Car Reviews Reviews Volkswagen

VW Ameo Petrol Review – Not exactly Polo with a boot

 

Price of new VW Ameo starts from INR 5.14 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai while deliveries will start from July 2016.

Volkswagen India started operations in 2007 when they launched the Passat sedan. This was followed by the launch of Jetta in 2008. Not really the cars for India’s mass segment of car buyers. Volkswagen launched the Polo and Vento in 2009 and 2010. These two cars laid the foundation for VW in India.

Sadly, post the Polo and Vento, Volkswagen has failed to offer any new car in the under INR 10 lakh segment. Considering that this is the segment which accounts for over 75% of the cars sold in India, VW India in no way managed to threaten the dominance of Maruti or Hyundai.

After about 10 years in India, Volkswagen is ready with a product which has the potential to compete with some of the best selling cars in India. Meet the new Volkswagen Ameo.

VW Ameo Review

Showcased earlier this year, new VW Ameo is a compact sedan based on Polo. Built at an investment of INR 720 crore, it is based on the same platform as the Polo and Vento.

In fact, one of the officials at the media drive told us that almost all parts of Ameo are sourced from the Polo. This led us to ask why did VW India invest INR 720 crore if parts are same as that of Polo, the official was not aware of INR 720 crore investment.

Exteriors and Interiors

VW Ameo Review

Offered in a choice of five exterior colours of Blue Silk (new colour), Reflex Silver, Toffee Brown, Candy White, and Carbon Steel, Ameo’s exterior design is strikingly similar to that of the Polo / Vento. It has the same front face and side profile until the C-pillar, after which it accommodates the boot.

Dashboard is finished in dual tone with silver accents on the centre console as well as the AC vents. Centre console features a multimedia colour LCD touchscreen which also doubles up as reverse parking camera display.

VW Ameo Review

Touch and feel of components are right up there with the best in segment, if not the best. Front passenger seats are comfortable and offer decent cushioning, but do feel a bit low. So if you are tall, your knee might start feeling uncomfortable over long journeys. Front passengers do get a foldable armrest with storage space.

Rear seats too are comfortable, offering decent back and head support, but fail to impress on legroom. In addition to this, there is no armrest for rear seat passengers, but Ameo does come with rear AC vents. This helps in making the cabin cool faster.

VW Ameo Review

Door pockets in the front are capable of storing 1.5-liter bottles each along with some other things like your wallet, keys, etc. Door pockets at the rear are too small and are not enough to store even a 500 ml bottle. Boot space stands at 330 liters, which is just 35 liters more than that of Polo.

Engine, Transmission, and Mileage

As of now, VW Ameo will only be offered with a petrol engine option. This is in the form of a 1.2 liter three cylinder MPI engine generating 75 PS power at 5400 rpm and 110 Nm torque at 3750 rpm. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and claims to deliver 17.83 kmpl mileage. During our test drive, we managed to get 13 kmpl.

VW Ameo Review

A diesel engine with 5 MT and 7 DSG will be launched at a later date. This engine will be good to deliver 105 PS and 250 Nm toque. When we asked VW officials about the launch of these two variants of Ameo, they stated that these will be launched closer to Diwali festive season.

Drive and Handling

Our drive route was from Pune to Wai, a small village in Satara district. The drive route allowed us to test the car in almost all kind of road conditions – smooth tarmac, stop and go city traffic, bad roads, and even no roads with steep uphill climb.

The 1.2-liter engine delivers a good initial thrust, but lacks the same response at higher speeds. The engine becomes a little sluggish and feels underpowered, even if you go all the way to red line, which is at 6k rpm. Though the car does reach speeds of above 120 kmph, the time taken to reach there is a little more than expected.

VW Ameo Review

Overtaking on highways will need you to downshift as accelerating in the same gear is not really happening. You wish the car will move forward with ease, but the engine just doesn’t respond and takes its own time to accelerate unless you downshift.

Gear shift is smooth and have a nice touch and feel to it. So does the sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel. Steering delivers good feedback and weighs up nicely with increasing speed.

Ride quality is a bit stiff as bumps and potholes are felt very easily. NVH levels of Ameo are not as refined as the Polo or Vento. Engine noise is very much audible inside the cabin even at idle while high ground clearance helps the car to take on most of our road conditions with ease.

VW Ameo Review

VW Ameo Review

Front disc brakes and rear drum brakes work perfectly with the 185/60 R15 MRF tyres offering a decent bite. But the MRF tyres do skid / lose grip if you tend to push this entry level sedan a bit too much.

Based on the Polo, we were of the opinion that new VW Ameo will be a compact sedan with all similar characteristics that of a Polo. Which is true for most of the car, but that is sadly not the case when you talk about drive and handling.

VW Ameo Price

FuelVariantEx- Showroom (INR)
Mumbai*Delhi
(without Octroi & local taxes)
Petrol 1.2 MPITrendline5,13,8645,24,300
Comfortline5,87,9145,99,950
Highline6,91,6807,05,900

Verdict

VW Ameo Review

Priced aggressively, new VW Ameo is not exactly a Polo with a boot, but more like an entry level compact sedan which rivals the likes of Maruti DZire and Honda Amaze. Yes, the quality of components is right up there with segment best, but the driving pleasure does not come near to any Volkswagen on offer in India today.

With Ameo, it seems VW India is trying to increase their sales figures and thus their market share in the auto industry. As of today, VW’s best-selling car is the Polo, which retails about 2,000 to 2,500 units a month. We do not expect buyers of Polo to shift to Ameo, cause of one big reason – Polo is a driver’s car, Ameo is not (at least the petrol unit).

Being a brand conscious segment, buyers of Ameo could be those who are looking to buy a compact sedan in the entry level segment. VW’s badge is an icing on the cake.

With 35 liters of extra boot space, and priced at about INR 30,000 cheaper than the Polo, Ameo could very well become the best-selling VW in India.

Below are variant wise features of VW Ameo.

VW Ameo Trendline

VW Ameo Trendline Engine

– 1.2L MPI Petrol (5-speed Manual)
– 1.5L TDI Diesel (5-speed Manual)

VW Ameo Trendline Exterior Features

– Halogen headlamps in black finish
– Body-coloured bumpers
– Body-coloured outside door handles and mirrors
– Door mirrors with turn indicators
– Windshield in heat-insulating glass
– Steel spare wheel

VW Ameo Trendline Interior Features

– High-quality scratch-resistant dashboard
– Sporty flat bottom steering wheel design
– Front centre console including 12V outlet
– Storage compartment in front doors including holders for cups and 1.5 ltr. bottles
– Sunglass-holder inside glove box
– Driver side dead pedal
– Single-folding rear seat backrest (1st in segment)
– Black interior theme

VW Ameo Trendline Functional Features

– Air-conditioning
– Dust and pollen filter
– Digital clock and fuel gauge
– Outside rear view mirrors, manually-adjustable
– Instrument cluster with tachometer, speedometer, odometer and trip meter
– Lane change indicator
– Power windows, front
– Central locking
– Steering wheel, tilt and telescopic adjustable
– Speed-sensitive electronic power steering
– Vanity mirror in left side sunvisor
– Push to open fuel lid
– Front windshield wiper with intermittent control
– Luggage compartment lighting

VW Ameo Trendline Safety Features

– ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) (Standard in all variants)
– Dual-front airbags, driver and passenger side (Standard in all variants)
– Height-adjustable head restraints, front and rear
– Electronic Engine Immobiliser with floating code
– Front disc brakes
– 3-point front seat belts
– 3-point rear outer seat belts, lap belt in the middle
– Fog lamp, rear

VW Ameo Trendline Infotainment

– Radio preparation

VW Ameo Comfortline

VW Ameo Comfortline Engine

– 1.2L MPI Petrol (5-speed Manual)
– 1.5L TDI Diesel (5-speed Manual)
– 1.5L TDI Diesel (7-speed DSG)

VW Ameo Comfortline Exterior Features

All Trendline features and,

– Dual-beam headlamps

VW Ameo Comfortline Interior Features

All Trendline features and,

– Fabric ‘Desert Beige’ and dual-tone interior theme
– Cooled Glove Box
– Ambient lights with theatre dimming effect

VW Ameo Comfortline Functional Features

All Trendline features and,

– Cruise Control (1st in segment)
– Height-adjustable driver’s seat
– Outside rear view mirrors, electrically-adjustable
– Monochrome multi-function display (MFD) includes travelling time, distance travelled, digital speed display, average speed and fuel efficiency
– Power windows with one-touch operation (front and rear) (1st in segment)
– Opening and closing of windows with key remote (1st in segment)
– Remote-controlled central locking

VW Ameo Comfortline Safety Features

All Trendline features and,

– Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) (on variants equipped with DSG transmission)
– Fog lamps, front
– Anti-pinch power windows, front and rear (1st in segment)

VW Ameo Comfortline Infotainment Features

All Trendline features and,

– CD/MP3 player with USB, Aux-in, SD card input
– ™Bluetooth^^ connectivity for mobile phones
– ™i-Pod connectivity
– Phonebook sync
– 4 speakers

VW Ameo Highline

VW Ameo Highline Engine

– 1.2L MPI Petrol (5-speed Manual)
– 1.5L TDI Diesel (5-speed Manual)
– 1.5L TDI Diesel (7-speed DSG)

VW Ameo Highline Exterior Features

All Comfortline features and,

– Air dam detailing in chrome
– Chrome applique on door handles
– Alloy wheels (Set of 4)

VW Ameo Highline Interior Features

All Comfortline features and,

– Brushed aluminium finish on front centre console
– Chrome interior accents
– Leather-wrapped steering wheel with chrome accents and piano black finish
– Leather-wrapped gearshift knob

VW Ameo Highline Functional Features

All Comfortline features and,

– Automatic Rain Sensing Wipers (1st in segment)
– Reverse parking camera
– Reverse parking sensors
– Front center armrest with rear AC vent
– ‘Climatronic’ automatic air-conditioning
– Outside rear view mirrors, electrically-foldable
– Speed-sensing auto door locks

VW Ameo Highline Safety Features

All Comfortline features and,

– Auto-dimming interior rear view mirror
– Front fog lamps with static cornering lights
– Rear de-fogger

VW Ameo Highline Infotainment Features

All Comfortline features and,

– Touchscreen Infotainment System
– SMS viewer
– ™MirrorLink^
– Steering wheel with audio and bluetooth controls
– *Voice command

VW Ameo vs Rivals

 VW AmeoMaruti DzireHonda AmazeHyundai XcentFord Figo AspireTata Zest
Engine1.2L1.2L1.2L1.2L1.2L/1.5L1.2L
Transmission5MT5MT/4AT5MT/CVT5MT/4AT5MT/6AT5 MT
Power75 PS @ 5400 rpm84.3 PS @ 6000 rpm88 PS @ 6000 rpm83 PS @ 6000 rpm88 PS @ 6300/112 PS @ 6300 rpm90 PS @ 5000 rpm
Torque110 Nm @ 3750 rpm115 Nm @ 4,000 rpm109 Nm @ 4500 rpm114 Nm @ 4000 rpm112 @ 4000/136 Nm @ 4250 rpm140 Nm @ 1750 rpm
L x W x H (mm)3995 x 1682 x 14833995 x 1695 x 15553990 x 1680 x 15053995 x 1660 x 15203995 x 1695 x 15253995 c 1706 x 1570
Wheelbase (mm)247024302405242524912470
Tyres185/60 R15185/65 R15175/65 R14175/60 R15175/65 R14185/65 R15
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres)454235434244
Boot Capacity (litres)330315400390359390
Mileage (kmpl)17.8320.85/18.517.8/18.119.118.16/1717.6
Kerb Wt (kgs)1044965965NANA1115
Price (INR Lakhs, Ex-Delhi)5.14 – 6.915.23 – 7.025.41 – 8.315.36 – 7.855.21 – 7.38/8.125.07 – 6.52

Photos

 

About the author

Sagar Patel

Sagar Patel

A first drive in a manual rickety old van was enough to pave the road forward for Sagar Patel. When not driving or riding, his dexterity shifts gear to voice passion through words via reviews, and news, all the while, closely monitoring updates from the auto industry.

Email - sagar@rushlane.com

  • Gopal Thakur

    Which one is better baleno or Ameo, as both are 4 meter car with almost similar feature and price for base variant.
    Please help

    • Personally, I would go with the Baleno. Much better styled, refined and equipped.

  • Parvez Desai

    Which one is better to go for Ameo Or POLO?

    • Polo.

      • Parvez Desai

        Any particular reason for this.