Volkswagen Ameo Facelift Review & First Drive

Volkswagen Ameo Overview

Volkswagen Ameo is the first India-specific product from the German automaker. Making a car for a particular market is not the usual cup of tea of the auto giant like Volkswagen. However, when every other carmaker is showing commitment, VW also took a bold step to come out of its comfort zone and plunge into one of the most bankable categories in the Indian auto market. The compact sedan is manufactured at the company’s Chakan plant in India. Volkswagen Ameo with its stylish design and upmarket interiors has been getting some share of the pie from the sub-4 meter sedan segment. Book a test drive for Ameo in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

Check for Volkswagen Ameo On Road Price in Ahmedabad

Volkswagen Ameo Exterior

Design wise, the Ameo looks almost identical to the Polo, even though it is visibly difficult to detect that the front bumper is actually smaller than the hatchback’s. Coming to its side profile, the new sedan continues to sport the typical Volkswagen sharp and clean shoulder line, which honestly does add a bit of a muscle to its appearance. Apart from this, the Ameo has taken the front grille, headlamps, front windscreen and rear three-quarter window from the Polo.Coming to the rear, it’s quite obvious that the German car manufacturer has worked overtime to camouflage its boxy boot with innovative design tricks like additional creases and lines. And to our surprise, this actually does work, but if seen from the side profile then the abrupt vertical rise of the C-pillar and chopping of the roofline reveals that Volkswagen almost got the design right, but not quite.

Volkswagen Ameo Interior

Interiors are more Polo-familiarity but have been given the dual-tone treatment as on the Vento for that upscale feel that the market is buying into. A silver surround instead of piano black is another giveaway that you’re in an Ameo, not a Polo. Then the class-leading features come into play – touchscreen infotainment, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, rear AC-vent and automatic-all-four-windows with anti-pinch. Sure, some rivals offer the rear AC-vent and touchscreen but the Ameo is the only one to include them all and it definitely comes together to make the Ameo a premium-feeling place to be, right down to the German-thunk from closing the doors. Most importantly, the rear seat space of the Ameo is improved over the Polo – set up for a 5″ 10′ driver, I found just enough legroom at the rear to be happy. Your passengers might not be as happy if the driver is over 6-ft though.

Volkswagen Ameo Gearbox

The Polo traits continue under the hood as well. The petrol unit is the 1.0L MPI engine which replaced the 1.2L engine working earlier. The BS-VI compliant 999cc engine makes 76PS and 95Nm of max torque while the transmission duties are handled by a 5-speed manual. Lack of an automatic gearbox in the petrol engine is surely a downside. The overall output of the new 1.0L engine is almost similar to the earlier 1.2L one, however, the torque throughput has been reduced by 15Nm. This will surely disappoint many buyers as the earlier engine was already rated underpowered. This is a chink in the German automaker’s armor.

The 1.5L 4-cylinder TDI diesel engine is also the same working in Polo, capable of producing 110PS and 250Nm of peak torque. The diesel engine with this immense power outpaces every other rival in the segment. The engine can be availed with the option of 5-speed or 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. As opposed to the petrol engine, the diesel one is quite a player. The motor gets updated turbocharger which makes it a good companion in both city and highways. The 7-speed further elevates the fun-to-drive factor transmitting adequate power with smooth gear shifts.As both the engines are inherited from Polo hatch, they are excellent on fuel efficiency. The 3-cylinder petrol engine is able to make ARAI certified mileage of 19.44kmpl. On the contrary, the diesel one reads 21.73kmpl in automatic and 22kmpl in the manual version which is fantastic from a VW car.

Volkswagen Ameo Driving

All Volkswagen cars have a class leading ride quality. As the Ameo is based on the Polo, it behaves identical to the hatchback. It cushions potholes with muzzled thud sounds and refuses to crash into booby traps on the road. On turns, there is a hint of body roll, but nothing that will make you doubt the sedan. Even though the Ameo’s wheel size – 185/60 R15 – is identical to the Polo, it uses MRF tyres while the hatch gets Apollo ones.The suspension set-up features McPherson strut with stabilizer bar at the front and semi-independent trailing arm at the rear. This sweet combination is perfect for markets like India. At low speeds, the car feels solid and sophisticated just like a German car should be. The compliant suspension absorbs road undulations and bumps quite easily and the daily drive to work is never hindered. The handling dynamics are certainly superior to its counterpart.

Volkswagen Ameo Safety

The car incorporates disc brakes at front and drums at the rear, just like other vehicles in the class. The brakes have a strong bite and don’t feel trouble at stopping from high speeds. For more braking strength, the carmaker has provided ABS as standard fitment in the car.In terms of safety, the standard features also include dual front airbags, height adjustable head restraints, and rear fog lamps. Move on to the top variants and you will get electronic stabilization programme (ESP) on diesel trims, rear defogger, static cornering lights, hill hold control, rear parking camera with sensors and auto-dimming IRVM.

Volkswagen Ameo Price in Chennai

Volkswagen Ameo Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 5,48,464/- (Ameo 1.2L MPI Petrol Trendline) to 9,07,093/- (Ameo 1.5L TDI Diesel Comfortline DSG AT). Get best offers for Volkswagen Ameo from Volkswagen Dealers in Chennai. Check for Ameo price in Chennai at Carzprice

Volkswagen Ameo Verdict

Some may say Volkswagen has entered this segment very late in the day, while others may say that they are at least trying to make a genuine effort in India. Either which ways, the Ameo brings a certain amount of luxury and safety that its rivals don’t provide at the moment. But apart from the fancy features, Ameo’s trump card is its price. It is available from Rs 5.24 – 7.05 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. This, not only, makes the Ameo a value for money option, but also keeps it in line with its rivals, while offering more equipment. Could this be the game changer Volkswagen has been waiting for? Only time will tell…

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