Yes, Yes, I’m talking about the VW Polo. As it turned out, my old car Fiat Palio (refereed to me as “My Ferrari”) was showing its age. Leaking AC water, poor brakes, electrical problems and most importantly non-availability of spares added to my frustration. What was once thought of as a car I would not sell, grew into a frustration during almost every commute. The final decision came when the front foot well was a huge puddle of water due to AC leakage during our family trip to Yercaud. I was fed up having to repeatedly visit the service center. Hence the search began. Still I adored My Ferrari and wanted to find a worthy successor.
The hunt began few months back and various models made a mark in my brain almost every day. Hyundai Eon, Nissan Micra, Nissan Micra Active, Datsun Go, Ford Figo, Fiat Punto, Toyota Liva, Ford Classic, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Pulse, Fiat Linea. Basically I didn’t know what sort of car I wanted. Hatchback or sedan. Will my wife also drive it? In that case, a hatchback is better. Powerful car or Car with more features. I didn’t even know my budget. It started at around 8-9 lakhs keeping the Linea in mind. Suddenly it dropped to 3-4 lakhs thinking that the best option was to buy a small entry level car, and buy a bigger one later when wifey could take over the small car. However as fortune would have it, due to various reasons, the budget settled around 6 lakhs.
Just out of personal preference, I didnt want to buy a Hyundai or Maruti. I also knew that a new Punto (didn’t like the new design), Polo refresh (merely cosmetic, preferred the old looks anyway) and Swift refresh (was not in the list anyway) was due in a few months.
My dad, wife and me began one Sunday morning on our mission to decide which car would succeed our Ferrari. First stop was the Renault showroom at Whitefield. The car is nice, small, good suspension, but does not have great space. Build quality is not European too. Mr. Harsha from Renault showroom was very helpful and courteous. The experience was very good, but the shock came while leaving, when My Ferrari was evaluated for 30,000 INR, stretchable upto 40,000 INR. I was like, keep the 40k, I’m not selling my Ferrari.
Then we headed to VW Whitefield where we were attended to by Mr. Syed. A newbie to the showroom, but was helpful and found out the necessary information from his peers when needed. The VW Polo seemed cramped at the rear, but the drive was good. Engine – not good. Underpowered and noisy. Also the price was a bit beyond our budget. But add in 2 years free insurance and extended warranty and road side assistance, the effective value fell exactly in our budget scale.
After a sumpteous lunch at Srinathji’s, we headed to Elite Ford to check out the Ford Classic. And as luck would have it, there wasn’t a demo vehicle. And in fact, the petrol version would take 2-3 months for delivery as the production is nearly stopped and manufactured only on order. I had read that Ford Figo and Classic would probably be replaced by Ford Ka and Ford Ka sedan some time in 2015. The Ford salesman Mr. George also informed that Classic sales are not good nor is the resale value. Hence Classic was out of the list, still I requested for a test drive. At the same time, my dad stumbled upon the Figo, Titanium variant. Mr. George was a kind and patient advisor and anyone wanting to buy a Ford vehicle should contact him. My personal recommendation 🙂
Figo Titanium came with all the necessary features, but no rear power windows, drab, dull interiors and absolutely no power from the petrol engine. Even with the accelerator floored all the way down. The ride and suspension was good. Hence the Figo was at the top of the list, followed closely by the Polo.
Next stop was Ravindu Toyota, to check the Toyota Liva. The car is extremely spacious and ride was decent. But the interiors drab, it had fake wood panels (OMG) and felt wafer thin. Didn’t feel stable while driving, but power was decent. The biggest let down was the attitude of the sales advisor. The lady didn’t seem too interested generally. On being questioned whether there was a variant with Remote adjustable mirrors, she said that due to bikers, this has been omitted as it is expensive to replace. She also added that Figo has it but Ford being a UK company, spares were expensive. Seriously!?
The Liva was instantly ruled out and last stop was Fiat Caffe. Though it was past working hours on a Sunday evening, the advisor requested us to have a seat and would attend to us as soon as he is done with his present engagement with another customer. I started boasting to my wife about European build quality and Fiat’s Italian design. But shockingly, a small push on the bonnet of the Punto, and whoa, the sheet metal felt thin, bent easily and felt nothing solid. Further to the shock, the same was with the Linea. Though its interiors were top class. Being a Fiat fan and owner, the Punto was immediately rejected.
At the end of the day, we narrowed the list to Figo and Polo. With 60k difference, I wanted to test drive them again before making a decision. After a second test drive, we decided it would be the Shadow Blue Polo Comfortline to make its way to our home. Also after much thought, I decided to part ways with My Ferrari as I could not afford the maintenance cost. As fate would have it, the sales man who sold me My Ferrari (at First Choice, Bangalore) was the same guy working now at VW Whitefield to buy back used cars.
After another test drive of the Figo and Polo, I decided on the Polo Comfortline. During booking, another surprise came up which I hadnt thought of. Polo Comfortline with safety features was just 35k lesser than Polo Highline with safety features. And what was I getting for 35k – Alloy wheels, Bluetooth stereo, Rear parking sensors, Leather finish steering and hand brake, Steering audio controls, Drive away locks. The deal was settled to VW Polo Highline. The loan process was smooth and the delivery process even smoother. Many thanks to Mr. Vishnu, Mr. Syed, Mr. Sunil and Mr. Mahesh for helping me with the whole process. How does it feel to own and drive the Mint with no hole from VW?
Review report coming up soon !
Disclaimer: The above article is true to the best knowledge of the author and based on his first hand experience, opinion and preferences. No offence is meant to anybody.