1 Oct 2016 German automaker Volkswagen launched diesel variant of its Ameo compact Sedan in India at starting price of Rs 6.33 lakh. Top of line variant of the car is priced at Rs 9.32 lakh (both prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). Ameo diesel is now launched with updated specification with more power output of 110 bhp. This output of performance makes the Ameo diesel most powerful compact Sedan in its category. The company has used larger turbocharger which bumps the Power by around 10 bhp over the older variant of diesel engine. Further in order to keep the cost in check, Volkswagen has also enhanced the localization content of this oil burner.Additionally for the first time, the prospects can also opt for 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission which marks another USP of this compact sedan although dual-clutch DSG transmission is available only in top two variants of the car.Company is also attached more importance to the safety of the passengers as dual front airbags and ABS is standard across the variants of Ameo diesel.
Volkswagen India Limited has launched its first ever compact sedan, the Ameo in India at starting price of Rs 5.24 lakh for base trimline petrol variant. The top end highline petrol variant is priced at Rs 7.06 lakh (Ex- showroom, Delhi). For now, the car is available in only petrol variant and diesel version mated with 7-speed automatic transmission will be added later in the model line-up. Under the Hood, the car is powered by 1.2-litre 3 cylinder petrol engine which also makes force in Polo hatchback. The engine is good for 75 PS and 110 Nm off Max Power and max torque respectively. The motive power will be transferred to the wheels via 5-speed manual transmission. Ameo comes with 5 first in class features which include rain sensing wipers, cruise control, anti-pinch power windows, front armrest, and cornering control beam. Further company has offered dual side airbags and Anti-Lock Braking System as a standard features across the range.
At a time when the major car makers are racing to capture the hot compact SUV segment, it is interesting to see that Volkswagen has brought its budget sedan in the market. This is the kind of car that Maruti, Hyundai, Honda and Tata had already prepared by 2014 and have won buyers with. Yes, the Volkswagen Ameo is a sub 4 meter saloon. Interestingly, the company calls it a “sub-4 meter limousine”. It was also showcased at the Auto Expo this year.
From what the petrolheads know of Volkswagen, they may not have expected the brand to join the sub 4 meter segment which is specific to India. But riding on the high prospects of this zone, the Ameo did make its entry and it looks forward to compete with Maruti Dzire, Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze, Ford Aspire and Tata Zest.
Expect a diesel engine intuitively? There is none at least till Diwali 2016. Volkswagen Ameo for now is only a petrol driven saloon. This is a 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder engine that churns out 74 bhp at 5400 rpm and 11.2 kgm torque at 3750 rpm. It is mated to 5 speed manual transmission.
Ameo is based on the hatchback Polo and not quite on its bigger sibling Vento. It measures 3995 mm in length and its wheelbase of 2470 mm is exactly the same as Polo. At the front, the Ameo sports its family looks with crease lines on the bonnet and 2 slat grille holding the VW moniker. It gets a large lowered air dam which is bordered by chrome. The halogen headlamps have a black finish and the horizontal fog lamps are similar to the ones on Polo. Front bumper has been touched for some design modifications to avoid too many comparisons with the Polo hatchback.
To improve the sedan like silhouette, Volkswagen designers have kept the roof lower than Polo and the Ameo has a height of 1483 mm. Viewed from the side, it again exudes the design cues of the hatchback including the rear quarter glass. This is a car with a boot and admiringly, the designers have judged the angle of C pillar well enough to create a sedan from the hatchback. Had it been more upright, it would have made the shape boxy and sharper rake would result in sleeker profile but a stubby boot.
Wheel arches are flared and the Ameo gets 185/60 R15 tyres with its 15 inches alloy wheels. (Base and mid trim get steel wheels). The ground clearance measures 165 mm. It has Mcpherson strut with stabiliser bar for front suspension and semi-independent trailing arm for the rear.
At the back there is a balance of boot size and design but the extra length has not been fully utilised and the boot looks abruptly chopped off. There are different layers to break the monotony of vertical block and the spoiler adds to visual feel of length. The boot has a volume of 330 litres and that is more than Dzire’s but much less than Xcent at 407 litres.
Ameo’s beige and black cabin greets you with the same design as is in the Polo but it is pleasing and does not feel dated yet. Quality of materials is (as expected) superior to that of rivals. The dials on the instrument console are big and easily readable. Three spoke, flat bottomed steering wheel and tactile switch gear make the interiors pleasing. A dead pedal is also provided.
Volkswagen is generous in offering equipment and loaded this car well. It has automatic climate control, parking camera and sensors, auto dimming rear view mirror, blinkers on ORVMs – these are by now, standard to the segment. But it also has one-touch, anti pinch windows for all doors, window operation from key sensor and automatic wipers. In the safety equipment list, dual front air bags and ABS are standard for all variants.
Top end variant gets touchscreen infotainment system with CD/MP3 player, Bluetooth connectivity, SD card input, USB and Aux-in ports.
Front seats are comfortable with their fabric upholstery and the driver’s seat is adjustable for height. With rake and reach adaptable nature of steering wheel, creating ergonomic driving position is doable.
In the rear part of the cabin, the Ameo is no different from the Polo. The headroom and under-thigh support are just enough but the legroom disappoints and tall people will not be comfortable here. Furthermore, there is no centre armrest. What’s good though is that the rear seat occupants get their own AC vent – this has been hitherto offered only by Hyundai Xcent in the sub-4 meter sedan market.
The loading lip of the 330 litres boot makes it easy to load and unload stuff but for cost –cutting, there is no cladding on the inside of boot lid.
Volkswagen Ameo has received an ARAI rating of 17.83 km/litre with its 1.2 litre petrol engine. The 1.5 litre diesel engine model that is expected to get launched later this year is supposedly arriving with 7 speed DSG as also a 5 speed MT.
The three variants of this car Trendline, Comfortline and Highline are priced between Rs 5.24 and 7.06 lakh (ex showroom price Delhi). Colour options include Blue Silk, Reflex Silver, Toffee Brown, Candy White and Carbon Steel.
If you do prefer a loaded and budget-friendly petrol sedan from a European manufacturer, Ameo can be a classy buy.