Volkswagen Ameo Review: Is it the Best Sub-4 Meter Sedan in India

Volkswagen Price in India

 

Volkswagen has been present in India since a few years now but it was

just this year that they launched a made for India product with the

Ameo. Within no time, the Ameo became Volkswagen’s best selling car in

India, with its sales being more than all other VW cars combined. This

was only with a petrol version on sale and now the Ameo’s popularity

is set to increase further as the diesel model has been launched,

available with both manual and DSG automatic transmission. We drive

the car from Mumbai to Nashik and back to analyse how the updated

diesel motor fares in the compact German sedan.

 

The Ameo is the first Volkswagen car tailor made for India and it

competes in a segment where there is a lot of demand, hence pricing

and value proposition remain important.

 

DESIGN AND STYLING 

From the front the Volkswagen Ameo looks identical to the Polo. The

bumper’s length has been reduced by 35mm to make space for the boot.

Upto the C-pillar things remain the same. Then comes a new boot. From

the rear, the Ameo looks more like the Skoda Rapid. The German

automaker is looking at enhancing its reach with this new compact

sedan. The wheelbase is the same as the Polo and there is no other

difference, expect for a new boot and different colour options.

 

CABIN 

The superbly appointed interior is back too, with VW’s typically

restrained-looking dashboard and exceptional fit and finish. The long

equipment list on this Highline trim returns, replete with a

touchscreen, rear-view camera, automatic wipers, cornering lamps,

cruise control, two airbags and ABS. In fact, those last two safety

features are standard across the range. The DSG auto version

additionally gets ESC and a hill hold function. Finally, the rear seat

– it isn’t the most spacious, especially on knee room, but if your use

is only occasional, it might be good enough.

 

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE 

The new Volkswagen Ameo TDI is offered with the same 1.5-litre turbocharged

diesel engine as is the Polo and Vento. Only difference is in the

larger turbocharger which has enabled the engine to deliver a tuned-up

81kW or about 110PS of peak power and a peak torque of 250Nm – that is

quite impressive for a small car that weighs just over 1,150kgs. With

the idling engine rpm level being about 800rpm and the redline

starting at about 5,200rpm, the delivery of power and torque is

perfectly tuned within the mid-range for power, and low-rpm range for

torque. Peak torque kicks in as early as 1,500rpm and turbo-lag is

quite minimal. The result is an eager performer for a car in the CS

segment. The Ameo’s gear ratios have been spaced just right and from

when you slip into first gear, there is enough room to work the

gearbox through either a passive city driving cycle or an aggressive

mix of cruising and over-taking on the highway.

 

While idling and when you are outside the Ameo, this four-cylinder

still has the trademark diesel clatter, but step into the cabin and

the good insulation package manages to cut out a lot of the noise. You

can still hear the engine at cold start and at high revs. The manual

gearbox is a clean shifting 5-speeder and can easily be your choice

especially with so much low-end torque available to exploit. The

7-speed, dual clutch DSG automatic is another USP altogether in the

Ameo. With so many buyers now preferring automatics, it is a good call

to go with the DSG. But then this is not just another auto

transmission, this is VW’s popular dual clutch gearbox. Shifts are

quick and the gearbox is equally adept at offering shifts for

economical, slow-paced driving as it is for aggressive, dynamic

driving. You don’t get steering mounted paddles, though manual gear

selection with the stick is possible. There is a sports mode too.

 

DRIVING DYNAMICS 

The ride on the Ameo is on the stiffer side and the setup is able to

absorb most bumps and imperfections without sending much back into the

cabin. However, when you do hit a really deep pothole or bad

imperfection the audibility of the suspension taking a beating is

quite loud in the cabin.  The slightly stiffer suspension setup

provides decent stability at high speeds though the car tends to get

flighty when encountering undulations at high speed and there is body

roll when you go through the corners. However, one thing that

Volkswagen has managed get right is the steering. It is precise,

weighs up correctly and is an excellent tool for the ‘point and shoot’

style of driving.

 

BOTTOMLINE 

The Ameo on the whole is a pretty nice car, especially when you

consider the equipment you get for the money you pay along with the

fact that it is a Volkswagen, and is thus a very well-engineered car.

Volkswagen has learnt from its previous mistakes and is offering a

bucket load features this time which adds to the Ameo’s value for

money quotient.

 

Build quality and quality of materials used is pretty good, which

gives the Ameo a more premium feel. What’s more, it is a familiar

looking car though that’s something which works in its favour but

could also be a bit of a turn off for some. Not a deal breaker though,

especially since it drives well, has a good balance of ride and

handling, and of course the fact that this car has been made

specifically for India. A little thing to be proud of, no?

 

Volkswagen Ameo Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 5,50,200/- (Ameo 1.2L MPI Petrol Trendline) to 9,89,600/- (Ameo 1.5L TDI Diesel Highline DSG AT) .Volkswagen Ameo has 8 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Volkswagen Ameo comes in 5 colours, namely Blue Slik,Candy White,Carbon Steel,Riflex Silver,Toffee Brown.

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