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Old 4th August 2013, 09:32   #1
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Smile VW Polo GT TSI: The Might of White. Ownership Review

I had my Polo GT delivered this Friday and here’s the story behind what lead to this TSI bomb getting added to my arsenal that has the red cheetah (the XUV 500) and the black sheru (Wagon R) in it.
Firstly, its an outright pleasure following the reviews, comments and car mods of all you good BHPians out there and I thought having not had much of a chance to share my review of the XUV with me busy relocating to Bangalore from Delhi the time I had the XUV delivered, I had to do better with the Polo.Just as I had a lot to share having driven the XUV from Delhi to Bangalore via Mumbai over 3 days, I have as much to share of if not more with this story – a car,up untill 3 months ago,I never imagined I would own today.

The Choice

Me and wifey together do around 60 Kms of travel to and fro office and were looking to ease the pressure of a daily commute battling the Bangalore Traffic.While I know the Bangalore Traffic is much maligned,having spent much of my life driving in Delhi known for its wider streets (known far more than the traffic that plies on it), I always felt Bangalore is maligned more than its fair share – driving in Delhi these days is a greater nightmare, particularly when you don’t see any of those traffic cops wanting to earn their money as they should.You hardly see traffic cops in action in Delhi, except for when they emerge from behind bushes to catch you unawares and challan for driving on a freeway at 61 Kms an hour with a weird speed limit of 60 Kms per hour for that stretch of the road.
While there are advantages to a manual as nothing really lets you feel the power of all the horses and torque on demand as much as a manual tranny does, when you think of the close to a 100 gear shifts and clutch depressions you could end up doing in a 8-10 KM stretch on Bangalore roads, you wonder what does one really need, power on demand or convenience ? Or is there a coming together of both ? It was not untill I drove the TSI that I knew there indeed is an answer to the latter, within what my budget could allow–or more appropriately, what my budget could stretch to.

After we started looking for an automatic,it dawned on us fast that the decision might not be all that difficult since there aren’t too many out there in the sub 10L zone anyway. Some of the cars we considered were the i10 and the Ritz autos, which besides the lethargic engines and tranny aren’t far from getting a call from the nearest Museum.Having driven the XUV for a while now, I had tasted blood from a power and torque standpoint, and could not have settled for grass for engine responsiveness.So began the search for something newer and the Nissan/Renault CVTs came next in the evaluation. While I wasn’t in the market looking for a boot,I could have settled for one if the ride were good, but the CVTs were the same old story–one could go off to sleep while waiting for the CVT to listen to you.The rubber band effect was quite a dampener and while you may live without power on demand in city traffic, it can be quite frustrating on highways–and I do a lot of highways too.

Then came the new Fiesta with its dual clutch – a great looking car with some good equipment levels and a very reliable transmission, but there were three things that kept me from it–one,a cabin that doesn’t have any outside noise seeping in,for there is so much of it already on the inside when driving the ‘L’ mode,two,a suspension that was too hard to my liking and three,a car that is no longer promoted by its manufacturer with only 2012 unsold models available. So there went the Fiesta.

Just as I thought people do not settle for an automatic not just because of ‘Kitna Deti Hai’,but also because companies automatics zyada nahin deti,there came Dus Auto with the superman dad.Took a test drive no sooner it was launched on the 29th April and was smitten by it. While I could describe the horses,the speed of the transmission and everything else that VW cars are known for and which you all know better than I do,the car needed just one word to sum it up – Makkhhan, cutting through road as easily as a knife through butter with none of the problems I had noticed with the automatics cars tested before,and a responsiveness that in its small sized way,reminded me of the XUV feel a lot.While not appropriate to speak of these two very different cars in the same sentence, the speed with which the car gets to double and triple digits with minimal lag in D and none at all on S mode were an absolute delight and a deal clincher in no time for me and wifey. I have read about the lightnessof the steering a lot, but with much of my commute in the city,I wouldn’t really mind if the steering were any lighter.I thought the light steering added to the light feel of the car and in line with what we were looking for, without losing out on power and responsiveness.

So while the car was a deal clincher in no time,we weren’t quite prepared for the deal itself with a Rs 9.87 Bangalore price tag which on first thought seemed a lot for what is a hatch at the end of the day. And if the hatch looked no different than the other thousands of Polos already on the road, it makes the price tag look pricier!But when you consider what the other automatics like the new Nissan Micra,the Hyundai 120 etc were priced at,you knew this still was a VFM proposition i.e. if you don’t go buying cars holding an inch tape, and providing the DQ 200 tranny lasts as long as we want it to.

So we dilly dallied for a few days but knew this car clearly checked most of our boxes and thus we had to go for it, which we did a few days after the test drive in May.

When you like a car so much and decide to go for it, it is a pain to wait for, which is what we had to for 2 long months.During this wait, while reading through and watching video reviews of this car and others,I also test drove the Rapid auto,which I thought was a distant second to the GT in the sub 11L zone.The 1.6L mated to the 6 speed tranny was for sure a better feel for me than the other autos, the interiors reminded of the VW given these were siblings and the steering feel was similar too albeit just a little more weighed up than the GT.So if the GT wait times were any more than 6 months, I would have considered the Rapid 1.6 which with its good ride quality, undeclared hill hold feature and competitive pricing wasn’t a bad purchase at all for me.I also had a look at the ANHC Auto, which I thought is one of the best looking cars out there but for the fact that it has been looking so good for a very very long time now.

The Delivery experience

Having considered what I could to bring down the price to less discomforting levels, I wasn’t left with very many options, and only had the insurance to influence–so invited quotes from many and opted for Royal Sundaram which with all the zero dep, return to invoice etc bells and whistles cost me Rs 25k, still a full 11k odd less than the quote from the dealer.I have had Royal Sundaram on the other cars too and have been satisfied with their service so far and I still have the option to transfer my NCB and claim a corresponding refund.It would appear the corporate discounts were slashed further,so all I could manage was Rs 2k from the earlier promised 3k.I understand some other companies command as much as Rs 4-6k of discounts.For freebies,all I could get was the mud flaps and the floor mats and the dealer was behaving as though this was 80k worth of accessories installed,making me believe folks might pay a premium to get hold of this TSI gem right now than later and that freebies should be the last worry.Also, although I didn’t need a lot of detailing,the SE very patiently explained all features of the car–a far better experience than when I took delivery of the XUV where the SE seemed the least interested.So although I wasn’t entirely happy with the SE having overpromised and underdelivered with delivery times, I guess I shouldn’t single him out on things most of these guys do. Overall a pretty good experience with the SE.Speaking of delivery times, I did get the GT a month ahead of the Aug last week timeline I was told at the time of booking. The SE had on the day of the booking told me I’ll get it within a week!For accessories,I got rain visors installed and will look at upgrading the ICE to a touch screen in time.

The Drive so far

I have been battling my instincts and the G forces not to go heavy on the throttle-the gravitational pull of the accelerator in this car is just too much! Itches you to floor it the first chance you get.But I’ll make sure I go easy on it for the first 1000 Kms at least.I have also been observing the no coasting on ‘N’ rule strictly and the turbo idling rule when I can.The engine is very thirsty at this time,the MID having started at 6.5 Km to a litre now having inched upto 9Kms to a litre with about 60 Kms done since the handover yesterday.This really needs to return good FE figures soon to keep the Maximum power Minimum consumption promise.Will wait and see.I have been driving with a very light foot–not that I get a lot of opportunities to go heavy on the pedal in the peak hours I commute to and fro office.

What I like more about the Vehicle

· By far the easiest machine I have driven,without compromising on power,comfort and responsiveness
· What I still believe is VFM, given the cutting edge engine and transmission
· Great handling and suspension,potholed Blr roads feel repaired and cemented, well almost.
· If it can deliver the FE it promises to and what other owners are experiencing already,will be a big plus.Though the enthusiast might not bother about FE much, I sure do ! A dampener if all that power and low end torque is to come at a cost for me.
· Interiors maybe not plush enough for the money but great nevertheless
· ESP/Hill hold etc unique for the segment and quite handy for the not so expert driver
· Different feel to the tall boy designs I have been driving so far.One feels more planted although you see things around you differently too and sometimes don’t see at all.

What I like less about the Vehicle

· The rear leg room almost non existent.I like my legs extended when driving and with the driver seat pushed back, there is hardly any leg room in the rear.Having got used to the acres of space in the middle row of the XUV, this will take some getting used to although this was never intended as a passenger vehicle and will largely be a two seater city commute.
· Keeping my fingers crossed around the reliability of the transmission
· Uncertainty around the extended warranty.I might keep the vehicle much longer than 2 years and thus an important consideration
· The stubborn wiper position – irritating for washes.
· The horn is loud and intrudes into the cabin – will take getting used to unless the volume is adjusted down
· The horn is kind of difficult to depress – have to reach out for it and is presently hard to press down in all steering touchpoints.
· The boring ICE display – would have liked a touch screen at this price.Will likely go for an upgrade later.The sound quality is just OK for me.The higher bass makes it sound boxed.I am not so much of an ICE person and will get by with a reasonably good sound output which I think it is in the GT.In any case, although difficult to hear, the engine noise is the best sound you could hear on the GT.
· Something about the seating or perhaps its a thing of getting used to, I find the right side of the driver seat not aligned with the throttle.If I pull the seat closer reducing legroom, its almost as though the right leg has to take a slight bend to my left to rest on the accelerator.Not sure how comfortable long drives will be – this has never been a problem in the XUV as the seating position has been perfect.Maybe I need to get used to.
· No arm rest. It is in an automatic that you badly need one.I think I read the instruction manual asking not to rest your arm on the gear shift, it puts pressure on the box – they should therefore have given something else to rest it on.
. No dead pedal - however, the floor bed where the dead pedal should have been is sloping up a little with lots of space to rest your foot so you don't feel the absence of a dead pedal much. That said,the arm rest and dead pedal would have done wonders to the comfort levels.

Summary

Overall a dream car to drive, remains to be seen whether equally great to own long term. Must thank VW for introducing this to the India market making automatic purchase decisions a lot easier if one sees value in the additional 2 lac this needs.In fact looking at the mods that one of the members has achieved on his GT,this looks like 10-15 lacs saved to me J. Will see how it goes as I log more hours and miles driving this which I quickly will driving to and from office with the occasional highway sojourn in between.

Progress so far

As of this review, I have done 320 Kms since delivery on the 2nd Aug and the MID has inched upto a FE of 11.8 Km/l.I have been driving largely in the 'D' mode with a light foot, sandwitching the occasional 'S' mode drives.All this through peak hour Bangalore traffic, with the AC on at all times.I also did a 50 KM sprint on the Nice road where the MID improved to 13.5 Km/l.I have driven a few cars and automatics too, and I must say for a car of this size, this is up there with the best.My only worry now-will I enjoy this at the expense of my XUV? Its been not long since I've had the red cheetah in my garage and this white beauty is posing a real threat to its popularity!

Niggles
None so far. However,I wanted to check with the other owners if they have noticed a certain muted but perceptible ‘whoosh’ ‘whoosh’ sound coming from inside the bonnet right after the engine is switched off. This sound lasts for around 10-15 seconds and then stops on its own. What could this be ? I assume its something normal and observed in all vehicles of this kind but just in case it isn’t..
Thank you for reading.I'll update as I drive more.Attached a few pictures too.

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Last edited by Eddy : 10th August 2013 at 21:08.
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Old 10th August 2013, 21:09   #2
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Default re: VW Polo GT TSI: The Might of White. Ownership Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10th August 2013, 21:21   #3
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Many Congratulations on the purchase and the happy experience you are having so far. I m sure that you will begin to appreciate its capabilities even more as you begin to use it and, on those trips to the unknown.

All the Best Drive Safe!

Cheers!
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Old 10th August 2013, 21:21   #4
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Congrats on the TSI!

It is surely THE hottest hatchback on the market today. The only thing preventing it from being my favourite hatchback is the poor rear legroom.

Hope you have an awesome time with it, and keep updating this thread!
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Old 10th August 2013, 22:54   #5
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Slick drivers car. Awesome purchase. Drive responsibly good Sir!
The interior overall looks solidly built!
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Old 11th August 2013, 10:19   #6
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Congrats on the GT TSI. It's a fantastic driving machine under 10 Lakhs and suitably nick named the baby Skoda TSI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot77in View Post
None so far. However,I wanted to check with the other owners if they have noticed a certain muted but perceptible ‘whoosh’ ‘whoosh’ sound coming from inside the bonnet right after the engine is switched off. This sound lasts for around 10-15 seconds and then stops on its own. What could this be ?
From your description, it sounds like the turbo fans cooling off the engine before it shuts down. It's pretty normal for turbo cars so nothing to worry.
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Old 11th August 2013, 10:26   #7
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Congrats on the new car.
White is nice.How do you feel about the DSG box since you have been driving about for a while in city traffic conditions.
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Old 11th August 2013, 10:53   #8
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Congrats for the Baby TSI.

Can you give us some info about the smoothness and character of the engine?
Low end torque? Turbo-lag, if any?
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Old 11th August 2013, 11:14   #9
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Originally Posted by abishek2222 View Post
Congrats on the new car.
White is nice.How do you feel about the DSG box since you have been driving about for a while in city traffic conditions.

Its super quick.Before you know the MID shows D6 and D7.Knowing how automatics operate, one intuitively expects some lag when the auto shifts but the way this DSG operates, its only the MID that reminds you what gear it is in.The D mode is quick enough for city commutes and wherever I see an opening, I invoke the S mode for that push back effect although the D mode is good enough for quick maneuvers.Reminds me so much of the theme park electric cars we used to enjoy banging each other into as kids.It is quick to the point where I end up getting close to rear ending traffic ahead of me, still getting used to the car's agile behaviour.On the flip side, I have observed, very rarely though and I am nit pricking here, when entering steep flyovers at a good speed in the D mode, there is just a split second the DSG takes to realise its climbing and that it needs to shift down so you do feel a fraction of a second lag before it slots the right gear.But this too is super quick and unless you are paying attention and critically watching for the gear changes, you may not realise it at all.So in summary, the DSG is simply outstanding and in most cases, acts much faster than human motor responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmad.007 View Post
Congrats for the Baby TSI.

Can you give us some info about the smoothness and character of the engine?
Low end torque? Turbo-lag, if any?

The engine is super smooth and super responsive. Have driven with 4 adults seated and not felt it laden.The gear box is super smooth too so one wonders whether to eulogise the engine more or the gear box-they seem to be competing with each other for reward and recognition.The low end torque and the absence of any turbo lag is the icing on the cake.Simply put, I find it difficult to let go of the car and sulk when I get to my destination - the driving pleasure is unparalleled for its class.

Last edited by mobike008 : 11th August 2013 at 12:56. Reason: back to back posts. Please refrain
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Old 11th August 2013, 13:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot77in View Post

The engine is super smooth and super responsive. Have driven with 4 adults seated and not felt it laden.The gear box is super smooth too so one wonders whether to eulogise the engine more or the gear box-they seem to be competing with each other for reward and recognition.The low end torque and the absence of any turbo lag is the icing on the cake.Simply put, I find it difficult to let go of the car and sulk when I get to my destination - the driving pleasure is unparalleled for its class.
Yayyee!! :-D
From my limited understanding of the DSG, the upshifts should be lightning quick, but downshifts should just take a bit of extra time (unless from D7 to D6) if needed in an unexpected situation.
Anyways, its a brilliant car for enthusiasts like us.
But fuel economy is putting me off, I have heard/read people quoting figures as bad as 6-8kmpl when driven briskly. Considering, Laura TSI DSG can give you many more horses at about theAnd about 14-16kmpl on highways (sedately).

I was saying that Laura TSI gives about the same mileage if driven insanely, so, I don't know if its a better choice? Considering the prices in the second hand market ofcourse.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 11th August 2013 at 15:19. Reason: Merged back-to-back posts.
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Old 14th August 2013, 14:21   #11
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TSI: The Might of White. Ownership Review

Congrats for the GT. Why is everybody going for the white color only?
FE is disappointing, considering its only a 1.2. Hope it improves with more miles. How have been the engine oil consumption figures?
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Old 14th August 2013, 18:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot77in View Post
However,I wanted to check with the other owners if they have noticed a certain muted but perceptible ‘whoosh’ ‘whoosh’ sound coming from inside the bonnet right after the engine is switched off. This sound lasts for around 10-15 seconds and then stops on its own. What could this be ? I assume its something normal and observed in all vehicles of this kind but just in case it isn’t..

Simply put, I find it difficult to let go of the car and sulk when I get to my destination - the driving pleasure is unparalleled for its class.
Congratulations Pilot77in on joining the exclusive club of GT owners. I have observed the very same sound in my GT as well and i'm sure its nothing abnormal as Mobike clarified in his post. The difficulty that you feel in letting go of the car once you have reached your destination is a feeling that i share too. Good to hear that you are already at 300+ km. My GT is a little more than 2 months old and its still stuck at 417 km. But then again that is a lot for me as i usually only average less than a 100 km a month. However the GT makes me wanna drive as i cant get enough of it.
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Old 14th August 2013, 20:45   #13
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Congrats! i am sure its a hoot to drive and i totally understand the rush!! I plan on driving one soon just to get a feel for it soon.
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Old 15th August 2013, 08:08   #14
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Congratulations!

Please let me know how good the brakes are - for the power you have on hand.

Is this engine Turbo + Inter-cooler, or just Turbo-Petrol?

DSG's do not drain power. IMO, you should get above 10 kmpl in city. Please keep updating!

I wonder if VW would launch Polo with 1.5 Tdi + DSG...
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Old 15th August 2013, 09:55   #15
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Originally Posted by Chethan B G View Post
Congratulations!

Please let me know how good the brakes are - for the power you have on hand.

Is this engine Turbo + Inter-cooler, or just Turbo-Petrol?

DSG's do not drain power. IMO, you should get above 10 kmpl in city. Please keep updating!

I wonder if VW would launch Polo with 1.5 Tdi + DSG...
Congratulations on the car. Great to see the 1.2Tsi clan increasing in Tbhp.

chetan, I will try to answer your doubts.

The brakes are just about adequate. Combined with ABS and ESP, safety is not compromised in the highways.

The engine has a turbo and a water charge cooler integrated into the intake manifold. It doesnt have a separate intercooler.

More than 10kmpl is easily achievable. I am regularly getting around 12-13kmpl after having driven the car for over 2000Kms, although my car is remapped to 120hp. Now, you cannot compare this car with any 1.2 hatchback as its a turbo petrol with DSG and expect some 16/17 kmpl.

VW sure can launch the 1.5Tdi with DSG but then the "kitna deti hain" and "for the same money we can get a big car" junta will start bashing VW.
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