The compact sedan market has just got a new player in the form of the Volkswagen Ameo. It was unveiled at the 2016 Auto Expo and subsequently launched only in petrol guise earlier this year. The diesel variants have been recently launched and given that these are some of the best oil burners available on the market, we just had to pitch it against the competition to find out how the Ameo diesel fares. So here then is compact sedan diesel fight club.
All four cars are built to meet a certain regulation in terms of size and performance and so look a certain way and have similar proportions. These odd rules have resulted in long fronts and stubby boots. It is a part of the market where appearance still plays a very crucial role in attracting buyers which is why most of its rivals have larger than life appearances. The most prominent of this lot is the Ford Aspire with its Aston Martin (esque) grille and curvy proportions. For those looking for something a bit funkier, there are the both the Hyundai Xcent as well as the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. The Ameo, then, is a bit of a silent one in the lot as its mimics the Polo which thanks to its German heritage banks more on performance rather than outward appearances.
Comparing the top-of-the-line diesel models we can see that all of the cars are kindly of[v22] evenly matched in terms of features and exist on a give and take type basis, basically what one car has another lacks. Standard fare includes fabric seats, height adjustment for the driver and a plethora of storage spaces. Three of the four have climate control while Hyundai Xcent comes with a 1GB internal memory for its touchscreen infotainment system. Similarly, the Ameo gets cruise control and one touch function for all four windows. In terms of safety, three of the four cars get dual front airbags as standard with the exception of the Aspire which offers six airbags in the safety package, a first across quite a few segments above it.
Engine and gearbox
The Ameo and the Aspire are both offered with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 89bhp/230Nm and 99bhp/215Nm. The Xcent is offered with a 1.1-litre three-pot engine that produces 71bhp/160Nm while the Swift Dzire get the 1.3-litre Multijet which has an output of 74bhp/190Nm. As you can see the Ameo has the highest amount of torque coming in earlier than all the other cars while the Aspire has the highest power figure which peaks earlier than all the other cars. Of this lot the Aspire and Xcent can only be had with a five-speed MT while the Dzire also gets the option of a five-speed AMT. The winner here is the Ameo which can also be had with a seven-speed DSG.
Pricing (ex-showroom Delhi)
The Volkswagen Ameo’s diesel variants are priced in the range of Rs 6.34 lakh to Rs 9.32 lakh while the Ford Aspire’s oil burner variants are in the range of Rs 6.38 lakh to Rs 7.90 lakh. The Hyundai Xcent starts at Rs 6.28 lakh with the top-of-the-line SX (O) diesel being priced at Rs 8.06 lakh. Finally the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire is priced in the range of Rs 6.16 lakh to Rs 8.58 lakh.
The Ameo’s starting price is just Rs 4,000 lesser than the Aspire’s but its top-of-the-line AT model is a full Rs 50,000 higher. It’s a similar story with the Dzire and Xcent where the top-of-the-line models have a Rs 50,000 price difference.