Volkswagen has rolled out its first India-specific product - the Ameo. This is a compact sedan built to compete in the sub-four-metre sedan segment that has been tailor-made for the Indian car market and Volkswagen is looking at getting its share in the pie as well.
• A well-built, solid European sedan
• Aggressive pricing strategy; on par with the Polo
• Impressive feature list - cruise control, auto wipers, reversing camera, touchscreen ICE etc.
• Interior quality is among the segment best
• 1.2L petrol offers good city driveability. Sweet gearshift too
• Sorted ride & handling package. High speed stability is better than competition
• Dual airbags & ABS are standard across the range
• 3-cylinder petrol engine is weak & noisy. Vibrates as well
• Limited rear legroom & large floor hump. Competitors such as the Amaze are more spacious
• 1.2L TSI turbo-petrol unavailable (Polo gets it)
• 330L boot is the second-smallest from this segment
• Familiar face & interiors are starting to feel old
• The Polo & Vento's long-term reliability hasn't been as strong as the Japanese / Korean cars
• VW's sub-par dealership & service experiences
The Volkswagen Ameo looks just like the Polo when viewed from the front. It gets a two-slat grille with the large VW logo at the centre while the lower section of the bumper gets chrome garnish that extends below the fog lamps. The Ameo continues to get double barrel headlights along with square fog lamps; the latter might not be standard across all variants.
The Ameo is in essence a Polo with a boot. So right up to the B-pillar both cars look identical in profile. The stubby boot extends beyond a revised C-pillar design and marks a change in the roofline as well. Otherwise, the flared wheel arches and forward leaning stance adds a little muscle to the appearance of the car.
The all-important rear end gets a lip spoiler, L-patterned lights and the familiar Skoda Rapid like diagonal lines above the number plate slot. We have always rated the Polo as one of the better looking cars in its class even though it is a bit understated. The Ameo has taken some of this and the end result isn’t half as bad given this is a vehicle born out of highly constrained ‘small car’ regulations.
The Ameo gets the same basic layout, feature list and 2.46 metre wheelbase as the Polo. Step inside and you are welcomed by the familiar black and beige two-tone interior and sporty gloss black flat bottom steering wheel. The front seats are welcoming and get a decent amount of side bolstering. The feature list looks to be pretty decent too as you get a touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control (first in segment), padded central arm rest, a rear camera and a cooled glove box.
VolksWagon VW Ameo Interior First Look Review Carwale Photos Images Pics India 20160227 36
At to the rear, VW has angled the rear bench to maximise boot space within the available wheelbase. This has resulted in a rather odd seating position and as a consequence a six-footer like me is left with little head and knee room and not much under-thigh support. Also, there’s central no arm rest for the rear passengers. There is a cup holder and two AC vents for the rear occupants, nonetheless.
Our time with the car was limited to being in the passenger seat as well as at the back which means a detailed review of what it is like to drive will come once the car goes on sale. However, if we are to go by the Polo’s ride quality, handling and ability to put a smile on the driver’s face then the Ameo should perform just as good and should be an involving vehicle to drive.
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