Volkswagen Vento Review
One of the Best Sedans in IndiaWednesday, June 5, 2013
After the success of Polo, it was quite expected that Volkswagen will soon roll out their new models in India. One of them is all set to enter a segment which is most preferred in India after the hatchbacks. The latest one is an entry level sedan. This car is known as Vento, the name of this car is specially coined for Indian version. It’s hard to introduce Vento as all-new car as it shares its platform with Polo. Vento is the extended version of Polo with minor changes in it. In India; we have seen many successful examples of saloons which are extended version of their hatchbacks. Like Swift DZire and Indigo from Maruti and Tata respectively.
These both saloons are identical to their hatches except their additional boot. The companies choose to stick with their original successful design of hatch rather than taking risk by developing all new platforms for sedan. With this car, Volkswagen aims the segment which is currently being ruled by Honda City. It will also have straight competition with cars like Maruti Suzuki SX4 and Swift DZire, Fiat Linea, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Verna. One thing is for sure, it is not going to be easy for this car to succeed in this segment. Does this car have all the potential to stand against these established cars or will it be just a car which increases the volume of cars in this segment. All this, we will try to figure out in our detailed analysis of this car.
Volkswagen Vento Exterior
Volkswagen Vento shares its styling principles with Polo. It’s very much similar to its hatch sibling in terms of designing. The car looks extremely up market and feels much wider and well-proportioned than its competitors. The stance of this car makes a strong statement itself. One can easily notice the high-class sophistication in its design. No panel gaps, perfect body language with aero dynamic design. It’s not any regular entry level sedan; its appearance is what we often miss in this segment. It’s very hard to accept the fact that a car like Vento, which is not curvy at all manages to grab attention instantly. Vento has a familiar front and side look. However some changes have been made in order to differentiate this car from its hatch sibling. These changes include revised air dam in front bumper with chrome surround, round shaped fog lights.
Other than these it has the same radiator grill with VW logo and chrome strips. We wish if it had more changes in its front as Vento can easily be mistaken as Polo due to their high resemblance. However, its rear is all different and the boot fits in really well at the back of this car. It looks far better than what we have seen in Swift Dzire from Maruti Suzuki. Vento looks very much like a three box car, VW is very much clear in its view to leave no room for doubt that it’s a sedan not just hatch fitted with boot. C-pillar of this car is very sleek and slides well on to the boot. Tail lights of this car are pretty much square in shape and looks very stylish with chrome strip on its trunk. The rear of this car looks very balanced with straight lines on bumper along with a big VW logo and sporty rear antenna. In looks department this car is a good contender for the first position. Volkswagen India has launched re-freshed Vento (Highline) in India. It features all-new smoked head lamps, new design for alloy wheels, automatic climate control system, bluetooth connectivity, rear camera, navigation system and powerful four speakers.
Volkswagen Vento Interior
The interior of Vento also is a carryover from polo. It has dual tone beige and black color interior. The overall interior appearance with beige color seats makes this car look much premium than its competitors like Maruti’s SX4.The plastic quality and material used in it makes it a car of different segment. Volkswagen Vento is nicely fabricated with superior quality of livon and pretty much usage of chrome inside it. The car has chrome accent on steering wheel, gear knob, handbrake liver with chrome surrounds front AC vents, light button and inside door handles similar to that of Polo. The instrument panel is very beautifully designed with white back lights. It has multi-function display which tells the distance till empty, service reminder with digital display of speed and fuel efficiency. The three spoke steering wheel along with gear knob and hand brake are wrapped in genuine leather which adds to the sophistication of this car.
Comfort and Convenience
The car has very good quality of seats making its seating of high quality. Unlike Polo, the Volkswagen Vento has enough space for rear passengers in terms of leg room. Front and rear shoulder room in this car is plenty which makes it a comfortable seating for five people. Vento has a lot of features which add to the comfort of this car. Driver seat is height adjustable, power steering, all power windows with one touch up and down, power steering with tilt and telescopic adjustment. Outside rear view mirrors are electrically adjustable and remote control for central locking with fold-able keys. The air conditioner comes with automatic climate control with rear AC vents. There is front centre arm rest with cup holder for rear seat. Other features include rear defogger, electronic boot release with push style opening for fuel lid. To make rear seating comfortable Vento has many vital features. These include rear centre arm rest and adjustment of front seat from back seat for more legroom which is first in its class.
Dashboard and Storage
Volkswagen Vento has dual tone color in dashboard. It’s very simple and elegant. There is a center console fitted in dashboard which looks premium and its appearance is very soothing, it’s not as tacky and disproportionate as what we see in SX4.Center console comes with 2 cup holders. The car has ample amount of storage space. It has regular glove box in dash board with storage compartments in both front and rear doors including cup holders. Front seats also come with back pockets. There is huge space inside its boot for storage of luggage.
Music System of Volkswagen Vento
Centre console comes with dash integrated audio system. It has radio, CD and MP3 player with high-end four speakers along with Bluetooh, AUX and USB. The centre console also features 12V socket.
Engine and Gearbox
Volkswagen offers two engine options in Vento, one each of petrol and diesel. Both of these engines are 1.6L. The petrol version of Vento is four cylinder, DOHC 1.6L engine. It’s capable to produce a peak power of 105 bhp at 5250 rpm with maximum torque output of 153 Nm at 3800 rpm. This engine is mated with a five speed manual gear box and a six speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen has also launched this car with a diesel engine which is big advantage over others like Honda city. This 1.6L common rail diesel engine generates a power of 105 bhp at 4400 rpm with massive torque output of 250 nm coming at 1500 rpm. This engine features five speed manual gearbox.
Acceleration and Performance
This is the department which matters the most in this segment. The petrol motor of this car surely produces less power in comparison to its rival City and that’s quite visible when you drive this car. It does generate more mount of torque than City but due to its more weight that goes waste. More over this car has some issues with its great ratios. The shifting of gears is smooth but the frequent gear shifting to get optimum amount of torque may irritate you. Once you pass the 2000 rpm mark, this car starts to perform. It goes really well till 4000 rpm after which you might notice the noise of engine inside the cabin which restricts you to speed it more. Even when pushed hard the engine turns noisy. Things don’t change much with automatic gearbox but yes the gear ratios feel much more adequate but it also restricts you from cruising.
It is not that slow either it does a 0-100 mark under 11 seconds which is faster than its competitors like Maruti Suzuki SX4 and Fiat Linea but it’s a bit slower than Honda City’s i-vtec engine. The diesel motor is a big advantage to this car. Looking at the current demand for diesel cars in India, this car is expected to bring drastic changes in this segment. The diesel motor, thanks to its massive torque of 250 Nm suffers minimal turbo lag. Torque is available at an early 1500 rpm making it quite easy to drive. The gear ratios are appropriate as this car moves nicely around 40km/hour even in fifth gear and you may not feel the need to change the gear. It’s a very refined engine in comparison to its 1.2L version used in polo. This engine rarely leaves any complaint as it shoots ups to 100km/hour in no time. In fact the diesel motor is faster than the petrol version, even after 145 km/hour; the car feels extremely relaxed and grounded. This engine urges you to drive it hard and reach these speed marks.
Volkswagen Vento Mileage
Volkswagen Vento with its manual version of petrol engine manages to return a fuel efficiency of around 16km/ltr on highways while in city it manages to give around 12-13 km/ltr. Its automatic version returns a less 1-2 km/ltr mileage. The best part about this car keeping Indian perspective in mind is the fuel efficiency of diesel engine. This powerful engine returns a fuel efficiency of 16-18km/ltr on highways while in city conditions also it won’t disappoint you as it gives an incredible fuel efficiency of 14-16km/ltr which makes it a very fuel efficient engine.
Braking and Safety features
Volkswagen Vento has been tried to give all the safety features. The car has disk brakes at its front with drum brakes at the back. The top model of Vento also comes with vital safety features like ABS and dual front airbags. There are some other features also like 3-point front seat belt height adjustment with anti-theft system and back- up alarm. These all features make sure that Vento compromises nowhere when it comes to safety and makes it one of the safest cars in its segment.
Ride and Handling
The extended wheelbase (2552mm) along with turning radius of 5.4m makes it a good car to handle in city. It’s steering fits firmly and allows you to drive it fast and hard on corners. It gives the confidence while you are at high speeds as its suspension enables it to stick on road. Even on worst roads with pot holes this car offers a comfortable ride however with full seating of five, few bumps can be felt at the back. Overall this car has impeccable handling matched well with good quality of suspension.
Variants and Warranty
Volkswagen Vento is available in 9 Variants - 5 Petrol and 4 Diesel - Trendline, Comfortline, Comfortline Style Limited Edition, Highline, Highline AT, Diesel Trendline, Diesel Comfortline, Diesel Comfortline Style Limited Edition and Diesel Highline. Volkswagen India introduced Diesel Comfortline variant of Volkswagen Vento on 12th March, 2012. It comes with host of new features in addition to the Trendline variant like Body coloured exterior door handles and mirrors, Radio with CD, MP3 player music system, Rear center arm rest, Fog light front and rear, Height adjustable driver seat and Electrically adjustable outside rear mirrors. Volkswagen Vento is available in six shades to choose from. VW gives 2years/unlimited kilometers warranty on Vento. Volkswagen Vento is facing strong competition after the launch of New Ford Fiesta, Skoda Rapid, New Hyundai Verna, Honda City (prices dropped) and Nissan Sunny. The company has updated the Vento with new features like USB port for music system in glove box, steering mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and rear parking sensors.
Volkswagen Vento is available in following shades: Trendline variant - Candy white and Flash red. Highline variant - Shadow blue, Reflex Silver, Deep black, Terra Beige and Pepper Grey.
Volkswagen India has smartly priced this car. Its manual petrol version comes only in two variants, either base or top which has a huge price gap of around one lakhs INR. There is another problem its base model (Trendline) lacks many features and at this price there are many other options available in the market which offer more features and are more refined and powerful in comparison to it. Personally, we don’t think petrol version of Vento is capable to beat City in any department. It’s the diesel version which sets the stage on fire.
At this price what you get is highly refined, powerful and fuel efficient car which displays German engineering at its best. This car is completely value for money and it looks smart enough to turn heads. This model of Vento doesn’t suffocate for power like other diesel sedans and it’s the top notch build quality makes it an undoubtedly first choice. This car is the biggest threat to Honda City and time will tell if it can defend its territory successfully from this roaring German.