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Old 31st July 2017, 12:53   #1
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Default My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!

So, the odometer went past the 35k mark few days ago and here I am with this ownership story.
It's not really a "long" term ownership report as such considering the number of km clocked so far, but if one witnesses the DSG at work, then perhaps the 35k number is long enough to talk about experiences - mostly good, by the way. Ofcourse, I am speaking for myself here!

My steed is the Night Blue 1.5 liter TDi DSG Vento bought in Sept 2015 - yes, you guessed it right : the one with the famous EA189 series engine

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_190726.jpg

I know the combination of the words - DSG + EA189, typically evokes 2 reactions from folks familiar with the subject - first category who have witnessed a terrific experience and the other with not-so-good reactions. Well, I for sure have experiences belonging to the first category

And this ownership story is a humble attempt to detail out those experiences, emotions etc. for why I feel that way.

Setting the context for the story to follow, here's summarizing the likes and dislikes.

  • Ease of driving - With Dual Shift gearbox or DSG as it is famously known, cruise control, tilt and telescopic steering, multi-function display, height-adjustable arm rest, steering mounted controls
  • Safety - with airbags, Hill Hold, ESP, ABS, static cornering fog lights, anti pinch control windows
  • Ride quality - the Mcpherson struts at the front and the semi-independent arms at the rear enable a confident, comfortable and predictable ride
  • Ergonomics - the driver seating position, coupled with the firm yet cushioning seats for those long journeys
  • Engine - excellent torque brought on by the 1.5 l diesel mill, with sufficient horse power to draw the "cart" and do a kick-down too, if required
  • Fuel efficiency - the fab FE even with almost 100% A.C, it is markedly higher in auto-mode than with manual mode
  • Auto climate control - very good air conditioning including a healthy temperature range, to make the cabin environment feel just right while on those long trips

  • Mirrors - both outside and internal rear view mirrors are inadequate to capture the action happening outside the car
  • Dead pedal - the angle is way too inset and uncomfortable, that it cannot be properly used
  • Headlights - the stock / OEM bulbs hardly light up the road ahead
  • Infotainment - the stock HU is quite basic, considering the car segment and the positioning
  • Absence of in-built navigation maps

A detailed experience description follows in the subsequent chapters.

Last edited by JoshMachine : 5th August 2017 at 15:37.
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Old 31st July 2017, 16:20   #2
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Chapter 1: The Trigger

Circa July 2015, our family workshorse viz., Dzire 1.3 DDiS had been with us for close to 5 years and had crossed the 1 lakh km mark, showing strains of its age. Mind you, the overall experience with that fella was very good right through the celebratory ownership.

However, my daily ~59 km to & fro office commute to Pune's Hinjawadi IT Park was getting tougher and tiresome with each passing month due to the incessant chaotic and maddening traffic jams.

And since this daily sojourn included taking wifey also working in the same area plus kid going to school in the vicinity, our tolerance to the growing daily frustration was eroding rapidly.

My Pune BHPian friends working in Hinjawadi will probably know what I am referring to!
Those bumper to bumper traffic snarls can cause some serious harm to your knees and ankles if you are pushing the clutch on a manual tranny, day in and day out.

So, that set the trigger for us to actively search for a replacement which would end this misery.

Chapter 2: The Selection

It was quite evident that we wanted the below characteristics in our new car:-
  • Automatic transmission - to ease off the physical, ever increasing idiosyncrasies
  • Excellent ride quality - to endure the daily commute to office and also make our outstation trips more enjoyable (we do atleast couple of long-haul 2000 km road trips + few short-haul 300 - 500 km trips every year)
  • Build quality -I had been driving too many Marutis, was kind of bored with them and wanted to now check out a stronger engineering experience
  • Diesel engine - since the average monthly driving was close to 2000 Km, so opting for a diesel engine was a no-brainer to keep an eye on fuel costs. And yes, ofcourse the torquey punch which I had got used to on previous diesels
  • Budget - last but not the least, did not want to shell out more than 14-15 big ones
  • Feature set - ofcourse, had an eye out for feature wish-list like cruise control, ABS, good overall design, new-age look & feel etc
  • No preference as such for a sedan or SUV at this stage

The above selection criteria helped clear my mind in terms of what configuration to look out for with auto + diesel combination taking the top slot in terms of first preference for the new purchase.

So we set out for shopping, with the contenders in mind:-

Hyundai Verna

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  • What I liked: toned down & very mature styling, punchy diesel, tilt & telescopic steering, excellent safety kit, loaded to the gills with features
  • What I didn't like: 4-speed auto box (For God's sake, how could Hyundai pass this one to us?), missing cruise control, lack of that "fun to drive" feeling, incompetent ride & handling

Maruti Ciaz

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  • What I liked: very un-Maruti suave styling, national diesel engine of India, new feature set like a good ICE, that unbeatable "kitna deti hai" credibility, cool projectors
  • What I didn't like: that "this isn't enough " feeling that I had experienced in all Marutis, no "fun to drive" factor, again that 4-speed torque converter, light build quality

And along came the announcement of the new cat among the pigeons:-

Hyundai Creta

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  • What I liked:perhaps the only all rounder car at that point in time, 6-speed auto + 1.6 liter diesel combo, refined tastes, very good ride quality
  • What I didn't like: Too pricey- especially for the auto + diesel combo, no top-end variant for this combo at that time, huge waiting period, rear seat very compact in design for the price points, missing feature sets

Chapter 2.A : The Selection continues

So after looking at few more options including the Duster (excellent ride but lack of a boot and we needed that space for our road trips) as well, none of the candidates really stood out.

With this scenario, I went back again to the "mother of all automotive googles" - our very own Team BHP site , to start the research all over again!

A few requests on the site, followed by some focused clicks on the TBHP webpages guided me to the possibility of exploring a hitherto untapped option.

And lo and behold, I eventually came across this beauty:-
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Chapter 3: The attraction begins

I knew this was it, the "Eureka moment"!
Immediately rang up the dealer B U Bhandari located in Pashan, Pune and asked for a test drive for the upcoming weekend. They acknowledged promptly and confirmed for a Sunday afternoon slot.

There were 3 more days to go (yes, I vividly remember those days even today) for the appointment and so had plenty of time to - guess what - yes ofcourse, look up/adore/gorge on the Team BHP official review notes from the facelifted 2015 Vento!
Besides the TBHP official review, I looked up few other threads also, notably this one - It was mind-boggling to read all the user discovered feature list, and even more, was stunned at the sheer tenacity of the BHPians who took the effort to put it all so comprehensively! Kudos guys and thanks !

Few crucial things that were the real attractions for me:-
  • The Dual Shift Gearbox
  • An excellent and refined diesel heart
  • Classic, timeless design
  • First class suspension setup

On the scheduled appointment day, upon reaching the dealer premises, we were accorded a warm welcome by the dealer personnel. The point of contact assigned, we were given a thorough explanation of the feature set and its USP w.r.t competition. They even alluded to the rich German strong engineering legacy. I was quite impressed that the Sales rep could describe at length, some of the historical facts and other useful stuff.
My wifey smiled at me all along knowing that I had already given her a detailed run-down from the TBHP official review before coming for the TD, but in front of the Sales rep, I acted dumb, as if this was the first time I was getting to know about it

After having witnessed the mini-presentation, finally we took off on the typically empty Sunday afternoon Pashan road.

The test drive vehicle allotted was the Titanium Beige TDi DSG Highline variant.

The minute I sat in the driver's seat, it was like - one of the best moments I had ever witnessed inside a car! I was smitten - be it the superb seat cushioning, the surreal cockpit feeling, the flat-bottom steering wheel and the rich plastics all round - this feeling also got exaggerated a bit I guess, since I had been driving a Maruti for many years now.

Well, after some more tips from the Sales rep to sensitize me with the DSG "behavior", off we went.

Pressed the brake pedal gently (in anticipation of the oversteer), pulled the stick into "D" and the car tugged & moved ahead. I will never forget those first few hundred metres of pure bliss!
I knew I couldn't think of buying any other car.

After few km, the Sales rep encouraged me to go for the "Sports" mode. I was hesitant since I had not done that in any of the previous torque converters that I had driven and so was not aware of the response.

But he persisted and I acknowledged.

And boy, was it something - the red lit needle just flicked sharply up closer to maybe 2800-3000 rpm and the engine grunt kind of surprised me for first few seconds but then I let the w-h-o-o-s-h feeling "take over", and did I enjoy the ride on that empty street for couple of more kms!

Yes, this was the ride I was searching for. Now I knew what "fun to drive" really meant.

I also went through few other motions - did a quick "hill hold" test on a road incline, tried reversing at couple of tight spots, took couple of sharp u-turns for the turning radius check...and when the time came to head back to the dealer showroom, gave in to the "S" mode one more time!

When the test drive ended, I felt like the party had ended too soon. It's a different matter that the dealer thankfully obliged for a second test drive again after few days. And this time round, went for a longish highway run, covering the stretch of my daily commute to office. That drive really gave me the confidence of what this car was capable of.

Later, my wifey told me that I had a stupid but satisfied grin on my face all the while I was driving, maybe like this.

Last edited by GTO : 18th August 2017 at 17:51. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 1st August 2017, 14:34   #3
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Chapter 4: The moolah talks begin

Well, now we were convinced that this was T-H-E car to buy!
I had done some homework in terms of finance options, pricing etc. but I let the Sales rep fill me in with all the purchase details.

So we started the discussion with an important consideration - we wanted to exchange our family workhorse - Dzire, in view of this purchase.
As mentioned earlier, this veteran had put in >1 lakh km and was in a reasonable state of affairs. But for reasons stated in the above posts, it was time to move on.

In the days to follow, the dealer arranged for a third party check and evaluation to arrive at a resale price.

Within no time, they gave me a quotation of INR 4 lakhs as the initial exchange price. Well, from some informal enquiries with help of friendly neighborhood garages, I had set my expectations closer to INR 4.5 lakhs.

I knew I should stand by my ask since the car was in very good condition considering its age. However the dealer dilly-dallied and the matter came to a stand-still for few weeks .
Now this was a waiting game with odds stacked against both the dealer (they wanted to strike a deal quickly) and me (I wanted to get hold of it soon).

I again went for second round of personal enquiries and averaged on the INR 4 lakh mark, discussed with wifey and gave a go-ahead to the dealer.

By that time, almost a month had passed.

So, we went to the dealer and when we asked the amount for booking, we were in for a big surprise. He told us that they could no longer accommodate the original quotation of INR 4 lakhs, but had to reduce the value now to INR 3.70 lakhs, a straight cut of almost 10% in 1 month! And this reduction was put down to the month long depreciation that the Dzire would have underwent. We were in a tight spot.

I was resonating between emotions of feeling cheated but also rationality of what the dealer told about depreciation (well not maybe that much!)

Waited for few more days, evaluated the pros & cons again. Considered the proposition (or a fact rather) that no other dealer could afford that resale price and finally accepted the decision.

Took the final quotation for loan finance options, considered 'VW Finance Services' itself for hassle-free transaction.

Took insurance from Bajaj Allianz after some comparison and asked them to match what I got from online deals. (price detail in next post)
Plan name - Drive Assure, Economy
Insurance add-ons - 24* 7 spot assistance

Also blindly lapped up the Extended Warranty option for the car, thanks to suggestions from fellow BHPians again. There were couple of DSG scare threads already going on over the forum.
Plan - 2 year * 1,00,000 km extended warranty.
(it will kick in from Sept'17 onwards)

Chapter 5: Show me the money, honey

Details of the pricing:-
Variant finalized: Vento Highline 1.5 Diesel A/T Night Blue Metallic
Ex-Showroom price: INR 10,81,641
Corporate discount: INR 7,000
Vehicle Sale output tax: INR 1,34,330
TOTAL 1: INR 12,08,972

New vehicle registration: INR 1,46,022
New vehicle insurance: INR 46,493
Extended Warranty:INR 17,949
New vehicle RTO fees: INR 550
TOTAL 2: INR 2,11,014

On Road price :TOTAL 1 + TOTAL 2: INR 14,19,986

Dzire Exchange price: INR 3,70,000

Final On Road price: INR 10,49,986

When I made the booking, I was told that my Night Blue car was from one of the first batches of cars sporting that color on Pune roads.
We took a really hard look before finalizing on that color, and inspite of the dust & "swirl friendly" nature of that color, went for it!

Ofcourse, wifey gave the all-important go-ahead for that choice

Purchased some accessory kit (including the super cool HU) too, more on that later.

I don't have the original pic from those days, but this is still a great angle to view the Night Blue steed, what with the rain drops glistening on the elegant silhouette:-

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_190256_2.jpg

And with the recent facelift, VW has discontinued this lovely executive-ish looking color from the palette.

Is that VW's way of making us feel exclusive with only certain set of cars sporting such colors?

Chapter 6: On top of the world! Followed by a big crash

After we made the booking, the feeling just couldn't sink in - yes, we would soon be getting the new car in approx. 2 weeks, informed the Sales Rep.

So the delivery date was expected around end of Sept 2015. Very imp date indeed.

I started browsing & jotting down important points through the PDI check list on TBHP, and the anticipated joy was infectious with my family folks also feeling very happy about it.

It felt surreal, almost like on top of the world! I would soon be getting possession of one of the best engineered cars from that time, and a German at that!

Wow! Booking the Vento meant one of the best build and ride quality, excellent driving dynamics and a good fuel efficiency to go along too.

And the very next day - WHAM!

The news hit like a sledgehammer. Along with it, my dream came crashing, well almost.

It was all over the place:-

Almost every source and forum covered this staggering newsbreak!

Emotions ranged from to

Checked with the dealer. But they seemingly had not received much of information from VW in those initial few days. Only few things here and there.

Decided to wait and watch. And read every news article, listen to every news feed, discuss with every concerned person.

All sort of thoughts ran in the head (and more importantly, in the heart) - why now, VW?
Was it cheating? Was this corporate politics? Was it really true? Was it only the emissions or was there something more to it? What about safety? And few other such thoughts.

The dismal thought of cancellation also crossed my mind.

The thought that the very object of possession could undergo a separation even before I could lay my hands on it, was quite dreadful, to say the least.

The engine in question was VW's Type EA189 common rail diesel engine family, which was being used in host of cars across the VW Group.
The 1.5 liter mill was introduced in India in late 2014, this engine replaced the old 1.6 liter. It was claimed to have more power and efficiency.

Chapter 7: The show must go on

Investigators rapidly came out with the hypothesis of how and what went wrong:-
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And it was all traced back quickly to this blog, which seemed to be the source of how the "scandal" unfolded:-

Followed by some more insights:-

Those weeks of end-Sept 2015 dragged on miserably, one hour at a time. And with it came the time to decide on the million dollar (million rupees, to be closer) question - whether we should cancel the booking or go ahead with it.

You wouldn't believe the amount of turmoil that I / we underwent but had to take a decision and we took it. Obviously, with some conscious deliberation and consideration of few practical outlooks.

Now, after almost 2 years have gone by as we look back in hindsight, the decision to stay with the booking has turned out indeed very satisfactory.

But back then that decision to stay with the booking was evaluated finally on the back of few crucial developments namely:-
  • The issue had been zeroed on to that of emissions only and NOT safety, as was clarified in the initial reports. Had it been safety, the decision would have been closed immediately. No two doubts. In a way, lesser of the two evils? I had the Toyota acceleration issue and the Honda airbag issue for comparison.
  • The issue seemed to be affecting specifically those cars or engines rather, which were being manufactured/assembled/run in the USA. So, that meant the 1.5 liter engine assembled at the Pune Chakan plant was probably ok. Atleast, that's what ARAI said initially.
  • VW accepted the emission wrong doing and initiated a rectification course of action quite immediately
  • Indian emission norms were officially 8 times lower than that of US, so the engine produced / assembled in India could be out of the woods as far this matter was concerned. Plus, it helped that VW India cars / engines were BS IV certified so there was no imminent danger of non-compliance in the Indian market
  • Practically speaking, this was the BEST car running around. So the heart had already set on buying it.
  • And to go the core of the decision, there was no doubt in my mind that the Vento was T-H-E car to go for! I was sold on the ride, comfort and the available safety kit

So, made up the mind and took recourse to the saying - The show had to go on!

More details on the famed "Diesel Service Action" in later posts.

Last edited by GTO : 18th August 2017 at 17:51. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 5th August 2017, 17:04   #4
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Chapter 8: The D-Day

One day before the delivery day, went over to the stockyard for an inspection. Pulled out the T-BHP bible again, this time for the "PDI Checklist"

The Sales rep was like upon seeing the rigor of the checking procedure!

Next day, went to the showroom at the pre-scheduled time slot and after the customary few signatures, performed the puja with wifey doing the honors and kiddo watching in awe at the newly acquired prized possession.
Was again given the full detailing of the feature-set. Accessory kit on this day included the standard mudflaps and the matting set.

Here is the delivery acknowledgement note from my end:-
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170803_134507.jpg

And the steed ready to be handed over
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_170722.jpg

Unfortunately, the phone on which I clicked those initial amazing shots almost 2 years ago has conked off, so was able to restore only couple of old pics from that phone for this particular post.

Overall experience was very good with the dealer so far!

The customary fuel coupon - 20 liters was good enough:-
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_132358.jpg

Those days, there was a glitch at Pune RTO offices for the RC book delivery due to frequent printing vendor changes. But instead of leaving me out to fend for myself, BU Bhandari kept me regularly informed of the developments from time to time and sent the "Vehicle Registration Form B" as an interim measure.
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_165504.jpg

Good stuff, BUB!

Chapter 9: And thus starts an experience of a lifetime

The first month of Night Blue steed's ownership reminded me of Ferdinand Magellan - the Portugese sailor who explored and circumnavigated the Earth! Even though there were "stars and a compass" (legendary TBHP review threads) to guide, but I had to still take the journey and explore on my own. And it was a journey with ample treasures on the way.

I didn't try to rush into things - took 1 day at a time in "learning the ropes". Mind you, the transition from a manual tranny Dzire to a classy, slick, solid Vento can be really overwhelming. And there were some things needed to be unlearnt & learnt - the DSG behavior was just too silken, the engine grunt response was adaptive to demands (pedal inputs I mean), the handling was super smooth and the ride quality was top class. And to top it, there was 40% more power to "deal" with!

Did the suggested run-in for the stipulated period and thus started an experience of a lifetime!

Last edited by GTO : 18th August 2017 at 17:46. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 6th August 2017, 15:00   #5
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

The Personality: exterior styling

All the "chapters" elaborated above are reflective of the experiences till the car delivery date in a time-series fashion i.e. I have penned them as and when they have happened.

However in subsequent posts, I have shared some of the other experiences in slightly reverse order i.e. starting with the present condition and then going back into time.
So, here's starting the same with the odo now having crossed 35k as mentioned in the opening post.

An opening shot:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_094856.jpg

Nice and shiny Close-Up smile, though the chrome strip running at the bottom of the air dam is too thick in my view:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_120547.jpg

And this being monsoon, some pics with the wet look. The double-barrels alongwith the Zirkonia alloys give it the assertive stance:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_190505.jpg

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_190338.jpg

Shot in this 3-quarter reverse angle, the silhouette looks superb:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_190538.jpg

Followed by the smiling assassin grin at the front. The headlights seem compact/closer in this view, like close-set eyes:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_190432.jpg

While the front is shiny, the derriere seems bit toned down:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_190625.jpg

Took some time to decide on placing the Team BHP sticker at an appropriate position, hope it looks good as seen above

As mentioned in the above posts, this "Night Blue" color has been discontinued by VW India, it was present for cars sold starting from June15 to the next 14-16 months or so . And it has been now replaced with a lighter, different shade of blue called "Blue Silk". All other color palette options remain unchanged in the current facelift version.

The Night Blue has its pros - when cleaned properly, and if the car is standing in the sunlight, then it looks majestic. Maybe surreal!

But there are cons too - as with any other dark color, it loves to show off dust and swirls. Speaking of which, I do not have an obsessive compulsive disorder about it. Daily/alternate day cleaning is with the trusted 'Jopasu' duster and weekly wash (sometimes frequent in monsoons) is with the 'Formula1' shampoo or even the VW provided kit.

With office duties increasingly intruding on the weekends, I found less time to devote to the detailing duty and hence I signed up to an excellent car detailing service here in Kothrud, Pune. I was referred to this setup by one of my office colleagues staying in the area and believe me, the guy running the show is quite sincere and knows his trade.

The outfit goes by the name "Eco Clean Cars".

Here are more details in case somebody is interested to check it out.
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_134222.jpg

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_134230.jpg

They provide various Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) options, which suit various needs depending upon the frequency (how many times a year)or detailing (what to cover in the detailing service) of the service required. I have taken the AMC2 option.

Disclaimer: I am neither related to this guy nor have any professional interests in his endeavor.

To continue with the exterior styling (or protection in this case), bought the side door protectors too. They are customized - have "VENTO" imprinted on them, are made of rubber and do the job well in terms of protecting the door edges at the bottom where they jut out the maximum:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_094403.jpg

Cost INR 1250, covering all doors. And since they are of matt rubberish material, the color blends in nicely with the exteriors.

Last edited by JoshMachine : 8th August 2017 at 09:14.
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Old 6th August 2017, 15:48   #6
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

The personality: Lights and Shades

As mentioned in the opening post, one of main grouses was with the stock headlights.
Tolerated them for about a year or so but when they really started showing their age, and when I was on the verge of embarking on a family epic road trip (more on that later), I couldn't take any more chances and decided it was time for a change.

Alas, some of the original pics were lost when the previous phone conked off so I don't have the "before" pics.
This is how the double barrels throw some serious light these days, err these nights.

When laying low:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170802_213837.jpg

When high(pun intended ). You can see the column getting lit up, at a distance of about 40 feet
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170802_213841.jpg

All attributed to Philips Extreme Vision plus lamps .
Just a simple swap of the lamps. Am not in favor of the heavy-duty relaying around:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_115317.jpg

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_115253.jpg

2 double barrels meant 4 lamps, costing total of INR 3400.

During day time, when the lights are not on active duty, they look mean:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_112802.jpg

Super close-ups of the indicator located in the main grille:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_112903.jpg

And that of the fog/bending lights at the bottom:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_113014.jpg

Speaking of mean, how about this evening look:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170802_214429.jpg

And later on in the night, the pseudo LEDs at the rear paint the ground red below them:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170802_213246.jpg

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170802_213124.jpg

Up and close with them:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_192758.jpg

An obtuse angle shot from the top of the rear light assembly, with the ever-so-small vertical tilt of the glass aiding the reflection. Or is it aiding to reduction of the overall drag coefficient for this facelifted version?
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_085844.jpg

As for the shades (I meant the windscreen glass), got the 3M sunfilm - WS CR70 B - applied about an year ago, during last year's summer.
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_172703.jpg

Got this done from a 3M franchise outlet located at Karve Nagar, Kothrud Pune. Must say the experience at the outlet was quite average. Before applying the film, I had give specific instructions to the staff to be conscious of the company and the housing society stickers which were stuck from the inside. However, the guys at the franchise happily ignored this and went about their job with abandon, resulting in the stickers getting torn and no longer of any use.
And to top it, the owner feigned ignorance of what was happening around!

As for the product itself, 3M claims day time heat reduction of 70% while improving the night time visibility also in terms of vehicle light fade reduction. I was offered standard 5 year warranty. Cost INR 5,990.

The film, in total compliance with local RTO sunfilm density regulations, does nullify the hot summer sting to a great extent on a hot summer day. It also got tested during a road trip I took last year in April, from Pune to Bhopal. And we could feel the difference inside the car while driving on those dry, hot summer roads.
However in terms of vehicle light reduction while driving at night, the impact is not that great. As you can see in the above pic, there's a tint of light blue color for the windscreen.

If I look closely, it tells me the configuration that this is indeed a windscreen glass - LAMISAFE-LT with the manufacturing/ glass spec conformity done in Czech Republic (E8):
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_113229.jpg

And for the window TEMPERLIT glass, the config seems to have its origins in France (E2):
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_113338.jpg

On the topic of shades, I had purchased the window sun blinds also from the official VW accessary catalogue. They are very effective for keeping the heat out, fit in very snugly and look good too when viewed from outside:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_143913.jpg

I clip them on only during the entire summer season.
As for the product, you get 2 rear window blinds + 1 rear screen blind + 2 rear quarterglass blinds.
You can see the distinct difference for glare reduction between the front (driver side) and the rear passenger window with the blinds clipped into place:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_144004.jpg

And this is how it appears for the rearscreen (plus the rear quarter glass to the right of the image). It being a VW official accessory, there is attention to detail - you can notice the slight bezel to accommodate the contour of the rear braking light located behind the parcel tray:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_142122.jpg

And for VW, attention to detail also means 1 more thing - branding :
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_144218.jpg

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_085049.jpg

Last edited by JoshMachine : 8th August 2017 at 09:16.
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Old 7th August 2017, 16:27   #7
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

Some more of the outside, before we head inside

Since the delivery back in Sept'15 to the present day, the car has been running on stock tyres - MRF ZVTV with 185/60 R15s - and surprisingly the performance has been good. When I read some initial ownership reports stating some horrible experiences, I had almost made up mind to replace them the day we would take delivery.

However, the performance has been satisfactory till date. I have not had a single puncture in the past 35k! Albeit, this could also be attributed to the conservative driving style also. maintaining nitrogen in the tires right from day 1 of ownership or probably about diligently checking the tire pressure every 15 days or so, i.e. every approx. 700-800 km.

And this has gone a long way in aiding the superb ride quality, and in enabling the McPhersons to do their job properly. This has also helped calm the NVH levels on the road to a great extent in addition to the partially clad wheel wells:

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_172356.jpg

The Zirkonia alloys surely are something to look at! I find them the best of all the facelift designs that the Vento has undergone in the past 4-5 years.

Aah, but if something looks good, then there is surely a price to pay for it!
The downside of the alloy design is such that it can get quite difficult to clean them, what with the brake dust getting stuck in those nooks and crannies.

The tread wear has been quite uniform:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_172450.jpg

- courtesy my regular (at about every 7,500 km) visits to Prabhat Tyres at Kothrud Pune for getting the tire rotation done along with balancing/alignment as needed. These guys may not be as flashy in their setup as someone like Darshan Tyres (no offence meant) but they do a decent job. Surprisingly, they even maintain the historical logs so that you can compare for any previous records and keep an eye out for future performance details. At first sight, they may not appear as professionals, but I have found them good at their job along with reasonable pricing.
As per their advice, the tires could continue for about 10 km more, easily.
However, need to keep a regular watch as they put more km on the odo.

Targeting next set to be either Michelins or Yokos, any suggestions on the better bet? An upgrade to 195? I know there exists a dedicated thread on that too!

Guidelines, for the cold tire inflation pressure, I try to comply with these on alternate weekends in the early mornings:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_123453.jpg

Some of you reading this post may have a question popping up - what was the inflation pressure at the time of delivery ?
And the answer, as is the case with almost all of them, the inflation pressure was way above normal. I think it was closer to 45 psi. Got it rectified at the filling station right after taking the delivery.

Due to the low stance of the car, one has to bend down considerably while getting in. Importantly, this also means that the door side steps are likely to get heavily scratched every time and soiled.
So got the side steps installed, again from the official VW accessory catalogue. The side door steps are longer at the front, they are not illuminated though, just as I like them:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_191650.jpg

And the ones at the back are obviously shorter in length:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_191630.jpg

2 at the front and 2 at the back, costing INR 1253 for the entire set.

Last edited by JoshMachine : 8th August 2017 at 09:27.
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:18   #8
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Ok, now time to look inside

Ofcourse to enter, you need to unlock the doors using a key.
And if the key is accompanied by a chic keychain , then it will surely catch the attention of most people:

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_115233.jpg

It looks good even when "on duty":
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_183157.jpg

Alas, there is no request smart sensor on the door handle. Either you have to unlock by pressing the fob or manually open the chrome garnished door handle:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170808_092843.jpg

The unique thing about this fob design or functionality, and which I like, is the middle button for opening the boot. Once you long press that button, it releases the pressure on the hinges and pops the boot open. No need to unlock the entire car assembly as such. Just a nifty feature.

Ofcourse, you can also open the boot with the switch provided in the driver side door:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_140637.jpg

Almost immediately, you can notice a problem in the pic. The bonnet opening switch or rather lever, is located very awkwardly just beside the footwell. To operate this level, you have to open the driver side door first.
So if you want to open that bonnet for security inspection at malls or hotels, you need to also open that door?!?!

While VW disguises this oversight by saying that this is more of a safety feature in the sense that you shouldn't accidentally or easily be opening the bonnet, surely they could have found a better way to do that.

Coming back to the key, there are few other useful things one can do. Most importantly, if you long press the unlock button, the windows roll down completely at the front and about 70-80% at the rear (that's the max anyways for rear windows), thus enabling the air to escape on a stinging hot day. And you can do this obviously from a distance as you approach the car. Looks James Bondesque
The reverse method applies for closing the windows too.

Like most things with VW, the key seems also built to last and is quite robust for handling. I have not been required to change the key battery since purchase date.
The button layout is such that there are those small raised edges in between the buttons, which ensure that they do not get accidentally pressed when kept in your pockets or purses (for the madame). This layout could be by design Or atleast that's how I perceive the feature to be.

Ok, done with the keys. What next ?

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170720_162812.jpg

Followed by the super suave cockpit view:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_135926.jpg

One more, under the shade:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_150033.jpg

If that's suave, then what about this? Enchanting!
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_145745.jpg

I will let you feast on it for some time and come back to it bit later.

As viewed from inside-out


As mentioned in one of the above posts, for a tall person, one has to make slight effort in seating inside the car. But when inside, you can simply ignore the outside world!

There are the beautiful Walnut Desert leatherette seats, which feel premium and are very comfortable for those long road trips.
The marginal side bolstering also gives you that snug feeling.
This version of the beige color is a shade darker than the previous version, which was more yellowish. Hence these seats are better to maintain in that sense.

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_135735.jpg

Since I am 6', I am fine with the default setting of the manual height-adjustable levers. But you don't get that option for the passenger seat.

And at the back, the same firm yet comfortable feeling continues:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_142004.jpg

All the 4 head-rests (front & back) can be height adjusted.

Even though there is very good space in the rear, the feeling gets even more exaggerated due to the scooping of the front seats from behind:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_142015.jpg

The rear seat can accommodate 2 adults and a child comfortably. 3 adults might be pushing it a bit.
Last year, when we went on couple of long road trips from Pune to Bhopal and the other to Gujarat, nobody complained!

Lots of storage options around and for various purposes.
Starting with the cooled glove compartment, which includes the sun-glass holder also:

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_141545.jpg

Practically, I have very rarely used the cooling feature in this. Eventually, the glove compartment gets used for storing those insurance policy documents, manual etc. (you can see the carved out square space for keeping them) so putting in another item which requires cooling (say a Pepsi can shown in TV ads) might make things complicated because of the possible vapor condensation that could happen in it.

I love the concept of having the USB drive connectors fitted inside, though.
That way, you don't have anything dangling on the main HU nor do you need to stick the UBS drive on it. Makes for a clean look. Very VWish.

The front doors can accommodate 1-liter bottles whereas the rear doors can carry half that capacity.

There is also the main storage area just ahead of the gear lever, which is quite big enough to store a tablet/large smartphone, couple of cups, or those small things which you do not know where to put.

As shown in one of the above pics, the front seats have scooped out covers when viewed from behind. So additional space there too.

There's also the place inside the arm-rest where you can stash those toll/parking receipts, loose change etc.

The boot is ofcourse another important storage area for us, especially since we love to travel. The Vento's boot size is about 490 liters which is quite comparable to our previous Dzire's boot capacity. So, we don't miss much on carrying luggage.

Another good storage function, this one provided by BUB is on storing waste articles in the car:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_083523.jpg
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_174100.jpg

Since we travel most of the times in family packs, hence I find this environment friendly bag quite useful to keep around for stashing that "emergency" waste!

Mirrors & views

Inspite of the many things that I like about this car, the visibility provided by the stock mirrors is one thing which I dislike.

Just have a look at this, ridiculous inside rear view visibility:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_183117.jpg

Visibility aside, I prefer this manual IRVM setup as compared to the auto-dimming one since this gives a better / accurate perspective of the action behind with the auto-dimming sometimes darkening the view behind.
You have to turn your head back sometimes to see what's really happening, and then you get this view:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_142122.jpg

The outside rear view mirrors are not that good either, only marginally better though:

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_094425.jpg

Me thinks, they steep down too much on the outside angle.
The turn indicator housed in this frame, is nicely integrated though and can be seen in action like the "orange" light dot in the above pic. And yes, they can be electrically folded now in this Vento version. Would have loved the auto-fold feature though when I switch off the ignition:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_135257.jpg

They close with a confident, 3-stage action thud. This piece of work is surely one of the reasons for imparting that solid build quality to the car.
But there's a catch. Rather 'was', since I have now dealt with it.
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_150003.jpg

Within a month of getting the car home, could hear the door make noises like a rattlesnake every time the car went over a bump, uneven road or a speed breaker.
Thanks to BHPIan d_himan for his excellent suggestion on taming this rattle noise (
Although even this needs some sort of maintenance in the sense that have needed to apply fresh coat of the Collinite every 6-8 months or so.

Another shot of the rear door housing the cable for rear power window functions, and also the space where a lot of muck accumulates:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_083210.jpg

It starts with the seat-belts, good that the Vento has height-adjustable ones:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_083416.jpg

No seat-belt warning though, if you don't fasten them!!
Looks like the seat belt anchor does not have the appropriate electrical/sensor setup to process inputs to send to the ECU in case somebody switches on the ignition but doesn't buckle up!

Next is the airbags - one for the driver and passenger each:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_080004.jpg

With an unusual placement of the airbag usage/warning, this one on the inside of the passenger door. Guess, a better position could have been near the dashboard for it to more effective:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_145341.jpg

Next, as you move off in 'D' mode, the central auto-locking kicks in after the speed crosses 15km/h.

You also get the Anti-lock braking System (ABS) + Electronic Stabilization Programme (ESP) + Traction Control System (TCS) (which is OFF in default) to help in those uncertain or slippery conditions as applicable.
Frankly speaking, till date, due to whatever reasons, I have not experienced the ABS pulsating of the brake pedal in my car or had to use TCS. Maybe it is the slightly conservative or the anticipatory driving style that has helped me avoid such situations in the first place.

What more, VW says that the 'Hella' key also serves as an electronic immobilizer anti-theft device.

One very regularly used safety feature is the Hill Hold Assist. In fact, I got a taste of this even during my test drive before the purchase.
As a driver, you don't have to switch on or do anything - on an incline, if you have engaged the 'D' mode but come to a stand-still say in a traffic jam or are climbing up a ramp, that's where this feature gets instantly activated. You just move your right foot off the brake pedal, the car "holds on" for about 5 seconds (yes, I counted that) and then starts moving / accelerating to about 8-10 km/h, which is the max 'D1' speed with no additional throttle input from the driver.

Child safety locks present on both rear passenger doors:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_144841.jpg

Other features

Have found this function to be quite useful, I mean for our folks:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_174517.jpg
You just move up the lever to push the front passenger seat ahead, and hardly requires any effort.

And oh boy, this one also provides extra comfort to the rear passengers to chill the cabin, cannot completely shut the vent though:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_174540.jpg

Speaking of comfort, how can I miss out on mentioning these features, the modular arm-rest and the adjustable steering wheel!

The arm-rest, as can be seen below - can be adjusted at 3 different levels:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170809_121715.jpg

I prefer the first level on the left for those crawling, bumper to bumper traffic when I have to sometimes move the gear to "N" coupled with hand brake.
The second level is for regular city trips.
And the third level on the right is for those long, highway cruises where you can just rest your left elbow and let the cruise control take over.

For the steering wheel, as mentioned in my opening post of the review, it allows for both rake and reach via this lever:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_060107.jpg

From the 4 combinations possible, I prefer the combination comprising the steering wheel setting at highest level + closest to the dash:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_141122.jpg

And this is the "holy grail" of my driving / seating position:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_123920.jpg

On comfort, actually, there is one more item worth talking about:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_191317.jpg
As you can see, the dead pedal width is quite good but the problem is with the position.
What I mean is, if the dead pedal were at the position marked by the blue arrow instead of the current red arrow i.e. about an inch to the right, then this would have helped a lot. Because of the current acute inward angle, you cannot place the entire foot on it but only about half of it. This causes some problems in terms of the foot ergonomics, however only if a long duration travel is involved. Otherwise, it is quite comforting.

In the footwell, there is a significant difference between the relative drop angles/positions of the accelerator and the wide brake pedal:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_140157.jpg

But I guess this is common to cars with auto-trannies, more to help with the foot being able to reach that brake pedal easily in the absence of a clutch.

Some of you might have noticed the mats. Yup, got them STAR 3D mats. They fit perfectly, have a rough base which prevents them from sliding and the material can withstand can mud and dirt abuse:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_135550.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 18th August 2017 at 17:53. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 9th August 2017, 13:54   #9
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

Next up on the inside story: some useful features and the multi-function display

Total of 13 warning / indicator lamps lit up when I switch on the ignition, with the "glow plug" coil lamp indicating that this is a diesel engine.
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170809_140631.jpg

The non-linear speedo (after 30 & 40, you directly see 60 on the dial) catches your attention if you look closely:
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With the default speed limiter "red" marks at 30km/h and 50 km/h. The "door open" symbol is the same for any of the 4 doors being opened.

At some point during my morning ritual (drive to office), involving the cruise control:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170729_175044.jpg

If you are having any thoughts, banish them. The pic was clicked by my passenger. I had both hands on the steering wheel and was focusing on the road ahead

The 20.8 km/l figure does not properly answer the "kitna deti hai?" question. I have consistently breached the 22 km/l figure.
The highest FE achieved was close to 23.5 km/l. But I was driving alone at that time, so did not take the pic.
Both hands on the steering wheel. Always. Even if I am cruising. Period.

And this FE scores have improved (contrary to what I have read) after the "diesel service action"! More on that in the later posts.

Idling is at about 800-900 rpm, with A.C. on:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_143028.jpg

The Multi-Function Display (or MFD as VW calls it) displays almost all that you need to know and then something that is redundant:

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-collagemfd.jpg

I usually toggle between the "Fuel Efficiency" and the "Distance to Empty" (DTE) info, no point in having the speed being shown simultaneously by the needle and digitally also. The DTE turns on automatically around the 1/2 fuel mark and overrules the current option displayed. If one wants, the desired previous option can be selected again.
The optimum engine temperature of 90 degrees Celsius is attained usually after about 10-12 mins. of normal driving. The point is, it takes bit longer for the engine to warm up if you start early in the cold mornings or winter season and hence sometimes you can feel the engine is not responsive enough at those times. And it has been my observation that the engine clatter also reduces considerably once the above temp is achieved.
You can set the speed limit as per various ranges but only till about 120 km/h.

All the controls wonderfully placed as in a cockpit:

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_182943.jpg

A closer feel of the lovely, sporty, confident to hold steering wheel. That piano finish look oozes premiumness:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_182845.jpg
with radio or USB audio controls on the left and MFD/Bluetooth voice connection controls on the right. The steering wheel diameter feels just about right for a car of this size and adds to that sporty, fun to drive character.
My standard holding position is the 09:15 clock position. I find resting the arm on the window sill to be more ergonomic as compared to the arm rest.

The stalks again remind you of that built to last feeling:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_140835.jpg
This one on the right for the rain wipers, has very useful intermittent 4 levels at the first setting. The timing intervals are spread at 3 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds and 15 seconds respectively. This first setting covering these 4 intervals is good enough for Pune rains.

And this one on the left :
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_140852.jpg
has my fav cruise control option along with the lights.

Since we have a Hyundai as a second car at home, and since I had been driving a Maruti before this, I have never got myself around to using this European left/right combination of wipers & light stalks.

All the A.C vents at the front close / shut completely. But if you do this, then all the air gets routed to the rear vent (which you cannot shut), located below the central arm rest.

The A.C.C. unit is again fab designed:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_140721.jpg
with standard buttons as part of the console, 2 sensor "grills" on either side to check the cabin ambient temperature.
Hit the "auto" button and the A.C also starts at the previous set temp. No need to start the blower first or adjust the temp.
The effectiveness is quite evident, it chills the cabin pretty quickly and if you are smart about it in terms of letting the hot air vent out etc. the cabin cools within no time.
VW says to switch off the recirculation mode every now and then to feel fresh - I think that line was copied from their European manual where the air quality is quite good outside . If I do that on Pune roads frequently, well I had it then!

At night, the instrument cluster looks good in white and red, with the needles lit in red all the time:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170802_213624.jpg

The dashes that you see on the MFD remain so for about first 100 meters of driving. And the values get updated every 5 seconds or so.

with the entire assembly bathed in red:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170802_215009.jpg

Nice footwell lighting to welcome you:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_191423.jpg
In addition to the footwell lighting, there are 2 more overhead light switches which can be kept in "door open" mode. However I chose to keep them switched off. They are too bright in my view.

More of the Euro design, for the light switch and the leveling indicator:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170730_173044.jpg
The Vento does not have the "Auto" lighting option like its elder siblings.

Last edited by JoshMachine : 13th August 2017 at 12:59.
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Old 13th August 2017, 13:48   #10
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

More on the inside story: In-Car Entertainment

Before the Vento, I spent 5 years looking at this:
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Obviously, things were in for a big time redemption.

However, the next one, a RCD didn't exactly help the cause:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170813_131309.jpg

So, decided to go in for an overhaul within just 1 week of purchasing the car.

Folks, presenting the beautiful CASKA:
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Salient features:
  • Superb integration with the console
  • Monster 8-inch touchscreen
  • Smooth, responsive capacitive screen
  • 800X480 resolution offering good visibility both during day and night
  • Reverse camera, in-built WiFi support
  • And the obvious - radio (30 stations), BT/DVD/CD/MP3/MP4/USB 2.0 playback support

For more details:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_132936.jpg

The button layout's very intuitive:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_133018.jpg

And if something goes wrong, there's the troubleshooting guide:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_133102.jpg

CASKA, has different series for different makes. This one is designed exclusively for Volkswagen.Since I bought this unit at the dealer premises, I was offered warranty support of 2 years.

Touchwood, nothing has gone wrong so far.

The capacitive touchscreen does its job well and is quite responsive with a grey background color at all times, when switched on. The button display size on the screen is bit large in size, I think.

As shown above, the left panel of buttons comprises the Power on/off, Radio FM/AM, Navigation and Bluetooth. On the right panel, you get DVD, song or station up/down and the SD card slot. At the top, there is the slot for inserting the DVD or the CD.

A look at the various options possible in this head unit -

Screen 1 of 2:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_121006.jpg

Screen 2 of 2:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120948.jpg

I have always owned either a Windows or Android phone, so "IPOD" was never used. Same with the "TPMS" module, have never tried that as well. The original sensor kit for this, was being quoted at an additional exorbitant price hence did not pay much attention. Maybe will try some other options in the market.
Had tried to use the in-built Internet "IE" browser too, but again that took lot of time to load up and the surfing experience was not that great, so again did not consider it.

When you power ON the unit, you are greeted by this view:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170813_181602.jpg

There's also the Caska logo if you want, but you can disable that.

When you touch-click on the "SETUP" icon, you get a myriad of options including the 'system', 'audio', 'video', 'nav path' for navigation, 'time', 'language', 'network', 'wifi', 'touch adj', 'factory' to do a reset, 'logo' and a 'shortcut' button.

So, here's what you see when you hit the SETUP:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120932.jpg

Note that all the icons are written in CAPS LOCK mode.

This screen gives you the choice to either select or blank the options mentioned. And the bottom, there are 4 color options to choose from:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-collage20170808.jpg

My fav is the red since it blends in very well with the instrument cluster at night.

Next is the "Audio" screen:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_075255.jpg

This offers a decent range to play with treble, mid-range, bass. And a choice of 5 pre-set equalizer options too.
Once you click the settings therein, you can select from the front and the rear fader + balance outputs also:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120550.jpg

Next, is the video setting, offering among other things, 4 modes from standard, soft, bright and a fresh:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_075228.jpg

Will come back to the "nav path" option in a bit, since that warrants few more details.
So, here's finishing the rest of the setups, this one on "time":
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120510.jpg

I selected the NAV SYNC option so that unit time stays aligned with navigation software.

Language, quite an international range to select from:

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120454.jpg

Again, very good touch screen response setting:

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120425.jpg

And a warning if you try to fiddle with the factory settings:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120404.jpg

If you want any of the shortcuts to appear on the home screen, you can select them here:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120329.jpg

Now, onto the navigation bit.
When I purchased the unit back in 2015, I was offered 1 year of the paid "MapmyIndia" service, the cost included in the overall price. This version was pretty accurate, atleast for the states that I have travelled within - Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

The software loading time is decent, it starts within 3-4 seconds of selecting the "NAVI" button on the unit console after latching on to a GPS satellite. Obviously, the default expectation remains - that you should be preferably on an open road for the signal to latch properly.

So, this is how it looks like when you select:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120310.jpg

And the licensed "Black" edition which I got:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_115943.jpg

The default home screen shows the essential setup of what you would want to see - volume, zoom in/out, recording, GPS signal quality and the synced time zone.
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_074521.jpg

Showing the standard set of PoIs that one can select:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120120.jpg

And the crucial "Take me home" option under "menu", when you are done with the vacation and want to head back home from anywhere, well almost:

My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_120212.jpg

When you switch the gear stick into "R"everse mode, the screen lights up with static guidelines:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170801_071624.jpg

From the screen, it appears that the camera orientation is slightly upward facing. The distance of the "green" lines is about 10 feet (lesser than the Vento's approx. 14.5 feet length), that for "yellow" is about 6 feet and for the "red" lines, the acoustic beeps a loud and continuous chime at about 2 feet.
This distance indication helps a lot when backing in those tight corners at office or in the mall parking lot.

Additionally, when the car is being reversed, the song volume reduces so that the driver gets to hear the acoustic beep. Another nifty Vento feature.

My kiddo loves this view, with all the columns dancing around:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_075925.jpg

And then sometimes, try to reduce the distraction by doing this:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_121023.jpg

There's the night mode also, to reduce the glare, what with the "moon" sign appearing on the top right:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170728_111949.jpg

And for a serene, calm drive:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_075817.jpg

This goes well with a "Wind of Change" by The Scorpions, "Higher" by Creed, "Marooned" by Pink Floyd, or sometimes even a "Numb" by the beloved Chester Benington (R.I.P dear Chester). Or well, maybe a "Romeo and Juliet" by Mark Knopfler!

I am sure you get the drift

To live this experience, I had to shell out INR 37k.

Last edited by JoshMachine : 15th August 2017 at 15:22.
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Old 15th August 2017, 15:13   #11
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

Now, to the matters of the heart

When you hit search for DSG in Google, you will come across full forms of the word attributed to different forums.

On its website, however, Volkswagen calls it the D-U-A-L Shift Gearbox
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-dsg.jpg

Interestingly, Wikipedia calls it the "Direct" Shift Gearbox.

When I started researching on the DSG before the purchase back in 2015, the technology impressed me. I gobbled up all the jargon that VW had to throw - wet clutch, dry clutch, 6-speed, 7-speed, concentric shafts, dual clutch and what have you!

With this post, the intention is not to go into the technicalities of how it really performs - you have Google Guru for that obviously - however the attempt is to combine some knowledge and few experiences that I have assimilated in the last 2 years.

A very simplified understanding of the dual-clutch gearbox tells you that one clutch controls the odd gears (1,3,5, and 7) and reverse, while the other controls the even gears (2,4, and 6).
These 2 clutch assemblies are arranged in a concentric circle, the outer clutch has relatively larger diameter and hence can handle / deliver greater torque.

In my experience till date, i have experienced 7 gear ratio changes in the "D" (Drive) mode, 6 in the "S" (Sports) mode and 7 in the Manual or Tiptronic mode. Mind you, the gear stick representation for this Manual mode is only a "+" or a "-".
I have heard some say that they have reached S7 also, but not sure if that is true or what speeds they reached. Anyways, that is not the point of contention here. And even if that is true, then I surely do not intend to attempt to check it out for myself if it means obscene, dangerous speeds! I would suggest the same to the folks reading this line.

Again, elementary research tells that DSG plonked in the Vento is a 7-speed "dry" clutch. The dry here means a considerably smaller oil bath for the clutch plates (and hence less quantity of oil used) box as compared to a "wet" gearbox. VW says the amount of oil used is approx. 1.7 liters in a dry gearbox as compared to about 7 liters in the wet one. And with improvisation in the underlying technology, this oil filling is kind of life-long. One doesn't have to top-up like a coolant every now & then. Ofcourse, unless there is a need to open the gearbox attributed to a fault.

Without going into too much history, VW's main design premise of this dry, 7-speed box seems to be oriented towards producing a compact (for more generic usage across more models), smaller engine mated capability (for smaller engine capacities in specific market or consumer segments), more fuel efficient (due to smaller size & weight of the gearbox) philosophy.

While on one hand this has several advantages, it also has limitations in terms of the max torque handled. The tech specs for this 7-speeder can produce 250 Newton-meter for an engine revolution range of 1500-2500 rpm. And this is the lowest in the entire DSG family. The other siblings are all "wet" type gearboxes with more pulling power at their disposal, which translates into the ability to be mated with higher capacity engines.

The max power output is at 105 ps, somewhere close to 4500 rpm. The redline ranges between 5000-6000 rpm.
Nope, I haven't taken the tacho needle to that number, atleast yet. And my guess is that the DSG mechatronics wouldn't allow that either.

Here's what keeps me driving every day:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170731_083149.jpg

Both the VW Vento and the Skoda Rapid, being mechanical twins coming from the same VAG family, use the identical DSG unit. The stick used in the Rapid, has the letters "DSG" embossed on top of it whereas the Vento doesn't.
As can be seen, the mode indicators are illuminated by the red light at all times, when ignition is switched on. The active or the selected mode indicator is more bright red as compared to others.

Listing the various advantages:
  • Hardly any gear shift shock as compared to a manual transmission (about 6-8 millsec for upshifts and about 600 millisec for downshifts. A human hand on a minimum average takes about 1.1 - 2.0 sec to do the same, data point sourced to various forums). This is one of the primary reason for that "fun to drive" factor in these super machines
  • Almost, continuous power flow of power is maintained as compared to a continuous variable tranny
  • Very high levels of comfort for the driver
  • Higher fuel efficiency
  • Ability to execute a kickass kick-down with much more precision as compared to other auto-trannies
  • Sports mode - more engine power available at disposal, more engine braking if used smartly
  • No rubber band effect, no excessive grunt unlike the traditional torque converters

And now some disadvantages:
  • "Jerks" or rude gear shift behavior as they are referred to, reported widely. More so, while downshifting as compared to upshifts
  • Mechatronics failure - the brain of the DSG - a highly complex unit (discussion of which is outside the scope of this post) being subjected to high degree of natural thermal and mechanical stress
  • Only VW personnel equipped to service this gearbox and not your friendly neighborhood garagewala - resulting in a greater what-if anxiety during ownership

While VW on its part will strive to continuously improve upon the DSG tech, it offers warranty service packages to mitigate such anxieties. The first, cost included, warranty is for the initial 2 years covering unlimited kilometers. The second, paid, extended warranty is for the next 1 or 2 years covering either 80k or 100k kilometers respectively. However, this second or the extended warranty has to be purchased in the first 2 years of purchasing the car.

Some trivia:
  • As with most of the auto-boxes, this DSG also comes with a selector lever and has a very crisp / ergonomic feel to it. To release this lever, the brake pedal has to be depressed first.
  • DSG technology strongly advises against using the accelerator pedal to control the car speed while climbing up a road incline. This tantamounts to riding the clutch and will cause premature wear
  • Always use the tiptronic/manual mode & not the "D" mode while driving down steep, long gradients to maximize engine braking and also reduce brake fatigue
  • Unplanned Kickdown can result in rapid, uncontrolled acceleration. This can cause temporary loss of traction and skidding. More so, if executed in "Sports" mode when the engine revs are already primed higher. Hence this mode is not a pragmatic choice during heavy rains, what with aquaplaning abound on our roads
  • The gearbox can overheat / get damaged if the car is crawling for long periods in low gear. For how long, unfortunately there is no empirical data to support as evidence. While the premise of an auto-gearbox is about relieving the user of a crawling traffic fatigue, the gearbox dual clutches also undergo stress if the bite points are always engaged at low speeds. Inspite of the mechatronics module learning the position of the clutches and the gear actuators, the entire assembly is on stress-inducing, pre-selected "standby mode" in such situations
  • My point of view to overcome this condition (obviously to the practical extent possible) - is to not allow the car to creep for long periods in low speeds. Instead, whenever possible, the gearbox dual clutches should be allowed to "rest" by shifting the gear into "N". And, at other times, the car should be revved/throttled to more than idling speed so as to overcome the creep situation. This can be achieved by allowing sufficient distance between your car and the vehicles in front, before you increase speed
  • Because of the auto box, one tends to brake the car more as compared to one with manual gearbox. So, "bedding" of brake pads is very important to ensure the braking bite is good right from the beginning. Bedding, simply put, is all about ensuring proper run-in of the car which helps to remove the extra adhesive that is used to stick the brake pad onto the metal plate
  • Downshifts usually may take longer as compared to upshifts due to throttle blipping process to allow for speed matching being evaluated by the ECU between the engine crankshaft and relevant gear shaft
  • Generically speaking, even though your DSG will do the thinking on its own whether for an upshift or a downshift (that's what they are built for!), it will help if you are able to plan the movement, ofcourse with conditions permitting. For example, easing off the accelerator pedal and then allowing the DSG to down-shift is a better option as compared to slamming the brakes every now and then, because the mechatronics is able to adapt better and respond accordingly in my experience

As many owners will probably acknowledge, the DSG is a very smart piece of engineering from VW. On the flip side, it can get overwhelming for few to realize its true potential. This invariably leads to confusion, anxiety and loss of trust in the product over a period of time.
And then once it is labeled so, then it can become vey difficult to change perceptions. VW already has had its share of problems. They don't want more of it.

I sincerely believe that to extract the best outcome from the DSG, VW should hand out a dedicated user manual articulating the nuances of the same to all the owners.
Maybe, they should also advertise the technology angle specifically and how that can make the lives easy, to make owners (new and potential) more comfortable with it.
As Philip Kotler (Guru of Marketing Management) says, some products do not need any selling at all. Their customers do that vehemently for them.
The DSG probably doesn't fall into this bracket, not yet.
Am hoping it does, soon.

Last edited by JoshMachine : 16th August 2017 at 15:53.
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Old 17th August 2017, 11:11   #12
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

The matters of the heart, continued

The birthplace of this 1.5 liter engine is located at Chakan near Pune. VW started assembling this unit locally since early 2015. It used to import it directly from Poland earlier.
And this engine has now replaced the 1.6 liter diesel mill.

When I bought the car back in 2015, the specs of the diesel mill were 1498 cc of displacement along with peak power output of 105 ps @ 4400 rpm. The torque delivery was 250 Nm for a range of 1500-2500 rpm.
With a kerb weight of 1233 kg, this translated to power/weight ratio of 85.

Last year in 2016, some of the above values were tweaked with the power output bumped to 110 ps. This meant the new power/weight ratio is now 89, not that significant though on day to day driving conditions.

However, along with the power hike, couple of other things have also been tweaked.
Earlier the 1.5 liter engine delivered peak power @ 4400 rpm, but now it produces a higher power output at a reduced engine speed @ 4000 rpm. Additionally, earlier the torque band was in line with engine speed of 1500-2500 rpm. But now the same torque is spread across a wider range of 1500-3000 rpm. This translates to a more linear delivery, and you technically hit the peak power much earlier.

The famed 1.5 TDI, the flow transformer sitting snugly in there:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_142303.jpg

With decent insulation under the hood to damp that noise:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_142312.jpg

Since I have considerably talked about the DSG in the earlier posts, so I am not going to repeat that story here again.

But the point to be mentioned is that this gem of an engine shows off its good colors if mated with a DSG. Not discounting the manual tranny here but that's for a different day.

Of late, I usually have to start off early in the morning around 6.30 -6.45 am. If this schedule continues in winter too, then I will be conscious of the fact that the time taken to reach the ambient engine temperature will be even higher, resulting in longer response time for the engine to be fully warmed up. Currently, with my style of driving, it takes about 10-15 minutes to hit 90 degree Celsius. And it stays at this mark, irrespective of the elapsed driving time or the revving. For the engine to cool down completely, I noticed that it takes about 6-7 hours.

Typical to all diesels, this one too greets you with a clatter. But once you roll up the windows, the sound deadens quite a bit.

Upon ignition, the glow plug lights up for a very brief period, followed by the humming sound telling you that the fuel lines are getting primed in the background.
VW suggests not to warm up the engine by running it while the car is stationary. In fact, one should drive on as soon as possible. This helps the car to reach the operating temperature quickly and also reduce emissions.
And while coming to a stop especially after a long, hard drive, it is clearly suggested to allow the engine to run in neutral for about couple of minutes before switching off.

My route to office is mostly on the Pune-Bangalore highway section and with recent flyover works being completed on this stretch, the road is quite inviting to drive. And that's where the TDI engine does most of the work, and I must add, it does so with ease. Since I stay close to the highway, I get to pull off and move into higher gears quickly and the sweet spot of the rpm (between 1500 - 1800) is reached earlier. At no point during the drive, the car feels underpowered. It cruises very well in D6 and D7 and down-shifts to a D5 or even a D4 upon a kickdown demand.

With the DSG for company, the 1.5 l engine works in tandem to produce the best possible fuel efficiency of ARAI certified 22.15 km/l. With MT, it is claimed to be 20.6 km/l. However, as mentioned in earlier posts, I have surpassed this number consistently.

As has been stated in many forums, the "D" mode is more than sufficient for daily driving. And also for those overtaking maneuvers. In the mornings when the engine is cold, the upshifts may take somewhat longer to reach that desired output.
Upon switching to the "S" mode, the tacho needle jumps to about >2000 rpm and then stabilizes to the required speed. In this mode, unlike a traditional torque converter, the engine doesn't take time to give you what is needed!
However, "S" mode is not suited for your short drives or the city traffic. You can get the most out of it especially when you want to rev that engine freely on a highway. In this mode, the clutch plates inside the gearbox hold on that much longer thus enabling a higher engine revolution speed at all times.

Last edited by JoshMachine : 17th August 2017 at 19:09.
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Old 17th August 2017, 19:27   #13
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

Diesel Service Action

When the emissions scandal hit the news primetime in September 2015, many folks went in shock.
Including "yours truly". I had just zeroed in on this beauty and had paid the initial amount.

And while I have already mentioned the reasons for finally deciding to go ahead with the ownership, I can now say that I stand vindicated. And I hope that it stays that way
VW, on its part, communicated with me via dealer and directly as well - to keep me abreast of what was happening.

Fast forward to September 2016, I received an email with the subject "Invitation for Service Action". The contents mentioned a software update to the engine management system and a hardware update (installation of flow transformer). So, I took an appointment and went for the proceedings. I had done about 22,800 km by then with 14 months on the calendar.
For the entire process, it took about an hour or so. Obviously, since this was an official transaction carried out at the authorized dealership, a tax invoice was generated:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170806_134104.jpg

Note that the "customer" in this case was "Volkswagen Passenger Cars Ind".
2 main items included the "Software Update" and "Installation of Flow Transformer" followed by a complimentary wash.

While VW gave out monetary benefits to its aggrieved US customers, as part of the Indian customer compensation policy, they gave out a "special" car care kit:
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_115803.jpg
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_115719.jpg
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_115741.jpg
My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 80000 km update!-20170805_115415.jpg

Have consumed almost all by now.

The flow transformer or straightener is essentially a small, circular plastic mesh like covering, which helps in channelizing a consistent air flow into what is called, a mass air flow sensor. This sensor, devoid of technical jargons, simply computes the air intake and provides clear input for fuel injection. This in turn leads to better combustion, overall performance and fuel economy.

In a diesel engine, the function is different. The mass air flow sensor is not used for fuel computation but is primarily used as an integral part of Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) emission control mechanism.

The below picture (source) shows a typical EGR system in use for a medium-duty diesel engine.

Name:  EGR system.png
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As the primary function of a EGR system is to control emissions, the mass air flow sensor plays a critical role in the entire setup.
However the hardware was only one part of the fix. It is claimed that, the other part, that of the software update was even more important. With this in place, the flow transformer would now be able to assist in proper, smoothened air flow that will aid the EGR system to have more control on emissions as per desired standards.

It has been close to 10 months that the fix is implemented in my car. Few observations:
  • The very first change that I noticed was the relative smoothening of the power delivery. Not that it was lumpy earlier, like my previous gen Dzire. But I could sense that the acceleration had become more linear, more predictable in a way
  • There was no perceptible change in the engine noise. Even if there was, I couldn't notice it.
  • There was a slight improvement in the fuel efficiency though. Maybe about 5-8%. In terms of numbers, that meant the pre-fix FE of average 20.5-21.0 km/l had increased to about average 21.5 - 22.5 km/l after the fix, given the same road & driving conditions
  • There was no resultant impact on the DSG's ability because of the changes. Thankfully!!

Last edited by JoshMachine : 18th August 2017 at 10:08.
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Old 18th August 2017, 11:05   #14
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

To conclude

So, the steed has crossed 35k km till date and as per VW service schedule, I have completed 2 visits to the doctor, at the 15k and the other around the 30k odo mark. There was no bill shock and everything was carried out as per standard operating procedures. No hard-selling for additives, extra accessories or the likes. Total bill amount INR 19,501 for 2 servicing schedules combined. Within limits, I would say.

As I mentioned earlier, we like to travel in family packs. With this car we went on 2 long excursions and few minis.
One was the Pune-Bhopal-Pune trip last year in the PEAK of summer. Total distance covered was about 2000 km. Besides me, 3 adults and my kiddo in the car.
Super ride experience, and the 3M CR70 windscreen sunfilm helped in keeping that temp down as did the VW sunshades.

The other trip covered Central + South Gujarat in December last year. Total distance covered was about 2600 km. The passenger configuration was the same -me the saarthi, 3 adults and my kid. Again a paisa vasool, superlative response from the Vento

Besides these long-haulers, we went on small weekend trips to places around Pune and some to Mumbai for family visits also.
And now will be embarking on another long-distance one, a Pune-Nagpur trip next week for the Ganpati festival

To conclude this ownership experience for now, if I were to reiterate my stand w.r.t likes and dislikes, the features of classy/timeless design, ergonomic and comfortable ride quality, super engine coupled with the smart DSG and the underlying safety stand way above the niggling dislikes including poor IRVM, poor stock ICE etc.

For me, the value proposition of a car is more about the totality of what it offers rather than the individual features/components. And the 1.5 liter TDI DSG Highline Vento delivers that in great amount, for me that is.

Last edited by JoshMachine : 18th August 2017 at 11:25.
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Old 18th August 2017, 17:57   #15
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Default re: My Night Blue VW Vento TDI DSG. EDIT: 3 years & 55000 km up!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

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