What is it?
Volkswagen’s made-in-India and first made-for-India compact sedan. It is based on the Volkswagen Polo hatchback and is powered by the same 1.2-litre petrol engine as well. With the launch of a tailor-made vehicle for India, Volkswagen is aggressively moving forward in the Indian automotive market.
How Does it Look?
Even though the car has been designed for India, it was designed at Volkswagen’s headquarters in Germany. At the first glance, it might remind you of the Polo but it’s the rear where all the prominent changes are. It has a very inoffensive rear design with a boxy-looking boot, squarish- tail lamps and a refreshed bumper as well. To put it simply, Volkswagen has neatly integrated the boot and the Ameo doesn’t look disproportionate from any angle.
What About the Features?
Ameo scores a perfect ten in this segment. It has got a touchscreen infotainment system with MirrorLink Connectivity which doubles up as a parking camera as well. It also gets more segment first features like rain-sensing wipers and cruise control, anti-pinch power windows, remote key operation of power windows and auto-dimming rear view mirror.
What’s Under the Hood? How Does it Drive?
Ameo has only been launched with a petrol variant for the time being and it is the same 1.2-litre petrol unit as the Polo. It produces a modest 74bhp of power along with 110Nm of torque which offers good city drivability, especially in the lower rev range. However, when revved hard (plus 3,500 rpm), the three-cylinder motor gets very vocal and you can actually feel the engine’s tremble inside the cabin as well. During the test drive, I was driving the car on the Worli Sealink at around 80-90 kmph and my even my sister, who is the last person in this world to know about cars (doesn’t even know how to drive) pointed out the fact that the engine feels a bit strained. The gear ratios, power delivery are very identical to Polo and not a lot has been changed here by Volkswagen. The steering and the suspension setup still retain the same Volkswagen character i.e. the right mix of comfort and sportiness. Taking a tight corner isn’t exactly the forte of the Ameo but if you do that, you won’t be disappointed.By Diwali this year, Ameo will also get the tried and tested 1.5-litre diesel engine which is currently undergoing an update. It will also be coupled with a 7-speed DSG gearbox which will be a boon for city drives.
What About Fuel Efficiency? (Kitna Deti Hai)?
Ameo has an ARAI certified fuel efficiency rating of 17.83kmpl and you can expect around 12-13kmpl in real-world conditions. The diesel variant will most likely return around 16-17kmpl (similar to Polo).
How Much Does it Cost?
Volkswagen has priced the Ameo very aggressively (Rs. 5.24 – 7.06 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) and it undercuts most of its competition and even its hatchback sibling Polo by about Rs. 10,000.
What About the Competition?
Maruti Suzuki has been the unprecedented sales leader of this segment with the Swift DZire and even Honda has been doing well of late with the Amaze, Hyundai Xcent, Ford Figo Aspire, Tata Zest are also amongst the other compact sedans on sale in India currently. Stay tuned to thewheelz.com for a comprehensive comparison test of the same soon.
Should I Buy One?
The added convenience of a boot, solid German build quality, feature loaded cabin are some of the good bits on the Ameo. Come Diwali, with the 1.5-litre diesel engine + DSG gearbox, the Ameo would definitely make a very strong case for itself.