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Old 22nd April 2010, 12:46   #1
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Default My horribly unreliable VW Polo. VW Moti Nagar fails again to rectify the problem!

I am expressing my over experience of searching for and buying a new hatch. After checking all the cars in the Competition, we decided on the Red VW Polo. Will post the Pictures on Saturday (by the time I reach Home, ita already dark, so will click some freash snaps on Saturday and post them).

What I like:

• Contemporary European Styling, straight lines and masculine look.
• Good built quality. Realized how important this is after the Audi A6 – i10 accident (gurgaon) and the Cedia-Wagon R accident instance (delhi), where passengers in i10 and Wagon R got killed. I am not stating that they would have definitely been saved if they would have been in Polo but the chances of survival would have definitely been higher.
• Neat and Nice interiors, decent plastic quality, not soft to touch though but decent.
• Rev happy 1.2, although a bit noisier compared to the competition
• Suspension tuned according to Indian road conditions. Perfect!
• Good road manners
• Decent handling
• Best in Class Gear shift
• Chiller AC.
• Door arm rest and handle (very European)
• VW badge being used to open boot
• Excellent Brakes (ABS would have been a boon)
• Driver seat height adjust, the dash is high as it is in Cedia and one needs to find the right driving position according to their height to find the right driving position.

What I didn’t like:

• Clear headlamps, I would have loved the smoked ones
• In comfort line, lack of rear power window switches on driver side front door, lack of defogger and rear wiper and fog lights. Paying 50k extra for comfort line compared to trend line for rear door power windows, body coloured doors and mirrors, driver side seat adjust and rear split seat is not justified.
• Rear Head rests blocks rear view
• Overall visibility better than Swift but I still love doing left right left on 800, Lancer and Cedia. I normally turn my head to see left, not used to the outside left mirror. Damn, new cars, Swift, polo, civic, sx4, poor360 degree visibility.
• Lack of vanity mirrors on sun visors
• The way reverse gear is to be engaged.
• Lack of dead pedal (is there a way I can get it installed)
• Beige prone to get dirty much faster than black, the seats have already started getting spots.

My overall ranking to the existing hatches
1. Swift
2. i20
3. Polo
4. Punto
5. Figo
6. Fabia
7. Indica Vista MJD (more car per car, How true)
8. Ritz
9. Beat

These are overall ranking according to what I think of these Hatches. Please note, we all have different opinion and may differ.

Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 22nd April 2010 at 13:04.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 12:53   #2
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I am wondering if the first and second are Swift and i20 why did you go for the Polo???
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Old 22nd April 2010, 13:01   #3
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In 2009, a few months after I managed to convinced my dad for a pre-owned Cedia instead of one more new swift, perhaps a Diesel (we have a Swift Petrol in Family, I have always loved this car), my brother tried to find new reasons to get a car for himself, whether it’s hot Delhi summers, or not going around in an 800 which had more so ineffective AC, or he getting chance just once a week to drive cedia and that too for some hours and me cribbing all the time to take care of cedia while driving, my dad finally agreed to buy my younger brother a car.

With a budget of 5 to 5.5 lac, I insisted hard that we should increase our budget to about 6.5 - 7 (with me adding the additional cost) and buy a pre-owned civic, tempted my brother to think of what impression gals will have to see a civic instead of a hatch (he is not a petrol head, so I had to find other ways to convince him). However, with parking problems and we already having 7 cars outside our house with a space of a car as little as 800 inside the house to park, my dad gave final words to either stick to a hatch or forget it. Since, I was happy with my Cedia, I left it up to my brother to decide.

My brother and me decided to test drive all the hatches in the budget and then decide. At around September 2009, the main contenders were Swift diesel, Ritz (petrol or diesel), the Punto Diesel and the i20. The Beat, Polo and Figo were still to be launched.

I had already driven the Swift Diesel and loved the Fiat’s MJD, one of the main reasons we had Punto on the list despite knowing the horrifying experiences a cousin had with Fiat Palio.

So, we decided to go to a Tata-Fiat showroom to check out the Punto, went to HIM Motors (Rohtak Road). My brother was flat to see one in Red. The car in the showroom was locked, I asked for help and there was no sales man to help me, actually there were only two sales men, one was busy with a customer seeking info for the vista and the other was busy with a linea customer. Waited for about 10 mins till the salesmen got free (was praising the beautiful car for all that time). I asked him to open the car and he started searching for the key, he said “Sir, abhi abhi showroom khula hi hai na, so the car is still locked”, it was 11 am (was it too early?). Anyways, 3-4 mins later he got the keys of the drawer of some manager and opened the car. We sat inside the car and we were like eekks.. the interiors were not up to our taste, if not me my brother is very particular about the interiors. According to him, most of the time we spend is inside the car and not outside admiring it. But still, with all the woos for Punto, we asked for a test drive. Both of us drove it and had opposite reviews, I liked the heavier feel of Punto with the car more planted than the swift (heavy I should say). However, my bother disliked the heavy feeling stating that it won’t be good to drive in city, the swift is peppier, I agreed, but if you push it hard and corner it, the Punto will be better, he agreed, but he was not to corner it at speed, the best he will do is 120 on a highway and most of times, he will be driving within City. Now, although we did not reject the Punto (I thought, I may be able to convince my brother later), I asked to see the service station. The sales person instead of accompanying us just showed us the way (I should thank him for it). As soon as I entered the service station, we were welcomed by a Gentleman (punto owner) fighting with the advisor stating that they have handed him an accidental car, I was horrified. I even managed to have a look at the job card of one Linea (diesel) which had about 300 kms on the clock and was in for a fuel pump change, further shocked. Immediately, left the service station, completely rejecting the car we loved in first instance. I know it’s the dealer who handed over the accidental car but the way customer was fighting and pleading to replace his vehicle, I never had second thoughts in my mind.

Again, on next weekend, we were on a mission to decide on something, all four of us including mum, dad, brother and me got ready for test drives of Ritz and the i20. Went to DD Motors (Rohtak road) and a salesmen welcomed us and started explaining us the functions, which were almost same as that of swift. Initially looking at the car, we never really like it compared to the good old swift, neither did we like the interiors nor the exteriors, none of us liked it, Said thanks the salesmen and came out without a test drive.

Left DD motors and went to Hyundai showroom on outer Rind road to check the i20, the salesmen, same as at Maruti were every ready to help. A salesman helped us know the features of all the variants, while we checked the car. One word, all of us loved it inside out. The car was big, bigger than we thought, rear leg room was best in class of course after Jazz. Personally, I have never liked Hyundai’s cars but this one to my surprise was very good to look at and the interiors were premium. Two of my cousins who own a Getz and a Santro have never had any service or reliability issues, so we were not worried on that front. However, a test drive which was still left, I believe was an important deciding factor. Went in for a spin and as I expected it to be, the car was a bit sluggish, never really kicked off, it’s like you sit in the car and it starts moving, no feedback neither the steering nor the gearshift. The car got unsettled on bad roads, however, my dad on the rear seat claimed that it is very comfortable. The car does have a considerable amount of body roll too. Although, my brother and mum were very keen on i20, I managed to say, NO. However, I must claim that this car is a sheer VFM Premium hatch for someone who isn’t very keen on driverability part. It’s big, comfortable, premium, good looking but not for someone who enjoys driving!

Back to square one, no solution for the dilemma. That was the first time I realized why the Swift and the not so proportionate swift desire outsells the competition. It’s one car that despite of being old, ticks the maximum number of boxes. After thinking for about more than a month, we decided to go for Swift diesel.

On November the 1st, we went to DD Motors and booked the swift Diesel. We asked for a 2010 model and were told that we shall get it around second week of February.

December came in and the heart started to Beat, yes the chevy Beat, it wasn’t really the car that surprised me but it was its pricing. Although, just like the Rits, I didn’t like the design of the Beat too, but the price was too tempting, you get alloys, air bags and ABS within 5 lac rupees. Went in for a test drive and the place seemed too busy, this was the first time I ever saw a car showroom that congested. A lady very kindly helped me go through the features of the car. The interiors felt ok, nothing to write home, the instrument cluster looked vague as if present because it is necessary. The front seats were not at all good, I had to try to push my back so that it can fit with the back of the seat but I believe the back of the seat is curvish not allowing proper support (mind you I am not a body builder, just a normal person, so it certainly was the seat). Asked for a test drive but had to wait for 25 mins (was exploring the cruze for all that time). Came in my turn for the test drive but I was again not impressed, the car was just so-so to drive, I felt something missing, not up to my driving style, nothing specific but something that kept bothering me. I sure didn’t expect it to be out of the world but I personally didn’t like. Only one thing that I liked, the car was a breeze to drive at 25-30 on 5th gear, I was asked by the sales person to do so, 4th on 20 was good and 3rd was kind of an automatic between 15 and 60. I felt as if it was a perfect substitute for someone who wants an automatic (we only have one choice in AT Hatch, the i10 and its damn expensive IMO). Again, a car I would have recommended over i10 or the A-Star but that’s if the Figo wouldn’t have been present.

Meanwhile, VW was working day in day out on localising the polo and aiming to start the production in December 2009. Since, I work for an organisation that does research on automotive components supplier, I got an opportunity to attend a conference organised by our company where some of the speakers were representatives from Mercedes, VW and SIAM. The conference was the first time I realised how serious VW is about India, mind you it wasn’t marketing stuff, and it was what they have done to the Polo and what they plan to do. Although, a thought of buying Polo did come to my mind at that time, but March was still away.

Starts Auto Expo 2010 on 5TH January 2010 and I go in on the very first day as a Media guy. I still remember it was 9AM and Toyota as always, right on time was the first to launch their Family hatch and Sedan, it was the Etios. Although, I didn’t like the shape of the sedan but the hatch looked good. I could very well see the future best selling hatch in India. I am sure the car will be priced right with right features, but these cars were still in their concept stage and as soon as I got to know that they will be up for sale sometime at the end of 2010, I knew we certainly can’t wait till then.

At about 11:30 am, I was again on time for the launch on the most-awaited car of 2010, the VW Polo. And Boy, was I in for a Big Surprise, it was one of the best looking hatch in the world. I had the “Gimmi RED” kinda feeling as soon as I saw it. It looked massive from the Front considering the fourth generation Polo, which I liked in UK. The very straight lines gave the Polo very masculine look and all the ladies out there were flat to see it in real. I could very well see the Design of Scirocco in the Polo. From the side the car looked very sporty and none of the lines appeared flimsy. The rear was impressive too, very up to my liking against the curvy Swift and the i20. The interiors again were good to look at (was not allowed to sit at that time), and the brochure I got with the media kit showed even the basic model with decent goodies.

Came home very impressed with the car and told Dad about it. As usual, Dad though I have gone crazy yet again after another new launch and he finished the discussion replying “We will see when it gets launched”, end of discussion. A few days later my brother visited the auto expo and he too was impressed to see the car, the only thing he complaint about was the rear leg room which wasn’t a matter of discussion, at least not for us. Now, the Swift Diesel which was to be delivered in the first week of February 2010 would have been ours if the sales guy at DD Motors would have called us to say hey, your car is here and you can come with the DD and take the car. But I believe the waiting period of over 3 months for the Swift Diesel and high demand would have forced the sale person to neglect us thinking that we will call to enquire about the car. But who was to call, we were waiting for the Polo, since it was winters and 800 was doing the job just right for my brother. Opens the booking of the Polo in February end but we were away to Shirdi. Came back and went to the VW show room in West Delhi, the next weekend. The showroom was full of potential customers, and it felt as if the sales people, for the first time were witnessing such a demand for their product. They certainly did not look ready for it, were trying their level best to please all the customers. Kindly, a sales women explained all the features to my family while I numbered up for a test drive, the waiting period was 45mins. Now, it wasn’t that they had one car up for test drive, no they had 3 in total and all were running continuously for the test drives. Mum, dad and brother, all loved it, mum was like book it book it but were we to book it before driving it, NO. My dad said, its best hatch he has ever seen and my brother was already in consensus.

Now, it was our time for the test drive and I was on driver’s seat. As soon as I started the engine, I could hear something, no it wasn’t the music system, it was the engine, strange, I had heard a similar noise earlier. YES, of course, I had heard a similar noise in my 5-Speed 800. However, if you have the music on you won’t notice this noise. Now, I have always loved the 3-pot of our 5-speed 800, very revvy, peppy giving you a feeling as if its all set to GO (If Maruti would have been selling it right now, we would have sold our old car and bought a new one. Never mind, one can always spend 50k to bring the car back to pristine condition). Engaged the first gear and man, was I not reminded of my Cedia, the best gear shift in business. Now, the Polo in 1st gave me the same grunt as that of my 800, I loved it, it wasn’t very fast but it never expected it to be, being a 1.2 naturally aspired. Shifted to second and I was already pass 80 and then….. WHAT… I saw a truck and I slowed down…hehe.. engaged fifth and the engine noise went minimal, Perfect, slowed down, put to third at 25 km/hr and the car pulled up well. Then again revved up high and into the first corner at about 80, Dad shouted, look where you going, this isn’t a test track, I just laughed and slowed down. The body roll of the car was minimal and I felt very confident taking it in and out of the corner. However, I did miss the kinda bucket seats of Swift that wraps you around (I believe, Swift has the best driver’s seat amongst the hatches). Then came in a Small patch of bad road under the flyover and the car did extremely well, it was comfortable and didn’t throw around people sitting at the back. In between, all this while, I had a terrible time getting confused between the indicator lever and the wiper lever, the assemblies are vice versa to what we get in Japanese cars, its basically the left hand drive assembles put in the right hand drive cars. But that was not going to stop us from booking the car. Over all, I felt that the car had a perfect blend of ride and handling, the engine was revvy and it’s one of the best looking hatch in India.

In the second round, Dad took the steering wheel and as always he liked the car, only thing he complaint about was a bit higher turning radius for a hatch, I told him that yes its more than the swift and actually same as the that of Cedia. I remember, the first time he drove the cedia, he said the worst turning radius was of his premier padmini with which he had to struggle to take a u turn, lancer was the second sedan he drove after that and cedia was the third (I couldnt stop laughing comparing premier padmini’s turning radius to Cedia). Another thing, he didn’t like was how the Reverse gear is to be engaged. One needs to push the gear lever down, move it to the right, further up from first gear. He claimed one needs to be very careful and I agreed. My brother also test drove the car and found it to be good; he any ways is least bothered if it’s a 3-pot or a 4. Overall, both my dad and Brother, liked driving it, felt comfortable, liked the interiors and loved it from outside.

There was only one thing that had put us of, it was the waiting period 3 months plus, Damn it!

We almost decided on the Polo and came out of the showroom. Now, there is a Skoda Showroom right next to the West Delhi VW, I believe Fahrenheit Skoda. My dad saw the Fabia and asked if we should see the car, but I said no no, no Skoda. But there’s no harm in trying, said dad. We went in and saw the car, somehow, the showroom manager himself came out to show us the car, not bad ehh. He explained us the features of all the models so well that I could say that he was the best sales person I have ever met. With all the discounts, the ambiente model (if I am not wrong, the second from bottom) was costing us about 5.2 lacs and it seemed real VFM since it had many features including the most important airbags. Please note, all of us, especially my Dad really liked the Fabia, but after I told him the horrifying experiences of Team-Bhpians, he also refused it.

Went to Harpreet Ford thereafter to see the Figo but a test drive was not available at that time. Checked the car, it looked good from outside, from inside it was decent, a bit too black like the Swift. All the variants very competitively priced and this car was indeed bang on buck. However, unavailability of test drive and my brother and me being keen on the Polo, we decided to book it.

Next morning, went to the VW showroom and booked the car, we were told that the waiting period is for more than 3 months. However, after about a month, my dad got a call saying that we can take the car in another 10 days. Since, we were to finance the car from Dad’s office which takes no more than 2 days, we said yes and got the delivery in about 10 days.

In between I went in for a test drive of Figo after it was available and drove the car. I have driven the 1.6 Ikon, the 1.6 fiesta and the Mondeo and have loved each of them in terms of driving pleasure. But Figo disappointed me big time. First of all, the petrol was too sluggish and steering feel was a bit vague if you know it’s a Ford, throttle response was pathetic and I didn’t like it at all. A bit more kick and a better suspension set up would have done the job much better. However, if it’s one VFM, bang on buck hatch you are looking for, FIGO is the one for you.

The experience with the Dealership Volkswagen West Delhi was decent. They were cooperative but they still need to get used to selling a common man’s car. All of the seemed very used to selling premium cars and selling polo was like talking them out of their comfort zone. We had to ask everything and no inputs from their side. It was more like, you have booked a car, give us the money and take your car. Whether it’s the car number or the insurance quote or car quoting, they did whatever they could, but for all that I had to ask them to do so. Only one thing I didn’t like was the attitude of the lady handling accessories, I got the essential package costing 13k removed from my car’s bill. I didn’t want the kenwwood lowest model for 8.5k, kenwood speakers, Plastic floor mats for Rs1700 and mud flaps. Now there was a reason for the same, for the music system, I wanted Pioneer system with JBL speaker, they couldn’t provide it so said no. Floor mats were too expensive, I got both fabric and plastic ones from my accessories dealer for Rs. 1600. Lastly, black tiny mud flaps I felt look bad with the overall red car. If like the Swift’s chunky mud flaps not the 800’s small and tiny ones. As soon as I told the lady that I don’t want these accessories, she made a stupid face and started giving me warranty stories saying it will be void and all. I just said one thing, ok mam, I will not get the accessories fitted, give me your name, I will confirm this with VW and if they say that you are right, I will buy the double did kenwood sterio from you costing 20k and if they say no, I can get it from any where, doesn’t matter until the wiring is not cut, you will be answerable and you will give me the basic kenwood set up for free. She was hesitated, so called up the service advisor to confirm and replied, Sir as long as the wiring is not tampered with, its fine if ou get the system from outside (Damn sales people man, if they would have had the Pioneer and JBL set up, I would have got it from them).

The rest of the process was fine, got the delivery of the car, and got Teflon, underbody anti rust coating and exhaust coating done, costed about 7.5k (saved 8k on the insurance, 50% no claim).

We all are very excited to have our first German car at Home, I hope there are many more to come in Future (God Bless India!).

I also got a Pioneer 4250SD system and JBL 0948 speakers installed in the car. Had to get a made to order rear tray for the speakers. Also got the floor mats (both fabric and plastic ones for Rs.1700)

Two days after we go the car, a son of a … on a scooter rammed into our polo’s front left fender when my brother was taking left turn to park the car in our uncle’s driveway. The car was at a speed of 5-10 kms and the space on the left was enough only for a cycle to go through. My bother said he doesn’t know from where this bugger came at some speed and rammed into the car.

There was a dent on the fender but the paint was not chipped. I got home yesterday and got the dry dent out from a local denter known to me. I didn’t want him to take out the complete fender as I was afraid that the fitting won’t be as good as the original, so asked him to remove the cover from bottom and take out the dent. Although, he managed to take out the dent and it looks about 80% good, but if seen carefully one can still see the uneven lines. Like if you touch it’s not plain, it’s still a bit uneven. Damn!

The front wheel cover also broke (one of the 6 spokes) as a result of the accident and costs about 1650/- per wheel cover from VW. I think I will wait for the aftermarket covers to come, my accessories guy says, it should be available in 2 weeks).

Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 22nd April 2010 at 13:11.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 13:04   #4
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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
I am wondering if the first and second are Swift and i20 why did you go for the Polo???
May be my post will help you better understand why and how I bought Polo. I stressed on overall rating which does include interiors, exteriors, features, driverability, aftersales and lot.

We still dont know the aftersales and spare parts cost of VW, so Polo cannot be a winner, atleast not for now.

Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 22nd April 2010 at 13:12.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 14:14   #5
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Congratulations Gaurav. Wishing you (ur brother actually) many more happy miles with the Polo!

The Polo looks stunning in red. Great choice.

Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
The front wheel cover also broke (one of the 6 spokes) as a result of the accident and costs about 1650/- per wheel cover from VW.
Rs.1650 for a wheel cover? That's half the price of aftermarket alloy wheels.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 14:36   #6
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Congrats Gaurav on the Red Polor. Even I am surprised at the price of the wheel cover Rs. 1650/- seems to be pretty high.

Do post the pictures of the car.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 14:38   #7
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Congrats Gaurav (& to your brother).

I too like the looks of the polo a lot. It is being considered for the replacement of our indica by the end of this year or mid next year.

Red polo is just drool maal!! Which version did you pick up [comfort line]?

Congrats once again and drive safe!
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Old 22nd April 2010, 14:38   #8
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Superb narration. Now lets see the pics
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Old 22nd April 2010, 14:41   #9
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Congrats Gaurav for the car. First time I am seeing a car selling so predominantly in one color. If it is Polo it has to be red.
I absolutely liked the way reverse gear is engaged. In many new cars the reverse gear will be a bit difficult to engage with normal positioning but not with Polo.

Last edited by poloman : 22nd April 2010 at 14:44.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 14:53   #10
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Congrats on the Polo! Red is the colour to go for!

Please post pics.
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
The front wheel cover also broke (one of the 6 spokes) as a result of the accident and costs about 1650/- per wheel cover from VW.
1650 for a wheel cover?

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 22nd April 2010 at 14:58.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 15:07   #11
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Originally Posted by kiku007 View Post
Congratulations Gaurav. Wishing you (ur brother actually) many more happy miles with the Polo!

The Polo looks stunning in red. Great choice.

Rs.1650 for a wheel cover? That's half the price of aftermarket alloy wheels.
Wow.. Would be interested to see spare prices from VW. If the wheel cover costs so much I wonder how much regular filters would cost for servicing.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 15:31   #12
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'Most' filters would cost upwards of INR 500 - upto INR 1000 (air/fuel/oil/AC).
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Old 22nd April 2010, 15:38   #13
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Hey Gaurav,
You post, I think, was one of the longest and very nicely written just like GTOs. I would like to know how many colors Polo comes with?And how much did it costed you finally(if you don't mind)?
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Old 22nd April 2010, 15:47   #14
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Hey Gaurav, Congrats on your Polo... Awaiting eagerly for the pics, post it asap..
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Old 22nd April 2010, 15:47   #15
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Saw a red one today. Looks great from the front. Maybe also because you dont see VW logo much.
Photos please...
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