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Old 31st December 2015, 15:26   #1
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Default My “Auto” biography - VW Vento 1.6L TDI

Prologue

Ever since I could remember I was fascinated with motor vehicles in general and cars in particular (not so much with bikes) and as a boy my response to all who asked me as to what I want to become In life was “ I want to buy a car” , so whatever furthers this objective is what I wanted to become. Whenever our trusted (not exactly reliable) Premier Padmini used to be taken to the workshop I used to just wait there (sometimes 4 -5 hours) just looking at them, working on various cars (meant Ambassadors and Fiats and Jeeps). I was an amusement for the mechanics who never bothered me or about me. What I felt, then as a child, is something which has stayed with me ever since -the happiness, the joy, the sense of bonding between man (ok, boy) and machine is something beyond description and only something which kindred spirits will know.

The boy grew and with him the fascination and the curiosity. I started driving at 11 and by 13 I was driving on public roads for long distances ( I am neither advocating or glorifying this, but remember we are talking about late eighties and early nineties and it was a different era altogether. I will never let my children drive on public roads till they are licensed to do so). One particular incident which I remember (must have been 12 or 13)-this was the time I had heard of the differential mechanism in vehicles and was determined to see it in action. So I parked the car in such an angle where the front 2 wheels and the rear right wheel was on the ground and the rear left was in thin air. The car was listing (but not dangerously, at least as I remember). I started the engine engaged the gear and pressed the accelerator and the free wheel (remember it was a rear wheel drive vehicle) was spinning like mad and the obviously the car was stationary. My mother heard all the commotion and came out and saw the car in this position and was shocked. She thought I had crashed the car. I still remember her face even to this day. My dad didn’t say anything when he was told of it in the evening and I owe a lot to him for allowing me to explore things and in giving me confidence whenever I made mistakes.

Fastforward to 2002

I had just completed my studies and had a job (atleast an offer) when it dawned on me that I won’t get enough to buy a car. So I thought of the next best option-an RX-100. About the same time my friend told me that he is planning to sell his his 1992 Yamaha Rx-100, which I used to “borrow” from him ever so often, soon. I asked him to sell it to me and agreed to pay him whatever he was expecting, but then reality struck that I just have an appointment and hence no money to buy it. The first cheque was still a good 45 days away. He agreed to wait and I was over-joyed. So the wait begins. Finally, the day arrives (salary day), I pay my friend half of the agreed price and promise to pay the rest in the next 2 months and take the bike.

That was the day I redeemed my pledge to myself as a little boy, not in full measure but substantially. Allow me a little bit of indulgence and let me borrow (with suitable modifications) from a great man’s (Jawaharlal Nehru) speech long time back.
"Long years ago I made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when i shall redeem my pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially.
At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, I will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, then an age ends, and when the soul of a man, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

My First Bike

The bike that I bought in 2002 (already 10 years old) is still with me in parent’s home. It has travelled with me to all over the country, Kerala, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and now back in Kerala. I still ride it every time I visit. A bottle of petrol and 2 kicks is all that it takes to bring it back to life, no matter how long the rest has been.
It still brings a smile to my face every time I ride it and now more importantly it brings a smile to my kids’ face when I take them on it for a ride. Infact riding on the bike is one of the highlights of the their bi-annual visits back home along with meeting the grandparents.

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A recent photo of the bike with my kids perched on top

My first car


Oct 2005. I had a disastrous 14 to 15 months prior to this both personally and professionally and was determined to put things back on track. The first thing on my agenda was to redeem my pledge in full. The Maruti suzuki Swift was launched in April/May that year and I was in working in Singapore at that time. I was closely following it. My choice was between the Getz and the Swift. I liked the styling of the Getz more than the Swift. It had neat clean lines and was a no-nonsense car. The Swift was more funky but it had everything I wanted-ABS with EBD, Dual Airbags, Climate Control etc etc. So I decided on the Swift Zxi (red). The Zxi was not readily available and was being made only based on orders (or maybe in batches) at that time. So I booked the car in November 2015 and was told that I will get the car in December end. The on road price was coming to around 5.9 lakhs (in Hyderabad). So the wait began. Around that time the Ford Fiesta (which was later renamed classic and now discontinued) was launched. The mid variant was available for almost the same price (maybe a difference of 10 to 15k). I went and checked it out, quite liked the car. Had a test drive, liked it. Was a bit confused as everyone I discussed said I should buy a sedan since the price is more or less the same. But the Ford had a big disadvantage, it had no Airbags, no ABS. That was a big concern for me. So against all ‘sane’ advise I decided to forget the Fiesta and decided to stick on with the Swift.

So finally the car was ready to be driven away on the 30th of December. I went to the showroom in the evening. Found that they had not done the teflon coating (which was agreed) on the roof. Since I wanted the car I took delivery the same day and told them I will drop it off after the New Years to do the coating. They agreed. As per that I dropped it on the 2nd morning and when I came back in the evening I was shocked to see that they had re-painted a perfectly good roof. Due to some miscommunication (internally) instead of doing a teflon coating they did a re-paint of the roof. I refused to take the car back and insisted on a new car. Had a long and difficult dialogue with everyone from the Sales executive to the GM but I didn’t budge. Nothing was decided that day and I didn’t take the car back (the car was not registered but the tax was paid and of course insurance too was issued). After a couple of days of hard negotiation they finally agreed to give me a new car, yes another Red Swift Zxi was available and on the 5th I was given that (I did check the engine number and chassis number). So my first car is infact my second car.

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My 'First' first car coming out of the showroom

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The first 'Kiss'

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My second 'First Car' coming out of the showroom


The car stayed with me for almost 9 years (from Jan 2006 to November 2014). It was a faithful companion through all these years. So reliable was it that I have never been left stranded (even for a puncture) anywhere. So low was the maintenance cost that apart from regular service the only other expenditure that I had was

1) Rust repair (which Swifts were known for)
2) Clutch replacement (which could have been avoided as the friction plate was absolutely fine but the release spring was acting-up)
3) Power window master switch ( I did it myself)
4) Gear level knob (as it broke)
5) Windshield (not sure how it broke)
6) Tyre after 5 years ( I should have done it earlier)
7) Battery after 6 years and
8) Brake pads and slave cylinders a couple of times

The car was a joy to drive. It was fast, nimble, the right size for the cities and above all easy on pocket. 2 years after I bought the car I got married and soon my wife started complaining that I care more for the car than her (sounds familiar?). I didn't disagree with her and to my credit I never claimed otherwise. Years passed and the members grew from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 but the Swift was still rolling on without any issues


Search for a new car

My original target was to keep the car for 5 years. Around the time our second child was born we felt the need for a bigger car, the Swift was still running absolutely fine even after 6 years, as the boot space was proving to be too less for all the paraphernalia that comes with babies. Going on a weekend trip was a challenge and the front passenger seat became a default luggage area. Airport trips became impossible.

I had decided to buy a diesel this time for

1) Wanted to own and experience a diesel
2) Higher torque
3) Lower operating expense although the capital expenditure is going to be high.

So I test drove everything from the Vento to the Rapid to the Laura to the Corolla. I liked the Vento/Rapid twins. I loved the Laura however it was a stretch and plus the impending arrival of the New Octavia went against it. I decide to wait for the Octavia and decided to postpone my decision for an year. The Octavia came, I was following the details of the car from its launch in other markets and finally what was launched in India left me underwhelmed. Many things were left out and the price was not exactly cheap and to top it, it had just 2 airbags (except for the top version) and the unavailability of the multi link suspension for the diesel was another dampener. If I was paying that much I wanted to move to the next level from a safety point of view and that became a deal breaker. So I decide to let go off it.

Around this time (October 2013) the Vento TSI was launched and there were strong rumours that VW would launch the diesel Vento with DSG gearbox (I was hoping it would be the DQ 250 and not DQ200 but I had my doubts) and 6 air bags. I decided to wait again- for the second time. Soon we came to know that there was going to be another addition to the family so it became clear that come what may we will have to buy a car in 2014.


I didn’t want to let go off the Swift but there was no justification for having 2 cars. So I tried my very best to convince my wife to learn driving but she was not confident and was in no condition to learn driving. I still was determined to keep the car as letting go of the car was something which I couldn’t come to terms with emotionally.

A few random pics of the Swift

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August 2014 the baby came and Vento TDI DSG launched in September. I was disappointed that it came with the DQ 200 and also that it still had only 2 Airbags. I test drove it as soon as it was available and was happy and was told the deliveries will start right in earnest from October and I can get one in a month’s time. So I left for my hometown to get my family back to Mumbai and fell ill and was hospitalised for a week. In the meanwhile I had finally decided to sell the Swift and put it on OlX. I found a genuine buyer and we agreed on a price and he transferred the advance to my account (without even seeing the car). I came back to mumbai and called my dealer and asked him when I can get the car. I got a shock when he told me that the earliest they can deliver is by Feb or March. I had to hand my car over in 2 weeks time and there was no way I could do without a car for 3 to 4 months. I was not very happy. I called up all the other dealers and everyone gave me the same timeframe. I was in a fix.

I checked in Kerala and there too it was more or less the same timeframe. So I checked for the manual diesel and I was told that the manual diesel 1.5s were not yet available as it will be made available only after the 1.6s are sold out. I was told that I can get 1.6s at a good price.

I decided to go for the 1.6 manual. Now it seems there were not many Highlines left and what was left was in colours that I didn’t want or were April or May manufactured. I was even more unhappy with the dealer.


In the meanwhile I was checking with the particular dealer in Kerala if they can manage a TDI DSG as I had a good relation with them as just around 4 weeks back we had bought a Jetta TDI DSG for my FIL. The day came for me to hand my Swift over and I didn’t want to go back on my word by delaying it. So I handed the car over on the 15th of November as agreed. It was heart wrenching and something which I don’t want to feel ever again (I still think of buying the car back).



Now I was 'car-less' and things were in a mess ( I had to depend on friends’ car for hospital runs and school events). I had already test driven the Honda city earlier in the year and had decided against it. In the meanwhile the Ciaz was also launched and I had decided agains it too for a variety of reasons. Now everything was back on the table as I desperately needed a car. I also decided to consider the Jetta Trendline 1.4 TSI but there were no trendlines available and what was available was only white in colour. I thought of the Comfortline but it was too much of a stretch with not much value, in that case it would be better to go for the Highline which was too too much of a stretch. I loved the Jetta, it was a bigger car and much safer but I would have to settle for the petrol and stretch quite a bit. I just couldn’t make myself buy the City and Ciaz (both good cars in their own respect but they just didn’t do it for me) so was tilting in favour of the Jetta inspite of the fuel and the budget stretch.



Finally the search ends..

Buying Experience

On the 3rd day of being 'car-less' I get a call from my Kerala dealer that they have a Reflex Silver Vento TDI Highline July manufactured and they gave me a pretty decent offer. I jumped at it and transferred the booking amount within 30 minutes, then asked the SA to send me pics the next day and the car looked fine. I also asked my BIL to go and check the car and he gave me a go ahead and sent me more pictures. I also got the VIN and checked it and everything was ok.

A couple of pics of the car at the dealer's yard
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So I decided to go for it although my first choice of colour was the blue and the second was the Grey and Silver was only third. As luck would have it, that week I had to go out for a few days. I came back paid my part and processed the car loan and asked the bank to hold the payment till I confirm.

In the meanwhile I told the dealership that I will take delivery on the 26th and asked them to keep everything ready. Everything was done on email and phone. I went there on the 26th along with my father, checked everything and found ok. Asked the bank to make the RTGS payment and took delivery. I took extended warranty for 3rd and 4th year then there itself. The delivery process was relatively smooth (there were some hiccups with the documentation, some were resolved some were left to be resolved later). The car was washed, cleaned and polished

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My dad receiving the car keys

My house was around 120km from the dealership and I enjoyed the drive back thoroughly although it was after nightfall and the traffic was heavy. However I just couldn’t get to release the clutch without a jerk and I found it extremely irritating ( infact it took me almost a month before I could master the art of releasing the clutch without jerks in thick traffic).

A few pics with the my dad's Ritz

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I got the car registered (since the dealership was in a different town we had to do it ourself) on the 28th in my hometown. Got the allotted number by evening, got the number plates made and fixed by around 6 and was ready for the return trip to Mumbai the next day.



So the cars considered over the 2 year period were

VW Vento- I bought it although the second time around
Skoda Rapid-Mechanically identical to vento and cheaper but the ASS went against it.
Skoda Laura-Excellent car but the new Octavia was around the corner
Skoda Octavia (3rd gen)-Great car but skoda skimped on a lot of things especially on safety and the non multi link suspension of the diesel was a deal breaker.
Honda City-Good car but somehow didn’t ‘do it’ for me.
Toyota Corolla-Was never in serious contention.
Suzuki Ciaz- Practical, no nonsense but had no emotional connect.
Renault Duster- Would have bought it expect for the interiors.
VW Jetta 1.4 TSI-Would have bought it if I had to wait for one more week. This was the only petrol considered.

First long drive

The next day morning I left around 5.30 a.m. on my return trip to Mumbai. My plan was to drive as much as possible on the first day and cover the rest on second day. Since the car was new I didn’t want to do high speeds so I stuck to 90-110 ensuring that the engine RPM was not constant for long periods for better breaking-in. I drove around 830 km on the first day and halted at Chitradurga on the first day. I reached Chitradurga at around 6.30 p.m. and covered the distance in around 13 hours. Stayed in a hotel and started again at 5.30 the next day and I was at my door step (or rather car park) in Kandivali by 4.30 p.m. Covered the distance of again around 830-840 k.m. In 11 hours. I lost some time at the vashi toll and had stopped for refuelling (both the car and myself) on the Mumbai-Pune expressway for around 45 minutes.

Total Distance covered-1660-1670 km

Total Time take-around 24 hours

Average fuel economy-24.2 kmpl (infact I covered almost 1200 km before I first refuelled)

The car worked flawlessly during the entire drive and the torque was really addictive. The long drive immediately after purchase helped me get used to the car and its dynamics. Although I had driven a lot of diesels before, had never owned one. I was very happy with the highway dynamics, insulation (the diesel clatter is sometimes intrusive but I knew it), ride, seat bolstering, material quality and overall build quality.



0-6 months

Within a few days of reaching Mumbai I got the paint sealant treatment done at Motoshine’s.

I bought a plethora of stuff including but not limited to Jopasu Duster (complete set). Meguiar’s leather cleaner, Dash Cleaner, application pads, Amway Car shampoo, Whole lot of micro fibre clothes etc etc.

The car does around 16 km every day, on the weekends slightly more and also the occasional out station trips.

I got the 6 month check-up done at end of May. There were no major issues except for the creaking from the door frames (they sprayed the lubricant and it was ok) and the horn was not working if you press on the right side. It was not a big issue but anyway they checked and said it was ok ( I knew it was not ok but didn’t pursue). As usual it took much more time than what was promised but then again I would have been surprised if they had it delivered on time. Was not a bad experience except for the delay.

Workshop-Reay Road, Mumbai (Shaman)

A couple of days later a Tata Ace kissed the rear wheel arch and the portion from the arch to the tail light on the right side. It was in a narrow galley right in front of my office and I was not moving as there was no space for 2 vehicles. The cab end of the Ace crossed my car but the square edge of the load bay made contact and it scratched (and dented) the arch and bumper and the tail light. Thankfully the tail light didn’t break. It was a DTDC vehicle. He didn’t stop but then he couldn’t go much ahead as it was a narrow road. The driver said he didn’t realise and was sorry. Anyway I moved my car since it was blocking traffic. I saw white paint and I was heart broken thinking that the paint has come-off. I asked for compensation and the driver called the owner, he came and finally nothing happened and I had to go to the airport to pick my family. In the evening when I was a little more calm I checked and realised that there was very little paint loss but the white paint was paint transferred from the Ace. If there was any major paint loss I would have to get it done immediately as rains were around the corner. I decided to sleep over it and checked again the next day and was now convinced that there was no major paint loss (thanks to VW paint quality, I suppose) so I decided not to do anything and live with the dent. I checked the tail light and there was paint on it (transferred from the ace) but no cracks or breakage.

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6-12 months

The car was running fine. I was getting an average of around 14 when it is purely city driving. Longer drives around 19-21

Around October I suddenly found that my windscreen washer was not spraying water. Also I found that when I try to refill it there was water leaking but not the entire amount but a part of it. I guessed it could be either a pump failure or rats chewing the wires and the pipe. Took it to the service centre and it turned out to be rats. 2 wires were cut and they had to be joined back using butt connectors. Since the wire didn’t have enough length they said they have to add additional wire and use the butt connectors at both the joints for both the wires. One butt connector was priced at 250 Rs and a piece of 15 cm wire was priced at some 700 Rs. I was shocked. I checked and found that they could easily attach the wires without having to use extra wire length (that would have needed only 2 butt connectors and no additional wire) but they said they can’t do it so I had to agree. Labour was another 1500 or something as it involved removing the bumper and reattaching. I was pretty unhappy and I made it very clear and they supervisor said he can waive off the labour. Finally when the bill came the labour charges were there. When I asked this guy started giving some thing about he having never said that and started explaining that I will need GM’s permission etc. I was very upset and asked him to take me the payment counter and that I will pay whatever it is and just want to get out of the place. He finally came back with a revised bill without the labour charges. I paid and left. Overall a not so good experience.

Workshop-VW Andheri East Parsi Panchayat Road

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The rather expensive butt connectors

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First Service

I got the first service done on the 22nd of November and had booked an appointment at the Reay Road centre. Since it was a Sunday I checked twice and they said it is fine and promised to deliver the car by 12.30 if I reach by 9.30. I reached by 9.15 and the gates itself was not open. By around 9.45 the gates opened and the SA came to take the details. That is when he told me that the work will be done at the Cotton Green workshop and not there. But he promised there will be no issues and it will be returned at the promised time. They didn’t have a driver to take the car to the other centre and I said If someone can come with me I will drive myself (I was happy that I didn’t have to let the ‘driver’ drive). I reached there and the car was immediately taken for servicing. It was put in the Express Service bay (I was quite surprised to see a news item a few weeks later that VW had opened its first express service counter somewhere in Chennai or was it Coimbatore, but this centre already had it). The centre is undergoing renovation and there is no customer lounge or air conditioning. This gave me a good excuse to be on the workshop floor the full time and I was not complaining. The technician replaced all the filters (air filter was not as bad as I was expecting). Checked the lights and then proceeded to replace the oil. He took the oil from the vending machine. Oil was replaced and so was the drain plug. They informed me that there is some problem with the alignment machine, so alignment and balancing was not possible. They checked the horn and agreed there was a problem but they seemed not very confident as it had the airbag and was asking me if it really needs to be done. There lack of confidence made me think twice and I decided against getting it done as I didn’t want an inexperienced guy open it and mess up the whole thing. I asked them to not open it but make a mention in the final report that horn operation is hard so that later on I won’t have a problem if I have to replace it under warranty. Then they didn’t get the brakes checked and cleaned so I had to ask them specifically to do it. In the meanwhile I checked the oil and found that the oil level after replacing was only around 30 to 40% above the minimum level and no where near the maximum level. I asked them why it is so and they were clueless, I mentioned maybe the machine is dispensing less oil than 4.3 litres. They called up the seniors on phone for guidance and was asked to take fresh oil again and replace the just replaced oil. Again the oil was only upto the same mark. So I told them to take 100ml at a time and pour and check after every topup. They machine apparently doesn’t dispense anything less than 1 litre (I am not very convinced about it) and they didn’t have a measuring container to measure oil if it were to be taken from a 1 litre can. Finally I bought a separate 1 litre can and topped it up to slightly under the maximum level by pouring a little and checking every time and after a few times we reached slightly below the level. It took almost another 300 to 350 ml. I insisted that they make a mention In the report that 4.3 litres of oil filled it only to slightly below the midway between maximum and minimum and after a lot of reluctance they finally agreed. This was strange and I don’t recollect anyone else ever mentioning anything like it on the forum before. I got it mentioned in my invoice and have taken it with VW as i would like to know if 4.3 will only take it to slightly below mid way mark

Workshop-Cotton Green
Mileage-7490km
Cost-9700 Rs

Last edited by Mohan Mathew A : 5th January 2016 at 12:36.
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Old 5th January 2016, 12:33   #2
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Default re: My “Auto” biography - VW Vento 1.6L TDI

My take on the car

There are numerous reviews in the forum of Ventos, but I will add my perspective

Exteriors

I like the exteriors of the car a lot. Many people feel that it is bland ( I can understand their reasons) but I just love the neat clean lines, the styling is really sharp and ‘classic’. So I have very little complaints about the exteriors except that I don’t like the drooping down of the rear tail light assembly (the wraparound portion). It somehow irks me.The lighting is not that great but then again I have not done much highway driving in the night so don’t know how bad it really is as my night drives have predominantly been in cities where there is external lighting.

The ground clearance seems ok but I am very careful whenever I have to drive over something and the car is never fully loaded.There is no engine/sump cover. I have seen it in the polo (atleast in some versions) and I don’t know why it is given a miss in the Vento. I have checked with the service centres and they have no idea and when asked if I can fit the polo’s cover in the Vento, they said it is not possible. Will have to check again.

Build quality, fit and finish, paint quality are all pretty good and right there at the top as fas as the segment is concerned. There is an ugly cable (maybe the hand brake cable) which hangs down. Initially thought it was just my car but then realised it is there in every Vento. They could easily re-route it or get a couple of more clips to clip it to the underbody than just hang loose. It won’t cost a penny.

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The drooping wraparound portion of the taillight assembly-not to my liking.


Interiors and Features


I like the interiors, most of the materials are of good quality. I would have preferred soft-touch plastics for the dashboard but that, I suppose, is asking for too much but they could have given some padding on the doorpad handrest. I would have liked black and beige for the dash rather than the brown.
The seats are comfortable but a little more lumbar support and more bolstering at the sides to hold you in would have been great and while at it, little more under thigh support since I am above 6 feel tall.

The leather wrapped gear lever is superb and feels really great to hold. The carpet should have been black in colour. I really hate the beige carpet as it gets dirty very fast especially when you have small kids and cleaning is not easy. The Rapid comes with black carpet and I would have loved it.Rear seats are comfortable but only for 2 people. The hump is really pronounced and it will be impossible for an adult to sit in the middle.The handrest is good but should have had integrated cup holders. The cup holder in front of the rear ac vent is useless and so close to the floor that you can’t keep anything in it. It is very fragile and am sure it will be broken one of these days.

The rear ac vent cannot be closed. I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t give an option to close it. My son sits in the middle and it blows straight on to him and no amount of adjusting seems to help. It makes no sense to me. VW, if you are reading please give an option to close the vent in one of the in numerous upgrades you are taking the car through. The rear leg space is pretty good (the 10 cm longer wheel base compared to the polo shows) and I have no complaints (not that I ever sit there).

I somehow am not fully convinced that the door release and unlock happening in the same action is the best way. I would have liked 2 separate knobs/levers for it ( a la Maruti). With the kids, the child lock is always enabled. The area behind the rear seat should have been flat and not sloping down making it not very useful.
Air conditioning is pretty effective and I have not faced a situation where I found it lacking-so far. They should have had a RVC and touch screen HU as it is par for the course now. I am sure it will soon come in one of the upgrades. Sound insulation is pretty good but the diesel clatter still filters through but I don’t find it too intrusive and have got used to it. I am not an audiophile so have no complaints about the sound quality but I definitely would have loved a touch screen HU with RVC and Navigation.

Auto up down on all 4 windows with anti pinch is pretty useful especially when you have kids on board. I love the option to rollup and roll down windows using the remote. It is very helpful and I put it to good use.

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The useless and fragile rear cup/bottle holder. Waiting to be broken

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Rear seat handrest. Should have had integrated cup holders.

Boot

Boot space is pretty good and is also shaped well. You can open the Vento’s boot in 3 ways (interior release, remote release and using the key). I believe the new Vento has even a release button on the boot (in addition to the other 3). I am happy because my previous car had just a release button on the hatch and no other means to open it and it was a pain point for me as it was inconsistent and required many attempts.The boot is spring loaded and pops up automatically.

The spare tyre is a space saver (175 R14) and runs on steel rim. They could have given a 15 inch steel rim instead of the 14 inch. Atleast then you could have had a proper spare which could be used for longer distances. I don’t know much space and money they are saving by making it 14 instead of 15. Someone in product planning should reassess. The jack and all other items are neatly laid out in a form tray.

There is a metal protector behind the back seat to prevent intrusion of sharp objects from the boot into the passenger area if it gets rear ended. But it is only partial and should have covered the entire area.

My “Auto” biography - VW Vento 1.6L TDI-img_20160104_181135246.jpg
Spring loaded hinges ensures that the boot pops-up when opened.

My “Auto” biography - VW Vento 1.6L TDI-img_20160104_181220379.jpg
Partial metal strip to prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment in case of an accident. Should have been complete.

Handling and Performance

The car handles pretty well. It corners well but can get a little unsettled if there is a mid corner undulation or hump. Straight line stability is great. It feels rock solid even with cross winds and gives you great confidence. Suspension is decent but the infamous ‘thud is an irritation and over long wavelength undulations it bobs too much. Both I suppose is due to the shock absorbers and upgrading to better damped ones should solve it to a large extent.
Leather wrapped steering is very nice to hold and feel is decent but, personally, I would have loved a little more weight at speeds.

One area where I have no complaints is with respect to the engine and gear box. It is a gem of an engine, yes, there is a slight turbo lag but definitely something which can be easily driven around. The torque is great and it pulls like a freight train. The gearbox is super slick and slotting into gears is such a nice feeling (better than the swift which itself was pretty good). Although, generally, people have been complaining about the clutch, I am pretty ok with it. I don’t find it too hard and something which I can easily live with. A sixth gear would have easily made the car more efficient and less strained at highway speeds. The engine really deserves a 6 speed gearbox.Cruising on the highways is easy and requires minimal gear change as even if you have to slow down the car will easily pull from as low as 50 in 5th gear.

Braking is something which I am not very happy about and it definitely deserves disc brakes at the rear too. The car brakes without issues and in a straight line but the stopping power is lacking. VW should seriously consider it in the upcoming facelift/s. I, on my part, plan to change to wider and better tyres (OEM is Apollo Alnac).

Safety

The car comes with dual airbags and ABS. No ESP. I feel the ABS sometimes kicks in too early. I really wish VW would have had an optional safety package with 6 more airbags and ESP. I, for one would have definitely gone for it. Another thing being missed is the 3 point seat belt for the rear middle passenger, it really should have been there.

Likes

Excellent engine and gearbox.
Well built and safe car (although it could have been safer).
Reasonably good quality of plastics and interior materials.
Good fit and finish.
Simple and elegant styling.
Great paint quality.

Dislikes

Low on features and creature comforts compared to others in the segment.
Below par A.S.S and high cost of parts.
Outsized central hump.
Lack of disc brakes all around.
Lack of lumbar support.

I bought the VCDS cable and have made quite a few tweaks mentioned in the other threads especially Gannu's. Modifications i plan to do (after the standard warranty expires) are

1) Touch screen HU with RVC and Navigation
2) Projector setup for headlamps
3) Shock absorbers
4) Fatter rubbers (hopefully it would improve the braking).


So thats where things stand now. It has covered around 8300kms till date and so far has not given me any trouble and has been a pleasure to drive and own. Considering the kind of reliability and ease of ownership I had with the Swift it has pretty big shoes to fill in.

A few parting shots

My “Auto” biography - VW Vento 1.6L TDI-img_4070.jpg
The shroud around the fog lamp mysteriously disappeared. It was replaced. Cost 700Rs.

My “Auto” biography - VW Vento 1.6L TDI-img_4156.jpg

Last edited by Mohan Mathew A : 7th January 2016 at 09:57.
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Old 8th January 2016, 10:50   #3
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Default Re: My “Auto” biography - VW Vento 1.6L TDI

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th January 2016, 12:08   #4
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Default Re: My “Auto” biography - VW Vento 1.6L TDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
My take on the car

There are numerous reviews in the forum of Ventos, but I will add my perspective

Likes

Excellent engine and gearbox.
Well built and safe car (although it could have been safer).
Reasonably good quality of plastics and interior materials.
Good fit and finish.
Simple and elegant styling.
Great paint quality.

Dislikes

Low on features and creature comforts compared to others in the segment.
Below par A.S.S and high cost of parts.
Outsized central hump.
Lack of disc brakes all around.
Lack of lumbar support.
Congrats Mohan on your latest acquisition

I have not driven the 1.5 DSG Vento but the 1.5 GT TDi has lost all the charm the renowned 1.6 GT has. Considering the fact that this tune is the exact same as on the 1.5 TDi Vento, IMO going in for the 1.6 TDi was the best decision.

This car and engine is made for the open roads and I am sure you can really appreciate how well the German Engineering works in comparison to Maruti cars. I had Getz Prime before, which though was not exactly a feature rich car, offered the some of the frequently used/desired features. VW goes a step further and in comparison to its competition, offers the features that are both desired and necessary.

Wish you a very happy motoring and mile munching.

Drive Safe

Last edited by Vik0728 : 8th January 2016 at 12:11.
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Old 8th January 2016, 15:21   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Congrats Mohan on your latest acquisition

I have not driven the 1.5 DSG Vento but the 1.5 GT TDi has lost all the charm the renowned 1.6 GT has. Considering the fact that this tune is the exact same as on the 1.5 TDi Vento, IMO going in for the 1.6 TDi was the best decision.

This car and engine is made for the open roads and I am sure you can really appreciate how well the German Engineering works in comparison to Maruti cars. I had Getz Prime before, which though was not exactly a feature rich car, offered the some of the frequently used/desired features. VW goes a step further and in comparison to its competition, offers the features that are both desired and necessary.

Wish you a very happy motoring and mile munching.

Drive Safe
I am very happy with the decision although i would have loved the flat bottom steering wheel and the ORVM fold now made available. I have not driven the 1.5 TDi in either the vento or the polo except for the short test drive of the TDI DSG. Is the difference between 1.5 and 1.6 that pronounced? The torque and power figures are identical, i suppose.
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Old 8th January 2016, 15:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post

Is the difference between 1.5 and 1.6 that pronounced? The torque and power figures are identical, i suppose.
Thats about all that is similar on paper Mohan, or at least I felt that way.

When I drove the 1.5 GT TDi, I was really not expecting any changes in the performance over my 1.6 GT but I was in for a surprise. The vigorous thrust of the former engine is gone. Since its the same formula on the Vento (new vs old) as well, I am quite sure 1.6 TDi Vento feels way quicker.

Vento 1.6 TDI owners can pitch in here.

If you get a chance, try taking the 1.5 TDi Vento (MT) out for a spin and I am sure you can easily make out the difference, which is quite apparent.

Last edited by Vik0728 : 8th January 2016 at 15:29.
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Old 8th January 2016, 17:27   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post

Vento 1.6 TDI owners can pitch in here.

I have a Vento 1.6, have driven a 1.6 GT TDI extensively and recently got a chance to drive the 1.5 GT and this is what I think:
The 1.5 pulls as well as the 1.6 but the power tapers down at higher revs whereas the 1.6 pulls strong for a little longer. However, with DSG, I think the 1.5 has a slight advantage over the 1.6 manual in some scenarios. That box is pure magic!
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