Things to look forward to in the car:
· New diesel power plant
· Convenience of an auto
· Enhanced dash which gives it a premium feel
Things that would make you think twice about the car:
· Similar exterior design as the outgoing generation
· High cost of maintenance
· Expensive spare parts
Amongst the many mid-size sedans in the market today, Volkswagen’s Vento is one that brings together looks, comfort, performance and quality all in one package. The only thing that was missing until now was a diesel automatic option which has been introduced to increase the woo quotient by the German manufacturer. So will the Vento DSG be able to attract attention towards it, let’s find out.
With growing competition in the mid-size sedan segment, Volkswagen this year introduced a number of engine upgrades for its entire product portfolio. A key attract of this situation was the introduction of an automatic transmission to its diesel ‘avatar’. Currently there is Hyundai’s Verna and Skoda Rapid that offer a similar diesel variant with Vento joining in, while the most popular Honda city still stays aloof of a diesel automatic. Therefore in its latest form is the Vento DSG worthy of a convenient diesel automatic, let us see to find out.
In all relative terms, this is a facelift and in reference to design there is no significant change in comparison to its previous model. In fact a few subtle upgrades include dual light design with blacked out surroundings, re-designed front & rear bumpers and a new alloy wheel design. Though once can easily relate to the current changes as the ones seen on the Polo hatch which have been culminated into the new Vento to provide consumers something of a refresh when it comes to its mid-sized sedan.
Its front bumper is a bit sharper than before comprising of an air dam with chrome lining, the fog lamps here feature chrome surrounds and front grille is purely highlighted with chrome that aids in attracting on-lookers towards it, while the bonnet as rest of the just mentioned elements is the same as before.
To its sides nothing much has changed except the alloys which now bear a new design. For the other elements there are flared wheel arches, body coloured door handles, slightly better pronounced side view mirrors and sharp lines that give it striking appeal. Rear features the same boot lid as before with elegant looking tail lamps. There is an element of chrome that gives it that glitzy appearance while the bumper now comprises of reflector inserts much like the ones seen on the current Polo.
Well as this is an upgrade, the cabin is one area wherein one would notice many changes. To begin, it is dual tone but the colour combination has changed from the earlier black & beige to now light brown & beige which is subtle but attractive to the naked eye.
Then there is a new flat bottom steering wheel which is same one as available in the Polo with mounted controls. Its grip and hold is very impressive. The centre console offers an improvised entertainment system with facilities such as an Aux-in, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity.
However when compared with competition certain features such as a touch screen for the music system and navigation are non-existent in the Vento. Apart from that there are silvers accents that spruces up the cabin appeal.
Offered with beige leather upholstery, the gap between both rows is good with ample amount of head, shoulder and leg room. Like the previous generation, the under thy and lumber support are good ideal for long and short distances.
Cushioning is also right up there which would be liked by most of us occupants. Overall in true German style, the quality of plastics as well as the fit and finish are probably the best in class which is a Volkswagen’s biggest plus point.
Regardless of that, for safety there are dual front airbags as standard which is another major plus for this sedan plus there is ABS and EBD.
The most significant change which can be seen herein is its power plant from its previous 1.6 litre unit is now a new 1.5 litre engine.
Vento DSG therefore features a new 1498cc diesel under the skin which churns out a maximum power output of 103.5bhp @ 4400 rpm with 250 Nm of torque between 1500 – 2500 rpm. On road, this engine comes across as fairly refined pulling away cleanly from the word go.
Despite a drop in displacement, the performance of this automatic variant does not fail to impress. Exclusive of this, the inclusion of a 7-speed dual clutch DSG gearbox pushes up the convenience factor for this sedan especially in metropolitan cities wherein the consumers long for such an option. In specific, the automatic gearbox works in tandem with the power train to provide good shifts.
In lieu of providing the perfect blend this transmission caters to three different modes D, S and M. As the initial signifies D stands for regular drive mode whereas S is for sports and M for manual tiptronic mode. In drive mode, the sedan moves about almost seamlessly without any glitches with its gearshifts, while in Sports mode the performance is more spirited and Manual caters to the option of having right power at the precise moment to make effective manoeuvres (overtaking especially in this case).
Vento Diesel DSG offers good suspension setup which results in hassle free ride, though the big odd crater could be a bit unsettling apart from that there is not much to complain about. Be it within the city or the open highway, this particular sedan feels planted at all times. Handling is pretty alright as there is a bit of body-roll but not something which cannot be handled and would be a cause of concern.
The convenience factor is definitely there in Volkswagen Vento Diesel DSG as it is ideal for city use while its highway utilisation is plus point. Since this is a facelift, one would have liked some additional enhancement especially in regards to the exterior design but given the cabin changes it is an attractive product. It features a gem of an engine that makes you take notice of it and thoroughly enjoy it on our Indian roads.