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Volkswagen Vento
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 9/10
Warranty
: 2 Yrs / Unlimited kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
8.64 Lakhs-14.34 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Flawless fit-finish
  • Best build quality 
  • Thoughtful rear AC vents 
  • Punchy diesel engine & gearbox
  • High stability & decent control

Weak Areas

  • Noisy diesels
  • Regular sitting comfort
  • Mediocre fuel efficiency 
  • VW seeking price premium
  • Poor ride comfort at low speeds
Volkswagen Vento
 
 

Volkswagen New Vento Expert Review, Vento Review in India

Volkswagen New Vento arrives with a 1.5 litre TDi engine that is a modified form of the 1.6 litre unit used in the previous model. While the 5 speed manual transmission continues, the facelifted diesel Vento also gets a 7 Speed DSG making it the third diesel automatic of its segment after Hyundai Verna and its own cousin updated Skoda Rapid.


Author

By

ecardlr.com National

Launched in 2010, Volkswagen Polo and Vento were due for their mid life nip and tuck by 2014. While the fresh avatar of Polo was launched in July and it got a new 1.5 litre 4 cylinder diesel engine replacing the 1.2 litre 3 cylinder unit, the New Vento sedan with the same (1.5 litre) common rail turbo diesel engine has just arrived in festive season of 2014. And besides 5-Speed manual transmission, it also gets 7-Speed DSG unit exclusively for the Comfortline and Highline variants.
 
       
 
This new 1.5 litre engine has been developed from the 1.6 litre unit that is also used in Polo GT and in outgoing model of Vento. It is tuned for 104 bhp and 25.5 kgm of torque. The engines for petrol line-up remain unchanged and so there is the:
 
  • 1.2 litre TSI churning 104 bhp and 17.8 kgm torque mated to 7-Speed DSG (Comfortline AT, Highline AT) 
  • 1.6 litre MPI churning 104 bhp and 15.6 kgm torque (Trendline, Comfortline MT, Highline MT) mated to 5 speed manual transmission. 
 
Offering multiple engine and transmission choices, Volkswagen is trying to target a large buyer segment with its sedan and the New Polo hatchback. Already admired for its cabin space, torquey diesel and good suspension set up in earlier model, the Vento is ready for its new stint. This time besides 5 speed manual transmission, it also gets 7-Speed DSG for diesel that makes it third diesel automatic in mid size sedan segment. The first was Hyundai Verna 1.6 CRDI with 4 speed automatic transmission, and then the recently launched Skoda Rapid with same 7 speed DSG as in Vento.
 
The makeover has also given it some minor cosmetic changes for a fresher look. Ecardlr reviews this festive offering of Volkswagen and here’s our report on the New Vento 1.5 TDI Automatic:
 
The Looks and Form  
 
Like most facelifts, this one by VW has not brought sharp changes in Vento’s exterior design. It has the same wide grille with two chrome bands and the Volkswagen logo in between. The dual beam headlamps have been subtly re-profiled and carry a smoked look. The long air dam has chrome lining on its sides and lower edge. Round fog lamps are again lined with chrome. Measuring 4384 mm in length, Vento is shorter than Honda City and Maruti SX4 but longer than Hyundai Verna. While Vento is basically the Polo with a boot (in some parts of the world it is called Polo Sedan), the integration of this boot has been well executed and it’s evident when the sedan is viewed from the sides. It does not have eccentric styling like Verna and its plain and conventional looks if not head turners, will not offend anyone.
 
        
 
Another upgrade for the facelifted Vento is by way of new 15 inch SPOKANE alloy wheels that are covered in 185/60 R15 tyres (on the Highline variant). There is a radio antenna mounted at the rear end of roof. Moving on the back, you will notice slightly tweaked tail lamps. Unlike the 2010 model that had the full ‘Volkswagen’ badge on its boot lid, the updated car gets only ‘Vento’ inscribed on the left and engine type on the right. There is more chrome here, lining the lip of the boot. 
 
At 1233 kerb kg, the diesel Vento weighs more than Hyundai Verna and 100 kg less than Fiat Linea. It has a ground clearance of 168 mm. Colour range includes Toffee Brown, Candy White, Reflex Silver, Deep Black Pearl, Night Blue and Terra Beige. 
 
The Interiors 
 
The heavy doors of VW Vento open and close in a three-stage action and there is a mild thud on shutting. Like Verna, Vento is a low slung car and ingress/egress is not as convenient as in the SX4. Colour theme of brown and beige gets chrome accents on features such as AC vents, gear lever, buttons and knobs on centre console, and the three spoke steering wheel. After this facelift Vento also gets mounted audio controls that were missed earlier. So you can now operate the radio, play music and accept/reject/make calls via Bluetooth more conveniently. The steering wheel is both rake and reach-adjustable.
 
       
 
With beige interiors and large glass area the cabin feels quite airy and spacious. While the two tone dash has grey on its upper part, the centre console looks conspicuous with darker black shade. The front seats provide excellent back-support and there is generous legroom. Driver’s seat is height adjustable and even the centre armrest between the two seats can be adjusted for height. This makes things more comfortable on long drives. But this broad armrest interferes with the operation of the parking brake – an overlook on ergonomics.
 
         
 
For music the New Vento also gets USB, Aux input and SD card input besides CD and MP3 player. There are 4 speakers in this car but the sound quality is still not up to our expectations. There is a 12V power outlet and 2 cup holders on centre console. The pockets on the front doors can hold 1.5 litre bottles. Functional comfort attributes include rear parking sensors, powered boot opening, rear defogger, one touch operation for power windows, electric adjustment for ORVMs, and opening /closing of windows with key remote. Climate control is simple to operate. The multi-information display on the instrument panel updates you on travelling time, distance travelled, average speed, fuel-economy, distance to empty, service interval, and outside temperature. It has a digital clock, digital speed display and flashes safe speed limit warning.
 
        
 
A good number of buyers going for the C segment sedans are chauffeur driven and Volkswagen has therefore given proper attention to the bench seat comfort. There is adequate legroom even if the front seat is adjusted for a 6 feet tall person. You also get some more creature comforts – rear AC vents with independent direction controls for both people on sides, a centre armrest, grab handles on doors, and coat hooks on the B pillars. It is just the large floor hump that gets irksome and eats away the comfort of the person sitting in the middle.   
 
New Vento has airbags for driver and front passenger and three point seat belts on front seats and rear window-seats. Along with ABS, electronic stabilisation program and hill hold control are standard for all trims with DSG transmission. The car has speed sensing auto door locks. 
 
The boot of Vento gets 454 litres of space and the rear bench seat does not fold down. 
 
Engine, Transmission and Performance 
 
The 1498 cc diesel engine is a stripped down version of the 1.6 litre unit that is used in the outgoing diesel Vento model and also powers the Polo GT. This 4-cylinder, inline motor has the same power and torque specs despite its 100 cc lower capacity. So it churns 104 bhp at 4400 rpm and 25.4 kgm of torque at 1500-2500 rpm. It is mated to 5 speed manual transmission (all three variants) and to 7 Speed automatic – dry dual clutch plate transmission – (for the top two trims). The most significant benefit of deploying this DQ200 gearbox is that the extra cog makes it more competent, and it has excellent capability for taking the 25.5 kgm of torque load.
 
On firing it up, you will find it smoother and than the bigger 1.6 litre powertrain but it is not totally devoid of diesel clatter so stays somewhat behind Verna and SX4 in this regard. It pulls cleanly from 1200 rpm and is easy to drive in city traffic. Power is delivered in a linear way. There is a fairly good flow of low end torque. This twin-cam engine breathes through 16 valves and makes its maximum torque from 1500 rpm. Thanks to this, all you need to do is to press on the accelerator lightly and there is ample thrust for the desired driving force in the city. There is a wide power band and mid range is strong. With ample torque on offer, paddle shifters are not missed. 
 
Overtaking is also simple and the DSG transmission snaps up lower ratios almost as quickly as you need it to downshift. The effortless action that the Vento then slips into keeps you relaxed on the highways. Vento does feel comfortable driving at high speeds and takes 11.5 seconds for 0-100 km/hour which is comparable to the old 5 speed manual with 1.6 litre engine. 
 
Where the New Vento gets marked down is the refinement of this engine. It does get vocal after 3000 rpm and also it is not as free revving as the older 1.6 litre unit. While the responses are good at low speeds, you notice some turbo lag below 1800 rpm but after that there is considerable surge of power. 
 
Ride and Handling 
 
There is no change in the suspension set-up of New Vento. So the front has McPherson strut with stabiliser bar, and the rear is a semi-independent trailing arm. The ride is evidently on the firm side at low speeds and this becomes clear as the car goes over road undulations below 40 km/hour. While the ride does not feel plush as in a Manza, it is compliant. Moreover, with increase in speeds things do improve a bit and Vento manages to flatten out some of the poorest roads. The heavy duty suspension feels vigorous and this European sedan has strong underpinnings. It feels planted and there is hardly any vertical movement or bouncing at speeds over 100 km/hour. 
 
Vento carries over the handling abilities of its hatchback sibling Polo. It stays composed and can take on both straight lines and corners pretty smoothly. The chassis has a good poise and grip levels are appreciable. Body roll stays in control. If you push this sedan hard, there is some understeer but in a predictable way. Stability at high speeds is admirable if not as good as the other European player in this segment – Fiat Linea. 
 
What the driving enthusiasts won’t like is super light steering wheel that continues to remain light at all speeds. The turning radius of 5.4 metres makes Vento an easy-to maneuver-saloon through traffic and out of tight parking spots – you can throw it in and out of gaps easily. But the times when the speed gets into three digits, the steering feels lighter than what we at Ecardlr would have liked. There is hardly any feedback and it’s tricky to know where the front wheels are actually heading to. Also, there is considerable artificial steering action. We wish the New Vento got a hydraulic steering unit. 
 
Tyre noise stays within good limits even at high speed. The wind noise through the A pillar and ORVM zone is also not bothersome. But the working of suspension becomes fairly audible to the rear seat occupants particularly on poor tarmac. The combination of disc and drum brakes works very well. Pedal can be modulated easily and brake bite inspires confidence. It is simple to achieve the amount of braking action that you need as per driving conditions – from bumper-to-bumper traffic to slowing down while entering into a corner on highways. 
 
Fuel Efficiency   
 
New Vento with 7 Speed DSG has ARAI rated fuel economy of 21.21 km/litre. In the real world you can expect 12.5 km/litre in the city and 17.5 km/litre on the highways. The diesel with DSG is more frugal than the petrol with manual transmission. 
 
Verdict   
 
Priced between Rs. 7.44 lakhs for 1.6 Trendline variant (Petrol) and Rs. 10.9 lakhs for 1.5 TDi Highline (both prices ex showroom, Delhi), the New Vento is prepared to challenge Hyundai Verna at least in the diesel automatic segment. While the 1.6 litre CRDI engine of Verna generates 126.2 bhp at 4000 rpm, New Vento’s 1.5 litre motor churns 104 bhp at 4400 rpm. But the latter is equipped with 7 Speed DSG as against Verna’s 4 speed automatic – this makes for lot of difference. In terms of fuel efficiency, Vento automatic beats Verna. 
 
The wallowy behaviour of Hyundai’s sedan needs to be corrected and its handling is still disappointing. So that’s another area where we give more points to Volkswagen Vento. The actual story ahead will unfold slowly and we are eager to see buyer response to the facelifted car. 
 
Comfort:  4/5
 
Refinement: 3.5/5
 
Safety: 3.5/5 
 
Ride: 4/5
 
Handling: 3.5/5
 
Value for Money: 3.5/5

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