Despite being a sub 4-metre, the Amaze has loads of space on the inside and a massive boot of 400 litres. Even the quality of the plastics, the fit and finish are good on the Amaze. The Amaze gets integrated music system, electrically folding mirrors, USB connectivity as standard on its range topping VX version.
Interior styling of the instrument panel will be similar to the Brio, nevertheless we expect a few more frills on the sedan. The Amaze gets electrically adjustable mirrors, with electrical folding. The quality of materials is decent and even the fit and finish is decent. The integrated head rest is there even on the Amaze, just like the Brio hatch.
The Amaze might be a sub 4-metre sedan, but it is definitely the most spacious in its segment. Honda’s man maximum, machine minimum has made it possible to have loads of space in the front and the rear, with a massive boot of 400 litres. The wheelbase has also been extended by a good 60mm, which has amended the knee room for the second row passengers.
E: E is the base variant on the Amaze and it is available only on the manual versions. This variant gets front chrome grille, body coloured bumpers, power steering, power windows, AC, driver info display, tachometer and ABS with EBD only on the diesel model. The interiors are single tone beige fabric.
EX: The EX gets body coloured door handles and ORVMs, 1 DIN music system with speakers are the additional features. The diesel variant again gets ABS with EBD and this variant is also available only on the manual versions.
S/SAT: The S version is available for manual, while the automatic gets SAT. This variant gets keyless entry, driver seat height adjustment, power adjustable ORVMs, power socket, 2 DIN music system and chrome surrounds on air vents.
VX/VXAT: This is the top of the line version, with electrically adjustable and folding ORVMs, ABS with EBD, airbags and all the bells and whistles.
The engines and their performance are good on the Amaze, and there are no second thoughts to how good Honda engines have been. The 88bhp petrol and 98bhp diesel engines on the Amaze are powerful and one of the best in its segment, atleast on the manuscript. The acceleration produced by the Amaze is decent and it is very drivable, unlike competition.
1.2-litre petrol: The iVTEC from Honda makes driving bliss. This is another fine example of Honda’s engine craftsmanship. This perky engine is easy to drive with a strong mid-range. The exhaust note sweetens as you rev it and the engine being eager to spin faster even when it closes to red-line. Power delivery is linear and Amaze happily touches 100km/hr. Alibi, extra efforts are needed to excel above the 100 mark. Honda petrol engines are one of the reliable motors, and this is no exception. It comes mated to a five-speed manual or automatic transmission. The golf ball gear knob is easy to grab and the shifts on the gearbox are short and seamless. The Amaze is the only sedan in this segment to have a five-speed automatic transmission— others have a four-speeder.
1.5-litre diesel: The i-DTEC engine that India gets is a 1.5-litre, which is a derivative of the 1.6-litre i-DTEC. This has been done to get the duty cut on the diesel engines. The 1.5-litre engine churns out 98bhp of power and 200Nm of torque. This is the most powerful diesel engine in this segment and we are impressed by the power it produces. . But the power delivery is fairly linear, without any turbo lag. The low-end torque is decent and the drivability factor is also high. Even the five-speed manual transmission on the Amaze has short throws and positive shifts. Clutch pedal is light, making driving a breeze.
The Amaze is a bit softer than Brio for better ride but yet it is a good handler. It has been crafted for family use hence, it has better ride than the Brio.
The Amaze has a softer rear suspension, when compared to the Brio. This has been done for better ride for the rear passengers, and also for the fact that the wheelbase has been extended by 60mm. The softer rear means a more composed ride on rough roads. The ride is smooth and it doesn’t feel jittery even on rough surfaces. The handling of the Amaze is decent. It feels that the rear steps out, but it doesn’t really. The body roll is also minimal and even the tyres grip well. The chassis is well balanced as it twists well to take the load. The steering wheel is also light and easy to drive in city traffic making it stress free driving. The other advantage is that the vehicle has good visibility.
Ed's take: The interiors of the Vento resemble that of the Polo, and at truly German. The rear seat knee room has been increased for the passengers, as the Vento will be more of a chauffeur driven vehicle.
Volkswagen have always been recognised for the extraordinary finesse that reflects from their work on the interiors of their creations, and that exceptional refinement is precisely what defines every minute detail of the cabin of Volkswagen Vento also. Be it the looks, the feel, the material quality or the fit and finish, everything about the seating area echoes the German expertise and contributes massively to making the ride pleasant and joyous for the occupants of Vento. Carved in a simple yet smart design, the interiors of this German sedan has been furnished with large, comfortable and ergonomically-contoured seats, both at the front as well as the rear end. While the seats provide excellent support for the thighs of the passengers, the larger wheelbase of the car facilitates more room for them to stretch their legs. Although the knee-room and head-room in the second row, just like the leg-room in the front row, is more than sufficient for an easy and fatigue-free ride, Vento comes with the option of adjusting the front seats from the second row itself to further enhance the knee-space.
Adding on to all these comfort features is the superb insulation that Volkswagen designers have effected in this car, imparting it with the feel of a bigger and more expensive ride. This, in combination with the telescopic steering column, which makes rake and reach adjustments possible, and the ergonomic positioning of the instrument console and control panel, makes Vento a fabulous car to travel in.
Trendline: Volkswagen Vento Trendline is the base-end variant of the sedan and carries the smallest, but in no ways unimpressive, pack of add-ons in the entire line-up. Starting from the driver's zone, here we can find power steering, low fuel warning light, adjustable steering column, tachometer and electronic multi-tripmeter besides a set of controls for remote trunk opener, rear parking sensors, rear fog lights and rear window defogger. On the convenience ground, Trendline packs up an AC/heater unit coupled to independent rear AC vents, front and rear power windows, rear seat headrest, front and rear cup holders, classy fabric upholstery, front- and rear-mounted speakers and power antenna. For safety purposes, meanwhile, this particular variant of Vento comes bearing central locking, halogen headlamps, rear seat belts, adjustable seats, engine immobilizer and centrally-mounted fuel tank.
Comfortline: One level above the Trendline stands the Comfortline version of Volkswagen Vento. Except for dropping the option of adjustable seats and substituting manually adjustable ORVMs with power-adjustable counterparts, Comfortline carries forward every trait of Trendline besides adding some of its own like rear seat centre armrest, outside temperature display, digital odometer, front fog lights and a CD player/radio unit.
Highline: Next in line is the Highline variant, which replaces wheel covers with alloys and the fabric upholstery with leather for seats as well as steering. Plus, it also adds some extra perks in the form of automatic climate control, air quality control, multi-function steering wheel, ABS and driver and passenger airbags.
New Diesel Highline: The newer version of Diesel Highline brings with it some very interesting features and fitments including the likes of remote fuel lid opener, rear reading lamp, height adjustable front seat belts, seat lumbar support, cigarette lighter, electric-folding RVM, rain sensing wiper and tinted glass apart from some additional safety mechanisms like Brake Assist, power door locks, child safety locks, anti-theft alarm, seat belt warning, door ajar warning, side and front impact beams, adjustable seats and key-less entry. But, at the same time, it also drops parking sensors and offers fabric instead of leather for the seats.
Ed's take: The diesel is certainly the pick of the duo, not just for its efficiency, but even for its outright performance and drivability. Though the power ratings are similar, but the diesel engine’s performance more superior.
Volkswagen Vento, the beautiful sedan from the German auto-marque, comes in two engine options – a 1.6-litre petrol-mill and a 1.6-litre diesel engine. Out of the two, the oil-burner comes mated to a sole manual transmission system while the petrol variant gets to choose between manual and automatic transmissions.
Diesel 1.6-litre: To propel its diesel line-up, Volkswagen Vento employs a 1598cc 16V Common Rail diesel engine, which has evolved into its 4-cylinder self from the 3-cylinder make that drives the Polo group. Capable of cranking out a peak 104bhp at 4400rpm for a top torque of 250Nm generated over a range of 1500-2500rpm, this power-mill comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox. Maintaining a linear power-delivery throughout the range, the engine ensures that overtaking remains easy in the city as well as on the highways and does not demand a downshift each time. The gearbox, on the other hand, makes sure that the gear-shifts continue to be smooth, slick and easy.
Although the oil-burner that works for Vento is excellent at its work, however, its NVH levels that range in the 'high' category come as a glitch in its otherwise spotless performance report. While the very start-up clatter is quite characteristic of a noisy diesel engine, even after warming up the noise, although gets reduced considerably, can still make its presence felt. As far as mileage is concerned, Volkswagen Vento Diesel returns a 17.25kmpl figure for the city roads and a 20.54kmpl for the highways.
Petrol 1.6-litre: The 1598cc 16-valve In-line petrol-feeder that works for Volkswagen Vento comes with two transmission options – manual and automatic. Engineered to churn out a maximum of 104bhp at 5250rpm for a peak torque of 153Nm pumped out at 3800rpm, this power-house, in its manual version, gets mated to a 5-speed gearbox while in the automatic version, a 6-speed transmission accompanies it in its workings. The manual transmission system that this mill shares with its diesel sibling performs equally well here, delivering smooth and slick shifts every time.
Petrol 1.2-litre automatic: The Vento also has a new engine, which is a 1.2-litre turbo petrol that produces 102bhp of power and it comes mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. This is the new automatic transmission offering on the Vento and has been picked up from the Polo TSI. The power delivery is good and even the performance is better than the previous 1.6-litre automatic and it is more fuel-efficient too. This is also the first sedan to have a seven-speed automatic transmission and it will be double clutch. It returns about 11-12 km/l even when driving in city conditions.
Ed's take: The ride of the Vento is a tad stiffer. This is done to improve the handling characteristics of the vehicle. The handling of the Vento is good and it carries the VW DNA.
Handling and drivability have never been a problem when it comes to Volkswagen cars and the same goes for Vento as well. Based on the Polo platform, this German sedan makes use of a McPherson Strut with Stabilizer bar for the front-end suspension whereas for the rear end, it employs a semi-independent trailing arm. Although, this suspension system does a good job of absorbing the potholes in the road, it still remains unable of keeping the occupants completely unaware of the bumps and slight jerks penetrate the cabin.
The ride gets better for the occupants of the second row, all thanks to the softer springs, thereby making Vento ideal for chauffeur-driven passengers. However, the overall ride experience continues to be on the stiff side, the benefit of which comes in handling, which gets much better than before. To assist in handling, Vento gets fitted with Apollo Aceleres, which supply a much superior grip on dry as well as wet roads. As for the electronic steering wheel, it is light and easy to use on a day-to-day basis. Driving-enthusiasts, however, would need some time to get used to it, but it's not difficult.
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