Hi guys, this is my first ownership report on TheAutomotiveIndia about my new acquisition, Volkswagen Polo 1.5 TDI HL.
The idea of a new car came up after we sold our Mitsubishi Lancer LXd. It was the car that was loved by every one of my family with the best comfort and driveablity. We bought it in 2006 and had done 130000 kms till date. It never gave any sorts of trouble all these years. But after Mitsubishi discontinued it, there was shortage of spare parts which led us to sell it. After selling our lovely Mitsubishi lancer with a heavy heart on 8/8/14, we were looking for a new car for my mom for her daily commute.
Our lancer: Our preferences:
1. Compact vehicle.
2. Build quality
3. Easy driveability.
4. Good visibility.
5. Refined engine.
6. Smooth gear shifts.
7. Better ingress and egress.
8. Decent low end torque.
9. Decent boot space.
Initially we thought of buying a sedan but later decided to go ahead with a hatch back and later on next year for a sedan as a replacement for i20. The moment we decided that it is a hatch, we didn't had any other second thoughts other than the newly launched VW Polo 1.5 TDi. Myself and Mom had always loved to own a VW car one day since it was launched. Initially in 2010m instead of i20, we thought of buying polo but since it was a recent launch and due to limited features, we opted for i20. Polo ticked almost all the priorities we needed except for mileage as it was a newly launched engine. Booking and delivery experience:
9/8/14: Called up the VW dealer in Calicut for an enquiry. The SA gave a brief note about the car. Since we were in a hurry to get the car, he said that he can deliver within 10 days but strictly on colour availability. White and silver were readily available but other colours had a waiting period of 10-15 days.
10/8/14: I went to the VW showroom located in Calicut. The dealers were Phoenix group. My SA was Mr.Nirmal and he was very professional in all the concerns that I had till now. Unfortunately the test drive car was not there. But I saw a copper orange car in the display.
Since I was a huge fan of VW polo, I didn't have any second thoughts about the looks. I just wanted to check out the new 1.5 engine. I enquired about the GT TDI but he said it will be launched only in September and it might take atleast 3-4 months for the delivery. So sadly I dropped that plan. Nirmal told he will get the TD car next day to my house.
11/8/14: A carbon steel Polo HL was brought and I was deeply impressed with the performance of the car especially the low end torque which was far better than our i20. Ride and handling was superb and the interior lay out and quality were top notch. The only concern was the rear seat comfort and leg space. But I didn't find a problem in sitting behind after the front seats were adjusted according to my comfortable position.
Everyone in the family also liked the car and after a small debate, we decided to go for the night blue colour. Since it was a new colour, even the SA was not able to comment on it.
Following are the points which favoured the Polo Pros:
*The all new 1.5 TDI engine with superb low end torque.
*Easy manoeuvrability in city with minimal gear shifts in stop and go traffic conditions.
*Small turning radius
*Linear power delivery
*Ride and handling
*NVH levels are good
*Brakes are far better than the previous versions
*Built like a tank
*Quality of interior fit and finish.
*Flat bottom steering wheel.
*Large boot. Cons:
*Average rear leg room.
*No glove box and boot lights
*No 60:40 folding rear seats
*Lack of a driver arm-rest
*Lack of auto-folding mirrors
*Spare is not an alloy and the tyres are narrower
*Single Horn - Personally i didn't like it
*No ashtray and cigarette lighter. Gone is the illuminated ring around the cigarette lighter
13/8/14: We booked the Night blue VW Polo 1.5 TDi Highline by paying the advance amount of Rs.50000/-. SA said a waiting period of 10-15 days. This period was the worst of all. Even after 15 days, there was no info about my vehicle. I used to call Nirmal many times and he kept on giving different excuses like 'there is a delay in production for this particular shade, festival delay in North India etc.'
After close to 2 months of miserable waiting, on 20/9/14, Nirmal gave me an update that my vehicle is being billed and will be in transit soon. The next day he said that the vehicle was already in transit and will reach in 5-6 days. But there was some delay and finally on 29/9/14 he informed me that the vehicle has arrived. I immediately reached the yard and there was my beauty in night blue shade. I went around it once and did the preliminary PDI. The odometer was showing 'in transit mode'. Nirmal said he will deliver the vehicle on the same day itself. After trying out some tweaks using the software (with the help of a service advisor known to me), I changed the lane blinks to 5.
Total damage : Rs. 834000/-( Got insurance for 14k as we had an NCB on our lancer).
I took extended warranty for 2 years too - Rs. 12769/-
At 6 PM, the vehicle was delivered. The odometer was showing 9 km.
During the initial drive of about 10 kms, I was totally thrilled about the stability and torque of the car. The suspension has been tuned in such a way that on bad roads, its now more comfortable than the previous Polo. VW people have made the suspension a bit more on the softer side which balanced the thud noises of the old Polos. It absorbed almost all the potholes. I felt more secure in this car than my i20. Even my wife liked the ride of the vehicle. She was praising the quality of the interiors. Initially, I was scared about the low ground clearance. But in no time I came to know that this vehicle has got enough GC to take care of Indian roads. We topped up the tank with 33.61L of diesel after driving for around 30 km. The DTE was showing 750 km as range. As I was stuck up at work, I couldn't experiment with the car for almost 2 months. In 2 months, it ran only about 2000 kms. But in the past 3 weeks, I got time to explore my beauty. Till date the odo reading is about 4800 km.
Please find a summary of my brief experience so far. Initial impression about the car in the first 3 months of ownership. Likes :
1. Exterior - Changes to the front and rear are subtle, looks good. The colour selection of night blue was applauded by many people known to me. It really looks better than the shadow blue of the older Polo. This was the only thing I was worried about before getting the car. Now I am happy that the colour selection was spot on. Mine was the first Polo TDi in this colour delivered in my home town.
FRONT: It looks stunning from all angles, especially the front. The double barrel headlamps are very attractive and now, the throw is superb. The revamped fog lamps & integration of cornering function is good. Chrome lining in the front bumper gives a different look to the car when viewed from the side. This is the only part which can differentiate a HL with CL from the front.
SIDE VIEW: There are no protruding body parts and the shoulder lines are clean enough / simple which makes the car easy to drive through narrow stretches. ORVM visibility is good. They could have given an integrated indicator on the ORVMs with electronic folding function. This is really a useful feature, especially in tight situations. I loved the alloys of the previous versions better than these TOSA alloys. 185/65 R15 Apollo Alnac tyres are fairly decent.
REAR: The detailing of the new tail-lamp is minimal, but looks good. The bumper has been modified with two integrated reflectors and a stretched number plate recess. The body is strong enough, unlike the Innova or i20 where the body dents inwards with a significant force. Its built like a tank!
2. Interiors - It is fresh and appealing with a dual tone colour combination which gives an airy feel to the cabin. The doors are heavy and nice to hold; it opens & closes with a mild thud, and via a 3-stage action.The quality of the interiors like that of the dashboard, doors panels, plastics, controls are way superior when compared to my i20. All the power window buttons are 'one touch up and down' which is a special feature in this category. The beadings of the doors are well laid-out. The instrument cluster, dashboard and controls on every door are well sorted. The red interior lighting gives it a luxurious look at night. The new display of the MID is a welcome change by VW. The updated steering wheel with both reach and rake adjustments is spot on. It feels very nice to hold a flat bottomed steering when cruising. The horn is more accessible now from the steering wheel and it is softer too, although it sounds weird. I will be adding one more horn within a few days. I have placed an order for the same at the A.S.S.
Fabric seats are good, but I will be adding seat covers for better comfort. Front seats have good thigh support and are the best. Rear seats are comfortable, but only for two. The third person will be having a hard time mainly due to the high transmission tunnel. The L shaped rear headrests now give better visibility. The IRVM in the new Polo is of poor quality. I was shocked to know that it is a TATA product. I will be upgrading to a genuine VW electronic prismatic mirror later. All the pedals are well spaced out with a newly added foot rest. Its difficult for tall people with fairly big feet. The bonnet opening lid is on the driver side foot well, but can be operated only after opening the front door. NVH levels are good. During rains though, its noisier inside. I hope this is due to the laser welding of the roof?
3. Engine & Gearbox - This is the place where VW has made the real upgrade. The engine is a 1.5L which generates 90 PS of power and 230 NM torque. Low-end torque feels better than my i20, and its really evident in stop and go traffic. The power delivery is linear ranging from 1500-3000 rpm. Gearshifts are smooth. There is a significant clutch-transmission play
while changing gears. This is felt in all
VW cars. The smoothness (while changing gears can be gained by removing your foot from the accelerator while engaging and disengaging clutch during gearshifts. Once you are familiar with this, the ride will be butter smooth (particularly to co passengers). Out of the gears, the third gear is thrilling.
4. Handling & Suspension - This is the area were Germans outshine. Handling is spot on! It's way better than the previous gen. The Polo manoeuvres well in corners and is very stable too. The confidence while driving this vehicle is truly inspiring. The electronic steering is on the lighter side, but it gains heaviness with increase in speed. The suspension absorbs almost all potholes. Backseat comfort is good as per by my wife. She usually complains about bad rear seat comfort in the i20.
5. Braking - Its better now...very confidence inspiring. ABS
functions as it is meant to. Addition of ESP would have taken the driving experience into another level.
6. Fuel efficiency - In city it gives an average of 15 KMPL and on highways, around 20.2 KMPL. As per the MID, the maximum till now is 24.3 KMPL during a recent trip to Trivandrum. Dislikes :
1. Apollo Alnacs are not very inspiring on highways.
2. A/C makes lot of noise at second position.
3. ICE isn't that good. I can live with it, but voice command is stupid.
4. Noise from the door beadings on rough roads which is present in almost all VW cars.
5. Rattling from the dash near the odometer (Not able to point out the exact location). Its not present always, usually comes on uneven roads. I don't know how to rectify it. Accessories :
3D Star mats (Beige).
Door sill guards.
Cabin lights with dedicated map lights.
Brushed aluminium sport pedals.
Magnetic sun blinds for all 4 windows.
Hybrid DHC pro wiper blades. Mods :
Increased lane blinks to 5.
Tear drop wipe
Rear wipe on engaging reverse gear (when front wipers are on)
Increase in frequency of the wipes according to the speed of the vehicle. (PS: But i couldn't appreciate it)
Emergency brake light flashes on panic braking. Future plans :
Art leather seat covers
Now the pics do some talking.,
Interior shot in the night
Cabin lights with dedicated map lights.
Snap shot of the needle sweep