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Old 27th August 2013, 00:45   #1
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Default VW Polo GT TSI - Officially Unofficial Review and Initial Ownership Report

Polo TSI - an almost perfect hot hatch for a market begging for one

Turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, lightweight FWD chassis, decent suspension setup = perfect formula for your run of the mill hot hatch.Add to that a few trinkles of luxury, add a VW badge and along with it an insanely awesome DSG transmission and VOILA.. you have the Polo 6R GT TSI.

Ordering Experience - One word, TERRIBLE!! The VW Dealers were unresponsive to calls, almost un-interested in taking a booking. Had to literally show up with the cash to get them to book my Red GT TSI. Was given a delivery time of 3 weeks, however the order was punched in after 1 week (wierd). 3 Weeks are up, and I get a call from them that the car has been delayed 4 more weeks. After raising hell with them still no headway. Then I get a call from another buddy of mine, who had ordered a black GT(and was waiting for it for 2.5months) and he mentions that the same dealership had offered him a red one now as they cant deliver a black one for another 1 month. Put two and two together, and they offered my booked and arrived GT to him! After that I really had to pull a lot of strings at VW Corp to get them to dispatch a new car to me asap, and voila.. 1 week later my car is in the dealership. On top of this the Dealer offered me 10k discount on the car + 4k corp discount. Then I look at the invoice and I see - 6000 depot charge (??) and 4000 parking charge (??). I blow my top at the dealership and they finally take that back!
I am never again ordering a car from this dealership again. For all of you out there this is the VW dealership in Gurgaon, on Mall Road. My sales-person was called Puneet.

Anyhow, now thats said, lets move on to the car!

Initial drive of the car was scary, not in a good way. I was following Arush(Autopysche) to the shop to get to work on the car. Got onto the highway, floored it, and then broke, the car totally unsettled, pulling to one side. Did the same again and whoa.. same result. Pulled into the garage, and first thing i checked was air pressure - recommended - 29PSI, filled up by VW - 50PSI!! IDIOTS! Anyhow reset the pressures and went for another drive, and it was a much better experience. The brakes and DSG are rough for about 100kms, and definitely take a bit of getting used to, but more of that later.

Engine - What can I say, its a brilliant little gem of an engine. Torque is abundant across powerband. The fact that this car has only 15hp more than the brio, is totally lost to mountain of accessible torque, which is made even more accessible by the sweet gearbox. In all honesty, half the fun of the car would have been lost without the brilliantly 7DSG. Kudos to VW to take the chance by launching this car with only a DSG option. The engine is rough initially, u hear mechanical noise, whine, shrill machine whine, but it settled down after a few 100 kms of pedal to the medal driving. I expect it to get a lot smoother as it breaks in the motor. The top end of the car is pretty useless, not much grunt there, but definitely sounds great inside the cabin. As compared to the brio, the engine is far more rough, but unlike the brio, u dont have to rev it to redline to access the torque. Regular feul is good for the car, but 97 octane brings out the true beast in the engine. It makes it more feul efficient too!

Transmission - 7DSG, enough said :-) !! Its a brilliant piece of equipment, the 2nd DSG car I've owned, the first being the Evo X SST. Comparison between the two... DSG is slower to shift.. much slower than the Evo's SST but then again its an unfair comparison. The DSG will shift faster than any automatic I've owned and I've 5 auto's in the house - E350 petrol AT with 8 speed at+paddles, Outlander with CVT + Paddles, Toyota Corolla CVT, Honda Civic AT with paddles, and a old accord V6 with 4AT, and I can say the Polo's 7DSG blows them all out of the water. Nothing in any conventional AT can match the speed at which this transmission shifts gears. Initially I though why not a 6DSG as its a better wet clutch unit, but the 7 forward gears are so well matched to the powerband of the car, that the 6DSG would not be able to properly match the powerband and make the car feel slower. 140kmph comes up so fast that your caught totally unaware. Paddle shifters are badly needed on this car. The manual mode is there but paddles can really take this transmission to a whole new level!
Note- The DSG is a learning unit, so initially it will be all over the place for the first 200 odd kms, but as you drive the car more and more and learns to predict ur next move very well. It takes a bit of getting used to but when u do, its amazing! But if your car is shared with other people with different driving styles, it will keep scarching its head and get caught unaware quite a few times.
Another Note - The DSG does aggressive rev-matching on downshift in S mode, so it helps in engine braking to provide additional stopping speed. Only one concern which is relevant for track users - rev matching downshifts for engine braking heats up the transmission fluid very fast on the track, hence we use brakes than downshifting, but on a DSG in S mode, that is not an option so I would be wary of driving this car for 15-20 laps at a strech on S mode on a track. In AutoX situations it should be good.

Handling - My first reaction - WOW.. this is surprisingly terrible for a hot hatch. Stock to stock the Brio with its crappy MRF tires will out handle this car. As is the suspect everytime, it boils down to the tires (both type and size). I changed the tires and wheels out to 16x205/50/R16 Yoko S Drives with slightly lighter 16 inch sparco alloys, and WOW! what a difference. Hugely superior to the stock brio, but I'd suppose the brio with a better set of rubber, would surely bring its own to a handling match. Get VCDS, and turn the XDS setting to strong, and u will leave the brio behind in every turn! such a brilliant system. Turn in is much sharper than even the stock VRS, and its more confidence inspiring thanks to the short wheelbase. The Brio is a brilliant handling machine out of the box with predictable handling even in the crap tires. The Polo TSi is more an acquired taste, takes a bit of time to learn the car's behavior, and then use it the way 'ze Germans' designed it to be used.

Handling - Suspension - The Polo's suspension setup is unique, with no alignment possible in the rear or front. So u are stuck with the stock alignment. No camber adjustments possible in the back or in the front. Toe in is available in the front but very little. You can technically adjust the camber in front by moving the sub-frame, but in order to add -ve camber on one side, u will automatically add +ve camber on the other so its useless. Only way to improve cambering is by lowering the car which naturally adds camber to the wheels. The height of the stock suspension is a real eyesore, but despite the height it can handle pretty good, and almost feels lower than it is. A lot of that has to do with the XDS and the electronic gadgetary but it surely adds to the modern nature of the car. The ride isnt too thrashy, but does shake u up once in while, but like any good setup, the faster u go, the better the ride gets.

Handling - Braking - I have huge complaints about the brake feel in the car. Then after a few dozen forum posts and VW Workshop manual reading, it clicked.. digital car, digital brakes, as in no connection between brake pedal and brake master cylinder. Brake pedal connected to a digital signal generator that goes to brake master cylinder!! Its like drive by wire/electronic throttle. Think of it as "brake by wire". This is why the brakes lack any feel. Whatever 'feel' you get is the stupid feedback from the controller, like a force feedback game pedals.. GEEZUS!! This will take a bit of getting used to. Add to this the Rear drum setup, and I've had a few scary moments. But then I did a bit of quantitative testing and the car brakes just fine, pretty good actually for a rear drum setup which doesnt hurt the performance at all. What it absolutely fails to do is communicate the same! Brakes feel is so pathetic that it actually scares u into braking harder than u need to. All I can say is this will take me a bit of getting used to.. Like the transmission, u have to get used to it.

Interiors - Pretty decent. Everything is where it needs to be. Bluetooth is a very handy little addition and best of all it supports A2DP streaming. Speakers, sound system has lots of aux options so it will take whatever format u throw at it. The thigh support on the front seats is a bit lacking but ok. The height adjustable seats are helpful, but for some reason it tends to tilt the seat forward as u raise the height, which makes u feel uncomfortable, as if ur slipping out of the seat forward. I like to sink into the seats so the only option i have is to lower it all the way. There is no deadpedal in the car, and unlike the brio, where the seats are terrific as well as the seating position which allows Honda to get away without a deadpedal, in the Polo my left foot is left wandering in an awkward position. Add to this the hard plastic in the transmission tunnel which my knee rests against, and I am honestly left wanting. Other amenities are good and at par with most hatches out there. Also being an Auto, the lack of an armrest is astounding! The half MFD cluster is a bit of a let down, ok for a brio @ 5lacs, but looks awful in a 9 lac hot hatch. Another irritating thing, and this is just me, is the steering to car size ratio, I spoke about in the VRS review. The polo is on the other end of the spectrum, which means the steering is too big for the car. In all honestly this is the same steering on the low end jettas sold abroad, which is good for that size a car, but in the polo, it feels a bit too big. Add to that the one sided MF buttons make it look awkward. Not a show stopper but definately something VW should have considered when designing the car. VAG seems to be more and more dipping into the common parts bin tryin to shave margins, and that is evident from the new Skoda octavia, which looks like Jetta with a new nose and and old Audi A6 behind, which is making their brands loose individuality.

Why did I buy this car if I've got so many small nagging issues? Simply because of the brillant motor and the insane DSG, and that VW common parts bin has some excellent remedies to correct some of the issues I have with the car and simply transform it! For the ones they cant fix there is the aftermarket.

1- VW OEM Paddle shifter Polo R Steering Wheel (Plug and Play, and airbag compatibilty is hit or miss)
2- VW OEM Center Arm Rest (Plug and play)
3- VW OEM Polo R-WRC Blue Needle FULL MFD cluster with analog feul and temp gauges
4- VW OEM Dead Pedal Foot Rest
5- Sparco/OZ Assetto Gara 16 inch wheels with +35 Offset and Yoko 205/50/R16 S Drive Tires

All but the dead pedal is in the shop. Wheels and tires installed. Steering and center armrest installed. MFD cluster will be installed at the dealership as they need to code it online and transfer the immobilizer, and it cannot be done thru VCDS.

A special thanks to Arush @ Autopsyche and Sugesh @ Vagtune for their support and speedy service on the parts and install!

One Pic of the car, another of the ungodly wheel gap. Rest to follow.
VW Polo GT TSI - Officially Unofficial Review and Initial Ownership Report-polo-tsi-1.jpg
VW Polo GT TSI - Officially Unofficial Review and Initial Ownership Report-wheel-gap.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 27th August 2013 at 14:26. Reason: Please adhere to decent language. No foul language allowed, even if masked***. Thanks.
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Old 27th August 2013, 12:57   #2
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TSI - Officially Unofficial Review and Initial Ownership Report

congralutions on your car. why didn't you go for advan sport instead of s drives?
ADVAN SPORT
Also what is the part no. for the dead pedal and from where did you source it.

Last edited by anarchy_99 : 27th August 2013 at 13:01.
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Old 27th August 2013, 13:28   #3
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TSI - Officially Unofficial Review and Initial Ownership Report

Congratulations, Prithwi!! Great car and very tight review!
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Old 27th August 2013, 13:29   #4
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TSI - Officially Unofficial Review and Initial Ownership Report

Congrats - seems that a lot of mods are in queue - do keep us posted with a generous peppering of pictures .
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Old 27th August 2013, 13:31   #5
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Congratulations for your new car
In fact I saw you sitting inside your car, parked outside regency park 1 right beside the Dhaba on Saturday evening around 5pm. My friends and I were standing behind you for a good 5 minutes, admiring your wheels and discussing how capable the GT is
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Old 27th August 2013, 13:34   #6
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congrats there, GT's i have seen have been in red, color goes well for sure ! What can we say about VW dealership problems, which has not already been said; That problem, as they say, remains like that and, with that aside, wish you a trouble free ownership !
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Old 27th August 2013, 14:01   #7
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TSI - Officially Unofficial Review and Initial Ownership Report

Congrats on the car!

Your 2nd picture says a lot, and this is the case with most of the cars here in India. To be honest, it is a boon in many parts of the country, but still.

Do post some more pics of the car and the mods you have planned/installed!
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Old 27th August 2013, 22:11   #8
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Here is a pic of the R-Line steering. All working including paddles.

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Old 28th August 2013, 01:16   #9
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Just got back from a highly spirited drive, and I agree with robi, this car should have come with the paddleshift whel from the factory... its amazing how much fun it makes the car. Stuck in traffic.. want to over take, no need to shift to S, just tap the -ve button twice, the car instantly rockets forward, overtaking done, hold the +ve button and you get back to full D mode and purr along. The steering wheel itself is a piece of art with a brilliant feel to it. Its definitely smaller than the oem wheel, making it perfectly suited for the car's size.

Kitna deti hai? With a new engine, daily commute is anything between 11.5 to 12.5 kmpl. High spirited driving like tonight, worst it got was 8.9kmpl, but crept up to 9.1kmpl. Very impressive for a turbo car with bigger wheels and 205 tires being abused like nothing else. BUT, I am running 97octane in the car.

I have also noticed that the engine limits boost in 1st and 2nd gear to ensure no wheel spin, along with ESP it makes it impossible to spin the wheels. The XDS is damn sexy, take a corner hard, and u feel the car pull towards the apex, instead of understeering wide. This will make a sweet AutoX car.

Thanks for all your wishes o the car guys.. Cheers!!
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Old 28th August 2013, 01:29   #10
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I drove this car and no words i can say.

A hatchback with immense power is amazing..coming to the price it is a bit high,but speed lovers will like this machine.
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Old 28th August 2013, 08:17   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prithwi-81 View Post
Polo TSI - an almost perfect hot hatch for a market begging for one

Turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, lightweight FWD chassis, decent suspension setup = perfect formula for your run of the mill hot hatch.Add to that a few trinkles of luxury, add a VW badge and along with it an insanely awesome DSG transmission and VOILA.. you have the Polo 6R GT TSI.
Congrats Pritwi, looking forward to meet the polo in person.

Please keep the car stock at least until the coming weekend, since there are test drive cars available, I would like to experience this, given your VRS, is already lowered, this may not be a bad idea if you keep the ride height soft, have some ground clearance thanks to the hell we get on the roads when it rains and also for the craters. I have always wanted to ask you, where do you get 97 octane in Delhi.

Best - DM
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Old 28th August 2013, 09:49   #12
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Congrats! Neat wheels. I'm probably gonna pick up these http://www.lensowheel.com/Lenso-Sub-...SubCatID=20008 in dark grey for my TSi. 17" will be stretching it, but they look hawt for me to resist

How much did you exchange your OE tyres and wheels for? Also, have you found the EPS module as yet?
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Old 28th August 2013, 10:10   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mango_pal View Post
Congrats! Neat wheels. I'm probably gonna pick up these http://www.lensowheel.com/Lenso-Sub-...SubCatID=20008 in dark grey for my TSi. 17" will be stretching it, but they look hawt for me to resist

How much did you exchange your OE tyres and wheels for? Also, have you found the EPS module as yet?
17 inches were my preference too, but no tires available for the proper wheel size. Also the gurgaon roads are a deterrant for 40 profile tires.
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Old 28th August 2013, 21:15   #14
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TSI - Officially Unofficial Review and Initial Ownership Report

Excellent Link for the Gear Heads here-
Assembly Diagrams and Part Numbers Galore - Official ETKA (VW Parts Database)
http://ifinterface.com/page/page3.php?langid=1
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Old 28th August 2013, 21:21   #15
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Hi Prithvi,

What other cars were you looking at before you bought this? Or was this a VW GT only buy?

I am curious to hear your comparisons if any since I am in a situation where I need a small car just for driving pleasure. I do not care about fuel consumption, rear passenger comfort or any other driving aids.
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