Volkswagen Ameo Overview
Built on the same platform as the premium hatchback counterpart, the sub-four-metre sedan segment is unique to the Indian market. Thanks to the regulations that effectively incentivise cars in this (small car) segment, now popularly called CS or compact sedans, there are number of these cars fighting for a share of the pie. Many manufacturers have reluctantly joined this race begrudging the engineering inputs that are needed to create a vehicle which has no position in their global portfolio. But, they did join the race because the market for these cars has been growing.
Volkswagen was a late entrant into this CS segment, what with the development of the Ameo, built on the Polo, taking a ridiculously long four years to go into production. When the Ameo finally made it to showrooms it was already short on ammunition because it was launched with only one powertrain option – a petrol engine and a manual transmission. The CS segment is dominated by diesel-engined competitors, and buyer preference is still predominantly diesel.Apply car loan for Ameo.
So, when VW officially announced the Ameo TDI diesel earlier this month, it was good news for the brand and the buyers. And thankfully, this one gets VW’s famous 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox too, in addition to the 5-speed manual option. Last week we got behind the wheel of the Ameo TDI in Mumbai to assess this new offering from VW.
Volkswagen Ameo Style
In terms of looks, the Ameo appears to be a carbon copy of siblings Polo and Vento. This is indeed a good approach as it gets the signature face. But on the other hand, there is nothing unique or no major element to differentiate it from other cars in the family. There are differences but they are so minuscule to be noticed. For example, the front overhang of Polo measuring 35mm has been reduced to add more length and provide better flow to the sedan profile.
At the front, the car boasts of dual barrel halogen headlights and multi-slat grille. The revised front bumper which was incorporated in the Polo facelift makes its way into Ameo as well. The bumper also features a chrome strip that runs along the length while the fog lamps at each side are loaded with static cornering lights. The side profile is also identical to the sibling however, things start to vary after the C-pillar with the integration of the boot. Further, the car sits on 15-inch wheels which are also borrowed from the Polo hatchback.
While compact sedans are infamous for their disproportionate viewing angles, Volkswagen Ameo is an exception. Yes, the carmaker has done a near-perfect job in integrating the boot to the rear profile. The taillights with faux-LED graphics have their distinct design and with the lines on the boot lid, it seems it’s an attempt to lend a wider appearance to the car. Moreover, there are some interesting bits including laser welded roof which gives a classic look from the rear. Overall, the carmaker has done its best to execute the design of Ameo.
Volkswagen Ameo Space
What is also familiar, of course, is the design of the Ameo. On the outside and for the most part inside the cabin too, the design and layout remains identical to the petrol version. Like is the case also with almost all the other compact sedans, the Ameo looks a bit gawky when viewed from the side. The stubby boot is disproportionate with the front of the car, and the impression that the third box has been slapped on to the rear of the hatchback is inescapable. But, the design doesn’t hurt the eye and in fact, viewed straight-on from the rear, the Ameo’s design actually seems to have a unique character which still ties in well with other VW cars.
All the familiar design elements of the Polo are there in the Ameo TDI diesel too, as also some of the distinguishing tweaks to the design of the airdam, front fender, the new tail-lamps and boot lid. Inside the cabin, the familiar flat-bottomed VW steering wheel and the dual-tone, dark grey-biege colour scheme greets you in the Ameo too. The dashboard is unchanged from the Ameo petrol and much of it also from the Polo. The cabin feels driver focused and very functional, but precise and well made. The space at the rear seat, especially kneeroom, is just about enough. I had two passengers one a six-footer and the other about a couple of inches shorter, and kneeroom was just enough when they were seated in tandem. The Ameo also comes with 330 litres of boot space. For more info on Volkswagen Ameo visit Aryavarta
Volkswagen Ameo Engine
The new 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.
Volkswagen Ameo Driving
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.
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 Cost in Ahmedabad
Volkswagen Ameo On-Road Price in Ahmedabad ranges from 6,37,092 to 11,20,779 for variants Ameo Anniversary Edition Diesel and Ameo 1.5 L TDI Diesel Highline Plus AT respectively. Volkswagen Ameo is available in 14 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Volkswagen Ameo variants price in Ahmedabad. Check for Ameo price in Ahmedabad at Autozhop.
Volkswagen Ameo Conclusion
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?