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Old 12th June 2013, 02:30   #1
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Default VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Since its launch a lot has been discussed about the VW Polo 1.2 TSi. I have seen that quite a few of the bhpians have got their cars but no ownership thread is up yet.

I got the car towards the later half of May and thought will start off an ownership thread after having driven the car for a while. The official tbhp review is quite exhaustive and covers all the details. (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...al-review.html (Volkswagen Polo 1.2L GT TSI : Official Review))

I will just put forward the things I like and dislike in the car (purely personal opinion). Many of you might be knowing that I have the Laura 1.8TSi for over 3years/50000Kms now and I have modified it quite extensively. (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...hp-tap-12.html (Yet another Skoda Laura 1.8 TSi on Team-BHP. EDIT : Now with 300 BHP on tap!)).
However, I am not going to compare the two cars as they are quite different from each other except for the TSi technology.(especially in my case).

I love modding cars and this car is not going to be any different. But because of the reliability issues of the 7 speed DSG (DQ200) in the Polo 1.2 Tsi, I am not going ahead with any performance mods for this car till the warranty is over. Most of the mods I have done or plan to do are going to make the quirks in the car better with a few cosmetic mods thrown in.

Deciding on the Polo:

I was on the lookout for an automatic hatchback as the ever increasing traffic and pathetic roads in Bangalore was making life difficult in the Laura, especially with its low ground clearance and manual transmission.

Hardly any automatic hatchback options were there save the i10, i20, ritz, brio. So when VW launched the POLO DSG that too with a TSi motor, it was kind of a no brainer for me.

Test drive/booking/delivery:

The test drive was carried out sometime after the car was launched and I was quite impressed by the car. Though the same cannot be said about the sales representative who accompanied me.

Some of the sales rep's quotes
"Sir, the gear box has no issues till date as we have the same box in the vento"
"Sir, the GT TSi is the comfortline model and not the highline"
"The spare wheel is a steel rim"
"Sir you can test drive only in the service lane as the car is not registered", a blatant lie as the car had a huge "REGISTERED" sticker pasted on the windshield. I actually did drive the car out in the main roads eventually.

Now, I had already made up my mind to get the car and whatever the sales guy said or did didn’t matter. I still find it hard to fathom how these guys manage to sell cars with such poor knowledge about their own products.

However, the guy who finally helped me with the booking and delivery process was quite efficient and processed everything quite fast. I did a PDI and it was a April’13 manufactured vehicle with 20KM on the ODO. There was a 6K corporate discount, free mud flaps and number plates. That’s about it.

I would like to thank fellow bhpian and friend azeemhafiz for helping me out with the test drive and booking process.

Things I like:

The brilliant 1.2 TSi engine. Having driven the 1.8TSi in the SKODA Laura, I know that TSi technology is really cutting edge especially when it comes to smoothness, midrange torque and fuel efficiency. It loves to rev and has a throaty growl in the higher revs. With the turbo kicking in from as low as 1400 rpm, triple digit speeds are reached in no time.

The shifts of the 7 speed DSG box are lightning quick and it responds brilliantly to throttle inputs. The regular D(Drive) mode is quite adequate for day to day driving and the gearbox doen’t hesitate to shift to D7 even at 60kmph. Open the throttle and you are soon in D4 with the car pulling away relentlessly.

I know there have been quite a lot of reliability issues with the gearbox. But I hope things have been sorted out (as mentioned by Autocar wherein the mechatronic connectors and clutch have been strengthened). Moreover, the torque is much lower in the Polo than the maximum of 250Nm which the gearbox can handle. I pray issues don’t crop up. As for taking care, I am not shifting to N(neutral) while coasting to a stop at a traffic signal rather shifting to N after coming to a complete halt at a signal.

The quality of materials in the cabin is pretty good for a hatch and I love the nifty features like ESP, Hill hold, Climate control AC, Steering mounted controls besides the regular safety features like ABS and Airbags.

A classic and clean European design with no quirkiness. I love the smoked headlamps and the sleek stance. Also the fact that being a VAG car, I can use the RossTech cable and tinker around with VCDS (more on that later)

The ambient lighting in the cabin is pretty good and makes the interiors look quite nice at night.

The suspension is pretty good in the city and the light steering makes it very easy to drive around in choc-a-bloc traffic. On the highway, the weakness of the suspension comes out but the speed sensitiveness of the steering is decent. Actually there are settings in the VCDS to alter the amount of steering assist. I need to dig deeper into the menus a bit. Besides with an upgrade to better rubber, the steering will weigh down a bit.

Now, I am quite used to the sports suspension on my Laura which runs as if on rails and there is no body roll whatsoever. So, when I say weakness of the suspension in the Polo it doesn’t mean its unacceptable but there is some amount of body roll. A set of sports dampers like Bilstein B6 with stock springs would do wonders for the car and even the GC would remain the same.

The brakes are more than adequate and I don’t miss a all disc setup at all. I have braked quite hard a couple of times and the car stops without drama.

Things I don’t like:

The horn is really obtrusive inside the cabin. Need to get it checked.

The headlight bulbs are a bit ordinary. I plan to get better H4 60/55 bulbs as I don’t want to use a relay and fix 90/100 bulbs.

The seat fabric/leatherette combination is not to my liking though VW refers to it by a fancy European name (Milan Titanschwarz). I have changed to Scandinavian leather at Karlsson’s. I actually wanted to get Napa like in my Laura but leather prices have gone through the roof over the last few years.

The reverse sensors don’t have an optical display in the head unit. Got a reverse camera as I need to parallel park the car in really tight spots often at night considering the dearth of parking spaces in Bangalore. I hate the cameras that fit after drilling a hole in the bumper so, got the license plate light camera (simple plug n play) with a small screen on the dash.

The rear space even with the scooped out front seats is very cramped. This doesn’t bother me as I drive alone 95% of the time and this is a second car. I actually wish VW made it a two door version.

The exterior looks exactly the same as the regular Polo except for the subtle GT badging. I wish they provided a different front grill/headlamp combination. Maybe even smoked tail lamps. However, these are not major issues as all the things are available after market from the European VW vendors.

I checked out the POLO SR body kit but it seemed too tacky and overpriced.

And yes, got rid of the totally out of place GT TSi stickers from the C-pillar on the day of delivery itself.

Glove box light, engine cover omission, absence of under carriage protection is just weird cost cutting.

The lack of an armrest, especially since it’s an automatic transmission. I have already ordered the OEM Polo armrest and should get it fitted soon. As for the lack of a dead pedal, I don’t miss it much as there is plenty of place to keep the left foot next to the brake pedal.

The Apollo Acelere tyres are really basic. Plan to upgrade to better 16 inch rubber soon with Borbet/OZ racing alloys. Glad that the stock Polo alloys have a very good resale value (they are Borbets as well)

The headunit RCD320 with Bluetooth, SD, USB is pretty decent but the speakers are really bad(again purely personal opinion). EVO(Satya) being one of the best ICE guys in Bangalore, provided me with a good ICE upgrade. The sound quality now is just brilliant.

The ICE upgrade:
Stock RCD 320 head unit
Arc Audio XDi 804 4 channel amp
Diamond Audio D162.5 front components
Cerwin Vega HED104 10inch woofer
Cerwin Vega HED65 rear coaxials in stock location

Other accessories:
3D MAX spider mats
Front 3M CR70 film

Thanks for viewing.

PS: I know I should have added some decent pictures but I haven’t had time to click photos yet hence just a cell phone photo of the side profile.

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Another cell phone image of the black leather interiors (seat and door pad) with contrast stitching. It matches the OEM hand brake and gear leather nicely.

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Just like to add:
A few bhpians have picked up the GT Tsi. Glad to see that people are buying a petrol hatchback albeit its pricey. I really hate the "With the same amount of money you could have bought a big car (one with a boot which I am not going to use 99% of the time)"

I just wanted to make a list of the members who have got the car. Since it's a new car with a gearbox known for issues. Better if we all stay in touch and share our experiences here. Sorry if I missed out anyone and hope that mods/bhpians will help me to keep updating the list.

Polo GT TSi owners in Team-bhp.com
DSarker (Kolkata)
esma1981 (Mumbai)
delta5 (Vellore)
chase_nt (Visakhapatnam)
drjanakpatel (Rajkot)
Siva (Bangalore)
ironager (New Delhi)
Berry (New Delhi)
VEA (Cochin)

Last edited by GTO : 12th June 2013 at 12:53. Reason: Adding paragraph spacing for better readability
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Old 12th June 2013, 12:53   #2
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th June 2013, 12:56   #3
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Congrats on the hot hatch, more so also on having the first ownership report here. This truly is the hottest hatch in town!
Wishing your great ownership and expecting frequent updates on this thread!


Last edited by volkman10 : 12th June 2013 at 12:58.
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Old 12th June 2013, 13:05   #4
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Coming from an experienced driver like you, this makes for a great read. Thanks for sharing and wishing you happy miles

Well, the photographs!!! Basic photos in your thread is totally not acceptable. Looking forward for more
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Old 12th June 2013, 13:07   #5
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Originally Posted by robimahanta View Post
I got the car towards the later half of May and thought will start off an ownership thread after having driven the car for a while.
Congrats on the buy Robi! Looks very good in the side profile with the smoked head lamps. Wishing you many happy miles with it.

Would you mind putting up the on-road price in Bangalore and the waiting period (if any).
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Old 12th June 2013, 13:20   #6
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Great one Robi. While just about starting to read, I was thinking, why a man with a beast needs a "chota" beast ?

Your city drive requirements answer it clearly. Its a brilliant option no doubt. But for many; this as a second car may be well out of budget. I was hoping against odds for a lower pricing. (But of course that was just hope).

Quite excited at this prospect of turbo petrols coming to India. Was also hoping Ford brings in their dual clutch to smaller hatches in future and mate it their turbo petrol product lines and similarly for Fiat T-jets.

The new arrival I hope would reduce odo readings on the elder beast dramatically I guess! But having said that, I am sure its the elder one which would be holding all the bazooka lenses when you drive out of town!

You also made a comment on GC requirements on your need. So how does Polo stand against Laura? I thought both were equally low.

Congrats again.
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Old 12th June 2013, 13:31   #7
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Congratulations robimahanta! Great to see the first ownership thread of the Polo GT on BHP. Will the amount of work you have done and are planning to do on you GT, I think it will be extremely helpful for newbies like me to observe and learn.

Also surprised that I'm the only one with a GT in Mumbai in you list. Hoping the list gets a lot longer.
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Old 12th June 2013, 13:36   #8
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Congrats on the car!! Looks lovely.
I took a decently long test drive of the Polo GT on free, winding roads and quite liked it. I found myself agreeing to most of your likes and dis-likes.
A short summary from my side:
  • Very nice build and good interior quality
  • The gearbox in D mode is good for the city, non-enthusiastic driving. Does not downshift as easily in D, you really need to mash the throttle.
  • S mode is the grin-inducing mode. lovely downshifts on braking
  • Engine is very strong in the mid-range post 2000RPM, very nice throaty growl post this. I drive a turbo civic, and was quite satisfied with the pull of this small 1.2 TSI engine
  • Nice manual mode, will not upshift into 6,7th gear at low speeds like 40-50 Km/h
  • Steering feel wasn't upto the mark. Did not weigh up nicely. Brake feel also left me a little wanting.
All in all a solid, fast hatch for the money. Wishing you miles of happiness and fun.

Last edited by bhuvan_prasad : 12th June 2013 at 13:47.
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Old 12th June 2013, 14:12   #9
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Lovely short review! Congrats on getting the Polo Tsi Automatic. After the Swift launch way back years ago, this is the second car which has excited me!! Lets hope they have truly sorted out the issues with the 7 speed gearbox. Somehow this car appeals to every bit of the car enthusiast inside us. And your car looks hot in black colour with the matching seats; it deserves better pictures from your slr than mobile phone snaps!
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Old 12th June 2013, 14:13   #10
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Congrats on your car!
Nice to see a ownership review of the TSi finally on TBHP!
The Polo does look great in black, and I am sure it will look even better once you put on those 16 inchers.
Good that you got the GT TSi side badge removed, the car looks much cleaner now. The black leather interiors also look really cool(or should I say hot, in more ways than one )!
Hope you have some awesome time in the TSi!
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Old 12th June 2013, 14:21   #11
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Congrats Robi - this is a fantastic buy

This will be your second car - the Laura continues to be your primary daily driver?

Have fun and drive safe. Take care
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Old 12th June 2013, 15:45   #12
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Congratulations Robi. It will definitely give you small grins (assuming that Laura TSi give you wide mouthed smile).

I am waiting for VW to introduce a manual box and add the shadow blue color to TSi. I am waiting with my check-book.
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Old 12th June 2013, 15:47   #13
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Of course a great car!

Interesting to see how much you will finally mod it......I read somewhere that because of the DSG, a car's engine can't be modded because it messes up the combination's efficacy, so would you have to mod the Gearbox as well?
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Old 12th June 2013, 15:55   #14
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Congratulations Robi Could you please share few more pictures? Do update us on the mileage too!
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Old 12th June 2013, 16:20   #15
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Default Re: VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi

Robi, I'm a fan of your detailed experiences on your Laura TSi ownership thread and now that you've got yourself a Polo TSi, I'm sure that you will give this ownership thread the same treatment. Bookmarking this thread...thanks.
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