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Old 26th September 2017, 18:07   #16
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

Abhinash Nanda: Congratulations on getting home the hottest hatch available in that price bracket. I am a big fan of hot hatches as they are practical for city use and have loads to power that can shame cars from higher segments , when we want . The GTI competes with the Mini which is priced much higher. So from that outlook, the GTI is a steal (after the price revision) . Of course the Mini is a eye candy but for an enthusiast its the heart that matters the most.

Can you pen down your experience with the paddle shifters specially on ghats? I hope you are able to hold higher RPMs in manual mode.

The boot looks huge when compared to the normal Polo.

Hope you have a great time owning one of the 99 GTIs in India.

Last edited by Waspune : 26th September 2017 at 18:09.
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Old 28th September 2017, 12:56   #17
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Originally Posted by Waspune View Post
Can you pen down your experience with the paddle shifters specially on ghats? I hope you are able to hold higher RPMs in manual mode.
First of all thank you very much Sir for your compliments. I have not got a chance to take it to Ghat section as of now because of personal commitments and festive season. But planning to take it after Diwali, will for sure let you know how the car behaves with paddle shifters.

Best regards, Abinash
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Old 28th September 2017, 23:59   #18
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

Hi Abhinash

Was it your GTI that I spotted on the golf course road last week? I was in a purple Fiesta.
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Old 29th September 2017, 12:09   #19
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

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Originally Posted by devilwearsprada View Post
Hi Abhinash

Was it your GTI that I spotted on the golf course road last week? I was in a purple Fiesta.
It might be the case, my office is on Golf Course Road. For easy identification now I have put Team-BHP stickers on my car
Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI-a9dd2958f8bb49f391bd1d03372936ca.jpeg

Last edited by abinashnanda : 29th September 2017 at 12:18.
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Old 29th September 2017, 12:45   #20
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

Congratulations! I own the GT TSI and love it for the turbo petrol engine and the DSG. What spoils the party in GT TSI are the poor headlamps, poor brakes and lack of power (compared to 1.8 TSi). I see from your posts that brakes are awesome. High beam is good, power is not a question anymore. So all 3 issues resolved

Can you share the real life experience of the XDS+ diff? Does it really reduce under steering on fast corners? And does it reduce wheel spin and torque steer on fast acceleration from stand-still?

One other curiosity I have is - how planted does it feel on highways when you go over patchy/broken tar sections and oblique bumps? The GT TSI gets tossed away and thrown off too badly on such sections, whereas my Laura TSi remains well planted.

After the price reduction, a thought crosses my mind to swap my GT TSI with the GTI but only if all the short comings are resolved!

Wishing you kilometers and kilometers of fun in the GTI
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Old 29th September 2017, 17:22   #21
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

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Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
Congratulations! I own the GT TSI and love it for the turbo petrol engine and the DSG. What spoils the party in GT TSI are the poor headlamps, poor brakes and lack of power (compared to 1.8 TSi). I see from your posts that brakes are awesome. High beam is good, power is not a question anymore. So all 3 issues resolved
I hope I can take the liberty of replying since I have owned the Laura TSI in the past and currently own the GT TSI and the GTI .

THe GTI is very different from the GT TSI and the three attributes that you've mentioned are not an issue in the GTI. In fact I would add a fourth area which spoils the party in the GT TSI : Soft suspension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
Can you share the real life experience of the XDS+ diff? Does it really reduce under steering on fast corners? And does it reduce wheel spin and torque steer on fast acceleration from stand-still?
My GTI is less than a month old and I haven't driven it out of BLR city yet. But I have done some spirited drives on Sunday mornings and pushed the car on some fast curves and have felt the XDS working. I purposely entered a corner, rather a curve, too fast and turned the steering on a seemingly impossible line hoping to get some understeer. But the car hung on and just as it was about to understeer, the electronics did something and the car was able to take that line. It supposedly brakes the inner wheels when it detects understeer. Looks like its quite effective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
One other curiosity I have is - how planted does it feel on highways when you go over patchy/broken tar sections and oblique bumps? The GT TSI gets tossed away and thrown off too badly on such sections, whereas my Laura TSi remains well planted.
As I said before the suspension on the GTI is very different from the GT TSI. THe GT TSI is too soft , so you get a lot of rebound when you encounter up and down roads which makes you slow down. But it absorbs broken tarmac quite well. The GTI is quite stiff and also a bit lower. The stiff suspension can make the ride bit too busy on bad roads. The GTI has amazing grip and composure on smooth tarmac, but on broken roads you will get tossed around a bit unless you slow down or speed up . If the road has deep cuts and potholes you really have to slow down to a crawl, else you are sure to bust the tyre/ alloy/ suspension. The Polo's shorter wheelbase doesn't allow it to stay as planted as the Laura. But the light weight + stiff suspension + 1.8 TSI power + Fast DSG make it a very very potent machine.

Another thing I'd like to add is that the 7 speed DSG , though same on paper for the GT TSI and GTI, feels very different in the GTI.
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Old 29th September 2017, 20:35   #22
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

Thanks Santosh.

Good to hear that GTI is as fun to drive on road as it seems on paper! And just as I keep contemplating getting one, I see Tata Motors gets govt contract for 10000 EVs.

Oh man, it seems the end is coming sooner than we all had thought! Now there are 2 ways to look at this -
1. Wait till the switch over to EV happens as every small hatchback in EV world will claim 0-100 in 10sec!
OR
2. Grab that lusty TSI (GTI/VRS) before they disappear!!
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Old 26th October 2017, 23:54   #23
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

Hi, I think I spotted you today. I was in the purple modded fiesta on golf course road, your cars beautiful and the exhuast note is lovely.
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Old 4th June 2019, 21:18   #24
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

Is it wise to go for a 25k driven 2017 GTI.? How much price should be reasonable? It is definitely off topic but I have no where else to ask other than here in a gti thread

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Old 8th June 2019, 17:37   #25
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Is it wise to go for a 25k driven 2017 GTI.? How much price should be reasonable? It is definitely off topic but I have no where else to ask other than here in a gti thread
If the car is driven sanely then why not. I see 2 challenges with finding a good used GTI:
1. The prices dropped significantly towards December 2017. So those who bought in early 2017 paid way more and hence would look for a higher resale price than those who bought late.
2. Many of the GTIs are with college kids or youngsters in their early twenties - who have been crazily modifying the car and/or driving it hard. Even though the GTI brand is meant for driving hard, if I am in the market, I would prefer one that's owned by someone a little mature (someone who bought the car with his own hard earned money, rather than from his parents' money). No offence to any youngsters, it's just that there will likely be an inverse correlation between the health of the car and age of the owner and you will have to account for it in the future maintenance.

Of course, if you are a youngster yourself, then point #2 is irrelevant

Cheers!
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Old 17th July 2019, 13:53   #26
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

Sir, it was my pleasure to spot your GTI and have a chat with you over this weekend. If possible, please update the page with the latest details on your ownership. We all love the GTIs and would want to hear more about them.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 13:18   #27
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Originally Posted by Akshay2010 View Post
Sir, it was my pleasure to spot your GTI and have a chat with you over this weekend. If possible, please update the page with the latest details on your ownership. We all love the GTIs and would want to hear more about them.
Hello Akshay, My car is due for it's 3 rd service in August. Will post a long term ownership review after the service, and by then the car should be clocking close to 40000 KM.

Happy Motoring, Abinash
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:45   #28
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It has been 2 years since I own the GTI. It has clocked close to 40,000 KM on ODO and has gone through 3 services, a good time to write a review of my ownership experience so far.

Likes:
• The Drive, the acceleration and the brakes
• The build quality
• Steering feedback on Curves and Bends
• Fuel efficiency is surprisingly good on normal city traffic
• Safety features, always you feel secure knowing so many techs are keeping an eye on you.

Dislikes:
• Lack of modification options
• Availability of Spare parts
• Stiff suspensions make it risky to take the car to unknown roads
• Missing on some basic features (auto dimming rear-view mirror)

It is little over 2 years, since I wrote about the initial ownership experience on this forum.

Here are some pics 2 years down the line. The car still looks quite fresh, which is mainly because of the paint quality from VW. It is easy to make the car shine with a simple wipe.
Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI-my-post.jpg

ODO showing the KM covered, 39600 at the time of writing.
Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI-img_0615.jpg

The experience so far:

The Drive, the acceleration and the brakes
I use it as daily commute car for my 100 KM journey to work and back. The Polo GTI is a pure delight to drive. In a single sentence the car is stable, its fast and confidence inspiring, not playful as a Mini but no complaints there. The acceleration puts a smile every time there is an open space on the road. Never have to plan for keeping with either city and highway speeds or overtaking. The peak torque is available from 1250 rpm and turbo kicks in from 1750 rpm onwards, the car is always ready to pull and drive is effortless.

In sports mode, the car does hit the 100KM mark around 7 seconds, I have timed it 3-4 times to get an average, it surely lives up to the claimed 7.2 sec. In sports mode and traction control off, there is some initial wheel spin but after that car accelerates quite fast, with no drama. For safety reasons, it is better to leave the traction control on, in sports mode for our roads though, especially in wet conditions. Also in sports mode, the car has quite an appetite for fuel, which is very different from the figures I get on daily commute. I use normal 91 RON fuel for daily commute but with Speed 97 fuel the car feels faster. The DSG gearbox suits better on this car than it was on my earlier Polo GT. The shifts are faster and more eager in downshifting specially in sports mode.

Braking is quite good with all 4 discs and always gives confidence to brake late, if in a mood for some spirited driving. For daily city traffic and normal highway rides, the car brakes well and never feel wanted under any circumstances. The brake pedal feel is firm and does not get spongy under heavy usage. As of now only once I had to apply the brake at full force, as a driver in front of me in the middle lane suddenly decided to come to an emergency stop from a speed of around 80 KM, on an empty barricaded road with good visibility and no obstruction . Fortunately for me no car was behind and pressed the brake pedal real hard. The car stopped fast enough to feel butterflies in my stomach, the good thing in all this, car was rock steady and held onto its line perfectly. That was confidence inspiring. Now I clearly feel the braking difference while driving my other cars (XUV and Corolla) even though they are not bad.

The build quality
Being an imported unit, the build quality is top notch. Everything feels tough and built to last. As mentioned above the paint quality is top notch, the doors close with nice thud, the seats hold you properly on fast cornering, the quality of steering leather is high, it's chunky and nice to hold. As both steering and driving seat can be adjusted for height and reach, easy to get a nice driving position for both daily ride as well as spirited ride and never feels uncomfortable on the back, for me this is a priority as I drive long and getting older. Touchscreen and all the buttons around center console are nicely built, great to touch and you never miss anything, but surely nothing to write home about as the Mini, that's a different class all together.

Steering feedback on Curves and Bends
On city speeds and on straight road the feedback from steering feels comparatively dull except if you are in sports mode where the steering stiffens a bit. On curved and winding roads, it’s all different though. Suddenly there is a feedback from steering, and you can carry good amount of speeds into bends, one can almost put the car exactly where one wants, and you always are sure where the front wheels are going. The stiff suspension set up surely helps to a great extent during cornering and car always feels planted. So much so, I love the way the car handles on bends, sometimes I wish there are only ghats and curved roads everywhere I go and with a smooth tarmac. Because of the car behavior on bends and curves I am yet to get a feel of understeer. Even though it is a front wheel driven car, with lift off acceleration, the back can be taken out, bit difficult though to get the car oversteer this way.

Safety features
The car is loaded with quite a bit of tech for safety (ESP, ABS, Hill Start Assist, XDS) and frankly without looking into the brochure I can not even remember them. But you always feel confident that you are inside a mini tank (the kerb weight is 1273 KG, for comparison the kerb weight of Corolla is 1220 KG) and you are certainly in a safer place.

Fuel efficiency
Surprisingly for city driving condition the fuel efficiency is very good. It returns anywhere between 12 to 16 KM/Liter depending on traffic conditions. I must say I am very happy with the fuel efficiency, the Corolla that we own gives 9-10 KM/L under same conditions, both have same engine displacement of 1798 CC, with a different power output. So I guess, don't have to file an FIR against VW, as reported by a JEEP owner here.

Here is screen shot of fuel consumption of a routine drive from home to office.
Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI-img_0613.jpg

That said, when the car is driven in a sports mode and red lining the engine the mileage can be anywhere from 5KM to ~7.5 KM per liter, which is kind of expected. And frankly who cares, the car is built for some serious speeds.

Service history and experience

Got my first service done at 10,000 KM (At Jaipur) - Cost ~ 12.5 k, don't remember the exact amount though.
Second service at 25000 KM (At Mathura road Delhi) - Cost ~ 28 k
Third one at Just under 39K (At Mathura road Delhi) - Cost ~ 34.5k

The First service was a hit and miss, as the car had an oil change due warning as per the onboard system. Went to this specific service station as the owner also had a GTI. Fortunately, nothing needed to be replaced other than engine oil.

The next 2 services were done in Delhi and there the service engineer was polite and did a decent job with servicing. During the second service, they inspected the brake pads, discs and suggested nothings needs replacement. I assume because of build quality they last longer.

During the 3rd service got the front brake pads changed. I get the car checked at least 2-3 weeks in advance by a technician at the service station, to make sure there is enough time to order the spare parts. For GTI all spare parts (Filters, brake pads, even spark plugs) come from Ahmedabad, and takes usually 2 weeks’ time. The service station informs once the spare parts have arrived for me to book a time for the servicing. Overall experience with the servicing has been good so far. During next service rear brake pads will be replaced and may be front discs, for now everything is fine.

What I don't like:

Lack of modification options and availability of Spare parts:
As mentioned before, even for routine servicing I need to get the car inspected in advance so that replacements can be ordered. God forbid if something needs a quick replacement the car has to be parked for 2-3 weeks until the parts are available. Since GTI has a manual dimming rear view mirror and even if I want to upgrade to an auto dimming one, VW does not have one for India. If I get it ordered online, fixing will be another issue. Once I asked the VW service station to put the wires of my dash cam behind the A-pillars, and they said no, partly the dashcam is not from VW and they have not done it before. For now, the wire of my dashcam loosely hangs in my car, either I need to go for a DIY or look out for some good technician. Personally, I want to hold on to this nice car forever, but it will all boil down to servicing and spare parts availability

Suspension
While the stiff suspensions make the car handle beautifully on curves, has its own drawbacks on our roads. One can feel every small bump, imperfection on the road. I can even feel the zebra crossing paint lines while passing over them. You must slow down for bad patches, sometimes it can be bit embarrassing specially when a lot of traffic is behind you. Other cars simply glide over them without feeling a thing. I am talking about even the smallest imperfection on the roads for example the expansion joints on flyovers which are bit old. I cannot take the car if I am not aware of road conditions, so I only take it on known roads which I have driven before, and every time hope they have not deteriorated from the last visit.

Missing on basic features
While I don't miss them, but on an expensive hatch it is desirable to have at least auto headlamps, auto dimming rear view mirror, apple car play, self-folding ORVM to name a few. I do not need heated ORVM, instead auto dimming rear view mirror would be a better fit for Indian conditions.

Few other things, come to mind at times
• Fear of any breakdown on highways or remote areas
• Fear of VW service experience on forum (Personally for me, has been decent though so far)
• Failure of critical parts (Gear box, headlights, suspensions, turbo...), don’t know how long it will take to procure and fix. Just hoping it does not happen.

This wraps up my 2 years of ownership experience and will keep updating the post as the car does more kilometers on the ODO.

On a lighter note, being an understated car, few can differentiate it from a regular Polo. Those who recognize, usually give a thumbs up and at times there are few who want to race with it, at time they keep following and looking out, when I accelerate so that they can race. Unfortunately for them I drive at a sedate speeds on public roads and most often they end up overtaking. That said I have been asked some strange questions, 3 most hilarious ones which I can remember are:
  1. Why the car is so expensive when it does not have 2 doors
  2. Two well educated guys slowed me down, on the middle of the road an early morning, to enquire is it the real GTI? And when I sarcastically said no, they believed and complemented for doing a good job with disguising.
  3. The one that tops everything else, someone enquired about the workshop where I got the 2 backdoors removed. He appreciated the fit and finish of the job and was looking astonishingly till we both took different directions

Happy and safe motoring.

Last edited by Aditya : 20th September 2019 at 08:49. Reason: Typos and other errors
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Old 16th September 2019, 10:22   #29
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

Quote:
Originally Posted by abinashnanda View Post
It has been 2 years since I own the GTI. It has clocked close to 40,000 KM on ODO and has gone through 3 services, a good time to write a review of my ownership experience so far.
Congrats abinashnanda for a relatively peaceful/trouble-free ownership of an exclusively illusive VAG performance car.

I don't know who are these dumb marketing honchos at VAG who time the launch of these exquisite machines so badly. I mean if only these idiots had launched this GTI around or soon after the launch launch of Octavia VRS, I can bet my bottom buck that this would have had many more buyers.

In any case, wish you a very happy motoring and many more flawless mile munching.

Quote:
That said I have been asked some strange questions, 3 most hilarious ones which I can remember are:
  1. Why the car is so expensive when it does not have 2 doors
  2. Two well educated guys slowed me down, on the middle of the road an early morning, to enquire is it the real GTI? And when I sarcastically said no, they believed and complemented for doing a good job with disguising.
  3. The one that tops everything else, someone enquired about the workshop where I got the 2 backdoors removed. He appreciated the fit and finish of the job and was looking astonishingly till we both took different directions
Haha truly goes to show two things about the 90% of Mango People (Aam Admi):
  • Technology does not necessarily educate jerks.
  • VAG marketing team only have technology but no strategy.
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Old 19th September 2019, 12:29   #30
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Default Re: Review: My Red Volkswagen Polo 1.8L GTI

Although I don't own a GTI, I can completely relate with your experiences. Whenever I see one on the road, I just shout "that's a polo GTI" in excitement and other people around me are like "dude, why are you so excited to see a Polo"

Quote:
It returns anywhere between 12 to 16 KM/Liter depending on traffic conditions
This is unbelievable!
My Dzire with a 1.2L NA petrol engine has never returned a single kmpl over 12 in the city (average is 11).
For such a big turbocharged motor, those are really impressive numbers.

Last edited by Nazaar25 : 19th September 2019 at 12:36.
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