Volkswagen Polo GT TSi - My Lightning Mcqueen


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Background:

I have divided the “background” section into 3 parts so that I can give a clearer picture regarding how my taste developed for specific cars over the years. Apologies for the long write-up.

2011:

Back in 2011 while I was student, I began working in Noida to gain some work experience. My commutes were by the over packed dtc buses and then a walk of a kilometer. This went on for a couple of months until I realized that a car would be a big relief to my tiring commutes. In the meanwhile, through a friend I came to know about a used 2004 base model maruti alto being sold for a reasonable price. With what little savings I had (first job) and a loan from a friend, I bought the car in may of 2011. This was my first car and I was quite happy at how convenient my office commutes had become. Its maintenance was cheap as well and it proved to be a great first car.

2013:

As time went by I realized my car’s limitations like no power steering, had a difficult time to go over flyovers with the a.c on, frequent runs to the mechanic etc. I and my girlfriend were to get married in November of 2013 and realized that we need a new car as alto may not last long. In early 2013 I came across the news of Ford’s ecosport being launched in India. As per the reviews it’s seemed like a really good car (first sub 4 metre compact suv). I and my brother decided to check it out. We went to bikaji kama place and checked out the ecosport. I was a bit disappointed as it was smaller than what I expected. We took a test drive of the ecosport with the Eco boost engine and were left wanting for more especially in the power department. We went to the next showroom with was a chevy dealer and checked out the sail sedan. Coming from an alto a SEDAN looked very appealing. The base model of the sedan was for around 6 lakhs and it seemed like a reasonable price for a sedan. A test drive was arranged and the car felt under powered. There was a lag in the throttle response it seemed. I guess after coming from an alto I had high expectations from other more “expensive” cars.

Disappointed, we walked out of the chevy showroom as well and entered vw dealership. By the way all the dealerships are on the same lane and one after the other. As we entered the dealership we realized that the customer service was more professional as compared to ford and chevy dealerships. The ambience of the dealership was much more professional. I went and began checking out the polo and display and boy it was in a different league altogether. The external design, the interior design, the build, the fit and finish were amazing. Both I and my brother loved the car. It felt quite premium to sit in. The sales executive (SE) explained the various features of the car, the build quality, the prices and the MAINTENANCE costs!! We were quite shocked to hear about the maintenance costs. I test drove the petrol polo and was impressed by its performance. Loved the suspension, nvh levels and even the 3 pot engine as it has a good low end torque and the gruff sound of the 3 potter gave a sporty feeling. I loved the car and was ready to buy the trendline petrol variant however the maintenance costs made me shy away, although I wished I could buy the car as I was in love with it.
Maruti and Hyundai weren’t on my list as I thought those cars to be very common and wanted something different, hence didn’t bother visiting their dealerships. During the couple of months since I began my car hunt I visited vw dealerships multiple times just to see and test drive the car. I also checked out the Ford figo but found the design outdated. Gradually as the reality of polo being a premium hatchback and I not being able to own one sank in, I decided to visit Hyundai dealership. I checked out their i10 and took a test drive as well. I was impressed by the peppy 1.2 kappa engine, fit and finish was good enough, the price seemed reasonable and the maintenance costs were realistic. Hyundai seemed to tick most of the boxes that I could think of with my logical mind. After talking to the SE I came to know that a refreshed i10 will be launched in sept of 2013 and heeding my fiancé’s wise advice I decided to wait for the Grand i10 to be launched.

Come September and the Grand i10 was launched. It was an amazing package right from the design to the features, to the fit and finish, it felt posh and a value for money car. Took a test drive and enjoyed the silent and smooth engine. I had made up my mind to buy the grand i10.

On October 24th I got my grand i10 magna petrol and I loved the car. I had sold my old alto to my brother as he needed a car as well. With the grand i10 I almost forgot about the polo and I enjoyed my car. Did many road trips with it, modified it with euro style drls, projectors, alloy wheels. I had no complaints with the engine. Most people find the engine on the weaker side but I personally think that you need to understand the engine and the gearbox combo to be able to extract the required power. The car never let me down in city and on highways. I began to love the Hyundai brand and was impressed on how they introduced new models that were amazing and unique. (i20, creta)

2015:

My brother in the meantime had graduated from my alto to a used eon and to a new elite i20 petrol with the avn. It’s practical, premium, looks hot and drives well. Yes you heard me guys, Hyundai has sorted out the suspension of their cars to a great extent. In the meanwhile I was enjoying my grand i10 till the latin ncap test results of the Indian made grand i10 came out. I was shocked to see it score zero stars! What really worried me was the structural integrity was compromised. I was quite disappointed in Hyundai as a brand as I had become a loyal fan of Hyundai. I emailed Hyundai and expressed my disappointment on their take on safety of their cars specifically grand i10. Three times I had close encounters on the road due to the lack of abs in my car and the over servoed brakes of the grand i10. I didn’t want to sell my car as I really loved it for what it was but the safety issue couldn’t be overlooked specially with my family and the road trips that we do in the car. I struggled to decide whether I should let go of this car or keep it. With a new member joining our family soon I decided that I couldn’t compromise safety and not all decisions can be taken with a financial outlook.

2016:

I again was in the market hunting for a new car. The thought had crossed my mind to get another grand i10 with abs and airbags however the structural integrity of the car didn’t allow me to do so. This time around, safety was my priority while for searching for a new car. Diesel was never an option for me as the gain in torque with increasing revvs is what I love, unlike diesels where the torque comes in in low rpms without revving the engine. No offense to diesel engine lovers. Just my personal preference. If I ever considered a diesel engine it would be a Hyundai, just fyi. Following cars were considered:

Hyundai Grand i10:

Pros:
- Hassle free ownership
- Value for money package
- Practically designed

Cons:

- Lacking in safety

Hyundai elite i20

Pros:
- Same as grand i10
- Premium
- Feature loaded
- Spacious
- Looks hot
Cons:
- Brother owns one

Fiat Linea t jet

Pros:
- Turbocharged petrol engine.
- Great steering and suspension
- Solid build and safe
Cons:
- Questionable after sales
- Didn’t like the raised suspension
- Fit and finish not upto the mark
- Outdated looks
- Weird seating ergonomics for the driver

Fiat Abarth Punto

Pros:
- Turbocharged POWERFUL petrol engine
- All black interiors with abarth touch looks sporty
- Beautiful alloy wheels
- Amazing handling and suspension
Cons:
- Questionable after sales
- Weird seating ergonomics for the driver
- I don’t need all that power with most of my driving in city

Hyundai verna

Pros:
- 6 airbags in top model
- Cheap maintenance
- Hassle free ownership
- Looks decent
- Decently powered petrol engine

Cons:
- Outdate design, 5th gen verna will be launched by this year or next year
- Beige interiors
- Fit, finish and feel not as premium as i20, creta (new design philosophy)
- Top model over the budget
- Wife doesn’t like verna’s design

Vw polo GT Tsi

Pros:
- Safety (structural integrity, airbags, abs, esp)
- Tsi engine
- Dsg gearbox
- Top notch build quality, fit and finish
- Designed keeping safety as primay focus
- My first love
- Automatic (ease of driving for my wife)
- Well balanced suspension (good for city and highways)
- Best paint quality in the segment

Cons:
- High maintenance costs
- Questionable dsg issues
- Less rear seat space
- Not practically designed as compared to a Hyundai (no bottle holders at the rear)
- Boring and outdated alloy wheels
- No boot light!!!

In the end I went ahead with the vw polo GT tsi. It is a safe car with reasonable fun to drive factor with the convenience of an amazing auto gearbox (dsg)
 
Thread Starter #2
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Dealership:

I had visited capital vw dealership in mohan cooperative estate as well as the dealership in mgf mall and bikaji kama place. I found capital vw to be the best out of them in terms of customer centric experience.
The SE was polite and did not push or call again and again to book the car. I really appreciated that. The dealership staff were friendly. I exchanged my grand i10 and got the price that I asked for which was impressive. Didn’t get discounts on the car except for some discount on the insurance. The dealer gave mud flaps, mats and body cover for free. The dealership experience was at par with Hyundai dealerships. Can’t comment on maruti as I didn’t visit a maruti Suzuki dealership. The SE had come to my house for signing papers, financing the car and other million documents that need to be signed so that on the day of delivery I had to worry about minimum paperwork. Booked the car in red colour on the 13th of may 2016.
Took the delivery on the 1st of June 2016. The delivery was short, not quirky and made us (I and my wife) feel special. The whole process was completed in 45 minutes. The lamination sticker on the hood and the roof was taken out in front of me as requested by me. I also got to do my pdi of the car before the registration at the dealer’s workshop where they do their own pdi. If such is the attitude of dealerships towards customers then I believe vw is tightening the belt to improve its customer satisfaction. It took 15 days for the RC to arrive at the dealership as compared to Hyundai which took more than 2 months.

How is it like to drive?

It’s an amazing car. The car is a jack of all trades and does its job well. I have covered roughly 400kms and the car has returned an average of about 11.5kmpl in city (Delhi) driving with 100% use of a.c. I have been driving the car in ‘D’ mode mostly and it’s good for city usage. I will compare the polo with elite i20 and grand i10 as these are the 2 cars I’ve driven extensively. Some specifics to follow:

Engine:

The Tsi engine is a very impressive engine. I read a little about tsi engine tech online. It’s a unique engine that incorporates direct fuel injection like the diesel engines hence the torque is available from as low as 1800rpm. Being a petrol engine it revvs up to 6k rpm and the torque is spread till 4k rpm I think. I get the best of both the engine types with this tsi engine. It’s a sohc engine.

Gearbox:

It’s a dual speed gearbox (dsg). It is the best gearbox available in cars below 20 lakhs. The shifts are lightning fast. I love manual cars and when I test drove the polo GT for the first time I didn’t like the automatic gearbox. Once I understood how it works and responds I developed appreciation for the dsg and now I enjoy it. It is a quick learner and understands my intentions with the throttle input. While in ‘D’ mode if I depress the throttle a little more than half the car downshifts and brings it in the turbo zone. However it takes a second or so for the gearbox to downshift. The best way for quick overtakes is to put the mode into “tiptronic” mode and downshift two gears and the car is in its turbo zone and shoots forward. I have not faced the famous D3<D2 jerk. When the car comes to a sudden stop the yes, I can feel gearbox downshifting but definitely not what has been complained by some owners here. Maybe vw has updated its mechatronics software? The car quickly upshifts from D1>D2. D2 is pulled almost till 2k rpm in D mode under sedate driving conditions. At 60kmph the car is in D7 and at around 1500 rpm. The upshifts are really smooth. I haven’t tried the ‘S’ mode yet as I haven’t completed the engine break in period which I imagine is 1500kms. I don’t feel the need for ‘S’ mode as most of my drive is in the busy roads of delhi and for the occasional overtakes there is always the tiptronic mode.

Suspension, steering and handling:

Coming from a Hyundai I must say the the suspension if better. It’s better in absorbing potholes, undulations of the road as well as better around corners and in high speed stability. However, please don’t misunderstand this as Hyundai cars have a bad suspension setup. Trust me their cars have come a long way in the suspension dept. (courtesy. Elite i20). If I give polo a 10 for suspension I would give i20 an 8.5. Yes the grand i10’s suspension and steering isn’t as confidence inspiring as the polo or even the i20. I would say that vw has a setup the suspension very well both for city and highway drives.

The steering of the polo is heavier that Hyundai at low speeds and stays heavy at higher speeds as well. There steering responsiveness is not as good as a Fiat. There is definitely a difference between a hydraulic and an electric power steering. In the i20 the steering is light at lower speeds and weighs up at higher speeds.

The car handles very well thanks to its suspension, steering and the chassis. I must say that the chassis of the polo is designed for safety as well as speeds. It might come as a surprise to many of us here but even the high floor hump of the polo, which is criticized, does actually contribute to the agility of the chassis as well as structural integrity. I did some research on vw’s atrocious floor hump and why they have that when other manufacturers have almost no hump. I did realize that it’s not due to bad designing but on the contrary good designing. I personally don’t mind the high floor hump as I believe a hatchback is designed for 4 people and not 5. If a 5th person does sit, it’s at his/her inconvenience.

Practicality:

Well this is where Hyundai is definitely better.
- The polo doesn’t have bottle holder on the rear doors whereas both i10 and i20 have an option to store 1 litre bottles at the rear in addition to the front.
- The cup holders on the polo are placed in front of the gear stick which makes it really impractical to keep your tea/coffee while on the go. I tried it once and I almost spilt it as the gear stick makes it difficult to take it and put it back.
- Polo doesn’t have an armrest nor a rear a.c vent. Both of them are present of the i20 even though it’s manual. I’m not complaining about the rear a.c vents though as the a.c is quite powerful and cools the cabin in minutes.
- IT DOESN’T HAVE A BOOT LIGHT!! This is a glaring cost cutting measure by vw and I fail to understand the logic behind it.
- It doesn’t have the rear view camera even though the Ameo with the same infotainment system does, probably vw is saving it for in the next face lift.
- I miss the auto folding ovrms feature in the polo which is there in the i20.
- It has the sunglass holder option in the glove box, I would have preferred it near the map lights as in the i20.
- The rear seat space is less however that’s due to the large boot space. The front seats as scooped out to give additional millimeters of knee space. The rear bench in itself is comfortable and bucket seat like unlike the flat seats found in many cars.
- The rear windows don’t roll down all the way. Again that’s not an issue with me as 99% of the time I keep the windows rolled up thanks to the dusty delhi environment.

Now for some good part:

- All the windows have one touch auto up and down function, a very useful feature
- Speed sensing auto door lock adds to the convenience. It locks at 15 kmph.
- Front seats a comfortable and provide good horizontal and lateral support.
- The car has a dead pedal
- The MFD has some useful features that I missed in Hyundai like distance to empty, instantaneous mileage and average mileage
- The nvh levels are really good. The hood has cladding on it that contributes to it.
- The double barrel headlights do a good job at illumination. I had bi xenon hid projector setup in my grand i10 and the throw was amazing. However, I don’t miss it.
- Automatic rain sensing wipers. I tried it and they work great. They are speed sensitive as well as when I go fast the wipes are more frequent.
- Cruise control works great too. Turn the cruise control on and press the set button and the current speed will be set as the cruising speed. You can toggle between the speeds to increase or decrease the cruising speeds.
- Lights in the front footwell.
- Auto dimming ivrm. Again it works as its intended to.
- The car lets you set the speed limit. If the speed is above the set limit there is a buzzing sound to remind of over speeding.
- The paint quality is great. A notch better than Hyundai. No orange peel effect.
- The doors are heavy and close with a solid “thud”

Car entertainment system RCD 330G

This is the infotainment system by vw which was a part of their latest update which came along with the rain sensing wipers and auto dimming ivrms.
- It has a 5 inch touch screen interface. The touch is good. It doesn’t have navigation built it which would have been great. It has option for radio, aux, usb, cd and Bluetooth connections.
- The sound quality is much better than the old rcd 220/320. I had an alpine head unit in my grand i10 and loved the sound and was apprehensive about the head unit’s sound quality in polo but I am satisfied with the sound quality and don’t miss the alpine head unit.
- The radio is clear with minimum loss in frequencies.
- It comes with 3 band equalizer with bass, mid and treble
- It can play music via aux, usb or cd even when the phone is connected via Bluetooth.
- It imports your phonebook into the head unit whenever a Bluetooth connection is established and enables one to scroll through their phonebook, call log and even go through their sms on the infotainment system as well.
- Mirrorlink: This is a fairly new technology incorporated by vw in this head unit. It is supposed to mirror some apps (apps authorized by mirrorlink consortium) to the head unit screen. However there are many prerequisites for it. Firstly your phone should have mirrorlink feature on it. Mine doesn’t. If your phone does have it, you need apps that specifically are authorized by mirrorlink to display on the head unit’s screen. Check out mirrorlink.com and see how limited the options of apps and phones are. This feature is more of less useless. I wish vw just gave navigation instead of mirrorlink.

I haven’t planned any mods yet. I’m quite happy with whatever is offered in the car except the boot light emission. I may in the future get bitten by the modification bug – we will see as it comes [;)]. I got JK Vectra tyres on it. They are ok. Road noise is on the lesser side. I am not going to drive on tracks nor do illegal speeds hence I don’t see the need to upgrade tyres. As of now I have done a little over 500kms and I am enjoying the ownership experience. I have not taken extended warranty yet, I will before the car completes a year as after that the warranty is slightly more expensive.

Will keep the thread updated.
 
Thread Starter #3
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A few basic pics from my phone. I am yet to do a proper photoshoot of the car hence more pics are due. The first one is of my grand i10 that I didnt want to part with at all.
 

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congrats for your new car and very well written review covering all the aspects of the car.
But polo GT does have auto folding orvm's.
Allow me to suggest you one mod that will transform your car into a sports car.

If you can, go for GTI steering wheel and see your car changing its character. Trust me this is the best mod for polo GT TSI.
 
Thread Starter #6
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congrats for your new car and very well written review covering all the aspects of the car.
But polo GT does have auto folding orvm's.
Allow me to suggest you one mod that will transform your car into a sports car.

If you can, go for GTI steering wheel and see your car changing its character. Trust me this is the best mod for polo GT TSI.
Thanks bro. Well yes the polo does have auto folding mirrors but they dont fold/unfold on locking/unlocking. It needs to be folded manually. Yes the GTI steering wheel with paddle shifters is very tempting however, my bank balance is almost empty in just procurring the car hence this mod is on hold sadly.
 
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Nice review
Congrats on your purchase !

Yes its better to take extended warranty, better to be on safer side

Dont worry much about dsg , some pre maintainance, which i think is must for indian condition

Like changing gear to N while on signal

And if you travell more in dust/traffic area , better to go for 7500km engine oil change intervals

Tranmission oil change at 20k km

Fuel filter change- 20k km

With your regular 1year maintaince , And things should be fine and GT should serve you well

The paint quality is top notch and it shows on Red colour especially , it will look same bright and new even after 5 year

Happy GT'ing ! [:)]
 
Thread Starter #8
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Nice review
Congrats on your purchase !

Yes its better to take extended warranty, better to be on safer side

Dont worry much about dsg , some pre maintainance, which i think is must for indian condition

Like changing gear to N while on signal

And if you travell more in dust/traffic area , better to go for 7500km engine oil change intervals

Tranmission oil change at 20k km

Fuel filter change- 20k km

With your regular 1year maintaince , And things should be fine and GT should serve you well

The paint quality is top notch and it shows on Red colour especially , it will look same bright and new even after 5 year

Happy GT'ing ! [:)]
thanks for the useful tips.
Is it possible to change the transmission oil? I thought DQ200 is a sealed gearbox. I do put it in 'N' when on traffic lights.
With regards to the engine oil at 7500kms, should I get it topped up or entirely changed?
 
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Yes it is there ,
Some years back , One of biggest recall was of this transmission oil , search dq200 synthetic to mineral dq200 in google , you will know whats the Ga-ga all about .
And synthetic always provide superior lubrication than mineral so It always be better to change earlier , if not 20k km atleast go for 25k or 30k km change

Yes complete engine oil change , in GT manual its mentioned 7500km oil change if you travel in traffic or dust prone area , and in metro this is always present.

The free stuff like
Cleaning air filter
Pollen filter
Wheel rotation from vw or outside ( make sure they do this in front of you )

And stick with speed petrol or speed 97 [glasses] (87rs/ltr)

This is the right way to enhance your car' life
 
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Thread Starter #10
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Some more pics of the head unit and interiors:
IMAG0403.jpg

IMAG0404.jpg
The phone connection screen. It gives the option to add 4 contacts as quick dial. It has option of mirrorlink (never tried), dial pad, phone book, call log, sms viewing, mic and settings buttons. The mic button activates voice command ("ok google" for android, "siri" for apple and "cortana" for microsoft devices). You can also activate voice command from the voice command button which is present among the bunch of buttons of the right side of the steering wheel. I have an android phone and the "ok google" function isnt as refined as siri or cortana so Im not able to utilize this feature optimally.
IMAG0405.jpg
the sound equalization screen
IMAG0406.jpg
The HU has the option to adjust the sound balance
IMAG0407.jpg
Different sources through which media can be connected to the head unit(HU). This screen can be accessed by pressing the "media" button on the HU.
IMAG0408.jpg
The radio screen. You can scroll through the list of radio stations.The radio stations can be displayed as a list as well. The radio quality is good. It has minimum loss of frequencies.
IMAG0409.jpg
The climatronic unit. The left rotary knob adjusts the blower speed and the right knob adjust the temperature. I must say that the a.c. cooling is quite effective. Better than my grand i10. I haven’t faced the issue of the blower speed fluctuating when "not" set on auto mode.
IMAG0410.jpg
View of the cockpit. Everything is logically placed and easily accessible. The HU is placed at an angle facing towards the driver. The steering is really good to hold. The buttons on the steering have nice muted feel to it. Same goes for the power window buttons. The left side buttons on the steering are to control the volume, next/previous track, and mute. The right side buttons are to toggle through the MFD screen (up and down, left and right), receive and cut the call and the voice command button.
IMAG0411.jpg
no nonsense straight forward instrument cluster (IC). The red needles look good. However the dials are not backlit all the time as in i20 and grand i10 which I liked. There are places during the day when the backlit dials are needed like in basement parking.

IMAG0412.jpg
auto folding and adjustable ovrms. Rotating the knob to the auto fold option auto folds the mirrors. However the knob in itself seems quite flimsy. I wouldnt be surprised if one day it comes off in my hands while operating it. I wish the ovrms auto folded while locking/unlocking the car as in i20.
IMAG0413.jpg
The dsg gearknob. Definitely nice to hold and use. It has leather on it.
IMAG0414.jpg
Auto Dimming ivrm. I like the design and the slim look. Works great as well in dimming the light
IMAG0415.jpg
The euro style head light controls. These are on the right side of the steering wheel on the dash unlike the controls that on the light stalks on jap and korean car manufacturers. None of the styles are inconvenient. When the knob is set at 'O' the head light is off. Move the knob one click to the right turns on the parking lights and the interior lights. Move the knob one click again turn on the head light in low beam. To turn on the front fog lights the knob has to be at the low beam head light on position then pulled towards the driver one click. To turn on the rear fog lamp the knob needs to be pulled another click towards the driver.
 
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Congratulations Jonathan,
Very well written review and presented too, GT TSI is hot hatch as we all know. Let your updates keep coming and do share your reviews as you head for a long highway trips. [:)]
 
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Some dsg related feedback after driving for a little over 600kms:

The Polo GT Tsi has been haunted by the infamous dsg (dq200) issues. This was the one reason I have been apprehensive about buying the Polo GT Tsi. I will shortly get extended warranty just for this reason as well.

The 2016 manufactured cars seem to have updated mechatronics software and the dsg complaints of various kinds, have been much less as far as I have researched. Following are my observations about how the dsg acts/reacts in different situations:

- The gearshifts are smooth, both upshifts and downshifts. While downshifting under harder than normal braking, there is a slight jerk from D3>D2 but its the normal quick downshift jerk. It's not at all a concern atleast for me. I think that normal for a gearbox under quick downshifts.

- In D mode, when starting from standstill (traffic lights) there is a slight delay in movement of the car. It's around half a second or so slower to move than other cars. Enough for a two wheeler our auto walah to cut in. This behaviour according to me is the way dsg works as compared to say, a torque converter gearbox or a manual one for that matter. Again, not an issue for me. I drive sedately in the city.

- Under sedate driving conditions D2 pull up till 1800 rpm. If I drive just a tad bit more spiratedly, the D2 upshifts at 2200 rpm. For sedate city driving I think 1800 rpm is slightly higher than what I would like. At times I manually upshift it to D3. When I got the car initially the upshift from D1>D2 was at nearly 1100 rpm and from D2>D3 at 1500 rpm approx. However this has changed maybe due to my driving style, which for most part is sedate unless when i need to do a quick overtake, then I depress the throttle a bit more. I guess the slight increase in higher rpm gear change may be because of these short bursts of acceleration.

- From D4>D5 there is sort of a click heard I think from the instrument cluster. This click also happens at times when I slot the gearbox in 'P' mode. The click doesn't sound anything out of the ordinary or alarming as such but I'd definitely like some inputs regarding the possible reason of this click.

I slot the car in 'N' when at traffic lights or at a stop more than 15 seconds. I am thoroughly enjoying the tsi dsg combo although itching to do some highway runs. [;)]
 
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I don't hear any click sound while D4>D5, but you surely can feel some mechanical movement when you slot the gear box in P, i think this is how this gearbox works.
 
Thread Starter #15
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I don't hear any click sound while D4>D5, but you surely can feel some mechanical movement when you slot the gear box in P, i think this is how this gearbox works.
yes there is mechanical movement when slotting the GB in 'P". Will keep this clicking issue under observation and show it to the workshop if it persists.
 
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