Slide onto the front seats and you’ll instantly notice the new Dzire’s freshly designed dashboard that’s finished in dual-tone (black-beige). Wooden accents have been used to add a premium feel to the dash and door pads. Plus, the centre console with the large infotainment screen, is nicely tilted towards the driver to aid ease of access to all the functions. While there’s enough space in the lower centre console to hold your accessories, there’s even more room in the door pads which can also hold a 1-litre bottle. Although visibility through the rear windscreen is good, the window line is higher than the Ameo’s.
Once seated in the Volkswagen Ameo, we appreciated the more premium ambience. This is due to the superior fit and finish which can be seen in the buttons, stalks, chrome inserts, and the perfectly sized steering. We just wish that the dual-tone dashboard and door plastic could have been better finished to mirror the quality levels of the rest of the cabin. There’s lots of cubby space in the centre console and the door pad which can also hold a 1-litre bottle. On a lighter note, finding the perfect driving position in the Ameo is easy thanks to the superior front visibility (lower window line) and the steering which can also be adjusted for reach too (Dzire gets only rake adjustment). However, the visibility through the rear windscreen is restricted due to the high boot lid.
In terms of space in the front, the Dzire has much more legroom and headroom when compared to the Ameo. Armed with large front seats, the Dzire is better for bigger occupants and there’s more thigh support too. On the other hand, the cushioning on the Ameo’s front seats are firmer, which essentially translates into more comfort over long journeys. Plus, there’s markedly more shoulder-room in the Ameo too. At the rear, the Dzire gets a more comfortable bench which boasts extra legroom, shoulder room, a shorter transmission tunnel (eases middle occupant seating) and better thigh support than the Ameo. It feels airy, has an arm rest (with cupholders), the backrest angle is appropriate, and both rear doors can hold a 1-litre bottle along with separate space for accessories.
Although the Ameo has more headroom at the rear, it falls short on just about everything else. It feels claustrophobic, there’s very little thigh support, the seat-back position is upright and the tall tunnel makes seating conditions for the middle passenger difficult. Not to forget that the door pad stowage is slim (no bottle holders) and there’s neither an arm rest nor a seatback pocket. But there is one cup holder that opens from underneath the rear ac vents. On the boot front, not only can the Dzire’s boot swallow an additional 48-litres of luggage over the Ameo’s, it is wider and more useable too.