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Old 6th April 2014, 20:19   #1
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Not your usual title for a car review huh? Well I better get cracking then.

It was January of 2014 and my beloved Skoda Fabia had turned a year old and pretty much everybody in the house Dad, Mom, my brother and myself was fed up with it.

When I bought it I thought I was the luckiest 19 year old in the world. But just after 3 months of ownership it all went horribly wrong. So now the plan was simple, sell off the Fabia to whichever dealership that is willing to offer the maximum for it and then buy a proper car from there.

(Please note that this was extremely hard for me as i loved my Fabia htp like i loved my pet dog)

And so the offer came from Phoenix cars (VW Dealership) that they were willing to give me a whopping Rs. 3.5 lakhs for my year old Fabia with 7500 kilometers on the ODO(The car cost me 6 lakhs plus Rs. 1.25 lakhs for the mods). This my friends was the biggest offer that anybody had come up with for my car. All the others quoted less than Rs. 3 Lakhs. So I had no other choice , VW Polo it is then.

Initially I only wanted an el cheapo base 1.2 petrol so as to cut back on my losses or to be precise my Dad's losses but surprisingly my Dad was against it. He told me that whatever happened has happened. He told me to forget the losses and pick the one which I really wanted.

After that there was no looking back. It was the GT TDI all the way.

I decided to go for the GT TDI for the following reasons :
a) No Manual Gearbox even as an option
b) Concerns over the DSG
c) The GT TDI is just Rs.10,000 more expensive
d) Significantly better mileage
e) No 6 month waiting periods

Right, lets get on with the car then.The car is a month old and I have done just 840 kilometers till date. So I will keep this short and simple.

Looks- Simple, minimalistic and elegant. There is nothing to tell this apart from the regular Polo Highline except for the discreet GT badging at the front and the rear. I love it exactly as it is.

Performance & Engine- Had the chance to drive the nuts off it during the test drive. This car has got all the performance you need for our roads. It is simply mind blowing.

I bet all of you had that moment when an Innova/XUV500/Fortuner/Pajero driver come up behind you and tries to bully you out of his way, well worry no more because all you need to do in the GT TDI is simply shift down to fourth and give it some beans and you can see the SUV become a distant speck in the mirror. And the face of the frowning guy in his big SUV makes me laugh every time when he eventually catches up to me at the lights.

This car pulls cleanly and without any fuss that it just bewilders you.(yeah that is exactly what i reached during the test drive)

The engine does have turbo lag. The kick in the back comes only after 2000 RPM. The good news is it doesn't take long before you get there.

The only gripe I have about engine is that its way too noisy even when you are on the move. However when you are in the power band you do get a cool turbo whoosh sound.

Brakes- The only major weak point in this car. There is no other way for me to say this, the brakes on this car are pretty poor. I remember my Fabia having significantly better brakes. In the Fabia you get the exactly the right amount of braking force that you expect from it. Its predictable and its very very good even without ABS.

In the GT though it's a different story. If you apply the brakes gently nothing seems to happen and all of a sudden you have to stamp on them to make it stop. This can get quite alarming and has happened to me quite a few times. I can definitely understand why people would upgrade them.

Ride & Handling- On stock tires it is an extremely comfortable car. You will never get tired or exhausted of driving it. I have came across a few potholes and many a time i thought it was going to crash or bottom out but it simply took it gracefully and continued on.

As far as handling is concerned I will say its good but not exceptional. It is certainly not as chuckable as a Brio and as far as steering is concerned the Punto is still the best that I have encountered.

The Polo's steering is light and accurate but doesn't have much feedback and the weird thing is it doesn't weigh up all that much at speeds which is a real disappointment.

High speed stability is top notch though.

Bottom line is the Polo is more of a comfy highway cruiser than a canyon carver which is quite fine by me actually. Overall I am very happy with what I have here.

Rear Visibility- Another weak point of the Polo. Same was the case with my old Fabia. Rear visibility is pretty poor. The GT does come with rear sensors but without any display though.

Interiors & Equipment- Interiors are same as that of the regular Polo with the exception of the shifter which I think they nicked out of the Jetta and the aluminum pedals. Just like the regular Polo its slightly cramped inside especially at the back but the boot is of a decent size. Plastics are all of good quality and fit and finish is superb. The steering and handbrake gets nice leather treatment. Miss the arm rest though.

Equipment levels are pretty decent. The RCN 320 Radio has got every type of media connectivity that we know of and the speakers are also pretty good. Well they are pretty good for me at least. You will need the speakers though to drown out the unpleasant sound of the engine.

Oh and the spare tire also comes with alloy wheels which is quite generous of VW.

Fuel Efficiency- Just like the performance the mileage is exceptional. Once warmed up this car refuses to give less than 15 kpl even when you drive really hard. Drive with some care though and you can get 22 kpl easily.

Other stuff- The car cost me or rather my Dad after discount of Rs.15000 close to Rs. 9 Lakhs including road tax of around Rs. 67000 and free insurance of Rs. 24000 for one year.

Standard Warranty is for two years and the guys at Phoenix said that extended warranty of 2 more years will be available soon and can be availed at the 23 rd month of the ownership.

The buying experience from Phoenix Volkswagen, Thrissur was hugely satisfying. And word of mouth is they are much better than EVM Volkswagen in Kochi.

Future Plans- I have no intentions of doing any mods on my Polo as of now. I am perfectly happy with it as it is now even with its shortcomings particularly the brakes.

This is because of all the lessons learned from modding my Fabia. I had done all my mods from Vagtune(Cochin) and the experience was simply horrendous. In fact he was just as bad as the morons from Marikar Engineers. If anybody enquired me about Vagtune I quite frankly would not recommend it to them.

So far I am very much happy with the car and there are no issues to speak of but then again its been only a month since I have got it so its too soon to say anything.

Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that this time around everything goes well. I will post the pictures as soon as possible. Wish me luck guys.

At the time of delivery. Sorry for the poor quality pics, but these are all that I have for now. I will surely upload better ones soon.
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Last edited by noopster : 18th April 2014 at 18:31. Reason: Removed high-speed reference
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Old 6th April 2014, 22:04   #2
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Congrats on your new ride! The red polo GT looks super sporty and certainly has a class of its own. My friend was planning to take the red color polo, but the waiting period was too long, we had go with the white one. I just love it's build quality and it is certainly the best in its class. The stock speakers are also great! And Driving the polo GT, the kick in head when you floor the pedals, I was amazed by its performance.

Though you're not into mods, I would suggest a small paint job. Painting the top and the rear view mirrors glossy black suits the red polo GT very well.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 7th April 2014, 00:29   #3
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Default re: VW Polo GT TDI - My second chance

Congrats on your new acquisition, its beautiful.

Can you share what problems you faced with Fabia in detail? Also what were the mods you got through Vagtune, and what problems you faced with the mods and vagtune? I was going to get some stuff from them, maybe your experience can help me and other prospective customers.
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Old 7th April 2014, 05:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
I decided to go for the GT TDI for the following reasons :
a) No Manual Gearbox even as an option
b) Concerns over the DSG
Has the GT TDI with DSG released ?

Last edited by DarkLordOfSith : 7th April 2014 at 06:04.
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Old 7th April 2014, 07:04   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLordOfSith View Post
Has the GT TDI with DSG released ?
Nope, not yet but I think that car would have to make do with the 1.5 L diesel engine.
Also I think with the cost savings due to the lower excise duty the new DSG GT TDI would be priced pretty close to the current manual 1.6 GT TDI. Could be quite a car then when it will be launched.

Sorry guys my mistake, I meant no option for manual in the GT TSI. That is what I really meant. And concerns for the DSG in the TSI. I forgot to specifically say that.

Last edited by GTO : 8th April 2014 at 12:00. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 7th April 2014, 07:54   #6
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Default re: VW Polo GT TDI - My second chance

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLordOfSith View Post
Has the GT TDI with DSG released ?
No he meant that due to DSG issues he did not consider GT TSI.

To the OP: Congratulations on your new ride. Definitely the fastest hatchback on our roads today. A couple of questions:
1. What went so horribly wrong with your Fabia in under 1 year?
2. Why didn't you try selling it to an individual buyer? You sold it for 50% of the sum you paid a year back. Thats daylight robbery.
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Old 7th April 2014, 08:33   #7
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Congrats on the GT TDI busy. Wish you lot of happy miles and trouble-free ownership.

Since Fabia and Polo come from the same family, hope this car doesn't let you down like the Skoda did. We all are curious to know what went wrong with the Fabia that made you get rid of it in 1 year (too short a time).

I was to in love with it and gad almost paid the amount but cancelled it due to dealer + sales guys arrogant attitude. Did try and contact their seniors but they turned a blind eye so picked up a Maruti Suzuki Swift ZDi. VW's loss and Maruti's gain.

Congratulations once again!

PS: Need more pictures of the car.

Anurag.
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Old 7th April 2014, 08:45   #8
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Default re: VW Polo GT TDI - My second chance

Hi

Congrats for buying the hottest hatch of our country. I was driving Vento TDI of my colleague few days back. Everything felt fine, except much higher engine noise as compared to my Verna CRDI. But I felt that it was less noisy than it was at the time of it's launch. Volkswagon has done some thing to this IMO. What's your experience?

Same engine, for a lesser weight car, should be a hoot to drive. Too pricey for a hatch though. Upcoming 1.5 TDI will make it much more affordable.

At the moment, next hatch, engine- power wise IMO is i-20 CRDI, with more features, less price & better NVH-almost same as Verna 1.6 CRDI albeit with inferior dynamics and more turbo lag ( till 2100/2200 rpm). I have driven it & it flies!

Best wishes, enjoy every moment with your hot car & keep us updating.

Mod Note : Team-BHP strongly discourages unsafe driving practices that put yourself and other road users at risk. Please do NOT post about illegally high speeds on public roads.

We advise you to read the Forum Rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by noopster : 18th April 2014 at 18:30. Reason: Refer mod note in post
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Old 7th April 2014, 09:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.gupta88 View Post
Congrats on your new acquisition, its beautiful.

Can you share what problems you faced with Fabia in detail? Also what were the mods you got through Vagtune, and what problems you faced with the mods and vagtune? I was going to get some stuff from them, maybe your experience can help me and other prospective customers.
Thanks for the compliments!:-)

Yes I do intend to share my "Skoda" experience here.

First I will tell you what all went wrong with my Fabia apart from the Vagtune experience. I will tell you all about that in the next reply as that is going to be quite a lengthy read!

Alright then, here are the problems that I had with my "2012" Fabia 1.2 HTP.

a) I bought the car in January 2013. Three months have passed and I have just got the infamous Race chip installed from Vagtune(more on that later).

On my way back to home I noticed a foul smell coming from the A/C. It was there for a couple of minutes after which it went away. I initially dismissed it as the stink from that particular area that I passed by, but boy was I wrong.

A few weeks later the foul smell had reappeared and it was so strong, that I had no other option but to drive with the windows down.

Then I found the source of the smell, it turns out that the rear of the was clogged with water leaking from the rear a/c vents. I failed to notice it because of the carpet and my own ignorance.

Took it to Marikar Engineers and when I told them that the rear a/c vents were leaking water they were dumbfounded that the Fabia actually came with rear a/c vents!

Anyway they saw the problem and told me they would fix it within 3 days.

They called me on the third day and said they had fixed it. Apparently a small lizard had got stuck in the a/c lines and that had been causing the water clogging and the foul smell. Now I was dumbfounded, I really had my doubts about this one. I went there picked the car, all was fine at the back, all the water was gone and it was bone dry.

And then the doubts came true as only week has passed when the water started leaking from the vents again! Took it to them second time.

This time they did fix it. Said some pipe had been bent and they had fixed it. Was glad that it was not an animal this time. Bad news they took apart the entire dashboard to try to find out the problem and the reassembly was not at all satisfactory.

And that was that and the car didn't have any water leak again.

b) Few months have passed since the water leak incident and now something strange was acting up with the car. Every time I went over a pot hole or a bump it rattled and somehow the whole car felt "loose" at the front.

Again took it to Marikar Engineers, they diagnosed the problem and found it to be faulty engine and gearbox mounts. They said it was a manufacturing defect and they will replace it under warranty. Good. Bad news is they haven't got either of those and they said it will take some time before they have them. Little did I know it would take around 6 bloody months before they got them.

c) During a visit to Vagtune, I found out that the seat rails and the entire seat structure of the two front seats had been rusted.

Needless to say I was shocked and was genuinely getting annoyed with the car. I mean what on earth are the people at Skoda factory doing? Seriously 3 manufacturing faults in a brand new not even a year old car. Blast!

Again took it to Marikar and surprise surprise they didn't have any seat support structures in stock. I was really beginning to feel the heat of Skoda ownership.

d) Then one fine morning the seat adjustment knob came off cleanly in my hands.

By this stage everybody in my house was pissed off!

The car was rattling all the time on everything except race track smooth road. Both the mounts needed replacement. The seats were all rusted up and now I cant adjust my seat and I am stuck in my Brother's driving position.

Once again I took it to Marikar to get it fixed and this time said sternly to give back the damn thing after actually fixing it or don't give it back at all.

Then next day good news came that they have finally got the new engine and gearbox mounts and they have replaced it with the old ones. This brings us to the next problem.

e) I was happy that they finally did something right. I went to pick up the car, got in, started the motor and my god I was shocked beyond belief. The whole car was shaking as if there was an earthquake underneath me. The normally rock solid steering wheel was vibrating in my hands, the seats suddenly got massaging function in them.

I rushed to call the technician and told them this and the reply I got was that "Its alright the car is just cold and vibrations are inherent in a 3 cylinder car". I just wanted to punch him in the face but since I couldn't I somehow convinced him the same. He got the message, said he will look into it and call me after two days.

Finally after two days the call came, the technician said the engine headers were faulty and needed to be replaced, cost is only Rs. 1.25 lakhs only but I needn't worry about it since it is covered under warranty. He said he will call me again the next day to confirm it and give the full details.

The next call came after a day and the guy said it is alright , the engine headers needn't be replaced, it was just a case of repositioning the mounts. By this time I had lost the whatever little faith I had in these morons.

Went to pick up the car that day. The vibrations were all gone and I drove back home. But as is the norm with Marikar the problem resurfaced within weeks. The car didn't vibrate as much as it did the first time, but something was definitely wrong, there still was quite a lot of vibrations on idle.

Finally got it fixed from German Tech. Seems the gearbox mount was not installed properly. Mind you German tech is in Kottayam which is 100 kilometers from where I live, damn it.

Then I came to know of Vision Skoda in thrissur and my god what a relief. These guys are in infinitely better than Marikar starting all the way from the security guard at the gates.

Got the seat support structure replacement and first service done from there. It took them just a single day to do it whereas even after 5 months Marikar still didn't have the seat support structures in stock! Shocking indeed.

f) Then there were two other problems which wasn't the car's fault.
One was the bent front left side alloy wheel. Other was the heart wrenching mis-fueling incident where the idiot at the pump put 27 litres of diesel in my petrol Fabia after quite specifically been told by me to put only Rs 1500 worth of petrol.

All these happened within a period of exactly one year and combined this with the Vagtune experience drove me to sell this car and buy the GT TDI.

I still loved it though, it was quite handsome thing and was rock solid at highway speeds. The car even though underpowered had bucket loads of character and the gearshift is to die for. Sometimes I really do miss it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chitta Pradhan View Post
But I felt that it was less noisy than it was at the time of it's launch. Volkswagon has done some thing to this IMO. What's your experience
The excessive noise is the only gripe I have about this motor. Its so loud I can hear it when I am in the bathroom inside my house.
You simply have to hand it to Hyundai for making their engine so refined and quiet. I did have the pleasant experience of test driving the I20 and compared to the Polo it purred like a kitten, and also it does have more turbo lag so when the turbos do come on, it gives you more of a shock. I liked it a lot.

I am guessing the 1.6 in the verna is just as refined as in the I20. VW can clearly take some notes down from hyundai in terms of refinement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Congrats on the GT TDI busy. Wish you lot of happy miles and trouble-free ownership.

Since Fabia and Polo come from the same family, hope this car doesn't let you down like the Skoda did. We all are curious to know what went wrong with the Fabia that made you get rid of it in 1 year (too short a time).

I was to in love with it and gad almost paid the amount but cancelled it due to dealer + sales guys arrogant attitude. Did try and contact their seniors but they turned a blind eye so picked up a Maruti Suzuki Swift ZDi. VW's loss and Maruti's gain.

Congratulations once again!

PS: Need more pictures of the car.

Anurag.
Thanks again.
I too am hoping for a better ownership experience this time. Somehow I just don't trust these Europeans anymore.

The Fabia was such a far cry from the 2005 Honda city zxi ownership which lasted 7 years and 75000 kilometers. Not even a switch went wrong in that car and when the time came to sell it, it still had more resale value than my 1 year old Fabia.

The now sent off Troublemaker
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Last edited by Rehaan : 8th April 2014 at 18:20. Reason: Removing 3rd smiley. Thanks.
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Old 7th April 2014, 12:24   #10
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Default re: VW Polo GT TDI - My second chance

Nakula, first off congratulations!

I am sure unlike the Fabia you had before, the GT will be with you in the course of time, in your unforeseen trips and adventures to several places. I am sure you have an idea about the reputation of the after sales support of Skoda and VW cars in the country and thus, we ought to treat the car properly. Ensure that she is serviced at the right time and interval, the engine oil and coolant levels are checked (and topped up if need be) regularly and lastly, the stock cables are not spliced or messed with (this is a sure shot way of messing around with the warranty and VW denying the support later on). And the good thing being down south is, you have Vagtune and Pete’s to take care of all your modifications.

Please post some more snaps of your ride inside out. And drive safe! You surely do not want to get pulled over by Rishiraj Singh’s men!
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Old 7th April 2014, 12:24   #11
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@nakul:
Sorry to read through your fabia story. I guess you got your fabia at the end of Marikkars' saga with Skoda, and hence the more than usual delay in procuring spares and the bad experience that you had to undergo.

I drive a 5 year old fabia1.2 htp, which has crossed 20k only this month. It is lovely to drive and so far no major breakdowns.
I wish you many happy miles with your GT TDI. May your experience be infinitelybetter with the Polo.

I wish to know more about Vagtune, with whom I have communicated regarding a stereo and steering wheel(multi function) up grade . Since you've mentioned their services as being less than satisfactory, I would like to know in detail, if you don't mind sharing on this forum. Many others have written positively about Vagtune on tbhp.

Regards
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Old 7th April 2014, 16:25   #12
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Reading through your review reminded me of my experience a year ago. Good decision to sell it off and move on. Congrats on the GT TDI! It combines power and efficiency like no other car in the segment.

I hope Polo keeps you happy. Goodluck!

Any reason you decided to not wait for the 1.5tdi ? Its speculated to have the same power as the outgoing 1.6tdi
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Old 7th April 2014, 16:26   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post

Thanks again.
I too am hoping for a better ownership experience this time. Somehow I just don't trust these Europeans anymore.
Hey nakul0888, Congrats on your latest acquisition. Probably one of the best hatch (diesel) ever in Indian automobile lineage.

I have been pondering over the thought of buying the GT TDI but just not able to convince myself on 2 main things, Interior Space and After Sale Support.

I currently drive a Getz. I have been in a Fabia and it really feels more spacious than Getz. So, how are you (or your family) coping with Polo. I have sat in a Polo and it really is very badly designed w.r.t ergonomics. IMHO only 3 adults can sit if someone adopts my driving style seating.

A.S.S is probably too early but have U had any niggles so far in your GT, like the ones you faced on your brand new Fab ?

Appreciate your thoughts and wishing you many more happy mile crunching, compared to your earlier stead.

Last edited by aah78 : 7th April 2014 at 19:55. Reason: Spell-check.
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Old 7th April 2014, 16:34   #14
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Any reason you decided to not wait for the 1.5tdi ? Its speculated to have the same power as the outgoing 1.6tdi
Well it was quite simple really, the Fabia was depreciating like a falling stone. The longer I keep it , more the losses I have to bear. So I thought it was for the best to sell it off soon and get the Polo in exchange.

@Gannu 1: Thanks for the tip bro.

Ha ha, yeah I will be on the lookout for them cops but then again things are easier now since they finally raised the speed limit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Hey nakul0888, Congrats on your latest acquisition. Probably one of the best hatch (diesel) ever in Indian automobile lineage.

I have been pondering over the thought of buying the GT TDI but just not able to convince myself on 2 main things, Interior Space and After Sale Support.

I currently drive a Getz. I have been in a Fabia and it really feels more spacious than Getz. So, how are you (or your family) coping with Polo. I have sat in a Polo and it really is very badly designed w.r.t ergonomics. IMHO only 3 adults can sit if some1 adopts my driving style seating.

A.S.S is probably too early but have U had any niggles so far in your GT, like the ones you faced on your brank new Fab ?

Appreciate your thoughts and wishing you many more happy mile crunching, compared to your earlier stead.
Nope no niggles as of yet. Its too early to say anything. Its just over a month old.

Yes the polo is cramped inside. It is noticeably less spacious than an I20 or a Fabia. The controls will become intuitive once you get used to it.

A.S.S will depend on the dealer. Hope that the dealer you are buying from
is good. Its a leap of faith with VW and Skoda

Yes buying a polo or a fabia does have its own risks. Sensible option for you will be the I20. But then again if you go for the i20 you will be missing out on the driving dynamic front. It is basically a heart vs head decision.

Wish you good luck with your decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnpai View Post
@nakul:
Sorry to read through your fabia story. I guess you got your fabia at the end of Marikkars' saga with Skoda, and hence the more than usual delay in procuring spares and the bad experience that you had to undergo.

I drive a 5 year old fabia1.2 htp, which has crossed 20k only this month. It is lovely to drive and so far no major breakdowns.
I wish you many happy miles with your GT TDI. May your experience be infinitelybetter with the Polo.

I wish to know more about Vagtune, with whom I have communicated regarding a stereo and steering wheel(multi function) up grade . Since you've mentioned their services as being less than satisfactory, I would like to know in detail, if you don't mind sharing on this forum. Many others have written positively about Vagtune on tbhp.

Regards
Wow, only 20k in 5 years! And I thought I had low usage.

I will be writing about my Vagtune experience soon.

Thanks for your concern, and wish you all the best for your Tank on wheels.

Last edited by Jaggu : 7th April 2014 at 17:58.
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Old 8th April 2014, 00:01   #15
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Thumbs up re: VW Polo GT TDI - My second chance

Congrats on your new car, and ouch!! Your Fabia had too many problems, glad that you were able to dispose it off before it became a pain to maintain. The Polo is a good car, but I only wish that the VAG group provides more better after sales support to their cars. Did you consider only hatchbacks while buying or did you consider any other sedans too? All the best with your new car and enjoy the nice combo of an auto box with a diesel engine.

P.S: Did you flinch even for a second, when considering another car from the same (parent) company, that had given you an earlier car with lots of problems?
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