July 27

5 reasons not to buy a Volkswagen Polo

Why I feel there is a negative propaganda against VW on Youtube?

In June 2020, a famous channel on Youtube posted a video telling 5 reasons not to buy VW Polo. Reasons were

1) Old Design
2) Rear Space & Features
3) Poor Engine
4) No Diesel & DSG
5) Resale/Service

In my video I tried to debunk each of these reasons explaining how VW Polo still hold its fort ever after 10 years because of its unmatched build quality, drive quality, durability of parts, practical features and German snob. VW Polo enjoys the cult following among enthusiasts and perhaps the only car which is still selling like hot cakes (1200-1500 units) every month whereas cars like Toyota Liva, Nissan Micra and Honda Jazz already failed in the market.

Cars like Swift, Baleno and i20 Elite sells 4 times more than Polo because these brands have more showrooms, better reach and are preferred by the customers who don't think beyond Maruti & Hyundai.

Point to Point answer

Point 1 - Old Car

VW Polo despite being 10 years old, still has the best looking timeless design among its competitors. VW has done a smart job in tweaking Car's design over the last 10 years and it still looks smashing with its skirted new bumpers, subtle design changes in the bumpers and front/rear. VW is avoiding bring new generation Polo because of its size above 4 meters, which will attract taxes in India and Car's cost will steeply rise. At around 10 lacs for the base model, nobody will prefer it and hence VW is playing safe here as long as there is demand.

Point 2 - Rear Space & Features

I agree with MotorOctane here that rear space is less but in this segment Swift/Baleno aren't very roomy either. Hyundai Elite i20 and Tata Altroz definitely are roomier. Here I would like to mention that 8/10 times only 2 persons travel in a car so one can still live with it. Rear seat is very comfortable, glass area is good and as long as you are not 6 feet tall, you won't have complaints. 5th person definitely is an issue because of transmission tunnel hump.

Regarding features, VW Polo has all practical features that one needs like one touch power windows, cooled glove box, rear AC vents, automatic climate control, steering reach and rack adjustment, anti pinch power windows, remote key power windows, parking sensors, auto dimming mirror, automatic rain sensing wipers, steering mounted controls, touchscreen with apple & android connectivity, rear washer/wiper and cruise control. It only misses out on push start and rear camera which is not a very big deal because other cars miss out on many practical features that VW Polo has.

Point 3 - Poor Underpowered Engine

According to MotorOctane, VW is not bringing their latest technology and good engines for VW Polo which is not the case. VW Polo had best in class 1.5 diesel engine and now all engines are replaced with 1.0 MPi and 1.0 TSi. Both these engines are efficient in their own ways. MPi engine is refined & efficient enough as per the competition and TSi is in different league because of the Turbo & revv happy characteristics. None of the cars in this segment can match TSi which does 0-100km is 9.5 seconds. It is the favorite choice of enthusiasts on Team-BHP too. Team-BHP is the most respected Car enthusiasts forum.


Point 4 - No diesel and DSG Gearbox

Not only VW but India's largest car selling manufacturer Maruti too opted out of making diesel cars because they know that future is Petrol and EV. Brands are shying away to invest in diesel engine R&D because Indian Government policies aren't very clear. With emission levels going higher, there is a pressure on India globally to reduce pollution and with BS6 in place, manufacturers are finding it hard to meet the new emission norms.

Brands like Tata, KIA and Hyundai are using Ad-Blue & some other elements in Catalytic converter to reduce carbon but their engines are unchanged. This is not a permanent solution to reduce pollution. So brands like VW and Maruti are playing safe here, focusing on Petrol engines which is the future.

Point 5 - Service Cost

VW Polo does have service costs 20% higher than the competition and generally costs around Rs 8000-9000 annually. But it has an advantage over competition because service interval is 15000 kms. With parts quality made to last forever, you won't be spending too much on engine parts, clutch, gearbox, brakes, shockers in first 7 years, it is durable like a TANK. You can't say the same about other cars in this segment which are flimsy and see garage more often but you get a good feel when you can it repaired for cheap.

I hope these points have helped you to understand that quality + safety + drive pleasure matters more over gimmicks. In B2 segment, the only other worthy car is TATA Altroz.

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