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Old 15th July 2020, 20:36   #16
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

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Originally Posted by ram.iyer95 View Post
Pardon me if this sounds silly, but will this not create issues with the cops, since there is a ban on such dark window tints? If I remember correctly, the minimum permitted transparency for the side windows is 50%, and from the pictures, the tint does look rather heavy and makes its presence obvious.
I was once stopped in Bangalore by over-enthusiastic traffic police jumping in front of my car after a traffic junction. I was surprised since there was no reason of stopping me, so once rolled down my glass and asked he came up pretty confidently claiming that there's tinted film on your glass. I was actually surprised as there's none, and I had not been ever asked this in my 7 years of ownership. The traffic police rubbed his fingers all over my driver's side window to find the film but he couldn't and gave up after getting perplexed. It took me a moment to understand this and then I told him that this is how glass is from the factory - he let me go no further questions asked.

So yes, there's no legal clause against this. And the tinted glass does make a difference in day to day life comparing my experience with other vehicles.
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Old 15th July 2020, 21:25   #17
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
Even after 10 years, the Polo looks smart and warrants a second look. Timeless design has aged gracefully
After owning a Ford Figo TDCi (2010) for 10 years, I upgraded to this new VW Polo 1.0 TSI on Monday, in the same shade (Flash Red).

The review is spot on, I agree with almost everything mentioned in the review. I also find this engine fantastic, although I have only redlined the test drive car . Caring mine like a baby in run-in period, post which I will share my experience.

The only thing I miss is the remarkably well connected feel of Figo's steering.

Last edited by GTO : 15th July 2020 at 22:23. Reason: Trimming quote
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Old 16th July 2020, 01:06   #18
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
All said and done, the Polo 1.0 TSI can be a fun car.
I couldn't think of a better mod to test drive the Polo TSI given your experience with the GT TSI, as well as addressing many of its flaws. Thanks for the excellent write up.

It is sad that we miss out on the current gen Polo by 54 mm or just over 2 inches. Yet somehow they've managed to keep everyone interested in the current gen with these small little refreshes and updates. I caught myself thinking about cosmetic upgrades before I snapped out of it.

Bottom line For all the criticism VW gets, it should be credited with giving us a fun little hatch in an otherwise boring bunch. Maybe all the people who didn't buy it saying "but DSG..." will now have to put their money where their mouth is.
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Old 16th July 2020, 01:22   #19
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

Awesome review of an awesome car. Rated 5*.

A tailor made car for the enthusiasts. A turbocharged high revving petrol with e sleek gearbox backed up by perfect driving dynamics.
Off course, I have not forgotten the Rapid or the Nios/Aura 1.0L turbo petrol.

While reading the 'Driving the 1.0L TSI Petrol MT' part, I was just imagining me driving this car, rev matching while down shifting & the rpm redlining at 6,500 Rpm with a wide grin on my face.

This is my new favorite car now, at sub 10L price bracket, by dethroning the Figo Diesel.

Last edited by Samba : 16th July 2020 at 01:34.
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Old 16th July 2020, 01:31   #20
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

Brilliant work by the team to correctly point that VW is now using desi Gabriel shockers, and that the ride and handling is very different from the phenomenally good original Polo. Most Maruti and Honda cars also use these Gabriel shockers, so ride quality is more or less as good or as bad. My in laws bought a Vento TSi last year, and it’s ride is as choppy as my City.

The real sore point is that these shockers loose their damping in not much time at all. So while there is no physical leak, your car gets bouncy and uncomfortable after a few thousand km on Indian roads. This is a far cry from the Sachs suspensions of the original Polo/Fabia which wouldn’t go bad for years and years.
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Old 16th July 2020, 08:38   #21
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

Great review there Suhaas And Vid! The Indian Polo is indeed very old but still looks younger than many of its counterparts. In my opinion, this is still the best looking car in its segment. VW's mild evolution strategy also helps here; unlike many other brands they dont overhaul models across generations, which makes older models less dated.
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Old 16th July 2020, 09:12   #22
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Great review there Suhaas And Vid! The Indian Polo is indeed very old but still looks younger than many of its counterparts. In my opinion, this is still the best looking car in its segment. VW's mild evolution strategy also helps here; unlike many other brands they don’t overhaul models across generations, which makes older models less dated.
It is a testament to the fundamental soundness of this platform and the depth of engineering gone into it that the car is both relevant and hugely competent even today. Forget Maruti, if the likes of Hyundai and Honda can’t match the build, dynamics, grip and steering feel offered by this ageing chassis over 3 generations of products, they never can.

I really hope VW persists with this platform which is ideal for India, and uses it as a base to build an exciting line of products with their new engine. Oh wait, wasn’t that the plan in 2009?

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 16th July 2020 at 09:14.
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Old 16th July 2020, 09:34   #23
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

A nice review! Always a good visual treat when someone does good photography with a red polo! Thanks for it - an enjoyable read Suhas/Vid. Rated 5 stars.

I'm not a fan of 3 cylinder engines and won't like one even if it makes 1000HP in a Ferrari. OCD about symmetry stands in the way like a wall. So I wonder what I'll feel if/when I drive this 1.0 TSI. I think I'll keep considering the 1.2 TSI better regardless of the spec sheet. Based on the review & the on paper characteristics - it seems to be a drivers' engine. Interesting.

I'm really disappointed to see VAG India starting to loosen their tolerances. For instance - have a look at the poor panel gaps & misaligned panels in these 2 images. Especially where the bumper meets the metal. Panel gaps are uneven & alignments aren't precise as we expect from a German car!. The front isn't even making a smooth curve of the wheel well and has a kink where the bumper meets the well. An Alto does a better job here! Marked by arrows.


Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review-front.jpg

Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review-rear.jpg


These are the first items I noticed even without looking for them. Why? Because we associate these German cars with precision design & finish since decades. Even a tiny misalignment appears amplified.

I'd have liked to see some black cladding/plastic covers around the wheel wells in the boot. The grey carpet makes the boot look like something is missing.
Features in the car are good. I'm super-glad that safety features like auto-dim IRVM are available. (On the other hand, its high time car makers in India start looking at good headlamp illumination also as a safety feature).
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Old 16th July 2020, 10:40   #24
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

Superb review and write-up, thanks Suhaas and Viddy!

Even with a few glaring omissions in this day and age, the introduction of a manual 1L tsi with 109PS on tap, is one of the best powertrain options for an enthusiast buyer, considering all other old-school enthusiast options are drying up now. Nothing beats the refinement of a traditional 4-pot in this segment, but the times are changing indeed, and some compromises will have to be made. A lot of enthusiasts who previously wanted a baby-TSI but weren't brave enough to take on the DSG risk now have this manual option to lap up.

The interiors look quite basic and cost-cut to me, certainly not befitting a car commanding this price. VW seriously needs to at least upgrade the upholstery and the plastics. Also, the MID and ICE are terribly outdated like you mentioned, and the lack of basic stuff like a boot lamp is silly at this price point. We have an 8-year old polo in our extended family and my first thought was - this one's interiors and cockpit don't look very different from the relic version

You did mention that you found yourself shifting gears more often than necessary but you said it cleared the 2nd gear speedbreaker test. How was the overall gearing in your opinion? Was it tuned towards better city driveability?

Last edited by KarthikK : 16th July 2020 at 10:45. Reason: typo fix
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Old 16th July 2020, 11:11   #25
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

Brilliant and crisp review !!! Rated 5 stars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
The Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 7.89 - 9.60 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What youll like:
Fast & fun to drive. Begs to be driven hard!
Brilliant 109 BHP 1.0L TSI engine is an enthusiast's delight. Mated to a slick 6-speed MT
Mature suspension gives the Polo good road manners
Still looks great. Old, but timeless, clean & classy
Solidly built with a European feel that no other hatchback matches till today
Among the safest hatchbacks in India - GNCAP rating of 4 stars

What you wont:

1.0 TSIs refinement is poor at high rpm (its acceptable at regular revs)
Limited rear bench legroom and a large floor hump. Your family wont be pleased
Many missing features: keyless-entry-go, reversing camera, oldschool MID, boot light, split rear seat, projector / LED headlamps, basic 4-speaker ICE
Premium pricing! Amongst the most expensive cars in the segment, despite being the oldest
I pruned the list above a bit to find a target market segment. For the 1.2 TSI with DSG, the target market was people who need a second car that is automatic, yet fun to drive, or people buying first car which is Automatic+ some fun factor added.

Now, with DSG gone, I am wondering what could be the target market.
  • For first time car buyer, this one does not tick all the boxes. Especially on space followed by comfort.
  • For the guy looking for second car, lack of auto box cuts the accessible market size down substantially.

Overall, this car now feels like Mini for the regular market. Sales numbers would tell a similar story.
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Old 16th July 2020, 11:25   #26
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

Can't believe we have an official T-BHP review for what is the same car, 10 years after the first review (Volkswagen Polo : Test Drive & Review) came out!

With those GTI styling bits (which btw, as a GTI owner, does not please me one bit) the Polo does look very smart and it still remains one of my favourite cars. Mature handling, no nonsense, ergonomic and solidly built interiors and a sorted overall European car in terms of safety and engineering are things that endear this little VW to me. And for an engine guy like me, VW has been kind with versions like the GT TSI, the GTI and now this TSI + MT. So very old school, so very pure. Nice one VW. I won't dare say, keep it coming though. Enough of this version now, time to bring in the new one. Do some reverse engineering, trim the bumpers, remove a wheel or whatever, get the length under 4m and bring it here for God's sakes!

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 16th July 2020 at 11:33.
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Old 16th July 2020, 11:26   #27
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

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Originally Posted by WhiteKnight View Post
I pruned the list above a bit to find a target market segment. For the 1.2 TSI with DSG, the target market was people who need a second car that is automatic, yet fun to drive, or people buying first car which is Automatic+ some fun factor added.

Now, with DSG gone, I am wondering what could be the target market.
  • For first time car buyer, this one does not tick all the boxes. Especially on space followed by comfort.
  • For the guy looking for second car, lack of auto box cuts the accessible market size down substantially.
The way I saw it - VW conceded that even if they sold a Phaeton for 8 lakhs, it would be the Baleno & i20 that kept selling. So it was time they decided to carve out a niche area of the market, the customers who give importance to the following -
  1. Driving dynamics
  2. Powertrain response
  3. Feeling of harmony between man/woman and the machine
  4. Engaging driving with a stick-shift and powerful engine
  5. Clean understated looks
  6. Certified rating for occupant safety

I suspect some market survey must have gone into the decision to drop the DSG. Must have shown results that people would rather go with TCAT or manual shifters for a drive without anxiety over DSG.
Rather than trying to impress with gizmos, they are looking for a smallish market share of enthusiasts & brand loyalists. This afterall I guess is more of a stop gap arrangement till the MQB-IN platform debuts in India. Just to have sufficient presence on the tabloids and showrooms for a steady footfall. Ensures the brand has significance when new cars arrive an year later.

Last edited by Reinhard : 16th July 2020 at 11:44. Reason: typo correction
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Old 16th July 2020, 11:38   #28
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Great review Suhaas & Vid6639. Suhaas' experience of owning the 1.2L GT TSI was definitely an asset for this review. I'm a total "engine" guy and look at the powerplant before any other aspect of the car. That, the classy clean Euro styling (another one of my favourites) and the fact that I don't care about models being old (all my current cars are discontinued) make the Polo rank high in my books. I experienced this motor + slick gearbox in the Rapid. All I can say is, if you're looking at driving pleasure, it's either this or the Figo. Honestly, it would be a very tough choice between the two.
Between this and Nios/Aura TGDi, which one has better engine? The 120HP tune in Nios would have probably murdered the Polo is what I am guessing. I think Figo you are referring to here is the TDCi. It is equally fun/efficient and priced similar to a petrol.
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Old 16th July 2020, 11:47   #29
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

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Between this and Nios/Aura TGDi, which one has better engine? The 120HP tune in Nios would have probably murdered the Polo is what I am guessing.
An intriguing point. In a straight line duel you might be right (And the Hyundai twins' lighter construction would only help their cause). However in a timed circuit race perhaps I still think the Polo would come out on top thanks to its setup & dynamics. If not - worst case, even after losing, the driver would have a wider smile of enjoying the drive in a Polo.
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Old 16th July 2020, 11:56   #30
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Default Re: Volkswagen Polo 1.0L TSI : Official Review

Lovely review Suhaas and Vidyut! The Polo remains an all times classic and I simply love its Germanic design lines. It takes a lot for a design to remain relevant and good looking after a decade, and the Polo manages to do that without breaking a sweat. The manual transmission is what purists have been demanding of the Polo coupled with the turbo charged engine, and now that it is here, I really want to have a go at this car as soon as possible.

I really wish this was a four cylinder though. Each and every report including this one states that NVH is not really great or anything to write home about. I wonder how this engine with only tolerable refinement will suffice for premium cars like the Taigun or the Skoda CSUV coming up in the new few months. Petrols, especially ones costing a pretty penny like the Polo, without silky refinement really gets my goat.
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