Compact Sedan - Volkswagen Ameo
Volkswagen has just forayed into the hotly contested compact sedan segment with the Polo-derived VW Ameo. A late entry into the already crowded segment, can the Ameo carve a space for its own in the compact sedan category? Luring customers with attractive pricing was never been VW’s forte. But, VW surprised all of us launching the petrol Ameo with a great price across the variants.
One look and you get the origin of the car. Ameo is based on the VW’s Polo hatchback. The car shares the front end and side profile (till the C-pillar) design and dimensions of the Polo hatchback. However, VW has infused creases on both sides of the bumpers to slightly differentiate the Ameo from its hatchback sibling. Also, VW has shaved a little length from the front bumper which is added at the rear. The car gets 15-inch wheels across the variants.
Also read about Ameo at Auto Expo 2016
The major difference from the Polo is obviously the added boot. It has a prominent stubby boot with a bulging lip at the top to give that all important sedan look. The boot definitely looks like an afterthought (and it really is) on the beautiful Polo design. The boot space is 330 liters and the rear seat can be folded down to create more storage space. However, the integration looks better than that on the Maruti Swift and the Tata Zest.
Open the doors and you will be treated to a well laid out cabin with impressive fit and finish. The dashboard is a mix of beige and black elements with the right amount of chrome, piano black plastics and aluminum elements and inserts. The design and layout are same as the Polo hatchback. The Ameo has sufficient legroom at the front, however, the car disappointed us in terms of the rear legroom as well as making sit three at the rear is a difficult task.
Also read about Compact Sedan Volkswagen Ameo
Volkswagen has loaded the Ameo to gills with features. Dual Airbags and ABS is standard across all the variants. The steering gets tilt as well as telescopic adjustment capabilities. The car comes with a segment first cruise control on the top two variants (trendline and highline). The driver gets a comfortable armrest and a touch screen infotainment system with reverse camera. Rain-sensing wipers, auto dimming rear view mirrors and rear air-con vents are also offered by VW on the Ameo.
Engine and On the Road Performance
For the time being, VW is only offering the 1.2 Liter 3-Cylinder Petrol motor for the Ameo. It is the same engine fitted on the VW Polo and dishes out the same 74 bhp power and 110 Nm torque. The increase in weight is just 10 Kg over the Polo and this doesn’t warrant for more power than the hatchback sibling. The engine is very much at home in the city with sufficient power and torque in the lower revv range.
Read about Volkswagen Ameo Bookings
However, in the highway, the engine requires to be revved hard to extract power. Also, the engine thrum starts to seep into the cabin at higher revv ranges. VW is expected to bring in the 4-cylinder 1.5 Liter TDI diesel engine with the 5-speed manual gearbox and the 7-Speed Automatic Dual shift Gearbox (DSG) by this Diwali.
Ride Comfort and Handling
The car has a soft ride and it is pretty much evident while attacking corners. The car has a tendency to understeer on tighter bends and is not that happy to change directions on quick inputs. However, the car is pretty stable on straight line highways, even at high speeds.
Variants and Pricing
VW Ameo comes in three variants: Comfortline, Trendline, and Highline. Volkswagen has priced the car quite attractively considering the features loaded in the car.
IBB - Verdict
Ameo is not a new car, like most of the compact sedans apparent similarities with the hatchback sibling, Polo is evident everywhere. In short VW Ameo is a solidly built car with classy interiors with loads of features at an attractive price.