I finally decided to write a review of this car which I got few days ago. It's a late 2012 refresh or according to VIN, a 2013 model.
Selection Criteria: (Petrol only)
1. i20: The new i20 facelift looks ok and has got many bells and whistles. But I did not like the car during test drive. This is the first time some one like me may have rejected a car because it's got too many features. Probability of fault with any one of them may increase.
2. VW Polo: The Highline model comes with killer looks and arguably looks on par compared with it's European counterpart with totally smoked head lamps. The test drive car was a diesel with 35000+ kms on it and first gear was making silly noises. I told the SA guy that I will not buy this car if I don't get another car for test drive. They arranged for another car which was also on 5000+ kms. But that car was just perfect.
3. Honda Brio: I did visit the showroom and DID NOT like the car at all from any angle. (For a first time driver, looks are everything
). It's boot was too small even compared to Polo. I didn't bother with test drive despite it's hyped up engine. Did not consider Jazz as it looked like a love child of Brio and City iVtec.
So yeah it was a very easy choice. Booked the car at VW showroom on 2nd Nov 2012 and after anxious waiting for a one and a half month, got it delivered mid December. Decent and as per promise. The SA guy at VW Downtown Prabhadevi was new and was learning about the features of the car along with me. He did manage to embarass himself plenty of times but I helped him with my knowledge obtained from TAI
I am not a writer nor do I have flowery writing skills (As demanded by a certain rival car forum
). So I would like to keep the review short and to the point.
1.The best thing is the ride quality. Since in Polo, you sit very close to the ground, it causes least body roll and gives car a sporty feeling.
2. 3rd Gear and above is dream to drive.
3. 3 pot cylinder engine? Who cares? The car has no power delivery problems. I am getting 13-14 FE in city with AC on. Will update Expressway FE when I get chance to drive to Pune.
4. Looks wise, no car in Premium hatchback segment comes even remotely close to Polo. The smoked head lights and 10 spoke alloys in Highline model are icing on the cake. Draws ooohs aaahs from friends and onlookers.
5. I can brake confidently without much drama.
6. As everyone said, car feels planted at speeds of 80kmph. Never driven beyond 90 till now so will update regarding Mumbai-Pune expressway speeds later.
7. RCD 310 music system is hands down the best in class. You can order MDI to AUX cable which makes the system compatible with all cell phones. The steering controls are very handy.
8. NVH levels are are no problem. I think I remember the guy at holding warehouse telling me about improvements in Cabin insulation for 2013 model.
9. I preferred rear parking sensor to i20's rear camera. I thought the sensor was more helpful at night when I compared it side by side.
10. No complaints from family regarding back seat comfort. I thought it was going to be a problem. Phew....
11. Interiors: They can rival the bestest
of the Sedans.
1. I am not sure about Gearbox. I have read many comments from other reviewers that it is butter smooth. Mine feels a bit tight. May be it will loosen up a bit after some driving.
2. High clutch travel. The clutch could have been an inch nearer to the ground.
3. The annoying honking while locking and unlocking the car. Sure to tell everyone in your society that you have arrived. (Like a boss) Idiotic anyway.
4. Tail lights? You got to be kidding me VW. Why not the Euro/Aus ones on Indian models? How much money was saved from production costs? It's trivial but bothers me.
5. Getting in to the car is like getting into any sports car. You have to glide, twist, turn and you are in. But once you are in, it's worth the struggle.
Some pics before mods:
List of Accessories for RCD 310 Music system
1. MDI to Aux cable
2. Audio 3.5 mm Extension cable
3. MDI to iPod/iPhone Cable
4. MDI to Micro USB
Euro Tail Lamps upgrade: New Original VW Polo 6R Black Lights Taillights Set from VW Germany | eBay
GTI Front Grill: New Original VW GTI Edition Grill Grille VW Polo 6R 03 2009 | eBay
GTI Arm Rest: Armlehne Mittelarmlehne Mal VW Polo 6R AB 2009 | eBay
Planned cosmetic mods/upgrades:
1. Authentic Seat covers: Done. Installed
2. Euro Tail lights upgrade: Installed
3. Mud Flaps: Installed
4. GTI front grill: Installed (Removed GTI badge and replaced it with R-line.
5. GTI Arm rest: Later
6. 17" Alloys: Later