant.

Second day, my vento exchanged close encounters of third kind with a maruti, resulting in a coin size dent and scratch. It happened at night, in a narrow, poorly lit street going at 10 kmph. Everybody said, it is a good thing to get a first scratch , but, I could not sleep well for next 7 days (I am fine now, thank you). Otherwise, things fell in place, couldn't emphasize more how easily I got used to driving this car. If you keep refinement aside, this is one smooth vehicle.


Impressions so far:

Things which I love and are an absolute pleasure:

0. The looks of this car are from a segment above. The design is neutral and easy on the eyes, show-off is in its soul which is under the hood and, which gets the job done in style. That said, the design just grows on you.

1. Graduating directly from a Honda duo to a Vento (how does that sound?! well, you should have seen the look on the face of the security staff, who were used to seeing me driving a two-wheeler !), parking is not easy, you better have some good reverse parking sensors. Hence, the visual parking display is the most useful feature for me. Owing to this, I opted out of the garmin kit (thanks to bhpians for inputs here). Light steering also helps here.

2. Build quality, fit and finish are top notch. Leave you with a satisfying feel: Every penny worth spent.

3. Can't stress further how well the gear ratios have been chosen. Minimal gear changes in any normal driving condition. Depending on the road condition, I can choose to stick with one gear for most part. This car has made me develop a smooth driving style with minimum break and clutch usage. Third gear is an automatic in city.

4. Breaking is spot on and event less. At least on two occasions, I had to break real hard and on one occasion could feel ABS kick-in.

5. The sweet distinct sound this engine makes once past 100 kmph is honey to ears ! It is as if, the engine is just getting warmed up for something !

6. Based on total fuel filled so far and odo count, I am getting a FE of exactly 14.9 kmpl with 90% city driving. I am happy with that number. Will update after checking the tank full method. I have a couple of big highway trips coming up and this should only improve.


Things which needed getting used to:

1. No feedback from steering, but, there is definite feedback from the C-pedal. I always drive with shoes on and what a difference it makes. Clutch goes very deep too, still getting used to it.

2. The driver arm rest is quite useful, even in city. One can get used to going around it, to access the hand brake. However, it becomes an issue with a co-passenger using it at the same time.

3. The Tdi gives a feel of driving a beast, be it N or V. But, roll up the windows, and, you are disconnected from rest of the worldly noises outside. When it shuts down, you get the well known sound of a shutting factory siren. I guess VW thought, there is anyway so much of noise pollution on Indian roads, a little more noise would just as easily go unnoticed, and they are probably right about it !

4. Well, GTO wrote that the gear changes are good, but, the one in petrol is better. Not sure where exactly to pinpoint (as I have not driven the petrol), but, I still struggle some times to engage the 3rd. The reverse gear is peaceful, but, it is always a two-step process.

5. It took me 1k kms to figure out the best driving position. This is hardly surprising, as I have never driven any car before. I have to sort this, once and for all. In any case, I think I have now found one (I am a six-footer) and testing it. I use a mini-pillow for lower back support.

Things which I live with:

1. I am not a fan of sabse-loud-music-waala-system; the stock music system and sound quality is adequate. I pushed the bass towards lower side, treble to little higher and made peace.

2. ORVM's do a good job. It would have been nice to have electrically folding ones.

3. The well-documented Vento-Thud. Found 32psi to be ideal when driving solo. So, nullified this effect, temporarily.

4. Integrated BT with phone (or lack of it in my model). I just cannot pick phone when driving, not that experienced yet (good or bad?). Can't help anyway, as every morning, this message flashes repeatedly on DD-News ! (yes, I watch the uncluttered, one and only, news-for-news channel in India).

5. Head lights need to be beefed up. These will form the first upgrade, as and when.

6. Too much gap between the tyre and arch (kinda, my mom could drive a car through it). More, more rubber please. No approval from head-office for this, so, living with the stock apollos (her stock dialogue to intimidate me: tyre change karega it seems, pehle jo hai, usko theek se chala ke tho dikha, aur tyre puncture hone se, usko change karna seekha ki naheen ? ).

7. Planned accessores: Thumb guards/protector(s) (yes, the horn is hard).

Some Assorted Pics:

At the VW showroom in BBS.
My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9285-copy.jpg

Temple beside Swosti Premium Hotel.
My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9313.jpg

Simple and effective Pooja.
My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9314.jpg

I had no answer to keeping the flooring clean. I stay in an area abuzz with construction works, mud and sand. Got the flooring done till I figure out a permanent solution (pls. don't ask me for pics of that. It dosen't look great.).
My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9719.jpg

Once the seats were removed and you look at the car skeleton, we were left wondering, where the million bucks went.
My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9723.jpg

Got permission for only one sticker !
My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9776.jpg

They could have done away with the asymmetrical wheel.
My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9789.jpg

My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9820.jpg

My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9821.jpg

My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9825.jpg

My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9795.jpg

My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9796.jpg

I had the option to go for the new ICE with integrated BT (only Terra Beize color was possible). I decided to stick to the earlier version (pre Feb'13 models), just to get the visual parking display. I also noticed a difference in speaker quality between mine and the newer models.
My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9797.jpg

My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9798.jpg

My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9799.jpg

My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9801.jpg

My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9803.jpg

and a close up of fog lamp.
My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine-dsc_9808.jpg

Last edited by stringbh : 12th May 2013 at 16:24.
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Old 12th May 2013, 22:48   #2
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Guess I'm the first one to congratulate you. So congrats on the Vento and have many happy and niggle free miles with this German.
P.S. You must be the first person to buy a million+ rupee car to fine tune your driving, shows the kind of petrolhead..errr dieselhead you are.
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Old 13th May 2013, 00:09   #3
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Congratulations Stringbh on the awesome beast.Vento in white with black headlamps looks great.

Happy mile munching and drive safe.
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Old 13th May 2013, 07:05   #4
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Default re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Congrats Stringbh on your Vento! It looks properly stunning in White!
Have fun with the 'Torque Monster'
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Old 13th May 2013, 09:59   #5
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Default re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Congratulations stringbh. I always loved the white shade of vento and now with these black smoked headlamps, it looks even better.

I wish you many happy miles with the new possession.

Take Care and Drive Safe.
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Old 13th May 2013, 13:32   #6
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Default re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Many congratulations on the buy! Do keep the thread updated.
Wish you many happy miles ahead.
Cheers!
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Old 13th May 2013, 13:45   #7
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Default re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Congrats stringbh.
Vento is indeed a great choice among the cars that you had considered. The elegant looks, build quality and the awesome diesel engine makes the Vento a superior choice over other sedans.
I'm pleasantly surprised with the good dealership experience that you had,seems like VW is listening.
Drive Safe and Enjoy the torque King.
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Old 13th May 2013, 14:56   #8
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Default re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Congrats for the new Vento. The Euro spec headlamps look so much better.
The alloys could have been improved, the one offered on Polo look delectable.
Happy mile crunching.
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Old 13th May 2013, 15:07   #9
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Default re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Congratulations! The white Vento looks angelic coupled with the dark shades (read darkened headlights)

Wishing you many happy miles with the German beauty. Any plans for changing the alloys (in the future! I indeed read through the tire episode, was awesome )

P.S. - Superb shots attached to compliment the review. Thumbs high!

-Shivang Gandotra

Last edited by MetalBuff : 13th May 2013 at 15:10.
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Old 13th May 2013, 15:58   #10
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Default Re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Many congratulations for the sparkling white Vento.
Wish you many happy mile munching with the German beauty and absolutely niggle free performance.
Enjoy your ride and drive safe.
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Old 13th May 2013, 16:50   #11
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Default Re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Many congrats on the new ride. The snaps are amazing. The Vento TDI is at the top of my list if I were to buy a sedan as my first ride.

Wishing you many more miles with her. Drive safe!
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Old 13th May 2013, 21:13   #12
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Default Re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Thanks to everyone for wishes and I will try to keep this thread updated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanksta View Post
P.S. You must be the first person to buy a million+ rupee car to fine tune your driving, shows the kind of petrolhead..errr dieselhead you are.
Interesting comment Shanksta! But, I will go ahead and say that Vento is an easy car to drive. The torque does wonders to anybody wanting to learn driving..errr

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPJ View Post
Congrats stringbh.
I'm pleasantly surprised with the good dealership experience that you had.
So far so good. As long as they delivered the car in good condition and it runs well, I am happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
The alloys could have been improved
I agree, but, these days every Vento is coming with these only !

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalBuff View Post
Any plans for changing the alloys
Mate, if you can device a strategy and come up with a motivating speech
as to why/how one alloy is "better" than another, do PM me Currently, I am busy writing a proposal for detailing products !

@midazolam, @nipcarlover, @dZired, @Sommos

Thanks. I agree. Another reason for choosing white: I need to learn and understand various kinds of dust and dirt which can effect the car. But, yes, Vento looks good in white, esp. after the black headlamp addition.

Last edited by stringbh : 13th May 2013 at 21:16.
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Old 13th May 2013, 22:46   #13
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Default Re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

Congratulations. A very good first choice .
Just back from a long drive in my cousins Vento. In one word, it just turned out to be a brilliant all rounded diesel rocket. I cant stop praising the road manners this car offers. Happy Ownership and miles of smiles in Vento.
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Old 14th May 2013, 00:27   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stringbh View Post

Interesting comment Shanksta! But, I will go ahead and say that Vento is an easy car to drive. The torque does wonders to anybody wanting to learn driving..errr
Exactly what I wanted to post initially but first wanted to see your reaction to my comment.

I learnt driving in a petrol Accent but am a diesel convert now. Hands down no petrol engine can beat the drivability of its equivalent diesel engine, turbo-lag or no turbo-lag IMHO. The FE though is just a bonus . Also if at all a diesel engine has turbo-lag(some do) then it just adds to the fun of waiting for the turbo to spool up and the wave of torque that follows is worth the wait.

Last edited by Shanksta : 14th May 2013 at 00:35.
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Old 14th May 2013, 00:38   #15
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Default Re: My Weiß Ritter: VW Vento TDi HighLine

I'm not yet tired of seeing or reading New Vento threads regularly. OMG ! What a simple & brilliant looking car it is, which looks even fresh & better than its other siblings.

BTW, Congratulations alot man for buying a New German beauty.

Any plans for Alloy wheels upgrade ? Just wheels only.
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