VW’s plan A for Vento sedan has gone horribly wrong and this prompted German carmaker to alter original formation of its sedan. Rescue was conceived in form of facelift strategy that after going through hectic deliberations finally culminated in form of updated 2014 Vento. Facelift Vento comes with subtle cosmetic alterations though unlike ordinary iterations, this facelift has gone much deeper into details. VW has executed heart transplant as new Vento now features 1.5-litre TDI engine instead of older 1.6-litre unit. Though cubic capacity has got a marginal hit, the output figures remain intact at the original 105 PS and 250 Nm. Another significant traction in VW Vento facelift is inclusion of DSG gearbox that really makes a good sense from business point of view, especially considering the rising popularity of automatic in Indian market. Equipped with new armor and loaded with additional artillery, new Vento seems all set to deliver a bang the competition. We put new Vento TDI to our strict and comprehensive road test regime to find whether it has got the delivering punch.
Primary alteration that New Vento has gone thorough is heart transplant as VW replaces older, bigger 1.6-litre unit with new 1.5-litre TDI unit. Now despite of decrease of 100 cc in displacement, performance figures remains similar as 1.6-litre engine. New Vento bears the same 105 PS and 250 Nm and icing on cake is its enhanced fuel efficiency of 20.34 km to a litre. Although Vento still lags behind its rivals like Ciaz and City on mileage, still there is no denying from the fact that it has bettered its previous record. New engine springs as equally powerful and more efficient oil burner; the fact that most prospective buyers are sure to appreciate.
What is not so well though is level of NVH that continues to remain on obtrusive side. Even at its best, engine has average level of refinement and the noise is more than apparent once the engine starts revving through the acceleration. Now for reason best known to VW, we still wonder why company which epitomizes technical prowess can’t offer something smooth and refined power train to Indian buyers. Drivability of the engine has taken a leap and it is now less painful to drive in city. Low-end responses have changed for better and so are the mid-range capabilities. That said top-end of the motor sounds hoarse and noise emanating from engine bay is definitely a matter of concern.
Quite opposite to intruding engine, 5-speed manual gearbox is a delight to use and can be safely assumed as segment benchmark. Short, crisp and slick shifting experience makes this transmission best in business as engaging feels absolute uninhibited. The abandoning nature of shift and the way cog arrests, arouse a very reassuring feel. Brake too, are among the best available in market today though clutch feels a bit on heavier side. Steering has good feedback and though it is a new wheel, differences are too subtle to become recognizable percept.
In terms of cosmetic alteration, new Vento features slightly altered front and rear in a way that is hard to recognize even by keen-eyed observer. Front facia of the Vento now features smart double-barrelled headlamps that are extremely competent in their working efficiency. Slightly redesigned chrome grille oozes plenty of upmarket feel and in combination with the larger air-dam; Vento looks quite elegant in its demeanour.
Side profile remains unchanged as there is not much that can differentiate updated Vento from the older version. At rear, there is some minor tweaking in form of a bit altered bumper with integrated reflector though these are not very recognizable differentiators.
Inside the cabin, space feeling has been augmented as new Vento feels quite airy and roomy, especially at rear bench. There is plenty of room available of all sorts though reclining angle seems to be a bit more than what actually long journeys demand. Rear AC vents are provided in line with the segment norms and effectiveness of AC compressor is quite worth praising.
Rest of the cabin is similar in design and lay-out and the only thing that has been replaced inside is the steering wheel. Like engine, Vento shares new steering with Polo and top-spec model has got mounted controls on wheel. Fit and finish is of high order with stitching precision evoking extra-ordinary feel of preciseness.
Now despite of being segment benchmark in finishing, Vento cabin lacks in flair as the whole scheme feels too Spartan for the car bordering in Rs 10 lakh price range. The whole arrangement is discerned to be very basic and like past, rivals will tend to exploit this weakness of Vento.
Vento rides well on majority of roads and remained composed under large part of our road test. There are hints of firmness at low speed though it is not all that intrusive for occupants comfort and convenience. Most of the undulations are dispatched by muted response of the suspension though there are occasions when one hears the clunk from suspension, especially when speeding through the pits and ruts.
Vento’s handling is quite competitive as taut chassis and tight controls help this German to curb rolling menace quite effectively. Steering also helps in this whole process with its communicative nature that helps the driver to steer the car effectively to the exact point of intention.
Vento facelift price is ranged between Rs 7.59 lakh and Rs 11.16 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).VW hasn’t increased the prices substantially so Vento still perform average on value for money. Now with advent of propositions like Maruti Ciaz which starts quite early in the price ladder, Vento feels a bit more expensive than before. That said VW has never positioned itself as best value for money car. Vento has always been known for its build quality, finishing accuracy and luxury interiors which has got further boost through this update. Further integration of efficient diesel engine and DSG gearbox enhanced the choice spectrum for prospective buyers. For all intents and purposes, new Vento symbolizes a significant step ahead by VW that has ability to transform into good market share.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 3.5/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 4/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 3/5 Fuel Efficiency 3.5/5
Value for Money 3/5