Volkswagen Vento TDI Highline
Year of purchase
KMs on ODO
Avg. Service Cost
Ride & Handling
Suspension & Comfort
Hello everyone, I bought my Vento back in 2018 which had 108000 kms on the Odometer. It was previously maintained by a senior citizen and was in good hands. I was lucky to land this deal. Please sit back and go through the review one by one and you will surely consider one VAG car in your garage.
The previous owner took good care of the car. There were no scratches, torn areas, ruffed out seats when I got the car. On the other hand, in the past 42000 kms, I have managed to make the driver seat look slightly old and used.
God knows how the old owner maintained the seats as they were spick and span.
I am glad that the steering wheel leather has held up for this long. The material has got soft over time and the grip is lesser than new leather.
Steering wheel controls are going strong, but now feel flimsy due to age. Buttons are working fine and doing a great job.
According to me, this is the best instrument cluster design. RPM Meter on the left and Speedometer on the right. Just the way we like it.
Analog style temperature is very missed by me. It lets me know, that yes now the car is heated up and I can now revv her to glory. Sone pe Suhaga would be the instrument cluster of the Jetta/Passat. Gets everything in the right position. Perfect Design!
Coming from and LPG powered 1st gen Swift, the boot space feels humongous. And we have made ample use of it too.
From transporting 100 KG sacks of grains, filling to the brim with numerous bags, transporting window ACs, we have made use of each and every space available inside the boot. To conclude, I am extremely satisfied by the boot space available.
Driving Position and Ergonomics
Me being the height of 5'11'', I do have slight trouble in getting in and out as the car feels low for my height but once, you're seated everything feels at home. Everything is within your reach. Be it from opening the left side passenger door or even the rear left passenger side door.
The center console is slightly tilted towards the driver which makes it even better and driver is at ease using it. Dead Pedal is sorely missed though.
Rear Seat Space and Comfort
Within my group and family, I am the one who takes maximum space while driving. Even after that, there is an ample amount of legroom and knee room for the rear passengers.
The backrest is slightly more inclined according to me and makes you feel as if the seat has hugged you from behind. A very comfortable position to be in. I found the thigh support to be adequate enough. Not a trouble maker. Third-person in the rear seat is not welcome though. The seat design and the hump make it an uneasy space to be in.
The stock headlights really need an upgrade. It is difficult driving in night (saying this after driving Harmeet Sirs vehicle). Especially with oncoming traffic with high beams. The previous owner upgraded the headlight bulbs to 90/100 W with Philips relay and wiring. Good for me! Best bang for the buck. I really don't feel the need to spend thousands of rupees on
Night driving is a breeze now. You will not be left wanting for more illumination. But now after 2 years of my usage, I think the reflectors have died down. The illumination is not the same as it used to be. I'll have to change the headlights down the line. Will be going for the single barrel setup only as the dual barrel setup illumination is not good as per my needs.
This is something I have had to make peace with. My swift feels like a heavy offroader when compared to the Vento. We never complained in the Swift about the ground clearance even on the worst roads and with 5 people on board.
On the other hand, Vento although scrapes under the rarest of the rare occasions even with 5 passengers, but needs very slow and calculated maneuvering. The only part that regularly gets scraped are the mudguards. Used the Vento in my marriage for all the works in the village. Never scrapped the under body. But yes, you have to be careful and you won't have any problems.
Now, this is something the Volkswagens are infamous for. She has done approximately 145000 KMs. As soon as you start the car, on the outside you will NOT feel or hear any tractor like sound. But on the inside, the crudeness is felt when cold.
If you immediately slot the gear and move, the engine slight knocks and feels uncomfortable like its saying "Thoda ruko zara! Sabar Karo!". Also, in the mornings if you immediately switch on the AC, as soon as the load comes on the engine. The engine starts sounding like the TATA Indica. Hence, what Mantra I have used it I let it idle for a good 2-3 minutes in the morning. During this time, I move my Activa from the parking and make way for the car to move out, setup my music system.
Post this, the engine is smooth and no knocking is observed even on switching on the AC. Though the crudeness of the engine gradually lowers down only after 10-12 minutes.
I fuel up the car only from only 1 Reliance Petrol Pump here in my city. Also, during long trips, I accordingly plan my fuel ups with good stations only. Dont want to take chance with those injectors. Vibrations are observed on the Clutch Pedal, the accelerator pedal and the steering wheel as well. During long journeys, the vibrations on the accelerator pedal does provide some discomfort and my right foot goes numb if I don't take a break.
Same goes with the steernig wheel. Vibrations are present. Will be changing the mounts soon to rectify these vibrations out. Overall, with the AC blower at minimal speed and light music, the engine note is not heard unless driven hard.
Stability and Suspension
This is where the car shines out. The stability of the Volkswagens is something other cars are not able to match. The car feels stable and in grip whether you are driving slow or high triple digit speeds. It gives you that sensation that the car is planted and in grip. Also, during acceleration in the first and second gears where the torque is very high, the car doesn't go mad and out of control.
The acceleration is crazy, no doubt. But it is also planted, very focused and precise. There is zero erratic behavior during the acceleration. I wish I could put my point across where. She is still running on stock shock absorbers. The ride quality has deteriorated if compared to newer models, but nothing sort of to complain about. Highway manners are great. In potholes, you will have to slow down. You will have to respect the age of the shock absorbers. Therefore, gliding over the potholes is not an option here. Things will change when the front and rear shock absorbers have changed.
I found the braking to be sufficient and not very confidence inspiring even after getting the brake pads, discs and brake oil changed. 2nd set of brake pads were changed at 144000 kms. Discs were skimmed. Still the brakes do not make you feel confident.
Gearbox and Clutch
The gears are now hard to engage. Also, grinding occurs on engaging the reverse gear. To avoid this grinding, I slowly slot the gear into reverse and not immediately.
It is a game of patience. But the gates and slots of the gear lever are still extremely precise and defined. There is literally no play in the gear lever even after so many kilometers. Clutch plates (1st Set) are hard to use and are showing their age. Still have some juice left in them though. Will see if it needs an overhaul in the next service.
My legs do start paining in extreme start stop traffic. In normal traffic conditions, I don't have any problems with the clutch.
Vento Highline comes with Automatic Climate Control. The cooling is very good. With 2 people on board, I keep the blower on speed setting on 1 and 24 degree Celsius temperature. I feel extremely comfortable at this setting.
With 4 people, Blower speed is either set to 2 or 3 and a temperature of 22 degree Celsius. No complaints from anyone.
Problem faced with the ACC
Sometimes, the AC starts blowing extremely cold air even when the temperature is set to high. This leads to bone chilling cooling from the AC. Also, air flow direction motor, which directs the air flow to the legs and windshield stops working. This scares me as I cannot use the front windshield defogger as the airflow would be stuck over there.
The VW workshop says they will have to replace the ACC. The Jugaad I have done for this is I switch off the ACC before switching off the vehicle and immediately switch on the blower as soon as the vehicle starts. This has helped me in dealing with the problem. In this case, the temperature sensor works fine and doesn't chill my bones.
I did this for 2 years, before I found the AUTO button. Yes! I used the auto function after 2 years of buying this vehicle! All of my above woes are gone and I do not need to live with that Jugaad. On manual, the controls do give me problems sometimes.
The Heart of the Car: 1.6 TDI Engine
The previous owner had already done 108000 Kms when I bought the vehicle. As per the figures, the car churns out 110 PS and 250 Nm of torque. As it is evident from above that I primarily bought the vehicle because of the engine performance (torque to be specific) even after knowing about all the injector and water pump issues.
The torque is very very addictive. You will want to gun the throttle to the floor again and again just to get that push in the seat feeling. Even after 140000 KMs, she still pulls cleanly right from about 1800 RPM all the way to 5500 RPM (dies down a bit in the end though). So much torque that you can manage to wheelspin in the 3rd gear too. Yes! I have managed to do so. Though it is only for a few milliseconds. Also not advised to do in such a car with so much mileage.
Coming from the Swifts 1.3 NA, the in-gear acceleration just made me immediately fall in love with the engine. Even with 5 passengers and the luggage in the boot, she pulls really strongly even in the 5th gear during overtakes. You will never be left wanting for more. The engine is good enough to satisfy the enthusiast in me. (Although, after driving the Jetta, now I have a new target acquisition)
Work Done on the Car Post Buying
Disclaimer: Information is submitted by the owner of the vehicle through online form medium. Volklub-Sunderdeep Singh doesn't take any responsibility to confirm accuracy or authenticity of the information provided. Readers are requested to make their opinion by reading from other means as well and do take a test drive of the car you are interested in and ask all doubts from the authentic service/sales advisors in a particular brand.
Sole purpose of this review is to try providing readers with factual information where other readers have shared their ownership experiences that may help readers for their car buying decision.