Volkswagen Ameo Facelift Performance & Test Drive

Volkswagen Ameo Overview

It has been the talk of the town for quite some time that, Volkswagen is all set to launch their first compact sedan in Indian market. As the compact sedan is one of the most happening segments of Indian automobile market, the most popular German brand in India cannot afford to keep itself away from the race. Therefore Volkswagen is bringing their compact sedan in the fray, which will be christened as the Volkswagen Ameo, as the German automaker has confirmed. Book a test drive for Ameo in Tryaldrive.

Check for Volkswagen Ameo Price in Kolkata

The name “Ameo” is derived from the Latin word “Amo”, which means “I love”. Volkswagen claims, it will be a game changer in the Indian market and this car will come with a package of best in class safety features great build quality and of course a great driving experience. The sub four metre sedan is manufactured on the VW Polo platform. The German automaker has been testing the car at the Chakan plant since long time. Now they have also confirmed that the Volkswagen Ameo will be showcased at the upcoming 2016 New Delhi Auto Expo, the production will be started around middle of the 2016 although. Interestingly, despite having a long Indian model line up, Volkswagen is planning big with the compact sedan in the country. They have earlier announced about investing a total of INR. 1500 crores in the market, while a total of INR. 720 crores were allotted for the compact sedan.

Volkswagen Ameo Design & Look

If you are already a fan of the crisp and clear lines of the Polo, chances are you will appreciate what Volkswagen has done to the Ameo. In fact, it took VW around 2 years to develop this car which may seem a lot, given that the Ameo looks pretty much the same as the Polo right from the front till the rear doors. Its only when you move past the rear doors that you recognise the three-box form.

The biggest challenge for Volkswagen was to accommodate a boot-lid onto the Polo which is already a fairly large hatchback, one that just about manages to fall under the crucial 4-metre mark. Naturally, VW had to come up with some pretty radical measures including shaving 35mm off the front bumper to add more sheet metal above the rear overhang. What’s more, the rear portion of the roofline has also been altered for better design flow into the rear glass. For all we know, the Ameo could have turned out to be a slightly different vehicle, as revealed by senior VW designer Tilo Klumpp whose initial drawings were that of a fastback. Volkswagen India execs, however, were only keen to commission the more popular three-box configuration. Check for Volkswagen Ameo in

c The Ameo, then, exudes typical VW styling cues with its neatly designed front-end, taut shoulder lines and flared wheel arches. If you’re wondering about the colour, it’s called Blue Silk. It’s even got those multiple sharp creases right at the bottom for a more streamlined appearance. That said, it falls short of being impressive where it counts i.e. at the rear. Sure the Polo-like taillights are well detailed and look nice and so does the subtly designed spoiler but the lack of muscle on the rear bumper is too glaring to miss. Like most compact sedans that have had their rear ends cut-short to leverage on sub-4 metre excise benefits, the Ameo’s boot is a bit too stubby and the end result just doesn’t cut it.

Volkswagen Ameo Cabin & Comfort

The insides are again very similar to the Polo. The layout of the dashboard is exactly the same and Volkswagen is offering a dual tone black + beige colour theme. The instrument cluster is easy to read while the Ameo also gets a touchscreen infotainment system which is again fairly user-friendly to use. The equipment list also consists of features like rain-sensing wipers, Climatronic automatic AC, electrically folding and adjustable mirrors, cooled glovebox, cruise control, etc.

The front seats feel comfortable to be in and they are very supportive. Under-thigh support could have been a bit better though. Thankfully, Volkswagen is offering a front centre armrest on the Ameo and it comes in a shade of black. Space at the rear isn’t that great but the automaker has freed up some legroom buy scooping out the back rests of the front seats. Also, the rear bench is placed at a better angle than the Polo and hence it feels more comfortable to be in.

Headroom is also slightly better than the Polo. There is a big transmission hump at the centre, thus making the Ameo fit for only 4 people. Storage spaces inside the cabin are pretty decent. There is storage under the front centre armrest. The front doors can hold 1.5-litre bottles while keeping even 500 ml bottles in the rear bottle holders is difficult. The front seat back doesn’t come with magazine holders now. Boot space is average at 330-litres.

Volkswagen Ameo Engine & Transmission

Volkswagen offers their compact and sub compact cars with TSI petrol engine, which is powerful, fuel saver and good at performance. The Ameo comes with a 1.2 litre MPI petrol engine mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox, delivering 74 bhp peak power and 110 Nm peak torque. The diesel variant on the other hand gets a 1.5 litre unit which also comes paired with a 5 speed manual transmission to kicks out 110 bhp peak power and 230 Nm peak torque. The diesel engine has been poaired to a 5 speed manual transmission but also gets an optional 7 speed DSG automatic transmission as well.

Talking about the MPI engine, it comes across as a major disappointment because it has a very poor low-end and mid-range. In fact, the engine doesn’t impress even at the higher spectrum of the RPM range. City drivability is just about average and this mill is just not meant for highway driving. Redline comes in early at 6000 RPM. To keep the car moving, you always need to keep the engine on the boil. The engine also gets very vocal and at higher RPMs, a lot of noise filters inside the cabin. 100 km/hr comes up in 3rd gear while in top gear, the Ameo touches the ton at 2900 RPM.

If you’re looking for performance, you better stay away from the Ameo because the engine feels the most inferior in its segment which consists of the Maruti Swift DZire, Tata Zest, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent and Ford Figo Aspire. Gear shifts are pretty slick though but the MPI mill doesn’t impress even in terms of fuel efficiency. The ARAI-rating of 17.83 km/l is also the lowest in its segment. We are really waiting for the updated diesel engine to arrive because it will be a blast to drive with 108 PS of power.

Volkswagen Ameo Driving Dynamics

Don’t let the sporty looking flat-bottom steering wheel fool you. The Ameo is a compact sedan, after all, and it handles exactly like it’s supposed to. Like all other cars in its class, the Ameo’s suspension set up has been oriented towards comfort. That said, it has got the second best balance between ride and handling, after the Honda Amaze. The steering on the Ameo feels vague around the straight-ahead position and is slow to turn in. It’s initially light but becomes gradually heavier as more lock is applied. All in all, it lacks the consistency in feel that’s to be found in rivals like the Ford Figo Aspire.

The production-spec Ameo rides on 15-inch wheels as opposed to the bigger 16-inchers seen on the show car at the Auto Expo. Nevertheless, the Ameo’s ride quality is quite good – we sampled it across both pothole-ridden city streets and wide open tarmac on the highway. It deals with undulated surfaces rather well despite transmitting some sharp bumps from on the road into the cabin. So what’s not to like in terms of dynamics? Well, the Ameo, like all other compact sedans, has that inherent floatiness to its high speed ride. One has to make constant steering corrections to keep the thing true to its line.

Volkswagen Ameo Braking & Safety

Volkswagen Ameo 2016 features ABS as a standard across all variants along with dual front airbags. The Hill Hold Control and front fog lamps are featured in the Comfortline and Highline variants, whereas the rear fog lamps are available across all Volkswagen Ameo variants. The top-end variant, Highline, also features rear defogger, front fog lamps with static cornering lights and an auto-dimming interior rear view mirror. The front wheels have disc brakes to give the car that extra power so that one can handle the car well even in tough situations with ease.

Volkswagen Ameo Cost in New Delhi

Volkswagen Ameo On-Road Price in New Delhi ranges from 5,93,644 to 11,14,351 for variants Ameo 1.2L MPI Petrol Trendline and Ameo 1.5L TDI Diesel Highline DSG AT respectively. Volkswagen Ameo is available in 15 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Volkswagen Ameo variants price in New Delhi. Check for Ameo price in New Delhi at Carzprice.

Volkswagen Ameo Conclusion

The Ameo looks pretty decent but quite similar to other Volkswagen cars, though the sides are rather plain. The rear end of the car lacks some curves that would have given the car a better look. In terms of comfort and interiors, Ameo seems to be very promising. Even in terms of engine and handling, there seems to be a lot of positivity about the car. However, the car needs to perform in regular driving conditions to be able to make a mark for itself in this tough segment that is currently ruled by Maruti, followed by Honda and Hyundai.

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