It has been almost two months since the Volkswagen Ameo joined our CarWale long term garage and we have clocked close to 4550 kilometres. After spending time in the Ameo for so long I have realised that there is an exemplary charm to the quality of German sedans and the Ameo has that in plenty. This report will outline the things I liked and things that could have been better inside the Ameo and how ergonomic it is to live with.
Firstly, it takes a little effort to get into the driver’s seat thanks to the low seat height and high door sill. But once inside, it’s all good from thereon. Even the driving position is comfortable and there’s also an adjustable driver’s armrest for that extra bit of comfort. And the Ameo simply exudes quality. Be it the leather-wrapped steering wheel, the beige upholstery, the stalks behind the steering wheel, gear lever, infotainment system or the commonly used buttons. Also, I have grown quite fond of the air conditioning in this car. It cools the cabin instantly and was able to keep it like that even during the scorching heat of Mumbai summers. And the climate control also adds to the convenience. However, the air vents at the back aren’t particularly useful, but we’d still prefer it over no vents at all.
Also, in the case of the rear bench, I don't particularly don't like it as I feel it could have done better in terms of comfort. Not that it is inconvenient to sit on the backbench, but I’d have preferred better under-thigh support and an improved backrest angle. Since we are on the subject of ergonomics, I’d also like to mention the dead pedal which, according to me, is too small and placed too close to the clutch pedal. This, strangely enough, causes an inconvenience while driving, especially in the city.
Among the list of things I didn’t like in the Ameo are the bottle holders on the door. Firstly, the ones on the front door are too large for a litre bottle and hence, an average-sized bottle moves around in there as it is not deep either. Meanwhile, at the back, there are no bottle holders at all. It’s just a slot which is barely usable. The other thing I found to be unseemly is the fact that Volkswagen decided that one trip meter is sufficient in the Ameo. Even cars costing less than the Ameo comes with two trip metres these days and hence, this stands out like a sore thumb in the Ameo’s feature list. Apart from that, the beige coloured upholstery is prone to getting dirty easily and it is a task to remove the smudges from the seats.
Now that the things I didn’t like are out of the way I can once again talk about the convenience the Ameo packs in. I particularly found the anti-glare mirrors very handy. Furthermore, the sufficiently large boot space of 330 litres has so far managed to swallow my camera gear, shoot ancillaries and some other bags as well with ease and still have some room to spare. I also found myself using the Apple Navigation on the infotainment system quite a lot since it is convenient and easy to use.
So in the following report, we’ll talk about how the Ameo doubles up as a driver’s car. With a few road trips and a lot of Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai runs marked in my calendar already, I am looking forward to see how the Ameo performs in terms of driving dynamics and long-distance commutes.
Odometer: 4904 kilometres
Fuel economy: 17kmpl.
Photos: Kaustubh Gandhi