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Old 4th November 2013, 09:12   #1
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Talking Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI-dscn3891.jpg
Prelude
I have lusted after the Polo TSI right from the moment I had read the scoop. I think it was Autocar. My previous experience with turbocharged petrol motors was the old Octavia 1.8 TPI and the Superb TSI (Both belonging to an Uncle of mine). I remember the Octy TPI as the best thing I had ever driven. The intoxicating turbo rush and the way it plastered a silly grin on my face every time there was a small stretch of open road.

When I started working, the Octy TPI was still way out of my reach, so I settled for the best petrolhead choice that my budget allowed. The Fiat Palio Stile Sport 1.6. The Palio kept me entertained for 6 years, but after my wedding last year, I decided it was time to upgrade, what with frequent road-tripping on the cards.

TSI - the easy choice
As stated previously, I always had a thing for turbo petrols and decided that was what I was going to buy. I had been drooling over the Ford Ecosport ever since the concept was unveiled at the last Auto Expo. When I heard about the 1.0 Liter Ecoboost engine with 123 bhp, I drooled even more.

Then, some months later, I picked up a copy of Autocar and saw the news on VW launching the Polo with their much acclaimed 1.2 TSI with the 7-speed DSG. Checked out some videos of this engine-gearbox combo (in a lot of cars, not just the Polo) and was floored. Decided that whenever I would buy a car, it would be a Polo / Vento TSI.

Fast forward to the Polo TSI test drive. I was thrilled by the mini-RS experience from the TSI engine and the flawless shifts by the DSG. This was it! If only they would offer this drive-train in the Vento. That would've been perfect.

And they did! Time to strike! Worked out the financials and swooped over to BU Bhandari and promptly booked one. Got a decent exchange offer for my old Palio as well.

I must admit I was a bit choked up when I handed over my Palio to the dealer and saw it for the last time. Have been through a lot with it.

I had booked Shadow Blue earlier, but the SA informed me that Shadow Blue Vento TSIs won't arrive till January 2014, hence changed over to Pepper Grey. In retrospect, I think I like this colour a lot more. Right decision, then.

The Halloween Delivery Horror
The delivery date was scheduled for 31st October (Halloween). We reached the showroom at 2.30 pm as scheduled and I sit with the SA and complete all the paperwork.

We go down to the basement and there it is, looking resplendent in that dark grey. There's something very German about the colour. Or maybe its just me.
During the delivery, we discover that the rear cabin light switch is broken and can be easily pulled out. SA promptly replaces the light. I don't say anything.

Puja and all formalities done, we take the car out and head over to the petrol pump. At the pump, wife discovers that the moving plastic part below the armrest is broken as well. We had noticed that both these broken parts seem to be stuck with a greasy (and ineffective) adhesive.

This was it! Two broken parts in less than half an hour! Below is a summary of how we felt.

Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI-hulk1.jpg

So we go back to the showroom and give the SAs and the manager a piece of our mind. They had the armrest promptly replaced, but having a new car start to fall apart within minutes was a very scary feeling. We left with a letter from the General Manager of the dealership and a promise of "making it up to us".

But, no fun dwelling on unpleasant things. On to the good part.

The Review

Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI-dscn3962.jpg

Design
Walk up to the Vento and you just cannot help complementing VW's design team The design has aged well, and some parts do remind you of classic Audis from the pre-Bulgarian beard grille era. The Vento is by far, the best looking sedan in this price range. Personally, I don't get why some people call the Rapid a better looking Vento. The Vento is a much better looking car, with looks you will never tire of. I love the Vento's clean lines, the muscular front and the well styled, though conservative rear end.

Interiors
Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI-dscn3883.jpg
Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI-dscn3886.jpg
There is nothing flashy about the interiors. Everything is functional and feels well screwed together (Apart from the two broken plastic parts at the time of delivery, obviously).

The seat and steering are fully adjustable, so getting into a comfortable driving position is very easy. The leather clad steering wheel feels great to grip and sets the tone for the driving experience to come. I also love the DSG gear lever, which has a great feel to it while operating.

The instrument cluster looks fantastic at night and MID does give a lot of helpful readouts. I am not a big audiophile, so the sound system does a very good job for me. It has USB, SD card and an auxiliary input port. The bluetooth phone connectivity is very useful and convenient.

Things are quite roomy at the rear. There is a good amount of room for normal sized adults and unless your family consists of WWE wrestlers and NBA stars, you will not find much reason to complain.

The trunk is huge and should be sufficient for most situations I can throw at the Vento.

TSI & DSG Power!

The numbers:
Engine - 1197 cc, 4 Cylinder, Turbocharged, Direct Injection Petrol Engine
Max Power - 105 bhp @ 5000 RPM
Max Torque - 175 Nm @ 1500 - 4100 RPM
Transmission - 7 Speed Direkt-Schalt-Getriebe (Direct Shift Gearbox)


Crank it up and the TSI motor catches and settles into a smooth idle. Once cranked, it is hard to tell if the engine is running or not, such is the refinement. I almost double cranked it (there is a double-crank prevention mechanism, by the way) till I noticed the rev counter idling just above 1000 RPM.
Snick the DSG lever into D. The tactile feel of the lever is beautiful. Taking your foot off the brake will have the car coasting, provided that the road is flat. If there's an incline, Hill Hold kicks in and you have to feed it a bit of throttle to get it moving. On the move, it feels effortless to drive, D mode keeping the RPMs below 2000 and the DSG shifting seamlessly. At around 50 kph, it almost feels like, dare I use the term, wafting.

Enough of dawdling around. Time to get a move on. Press the pedal a bit harder in D mode and the DSG, which is in a gear (or two) too high drops down and suddenly everything goes into fast forward mode. Idiots who have jumped the red signal just before it turns green are left flailing behind in the Vento's dust and I am grinning like a monkey. It has this capability to be calm and smooth one instant and plaster a huge smile on your face every time you want. The light, but firm push back into the seat is addictive and you feel like doing it over and over again.
The torque availability right from 1500 RPM makes you feel like there is always an invisible hand pushing you every time you prod the throttle, always like you have a good reserve of power for most situations.

And I haven't even gotten into S mode yet.

S mode keeps the rev range pretty high, and the engine in its peak-torque band and the Vento TSI now flies! There's the nice slug of 175 NM torque that propels you forward. The DSG holds on to gears much longer (don't recall the exact RPM range) and the engine, which is extremely silent at low speeds now changes character as it emits a beautiful, deep growl. You would want to listen to it again and again. I would say it sounds even better than high-revving Honda petrol engines.

Tiptronic mode gives you manual control, but I haven't really found the opportunity to use it yet. D and S modes are more than sufficient for your Jekyll and Hyde driving needs.

I love the DSG gearbox. I definitely do not miss a manual box here, as the DSG box shifts gears much more competently than I ever can. People talk about manual boxes making them feel more connected to the drive, but the DSG is so quick and intuitive, it feels like its hardwired to my brain. If the engine has any turbo lag, the DSG does a very good job of masking it.

Ride and Handling
The Vento TSI rides very well and I find it quite comfortable. It does thud through sharp ridges / potholes, though. Stability at higher speeds is great, though I will give an update after I do my expressway run next weekend.

I'm sure it will handle nicely. I haven't gotten the chance to drive it on a winding road yet, but as I am not quite a corner-carver, I would not be able to tell you if this is the best tool to go apex-hunting in. It is more than sufficient for my driving style.

The steering is extremely light. There is no feedback, but it is extremely accurate and direct. I find it quite a good change from my Palio.

Brakes feel great so far, however I will reserve my final comments till I do that highway run.

Fuel Efficiency
On the mileage front, I have seen readouts on the MID between 7.5 kmpl to 11.7 kmpl. The low mileage numbers were typically observed in short-range bumper to bumper traffic. Again, will update on the highway mileage after my expressway run.

Summary
Overall, I am ecstatic over my 'Grey Ghost'. It is everything I expected it to be and then some. It is calm and relaxing to drive in our mad traffic conditions and is brilliant fun when you want it to be. The torque surge is addictive and the engine note is pure music. Here's to years of fun with the Vento TSI.

Things that I like:
  • Addictive toque surge of the TSI engine
  • Brilliant DSG transmission, always in the perfect gear
  • Refinement of the engine at low RPMs, and the beautiful growl at higher RPMs
  • Ease of driving

Things that I don't like so much:
  • Armrest makes for a very unelegant operation of the handbrake
  • Maybe VW could have done something to differentiate the TSI from the normal Vento Highline
  • Passengers who tell me to slow down
Below are some other photos of my Vento. Please forgive my poor skills. Everything I photograph ends up looking like a fish.
Attached Thumbnails
Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI-dscn3957.jpg  

Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI-dscn3958.jpg  

Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI-dscn3960.jpg  

Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI-dscn3961.jpg  


Last edited by amitg79 : 10th November 2013 at 13:33.
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Old 11th November 2013, 16:37   #2
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento 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 11th November 2013, 16:46   #3
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Congratulations on your new purchase and I wish you many miles of happy motoring in the Grey Ghost ... The TSI engine with the DSG box should provide for unlimited fun while driving and the German build quality should add to the fun
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Old 11th November 2013, 17:22   #4
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Excellent review, thank you. And lucky you. My local dealer hasn't received a single car and they have no idea when they will get one.
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Old 11th November 2013, 19:49   #5
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

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Originally Posted by StarScream View Post
Excellent review, thank you. And lucky you. My local dealer hasn't received a single car and they have no idea when they will get one.
Word here was that mine was one of the last ones in 2013. After this, TSIs will start going out to showrooms from January 2014.
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Old 11th November 2013, 23:03   #6
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Looks fantastic mate. I almost booked one but then i heard about the new city. I will give it a look in as well. The Pepper Grey is a great colour and i wonder why VW doesnt offer more colour options? This is probably the only new colour released since launch.
Even i couldnt believe the silent nature of the motor when i test drove it, quite brilliant i must say.
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Old 12th November 2013, 09:14   #7
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Congratulations and welcome to the TSI club .

The Vento TSI is the pick of the mid segment AT sedans. The TSI+DSG combo is leagues ahead of what the immediate competition has to offer.

It seems like VW is much more confident about the DQ 200 box now. Earlier they were not even ready to pair the Passat 1.8 TSi with it. I guess Skoda has been a good guinea big for them . Reports of DSG failures are on the decline and I'm yet to come across one from the newer batches.

Take care of the turbo and keep an eye on oil levels. Service intervals are long and top ups may be required in between.
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Old 12th November 2013, 10:29   #8
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Congratulations. I am also waiting for my Vento TSI and your review has just made me more impatient . Need to make a call to the dealer today on the status
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Old 12th November 2013, 11:52   #9
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Congratulations and welcome to the TSI club...
Take care of the turbo and keep an eye on oil levels. Service intervals are long and top ups may be required in between.
Club TSI is one great place to be! Thanks for the tip. I will keep my eye on the oil levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Congratulations. I am also waiting for my Vento TSI and your review has just made me more impatient . Need to make a call to the dealer today on the status
Here's something that will, umm... add to your impatience. The car is so good and addictive (oh, that wonderful turbo) to drive, that reaching your destination actually makes you sad.
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Old 12th November 2013, 12:09   #10
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitg79 View Post
Attachment 1161784

Things that I don't like so much:
  • Passengers who tell me to slow down
Cant stop laughing
Very nice review and congrats on your posession.

Last edited by revved_up : 12th November 2013 at 12:10.
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Old 12th November 2013, 12:20   #11
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Congrats on the TSI.

Love the Vento for its simplistic design amongst everything else. We chose the Vento TDi last month over the TSi since our priorities mandated such a decision. However, the TSI DSG and the technology that goes behind it is nothing short of a marvel.

Wish you many happy miles with your Grey Ghost.
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Old 12th November 2013, 16:31   #12
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Congrats on the new car! The grey colour looks great indeed as you said. Where do you live in Pune? That neighbourhood looks familiar. Enjoy your new car and the DSG gearbox of course! Drive safe and always wear a seatbelt of course.
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Old 12th November 2013, 17:47   #13
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Congratulations! I saw one on the road just two days ago; the same colour as yours. I am yet to drive one but just reading your review put a huge smile on my face. Do share your experiences about the Tiptonic box too. I love it!! My mind (being a CA) will never allow me to buy a Turbocharged Petrol in these times of hugely inflated petrol prices but this is definitely a 'made from the heart' decision and I wish you great happiness with your new car!!
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Old 13th November 2013, 06:16   #14
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

Hey Amit!!!! This is one moment where I regret being far off... Congratulations would be an under-statement. I can imagine what a TSI means to a petrol-blooded-toruqe-headed nerd like you. Enjoy driving... screw the petrol prices... take this to the entire stretch of NH4 all the way to Goa... December is the best period. I wish a happy long-long safe trips.

The review is nice... just keep this chain going on with all your experiences.

Just looking at these pictures, I've started missing my Polo.
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Old 13th November 2013, 08:58   #15
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Default Re: Grey Ghost - Pepper Grey VW Vento TSI

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Originally Posted by ruchir911 View Post
Hey Amit!!!! This is one moment where I regret being far off... Congratulations would be an under-statement. I can imagine what a TSI means to a petrol-blooded-toruqe-headed nerd like you. Enjoy driving... screw the petrol prices... take this to the entire stretch of NH4 all the way to Goa... December is the best period...
Thanks Ruchir! In fact I am planning a trip to Goa in December. What a drive that will be.

I am actually getting much better mileage than my old Palio. Regular driving in D gets me over 10 kmpl. Even the all-out-nuts S mode gave me a readout of around 8.5 kmpl yesterday night. This was when it was holding gears till 6000 RPM, on occasions. What a rush!
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