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Old 12th October 2015, 05:59   #1
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Default Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!

On October 2nd, Gandhi Jeyanthi, a Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi joined the Jetta in the garage.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-side.jpg

What I like in the car:
  • That understated look. Have always admired Polos on the road for this look
  • 105hp, 175Nm turbo petrol engine
  • Smooth 7 speed DSG gearbox
  • Loaded with safety features – 2 airbags, ESP, EBD and Hill hold function

What I don’t like:
  • Weak head lights. I find it difficult during night time with the oncoming high beams
  • Rear drum-brakes. For the power the car puts on the wheels, rear brakes should have been discs.
  • Non existent rear leg room. Even my 6 year old daughter complains when I have the driver seat fully pushed back
  • Very light steering.
  • The unreliable DQ200. Though most of the failures in the gearbox have been addressed, still I see many users complaining of the jerk from D3 to D2 and a couple of instances of mechatronics replacements.

My Upgrade Wishlist:
  • All black artificial leather upholstery: With the full black interiors, a full black upholstery will totally transform the car
  • Tire upgrade to 205/55/r15: With so much power, the car needs wider rubber
  • Center arm rest: Spoilt by the Jetta, sorely missing it in the Polo
  • Auto light switch: Another Jetta habit, I keep forgetting to switch off the lights before getting out of the car. This results in parking lights staying on. One of these days, this is going to drain the battery overnight.
  • HU upgrade: The stock RCD320, though has a decent sound quality, has a spartan user interface. I would like to upgrade to either RCD510 (like Gannu has done) or to an android HU with navigation reverse camera etc (like frankmehta has done)
  • GTI headlights with Xenons and DRLs: The stock headlights are very weak and definitely need an upgrade for night drives. This is going to be an expensive affair and hence will be done at a very later date. For the interim, I will take inputs from fellow owners and upgrade the bulb.
  • Auto dimming IRVM
  • Steering with paddle shifts: During overtaking maneuvers, in D mode, even if the pedal is floored, the car takes its own sweet time to downshift (at least a couple of seconds). A paddle would come handy under these situations and also while driving in twisties. Many owners have changed to GTI steering wheel. However, the one concern I have with steering wheel change is the doubt with the airbag. As there is no guarantee that the airbag mechanism would work in the replacement wheels (for that matter there is no guarantee with the OEM airbag as well), this change would be the last in my priority list.

I have divided this into 4 parts. Please skip to the desired part depending upon your level of patience and the time you have at hand.

Part-1: Decision to add a 2nd car – Test drive of various cars and booking of Celerio

Part-2: Wait for Celerio, discussions on safety, cancellation of Celerio, booking of Polo GT TSi and VW dieselgate

Part-3: Taking delivery, tire upgrade and artificial leather upholstery

Part-4 and Beyond: Exteriors, Interiors, Driving Experience etc


Summary:

Car Buying Process:
I started with a budget of 5 lakhs for an automatic petrol car and ended up with a Polo GT TSi. The main reason for this is the lack of safety features in small cars in general and automatic cars in particular. Maruti has the Zxi(O) variant that comes with 2 airbags and ABS only in manual version, but not in automatic. Hyundai provides all the safety features in the highest trim of their manual Grand i10, but not in automatic. I still believe changes are happening in the right direction. Compared to a couple of years back, manufacturers have started giving safety equipment at least in select trims. I think the day is not far off when every car that is being put on the road, irrespective of the size or variant will get standard safety equipment.

How the Polo GT TSi has evolved:
The GT TSi available today has lots of changes compared to the first version released in April 2013, many good and some bad. The changes have happened over many iterations and I do not know when each of these changed.
  • The MFD has changed from orange to white
  • Cluster staging of the instrument cluster is enabled by default. In earlier generations members used to enable this using VCDS
  • Dead pedal has been added
  • Flat bottom steering wheel with thumb contours
  • Head lamp assembly changed to double barrel with independent low and high beam lights
  • Biege and Black color on interiors has changed to full black
  • Front grill design
  • Cruise control has been added
  • The GT badging on the front grill has moved from right to left
  • Electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs have been added
  • Leather wrap on the hand brake removed
  • Spare wheel has been downgraded from full size alloy to 175/65/R14 steel. This is the worst downgrade
Disclaimers:
  • As my writing skills are limited to writing technical articles, this is going to be more like reading a technical write-up.
  • I am always inspired with the details that go into official review threads and try to follow the same theme in my ownership review threads as well. Because of this many of the interior photos would look like a copy from the official review thread (and also from Gannu's thread which is almost same as an official review thread). Please bear with me on this duplication.

Credits:
I would like to thank all TBHP members who have helped me a lot during this long decision making and buying process: Grand Drive, IshaanIan, Gannu_1, Suhaas307, H_Dogg72, d_himan, frankmehta, drpudhi, itwasntme, tbppjpr, The Saint, freedom

Other References:

There are many fantastic Polo GT TSi ownership threads in TBHP, tastefully written and with loads of information on modifications. Here are a few of them.
TBHP’s official review thread (Volkswagen Polo 1.2L GT TSI : Official Review): I have lost count on the number of times I have read this thread – just to drool over the car in earlier days , and for information during my decision process. I will be using the official review thread structure as a guide for my thread as well.

Gannu’s ownership thread – The bible of all DIY threads. Looking for a DIY on your TSi? This is the thread you have to read. Though his is a GT TDi, as GT TSi and GT TDi are cousins, most if not all of the mods he has done will apply to TSi as well.

Robi Mahanta’s thread (VW Polo GT 1.2L TSi: The baby TSi) - I guess this was the first ownership thread on Polo GT TSi with tasteful mods and lots of details on VCDS

The Saint’s thread (My VW Polo GT TSI - Modified) - A totally transformed GT TSi

Frankmehta’s thread (Frankmehta's VW Polo GT TSI!) - Recent ownership thread, tastefully written with loads of modifications

Last edited by graaja : 13th October 2015 at 05:52.
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Old 12th October 2015, 06:08   #2
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Default Re: Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi Comes Home

Part-1 Need for 2nd car, test drives and booking of Celerio

It all started 4 months back, when I started thinking of adding a 2nd car to the garage. There were many reasons that prompted this. Our second mode of transport was a Hero Honda Pleasure. However, in the last one year, I have been seeing the roads getting more and more unsafe for two-wheelers. In the space of 6 months, I saw three of my friends getting severely injured in two-wheeler accidents. Seeing those college kids zig-zagging at high speed through traffic sends shivers through my spine. So, I thought a car would be a safer mode of transport in today’s crazy traffic. Also, taking the Jetta in the congested streets of Coimbatore (like cross cut road, oppanakkara street) was becoming painful and I thought a small car would be a boon.

As the usage would be very less, I did not want to spend too much on the 2nd car and hence set a budget of 5 Lakhs. Following were the criteria I started with:
  • A small car or at the most a hatchback
  • A petrol car
  • Automatic transmission
  • Budget of 5 lakhs, can be extended to 6 lakhs

A note about safety features: At the time I started looking for the 2nd car, I was only looking for a city run-about car. Though I would have loved to have safety features like ABS and airbags, there was no choice. There were no small automatic cars that had these safety features. So, I had to compromise and decided to buy a car that had good brakes at least. I sincerely hope the scenario changes and 3 years down the line every car – small or big, lowest or highest trim – comes with ABS and 2 airbags as standard. Had this been the case, I may be driving a Nano instead of a Polo TSi.

With these requirements, I started the test drives.

Tata Nano:

Exactly at this time, the new generation Tata Nano was revealed with AMT. I thought Nano would be the best run about car and went for a test drive. As the AMT version was not yet released at that time, I took a test drive in the manual version.

What I liked:
Car looks really cute
Fantastic interior space with lots of legroom. By far, this was the car with the best interior space management.
Bluetooth audio and 4 speakers
Smallest foot print. Easy to park and also will save space in the portico
Cheapest of the cars selected. Expected on OTR price is 3.6L. Has an AMC scheme where paying about 3K will provide free consumables and service for 5 years. This makes it the cheapest to own as well.

What I did not like:
Engine has no power at all and struggles to reach even 60
Horrible NVH levels
Non-existent boot space
Very thin sheet metal body gives a very fragile build
No safety features like abs and airbags present in the car. Not even 3 point seat belts on the rear bench
Very weak brakes
Dashboard with center mounted instrumentation is totally odd.

Analysis:
For the wife, the noise inside the cabin was a total turn off. The doors were totally light and had that sheet metal feeling. The brakes were very weak and spongy. I confirmed this with other Nano users and members who took test drive of the car. With lack of all other safety features, a weak brake is very bad. The engine lacks power completely. This car has to be considered only if there is 0% chance of taking it on the highway. On the positive side, this car will be the lightest on the pocket.

Maruti Alto K10 AMT Vxi

What I liked:
Powerful and peppy engine
AMT in manual mode is fun to drive. In auto mode, AMT is a bit slow, but it is not very noticeable.
Interior quality a couple of notches above Nano
Rear bench gets 3 point seatbelts
Has a 210L boot which is very practical for this size of car.

What I did not like:
Safety features like ABS and airbags are not provided.
Rear space legroom is non-existent.
Even in the driver seat, there is a claustrophobic feeling. The legs feel cramped in the driver’s footwell.

Analysis:
Compared to Nano, the build feels better. The interiors are of a higher quality. But the car still lacks safety features like ABS or airbags. The rear legroom is awful. It is strictly a 2 seater car. Again with the lack of safety features, this can be considered only if there is 0% chance of taking it to the highway.

Maruti Celerio AMT Vxi

I also test drove the Celerio at this time. The only difference between the Celerio and the Alto was better interior space. This car did not have the claustrophobic feeling felt inside the Alto.

As the test drives were happening, I started thinking if I was right in thinking that the 2nd car would never see the highway. One never knows what chance may put you on the highway in the car, and that is when safety features become a must. So, the requirements list got updated:
  • A small car or at the most a hatchback
  • A petrol car
  • Automatic transmission
  • 2 airbags and ABS minimum
  • Budget of 7.5 lakhs, can be extended to 8 lakhs

With this budget extension, the net widened to Grand i10, Brio, and Micra CVT. Test drove these cars and below is the test drive experience.

Grand i10 Automatic

What I liked:
High quality interiors
Fully loaded with features – keyless entry and start stop button, Bluetooth, power windows, electrically foldable mirrors, rear AC vents
Decent boot space
AT gear box has manual mode which is good for some spirited driving
Gear shifts are smooth

What I did not like:
Feels very sluggish and under-powered
No safety features like ABS and airbags
Outdated 4 speed gearbox

Analysis:
Of the three cars (Grand i10, Brio and Micra), Grand i10 feels like a jack of all. In terms of ride, the engine is not peppy as Brio. Though in manual mode, one can extract some fun, it is not much compared to the rev-happy Brio. Though it is fully loaded like Micra, it loses out on the ABS and airbags.

Nissan Micra

What I liked:
Very smooth CVT engine
Very spacious interiors
High quality premium looking interiors
Solid build – doors and bonnet feel quite strong
Good acceleration below speeds of 70kph
Automatic climate control
Bluetooth telephony with steering mounted controls
Auto folding mirrors
Well put together center console

What I did not like:
CVT rubber banding effect. Overtaking should be very well planned.
Beyond 70 or 80kph, engine noise is present
Not stable as Brio in corners

Analysis:
For city drive this car is the best choice. For speeds below 60kph, the CVT gearbox is very smooth and provides linear power and acceleration. The car is also loaded with creature comforts and feels up market inside. If the car has to be taken to the highway, spirited driving is not possible. On highways, it will be good for sedate driving in 80 to 100 speeds, and no spirited driving and overtaking.

Honda Brio

What I liked:
Very peppy and rev-friendly engine
5 speed gear box is very smooth
Spacious interiors with ample legroom
Good high speed manners. It is relatively stable in corners at high speeds

What I did not like:
Boot space is non existent
The loading lip of the boot is very high, making the boot feel like a well
Accessing the spare wheels from the boot is also a difficult job, as it is buried deep inside the well
Very Spartan looking center console
Manual AC
Most of the rear is glass which makes it unsafe. Though the SA demonstrated the strength by banging the boot shut with so much force my teeth rattled, I still was not sure about what would happen if the car was rear-ended.

Analysis:
Of the three cars (Grand i10, Micra and Brio), this is the car which is the most “Fun to Drive”. The engine is very rev-friendly. The car is quite stable in corners with no body roll. However, the interiors feel very bare bone. The center console with the music system angled towards to the passenger and not centered looks quite odd (the same way as in City). No bluetooth functionality. AC is manual. If the car is going to be primarily used in highways, then this should be the choice. Otherwise, for city driving, this car has more cons than pros.

Final Analysis:
The cars can be classified into two groups. Tata Nano GenX AMT and Alto K10 AMT in one group, and Grand i10, Brio and Micra in the other group. Celerio falls in between. With an OTR of 5.5 Lakhs, the car has the same engine of K10, but spacious interiors of the later group. But with no safety features whatsoever, I did not consider Celerio.

During this process member ”Grand Drive” suggested to have a look at the Polo TSi as well. However, as it was a stretch of 2 more lakhs, though this was my dream car, I had to drop this off my list.

If I consider only city driving, then Nano is the best choice. The lack of power of the engine does not matter for city speeds less than 50kph. The NVH levels do not matter for very short trips of less than 10km. Paying a premium of 1.5L for the K10 only for peppy engine does not make sense. If I decide I want good performance as well and choose to increase the budget to 5L, then the lack of safety features becomes a deterrent, and I have to move further up one segment to cars with safety features. This brings me to the 2nd group. In this group, I will straightaway eliminate i10, as it does not have any safety features. The choice is between Brio and Micra. As Jetta is the primary car which will be used for highway drives, the 2nd car will not see much highway activity except for those times when the Jetta has to visit the workshop for the annual maintenance. The only advantage Brio offers is the peppy engine which is more suited for highway driving, and at the same time Brio lacks features. So, Micra becomes the choice in the 2nd group. Finally, it is a choice of “all or none” between Nano GenX AMT and Nissan Micra.

I decided to go for the Micra. But at this time I started reading about Nissan showrooms closing down and about the questionable after sales support. After one month and test driving 6 cars, I was back to square one.

So, I just shelved the idea of the second car for some time.

In a couple of weeks’ time, Maruti released the Celerio ZXi variant in AMT. Though this did not have ABS or passenger airbag, the car had the same engine as K10, had very good interior space as well. I thought it was a good compromise and the only logical choice. So, I went ahead and booked a silver Celerio Zxi AMT on July 29th.

Last edited by graaja : 13th October 2015 at 06:04.
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Old 12th October 2015, 06:23   #3
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Default Re: Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi Comes Home

Part-2 Wait for Celerio, Safety Concerns, Booking of Polo GT TSi and Dieselgate Scam

At the time of booking the Celerio, the SA had promised 4 weeks delivery time. But just a week after booking, he changed his tune and started telling Celerio Zxi has very low production and will take 6 weeks. 6 weeks passed and no news of the car yet. I sent a mail to Maruti and got a reply it may be another 4 weeks by the time the car was available.

Exactly at this time, the thread about Grand i10 failing NCAP tests came up and there were lots of discussions on importance of safety and the lack of these features in Indian cars.

Grand i10 Fails NCAP Tests (India-made Hyundai Grand i10 fails Latin NCAP crash test)

Also, while reading this thread, I understood some important points about safety in cars.
  • Even if a car has airbag(s), if it lacks structural strength, the airbag(s) are of no use.
  • The thought about ABS not required for in-city driving is incorrect. Even in cities, we do speeds upto 60kph on 4 lane roads, and if there is gravel on the road, or if there is rain, ABS becomes necessary for emergency braking.

I started doubting my decision to go with Celerio. Though the car had a driver side airbag, there was absolutely no guarantee about the structural strength. I saw a couple of videos of NCAP tests on Maruti Suzuki Swift European and Indian versions and how bad the Indian version’s structural strength was.

At this time, there was also another thread with news that Indian Government was going to make crash tests mandatory for cars from 2017.

As I was planning to keep the car for 7 years, I felt in 2 years time, all new cars will have basic safety features and I will be forced to continue with a car that does not have these safety features.

The long waiting period of Celerio gave me lot of time to think. If I wanted an automatic car with full safety features, I will have to extend my budget by another 3.5 to 4 lakhs beyond Celerio's price. Though this absolutely doesn't make sense financially, I simply could not compromise on safety. This brought two more cars into the net – Honda Jazz CVT and the Polo GT TSi.

I visited the Honda showroom to look at the Jazz. To my surprise, the SA was trying to discourage me from buying a Jazz. He said Jazz has a waiting period of 8 weeks and would be too big for my wife. He was trying to sell the Brio instead. He did not even show me the Jazz or offer a test drive. My whole visit to the showroom lasted all of 5 minutes. I bade good bye to the SA and came home.

I then called VW and asked for a test drive of the Polo. The SA brought the test drive car the next day and I took a long test drive.

The highest risk in Polo GT Tsi is the unreliable DQ200 DSG. I had done lots of research on the DQ200 during my Jetta purchase (had booked the Octavia 1.8TSi and later got the Jetta). I knew that cars before 2012 had lots of trouble with DQ200, and VW had fixed almost all the problems and DQ200 issues are very rare of late. Still I had read comments from many Polo TSi and Vento TSi owners about the jerk felt when the car downshifted from D3 to D2.

During my test drive, I tried to simulate all possible driving conditions and did observe the jerk from D3 to D2. To me, it felt like engine braking when one downshifts to a lower gear (like 1st or 2nd) and releases the throttle. It was not very serious and I decided I could live with this.

And finally, this sealed the decision.


I paid the booking amount of 50K on 19th September 2015. At the time of booking, I was told that the usual waiting time was 8 weeks. But the dealership has been allocated a Carbon Steel Grey Polo TSi by the factory, but they did not have any orders for C.S.Grey. All their orders were mostly white and a few red. And hence they can allocate this car to me with tentative delivery by end of September or first week of October.

The problems were not yet over. The same day I booked the Polo GT TSi, a new shocker of a news came out – VW’s cheat software in diesel cars that cheated emission tests. I saw this thread after I released the booking amount. In the coming days this scandal blew up to huge proportions and this gave me sleepless nights again.

The problem was looking so big that VW lost more than $25 billion, 30% of their market cap. There were also rumours that this could be the end of VW. Forget about my 18 months old Jetta, here I was, buying another VW car. So many questions were running in my mind – what happens if VW closes shop, what would be the service support, what would happen to the resale value of the car???? At the same time, once I decided to buy a Polo, buying any other car would be steep downgrade!!! As there was one week for the car to arrive, I decided to wait and watch. During the course of the week, VW CEO Winterkorn resigned and they brought in Mueller as the chief. Also I read many articles that VW was too big to just fold and die. They had $24 billion in cash reserve and they will do their best to get out of the situation, even though it would take years to recover. After analyzing all these facts, I decided to take a risk and bet on VW – after all we take risks every day in our life, and take delivery of the Polo TSi.

On 26th September, the car reached the dealer’s yard. I asked for the VIN number and on decoding the VIN, confirmed that this was a September 2015 manufactured and has all the new features like cruise control, foldable ORVM with integrated turn indicators etc. My wife said the delivery can be taken only on 2nd October. Got the payment formalities completed on 28th September and confirmed a delivery date of 2nd October.

Last edited by graaja : 13th October 2015 at 15:31.
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Old 12th October 2015, 08:22   #4
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Default Re: Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi Comes Home

Part-3: Bringing Home the Polo TSi, Tire Upgrade and Artifical Leather Upholstery


We reached the dealer at 9AM on 2nd October. There is not much to write about dealership experience. As it was a holiday (Gandhi Jeyanthi) only my SA was there to hand over the car – no fanfares or confetti this time as I got for the Jetta. After checking the papers, and doing a final inspection, the SA handed over the key to my wife.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-getting-keys.jpg

We then took the car to the nearby Saibaba temple for the customary Puja.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-puja.jpg

And then the Polo joined the Jetta on the portico.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-jetta-gets-younger-brother.jpg

On a side note, the very next day, the Jetta threw a tantrum (similar to children throwing a tantrum on the arrival of a new baby) and would not start. Turned out to be battery gone kaput. Had to send it to the workshop for a couple of days to get the battery replaced under warranty.

Tire Upgrade:

As I thought 185/60 tires were too small for the power the car was putting on the wheels, and due to rear drum brakes, and as the original tires were Apollos which were considered to be average, I wanted to upgrade the tires. After members The Saint, freedom, drpudhi, and H_Dogg72 confirmed that an upgrade would be preferred, and after reading through the Polo Tire Upgrade Thread, I found that 205/55 Yokohama S Drives and 195/60 Michelin P3ST were the tires of choice for most of the members. I needed a tire that provided a blend of comfort, silence and performance (grip, braking distance etc). However Yokohoma S Drives were purely performance oriented and the feedback was that they would be a little harsh and noisy.

Then moderator Suhaas suggested 205/55/R15 Continental MC5 which were a good balance of comfort and performance. Got the Apollo tires changed to 205/55/R15 Continental MC5s. The dealer took back the Apollos 2.5K apiece, the MC5s cost 6.4K each and I had to pay a difference of 4.4K per tire. On the comfort side, the MC5s are absolutely silent. Add to this the refined 1.2TSi, sometimes on smooth roads, it feels like driving a battery powered car. I am yet to test the performance part as I have not taken the car on highways or thrown it around corners etc.

The car looks awesome with the wider tires.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-front-three-quarter-wheels-out.jpg

Artificial Leather Upholstery:

The next upgrade was changing the fabric dual tone seats to artificial leather. I live in Coimbatore. Everyone was telling me Koyas was the best for upholstery. So, I visited them and they quoted 14K for artificial leather upholstery, which I felt was a little on the higher side. Though everyone vouched for the quality, I felt they were charging a premium for the brand as well.

Then a senior executive at VW dealership suggested Sun Enterprises. I went there and they quoted 8.5K. They also gave me a tour of their facilities and explained all the finer details of how they make the covers etc. Also, there were about 20 cars undergoing various interior work and I found the quality of workmanship to be quite good.

The service representative was very knowledgeable and said that for a sporty look he will get a double stitch with silver thread. So I left the car at 4PM with instructions to fit full black artificial leather with silver thread double stitch theme. I just told him not to overdo the double stitch them that it looks messy. I also opted for full PVC mat for ease of maintenance. Got the car delivered the same day evening at 8PM. I must say I am pretty impressed with the quality and finish. I would any day recommend them for upholstery work.

With the full black seat covers, the interior is totally transformed and looks very sporty.

The front seat. With the addition of the cover, the seat feels more plush and offers better support.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-front-seat.jpg

The back bench.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-rear-seat.jpg

Chose the art leather grain to almost match the grains of the interiors plastic.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-leather.jpg

It was a pleasant surprise that the silver thread double stitch theme matched with the leather wrap on the gear stick as well.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-gear-stick-stitching.jpg

I feel I should have got a similar cover for the hand brake lever as well. I have ordered a GTI center armrest with bottle holder. Once I fix this, I plan to take the car back to get the same cover for the armrest. I will get a cover for the hand brake lever as well.

Last edited by graaja : 13th October 2015 at 11:13.
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Old 12th October 2015, 10:39   #5
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Default Re: Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi Comes Home

Exteriors

I have always been an admirer of the understated look of the Polo and never missed giving a second look when I see a Polo on the road. I love the way the car looks in Carbon Steel Grey. I will let the pictures do the talking.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-side.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-right-three-quarter.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-rear.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-left-three-quarter.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-front-three-quarter.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-front.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-front-2.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-gt.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-orvm.jpg

Water spray for the windshield wiper. There are two of these hidden under the bonnet.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-windshield-washer.jpg

The water spray for the rear windshield wiper is cleverly camouflaged in the brake light located on the rear spoiler.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-windshield-washer-rear.jpg

The fuel tank lid. Clearly marked "Petrol"
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-petrol.jpg

Inside the lid. Details of RON rating of petrol to be used and recommended tire pressures for light and full loads.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-petrol-pressures.jpg

The odd GT TSI sticker on the C pillar. It's there on the other side as well. Before delivery I had asked the SA to remove all stickers including dealer's stickers. The SA agreed to remove all the dealer related stickers, but was not ready to remove these stickers. Will get this removed sometime soon.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-gt-tsi-stickers.jpg

Last edited by graaja : 12th October 2015 at 18:24.
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Old 12th October 2015, 14:07   #6
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Default Re: Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi Comes Home

Interiors

The moment you step inside the car, there is this premium feel. Be it the center console with the center AC vents, button array, HU, ACC control, or the neatly laid instrument cluster, everything is well laid out and symmetrical. Nothing looks out of place or an afterthought. The center instrument console is slightly curved towards the driver side making it convenient to access the controls. The center console, AC vents and the steering wheel all get piano finish inserts that provides a rich look - this could be a maintenance nightmare though.

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-interior-front.jpg

The cockpit. That premium feel again. The scooped out seats offer great support. Driver seat gets height adjustment. This is very useful for my wife who requires a high driving position with a good view of the road.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-cockpit.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-gear-stick-hand-brake-lever.jpg

Well laid out and symmetrical center console.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-center-console.jpg

Rear bench.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-rear-seats.jpg

AC vents get piano black lining. This is the driver side AC vent. There is a similar one on the passenger side and two of them in the center console.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-ac-vent-side.jpg

The DSG gear stick. There are a couple of cup holders ahead of the gear stick. But for all practical purposes, these are useless as cup holders. You could place other items like cell phone, coins, toll receipts etc.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-dsg-gear-stick.jpg

Hand brake lever. Cost cutting again. Somewhere down the line, VW removed the leather wrap for the lever. The whole assembly feels very plastic.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-brake-lever.jpg

Spacious driver side foot well with well spaced pedals and dead pedal to rest the left leg. Pedals are the sporty types.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-footwell-1.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-footwell-2.jpg

Non-existent rear leg room. With the driver seat pushed back to my 5'11.5" frame, even my 6 year old daughter complains she does not have enough leg room.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-rear-leg-room.jpg

Last edited by graaja : 13th October 2015 at 10:59.
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Old 12th October 2015, 14:48   #7
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Default Re: Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi Comes Home

Steering Wheel and Other Controls

The leather wrapped flat bottom steering wheel with thumb contours is a joy to hold. The steering wheel controls and stalks are easy to use and well laid out again.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-steering-wheel.jpg

This lever is used to adjust tilt and reach of the steering wheel.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-steering-adjustment.jpg

The right side control.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-steering-control-2.jpg
The Up and Down keys, and the right and left brushed aluminium keys can be used to scroll through various pages in the MFD. The phone button is used to connect and disconnect to phone calls. The OK button is used to toggle the MFD screens and to reset parameters. For example, when the MFD is displaying average fuel consumption, the briefly pressing the OK button toggles between average fuel consumption for the current trip, and the average fuel consumption since last reset. Continuous press of the OK button resets the parameter. I guess the key with the human head icon is voice control. Not sure what this does or even if this is active in the TSi.

The left side control.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-steering-control-3.jpg
The + and - buttons are used to increase and decrease the volume. The next and previous buttons on the brushed aluminium piece are used to select previous and next tracks or to tune the radio. The center button as it shows is to mute the audio.

The cruise control / indicator stalk.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-steering-control-1.jpg
The switch on the top of the stalk (ON-CANCEL-OFF) is used for cruise control. To enable cruise control, this switch should first be moved to ON position. Now press the SET button at any speed above 20kph, and the car enters cruise control. Now you can take your foot off the accelerator and the car will maintain the same speed. While in cruise control mode, to get out of cruise control, either press the brake pedal or flip the switch on the top side to CANCEL. To resume cruise control at the last set speed press the RES button. The RES and SET buttons also have another function. While in cruise mode, these can be used to increase or decrease the key. For example, if you are cruising at 80kph, pressing the RES key 5 times will increase the speed to 85kph, and pressing the SET key 5 times will reduce the speed to 75kph - like you would use the volume control buttons in a TV.

The stalk also controls the indicators. Tapping the indicator stalk up or down activates lane change indicator where the right or left indicator flashes three times. Pressing the stalk till it clicks activates the indicators permanently and turns off the indicator when the steering wheel is straightened. The stalk also controls the head light. Pulling the stalk towards yourself flashes the high beam. Pushing it away turns on the high beam. Mid position is low beam.

The right side stalk controls windshield wiper/washer.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-steering-control-4.jpg
Pulling the stalk towards yourself activates the front windshield washer spray and pushing it away activates the rear washer. Pushing it down activates the wiper once. Pushit it one position up activates the variable speed wiper. The speed can be set using the small button on the top of the stalk. Pushing it further up results in faster wiper action.

The headlight control.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-head-light-switch.jpg
At position "0" all lights are off. Turning it clockwise once turns on the parking lights. Turning it clockwise twice activates the head lights. In this position, pulling the complete switch towards yourself results in fog lights turning on. Turning it onc step anticlockwise from position "0" turns on the fog lamps. Remember to turn off the light switching before getting of the car. If the switch is left in "ON" position, even if you switch off the car, the parking lights remain on. If unnoticed, this could drain the battery.

Below diagram shows the headlight assembly.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-light-assembly.jpg
The headlight has two independent lamps for low and high beam. In high beam both the lights are on. Then there are the parking and indicator lights. The fog lamp also acts as cornering lamp. While the fog lamps are off, turning the steering right results in the right fog lamp getting activated and vice versa. However, I do not find this very effective. The fog lamps do not have the angle to effectively illuminate the sides.

Window controls. All windows get one touch up and down with pinch protection.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-window-controls-1.jpg

ORVM control. This is used to both adjust and fold the ORVMs. The switch feels a little fragile.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-window-controls-2.jpg

The ACC controls. The knob on the right controls the temperature and the left one controls the blower speed. The buttons below control various modes like circulation on, direction of air flow, defogging etc.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-acc-control.jpg

Last edited by graaja : 12th October 2015 at 22:19.
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Old 12th October 2015, 15:25   #8
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Default Re: Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi Comes Home

Storage and Utility

Driver and passenger side doors get bottle holders that can hold 1 liter bottles. Rear doors get smaller holders (did not take photos of the rear ones).
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-door-pocket.jpg
One thing that irritates me the most is that these bottle holders are shallow and wide, and the bottles move around a lot. I normally use stainless steel bottles and once the water level goes down, these bottles move around a lot inside the holder and create a lot of rattle. Need to figure out a solution to this.

Also, when the glove box is opened, it fouls with the bottle on the passenger side door. Another irritant.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-door-pocket-2.jpg

The glove box is quite deep and reasonably spacious.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-glove-box-1.jpg

No interior lighting for the glove box though. Check out below link for Gannu's DIY instructions for an illuminated glove box.
VW Polo DIY: Adding a Lamp to the Glove Box

There are two dummy openings in the glove box. I guess these could be used to fix USB socket or MDI sockets that connect to the music system (not the stock music system).
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-glove-box-2.jpg

The glove box cooling vent.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-glove-box-3.jpg

Two cup holders ahead of the gear stick. For all practical purposes, these are useless to hold any cups as access is very cramped. IMO, these holders would have been more useful behind the gear stick. There is a 12V socket and another cubby hole where you can place a cell phone.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-cup-holders.jpg

The center console between the seats has some shallow slots. They are good to store those lose coins, cell phones etc. But none of them are big enough to be of any meaningful use.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-hand-brake-lever.jpg

Both the B pillars get a coat hook.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-coat-hook.jpg

Passenger gets a vanity mirror, but no lights.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-passenger-mirror.jpg

Driver does not even get a mirror, only a ticket holder.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-visor-driver.jpg

IRVM provides decent coverage. It would have been nice to have an auto dimming IRVM at this price point.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-rear-view-mirror.jpg

Boot is spacious. I could place a medium and a large suitcase and a laptop bag with ease. Should be good for the week end luggage.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-boot-1.jpg

Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-boot-2.jpg

Again, no illumination for the boot. Check out Gannu's below thread for DIY instructions for an illuminated boot.
VW Polo DIY: Adding a Boot Lamp

The spare wheel well.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-spare-wheel.jpg
Spare wheel is height of cost cutting. Forget alloys, it is steel, forget a 15" wheel, it is 14", forget 185 section tire, it is 175 section tire.

Tools are neatly packed in a styrofoam mold and held in place using a belt. No rattling sound from the wheel well.

Last edited by graaja : 12th October 2015 at 22:21.
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Old 12th October 2015, 16:07   #9
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Default Re: Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi Comes Home

Instrumentation, Backlighting and HU

The instrument cluster is neatly laid out.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-instrument-cluster.jpg
I like the red backlit needles, and the MID with white fonts. Many members including Robi and Gannu have changed to MaxiDot instrument cluster which is far advanced than the original one. If you are looking for more interesting instrument cluster, check out the following DIY link from Gannu's thread.

VW Polo DIY - Removing / Upgrading Instrument Cluster

There are two dedicated indicators for door open and boot open warnings.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-door-open-warning.jpg

A couple of pictures that show various MFD readings - I may have left out a few though. The MFD displays both outside temperature and engine temperature.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-mid1.jpg
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-mid2.jpg

A few pictures of night view of the instruments and backlit buttons.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-night-view-1.jpg
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-night-view-2.jpg
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-night-view-3.jpg
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-night-view-4.jpg
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-night-view-5.jpg
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-night-view-6.jpg
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-night-view-7.jpg

There is not much to say about the HU. This is the RCD320 system with SD card, Aux in, USB in and bluetooth telephony and music. The system comes with 4 speakers one in each of the doors. Some basic controls like volume, track and mute can be done through the controls on the steering wheel. I am not an audiophile and to me sound quality is decent. The mic for bluetooth telephone is on the left side of the unit. Because of this, the volume level is low for the person on the other side of the call. The mic should have been on the right side.

The user interface is very basic. For USB or SD card, you can browse folders and select tracks. There is no provision to make phone calls from the HU. A HU upgrade to RCD510 or an android system is on the cards in the future.

The radio.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-hu-radio.jpg

Browse folders on SD card.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-hu-browse-folder.jpg

Browse songs in folder.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-hu-browse-songs.jpg

Play song.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-hu-play-song.jpg

Basic tone control, balance and fade settings.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-hu-tone-control.jpg

Last edited by graaja : 13th October 2015 at 19:15.
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Old 12th October 2015, 17:33   #10
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Default Re: Carbon Steel Grey Polo GT TSi Comes Home

Engine, Gearbox, Ride and Handling, and Conclusion

The engine bay and the powerful 1.2TSi engine.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-engine-bay.jpg

I was surprised to see the cladding on the bonnet lid. I have only seen these in diesel cars. Petrol versions used to be bare. Maybe this cladding is responsible for the very low NVH levels inside the cabin.
Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!-engine-hood.jpg

I have not driven the car long enough to give a detailed drive experience. So, far I have done about 300km in city driving with a few stretches of open roads. I don't see any highway drives coming up in the near future yet. Will share detailed experience when I have driven more kilometers and different types of roads.

For very detailed drive analysis, check out the below post from the official TBHP review.
Polo GT TSi Official Review (Volkswagen Polo 1.2L GT TSI : Official Review)
For ease of reference, I am quoting moderator mobike008's words here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
This 4-cylinder 1.2L (1,197cc) TSI petrol is truly a gem of an engine. Those who have driven its larger 1.8L sibling in the Skoda Laura will know what I'm hinting at. Power rating stands at 104 BHP (@ 5,000 rpm) with max torque of 175 Nm starting at a low 1,500 rpm, and staying all the way to 4,100 rpm. In comparison, the regular 3-cylinder Polo 1.2 makes do with 74 BHP (@ 5,400 rpm) and 110 Nm torque (@ 3,750 rpm).

Crank up the engine and it settles into a smooth and silent idle. There aren't any of the excessive vibrations that the regular 3-cylinder Polo petrol suffers from. This is a far more refined powerplant. Slot the gearlever into D and gently taking your foot off the brake pedal will have you coast out smoothly, with minimum throttle input. There is barely any turbolag. Low-rpm driveability is good due to the engine's superior spread of torque. Driving around town is a relaxed affair as the DSG keeps the rpm needle at the lowest possible level (in "D" mode), always choosing the highest gear for a particular speed.

As you shove the throttle down, you'll immediately notice a change in the car's character. From 3,000 rpm onward, there is a distinct growl from the engine bay. Enthusiasts will thoroughly enjoy the throaty sound which can get rather addictive. On the open road, the Polo TSI pulls relentlessly all the way to its 6,000 rpm limit. The punchy acceleration comes as a revelation to those used to the Polo's 1.2L naturally-aspirated unit, or even the erstwhile Polo 1.6L, that needed to be revved to deliver. Mid-range is strong and the gearbox quick, making highway cruising / overtaking an effortless exercise. Due to the DSG's well-chosen ratios, there is always enough power & torque available for most driving conditions. 0-100 should be in the 10 second range, while top speed is rated at ~190 kph. Good thing is, there is hardly any harshness or vibration felt at any point in the rpm range. The engine truly loves to be revved! During one leg of the drive, we were 4 people in the car with luggage to boot. The Polo GT TSI was revving happily and crossing 3-digit speeds with absolute ease. It was hard to believe that I was driving a 1.2 liter petrol car. They used to say there is no 'replacement for displacement', but I guess direct-injection + turbo-charging tech have nullified the thought. The Polo TSI drives like a larger displacement machine.

This engine is mated to an equally competent (first-in-class) 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The DSG is an absolute pleasure to use. "D" mode is best for everyday driving and moving about the city in a relaxed manner. Shift quality is super smooth and upshifts are barely perceptible. There is no "hunting" for gears, with the DSG somehow managing to consistently pick the best ratio for a specific driving condition. When you shift into S (Sport) mode, the gearbox upshifts / downshifts at a higher rpm range. Use "S" mode on the open road where you need the revvs and enhanced engine braking. Of course, the S mode's affinity for higher rpm means mileage will take a hit. Personally, I enjoyed driving in Manual (tiptronic) Mode the most. Move the gearlever to the left (when in "D") and push up for upshifts or down for downshifts. No, there aren't any steering-mounted paddle shifters on the Polo TSI. The box is fairly responsive, only requiring a gentle push to immediately execute the command. This isn't a proper manual mode though. The gearbox will automatically upshift at the redline, and also downshift when the revvs fall too low. Not being able to hold revvs through a corner is disappointing. Further, if the rpm level is on the higher side, the DSG won't permit an aggressive downshift (in order to preserve engine life). One of the main advantages of the manual mode is to prepare the car for an overtaking manouveur or corner. Overall, to the mass market, the DSG Automatic should be more of a selling point than the engine's TSI technology. Honestly, the other conventional automatics aren't even close in terms of engineering brilliance. The sole area where the competition might have an upper hand is in long-term durability. The DSG is an incredibly complex transmission and repairs / failures are never a simple or cheap affair. For the old-school enthusiasts, I'm certain that a manual transmission will be mated with this engine sometime in the future.

If you are considering the Polo TSI, please do refer to our Turbo-Idling Article. The ARAI has rated the TSI's fuel economy at 17.2 kpl. That is uncannily identical to the regular 3-cylinder Polo petrol.

There isn't any major change with the suspension and the overall setup is similar to the regular Polo. It gives the car mature road manners, although we enthusiasts would wish for stiffer springs & dampers on the TSI variant. Fact is, the Swift does feel more agile and the Punto dynamically superior.

I drove the Polo through some winding ghat-type sections as well as arrow straight roads. Ride quality stays flat over fairly uneven patches, even on the back seat (although the suspension is noisy when doing its work). Unlike some of its competition, vertical movements are at a bare minimum. The Polo keeps occupants sufficiently comfortable over rough roads too. Typical of most European cars, the Polo loves long straights and corners alike. Straight line stability is good, though the Punto (aka tijori) remains the segment benchmark. Fling the Polo into fast corners and the chassis exudes decent balance. The handling is neutral and body roll is fairly well-controlled. It's assuring to know that the ESP is always watching over you like a big brother, should things get nasty. On the other hand, the power steering spoils the enthusiast recipe. Its light at 0 kph parking speeds, and stays light all through city speeds. The steering is a zero effort unit really. Problem is, when cruising at a 100 kph, I found the steering lighter than Id have liked. The PS is fairly accurate, but don't expect any feedback. Youll never know what the front tyres are up to.

The brake pedal is easy to modulate and overall braking action is decent. It's not exceptional though. With the additional 30 horses, it's a letdown that the Polo GT TSI doesn't get rear disc brakes.

And here is my limited experience so far.

1.2TSi + DSG7 combo
Awesome combination. The 1.2TSi engine so refined, when cruising at a speed of 70kph in 7th gear, it is totally silent inside the cabin and it feels like driving a battery operated car. The DSG7 shifts are very smooth and seamless. It is totally relaxing to drive inside the city. Though the 175Nm torque comes in early at 1500RPM and lasts till 4100RPM, the 1.2TSi does not give you the thrust that pushes you back in the seat (maybe I am comparing this with the Jetta here). But it still has a linear power delivery and acceleration. Under medium acceleration input, the car picks up speed very smoothly and quickly and in no time reaches 80kph. I used the sports mode once and tried heavy throttle input (a little less than flooring the pedal). The gearbox held the gears till it reached 5000 RPM. The sound of the engine is sweet and addictive, and the acceleration is awesome. Eagerly waiting for the run-in period to be over to do this more often and also try redlining in manual mode.

One major issue I have with the gear box is the lag to kick-down. Say the car is cruising at 60kph in 6th gear, and I need to perform a quick overtaking maneuver. Press down the throttle and the DSG takes it's own sweet time (a couple of seconds at least) to downshift - sometimes it does not downshift at all and accelerates in the same gear. I came across this situation on a couple of occasions. In D mode, if you want to do a quick overtake, better push the gear stick to manual mode and shift down manually. Or else upgrade to a steering wheel with paddle shifts. Sports mode should not have this problem though.

The infamous D3 -> D2 jerk
I did encounter the D3 to D2 jerk on few occasions. When the car is decelerating, sometimes when the gear changes from D3 to D2, the shift is not seamless. Instead there is a sudden engine braking effect. It is definitely irritating, but not alarming. Also, I observed this more often in the first 3 days after taking delivery. But in the past few days, I have not seen this happening. Will keep a close watch on this and report if there is any major concern. Following thread has more information on member ahmadnaik's experience with D3 to D2 jerk and subsequent software fixes etc.
VW Polo / Vento DSG: Gearbox Jerking Issue (VW Polo / Vento DSG: Gearbox Jerking Issue! EDIT: now resolved!)
Suspension and Handling
The suspension is on the stiffer side. While going over pot holes, the car tackles smaller pot holes without any problem. But while going over bigger pot holes or steep speed breakers, the harshness is felt inside the cabin. I think this is going to be good for high speed cornering manners. But the biggest grouse I have with the car is the featherlite steering. I feel the steering is very light even at speeds of 80kph. This is going to be a big problem in the twisties while cornering hard. If there is any VCDS tweak that could weigh down the steering that would be great.

That's all I have for now. Will keep updating the thread with my experience with the car.

Thanks to all TBHP members who helped me in the car buying process - right from test drive of Nano till taking delivery of the TSi. Thanks to TBHP for the education on safety without which I would have settled for a less safer car.

And thank you for the patience in reading through the thread.

Cheers!

Last edited by graaja : 13th October 2015 at 07:38.
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Old 13th October 2015, 19:50   #11
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Default re: Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th October 2015, 21:17   #12
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Default re: Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!

What a beautifully detailed thread graaja, congrats to you and your wife on your new acquisition. Polo TSi is a brilliant car and i loved the pep this small 1.2 engine provides when i test drove this car last year.

Do not worry about VW, their reputation is hurt and it would take a long time to bring the confidence back but it is not so small a brand to shut their shops due to this. You will have to get used to the feather light steering, that thing just does not weigh up properly even with 205 patch.

Hope your Jetta is doing good, had a long test drive of Jetta/Octavia when we were considering a car in this segment and Jetta diesel was awesome to drive, would have bought it if the service support in Delhi was good but things did not work out. It is going to be really tough to get used to Polo's dynamics after Jetta, they definitely are leagues apart

Have fun and drive safe.
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Old 13th October 2015, 22:01   #13
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Default re: Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!

Congrats graaja and welcome to an ever growing GT TSI club
Very nice detailed review

This model of the Polo is slowly growing in sales making it a relatively more safer buy now
I had a similar dilemma with the Micra and almost bought one. But when the GT became available, it was no more a dilemma.

Your car is looking really great with those seat covers. It has really transformed the car. And it matches amazingly well with the gear-lever cover.

Quote:
Hand brake lever. Cost cutting again. Somewhere down the line, VW removed the leather wrap for the lever. The whole assembly feels very plastic.
Don't worry about this. It can be easily covered.
You have got goodies like cruise control and electric folding mirrors with indicators. These are recent value additions which weren't available during my purchase. I believe they can be programmed to autofold/open at lock/unlock

Quote:
The water spray for the rear windshield wiper is cleverly camouflaged in the brake light located on the rear spoiler.
Quote:
The water spray for the rear windshield wiper is cleverly camouflaged in the brake light located on the rear spoiler.
Nice detail
I noticed these only recently while I was washing the car myself. (a newly discovered method of stress relief )
Couldn't help wondering how neatly these were integrated out of view.

Quote:
The infamous D3 -> D2 jerk
My wife and I have experienced this too. Although, it occurs on rapid deceleration only. If you slow down and allow the gearbox to downshift by itself, or give only light brake pressure it doesn't seem to occur. Neither of us felt it bothersome. So we let it be.
The rest of the transmission behaviour is so smooth, this particular quirkiness is more apparent. I don't know if this is normal behaviour of the gearbox or some software error as pointed out in the other threads.
If its any solace, we have crossed 12000 km in our car this week. Its been almost a year now. So far, touch wood, no issues.

Wish you lots of happy miles with your car
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Old 13th October 2015, 22:21   #14
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Default re: Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!

graaja, I will call this a trailer... hope Polo GT give you many miles with a lot of smile.

The human voice command button on steering is to call someone from your phonebook or dial a number that you speak. try and let me know if it works. It will be interesting to know if it can understand Indian names and accents.

I am not used to Euro style switches. I come from Japanese and Korean auto lineage
On the rotary switch, how do you activate rear foglamps? Or do rear fogs come on when you switch on front fogs?

I am used to driving with fog lamps just before dusk (I usually turn on dippers before everyone else on the road). But the rear fogs can irritate the driver behind you. My current car doesn't have rear fogs so never had to think about it.

For wipers, I see 3 modes (intermittent, slow and fast) and then there is a fine tune setting to set the interval.
Is it fair to say you get 3x4 i.e 12 speeds? Or does the "speed control" only work for intermittent mode? Damn! did I confuse you?

Blower in Glovebox. Is it ON-OFF or can you control the flow of air?

How to fold the mirrors manually while driving the car?

Confused about the "cold tyre pressure" sticker. Do R14 and R15 needs the same pressure?

Last edited by freedom : 13th October 2015 at 22:33.
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Old 14th October 2015, 05:59   #15
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Default re: Carbon Steel Grey VW Polo GT TSI comes home! EDIT: 10000 km up + OEM bi-xenon headlamps upgrade!

Quote:
Originally Posted by psispace View Post
Congrats graaja and welcome to an ever growing GT TSI club
Very nice detailed review
...
I had a similar dilemma with the Micra and almost bought one. But when the GT became available, it was no more a dilemma.
...
My wife and I have experienced this too. Although, it occurs on rapid deceleration only. If you slow down and allow the gearbox to downshift by itself, or give only light brake pressure it doesn't seem to occur. Neither of us felt it bothersome. So we let it be.
The rest of the transmission behaviour is so smooth, this particular quirkiness is more apparent. I don't know if this is normal behaviour of the gearbox or some software error as pointed out in the other threads.
If its any solace, we have crossed 12000 km in our car this week. Its been almost a year now. So far, touch wood, no issues.

Wish you lots of happy miles with your car
Hi psispace, thank you for the kind words. It is good to know that there is someone else who also made the same choice of Micra and then dropped it for the Polo, and also feeling that the D3-D2 jerk is manageable.

Wishing you tens of thousands of safe, funful and trouble free miles on your GT as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedom View Post
graaja, I will call this a trailer... hope Polo GT give you many miles with a lot of smile.

The human voice command button on steering is to call someone from your phonebook or dial a number that you speak. try and let me know if it works. It will be interesting to know if it can understand Indian names and accents.
Hi freedom, thank you for the kind words. I will check the manual and try if the voice command works. But I usually do not make phone calls while driving - even with bluetooth, and hence this will not be that useful to me. Regarding your questions.

1. On the rotary switch, how do you activate rear foglamps? Or do rear fogs come on when you switch on front fogs?
I have never driven with fog lamps (I turn them on only in low visibility conditions), so do not know how the rear fog lamps behave. Will check and let you know.

2. For wipers, I see 3 modes (intermittent, slow and fast) and then there is a fine tune setting to set the interval.
Is it fair to say you get 3x4 i.e 12 speeds? Or does the "speed control" only work for intermittent mode? Damn! did I confuse you?
The fine tune setting applies only for the intermittent mode. The other two modes are with fixed speed.

3. Blower in Glovebox. Is it ON-OFF or can you control the flow of air?
There is a flow adjust option for the glove box. I never had any use for a cooled glove box either

4. How to fold the mirrors manually while driving the car?
Just turn the mirror control knob to closed position.

5. Confused about the "cold tyre pressure" sticker. Do R14 and R15 needs the same pressure?
No idea about this. I guess the same pressure applies for R14 as well.
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