Volkswagen was last to join the league of sub-four meter sedans in our market with its Ameo but it did come with a bang- really aggressive pricing made everyone else sit up and take notice. The car has been specially made for India and it does deliver excellent value. However at launch it was only available with the 1.2L, 3-cylinder petrol engine and as anyone who has driven the Polo 1.2 will know, that is the only weak link. While performance is decent, the Ameo needed a stronger motor to take it to the top of its class and finally VW has done just that. This updated 1.5 diesel along with the DSG gearbox promises a driving experience not found elsewhere in this price, does it deliver that? Read on for that.
What has changed?
The biggest change is under the hood which now houses the newly tuned version of 1.5L, 4-cylinder diesel engine which has been powering the Polo, Vento and Rapid. This engine now makes the Ameo the most powerful car in its segment as now it produces a peak power output of 108bhp with a maximum torque output of 250Nm. No other car in this segment is even close to the powerful torque output of Ameo and that is not enough; the engine gets mated with an optional first in class 7-Speed DSG. VW has made sure they uses this opportunity perfectly in a one go and that is why they have planted this engine in Ameo making it even more powerful than their mid-size executive sedan, Vento.
The engine otherwise comes standard with the five-speed manual gearbox and it will be a delight for sure. The Ameo diesel has a wide power-band to play with and it offers great performance in its mid and high range. There is negligible turbo lag in this car and the torque to weight ratio is very high which reflects in its performance as well. The car can be enjoyed the most while being out on highways where the long stretches can be covered with just a press of throttle making it one of the best cruisers in its segment. The 7-speed DSG is very convenient to drive in city traffic and the lightning fast gear changes make sure there is no disturbance in the delivery of power.
The Ameo is a perfect package for enthusiastic driver since it has a perfect ride and handling set-up to match the incredibly powerful engine. The firm ride and handling set-up is very enjoyable at high speeds and the stability is very encouraging while the steering feedback is also quite adequate. The steering is light in traffic and offers easy maneuverability while the compact size is a boon.
Other things remain the same?
There is no styling change in the car and it looks exact the same as its petrol version. The traditional VW face at front and side profile is quite familiar and the stubby boot is also the same as the petrol version. Only the TDI badge on the trunk differentiates the diesel version from the petrol and rest all the car looks exact the same. The built quality is class best as you would expect. The interior layout and use of material is also exact the same as petrol version and looks quite familiar however there are addition of few features which improves its practicality.
These include many first class features as well such as cruise control, rain sensing wipers, anti pinch power windows, front centre armrest, static cornering light, ESP and Hill hold control (DSG variant), ABS and Dual front airbags standard across all variants. Apart from these, the car also gets, keyless entry, automatic climate control, infotainment system with rear parking camera, Bluetooth connectivity and steering mounted controls, alloy wheels, red-defogger, rear a.c vents and electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMS.
Is it worth buying?
The pricing for the Ameo diesel starts from INR 6.33 while the optional DSG transmission is available in mid and top variant adding more appeal to the car which are priced at INR 8.50lakhs and INR 9.31lakhs respectively (Ex-showroom, Delhi). The Ameo diesel surely makes more sense than its petrol version or its other rivals for that fact because it gets a very responsive and powerful diesel engine which even does not belong to the class of sub-four meter sedans, many first in class features, exciting ride and handling set-up and superb build quality which makes it better than any of its rivals.
The 7-seven speed DSG further leaves no option for someone who is looking for an automatic diesel car. With Ameo diesel, it seems like even Germans have learned exactly how to play around the value for money factor because that is what the Indians want and that is what the Ameo diesel delivers.