Volkswagen has put the BS6 version of the Vento sedan on sale in India along with the Polo hatchback. This 2020 VW Vento is priced between Rs 8.93 lakh to Rs 13.29 lakh, ex-showroom. Does the new down-sized 1.0-litre TSI engine compromise on performance? We find out while focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of buying this sedan.
1. New powerful engine
If you remember Volkswagen first offered a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol. Then came a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol along with the option of a 1.5-litre diesel. Now, all these options are out for one single 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine. This is a three-cylinder mill producing 109bhp of power at 5,000rpm and 175Nm of torque at 1,750rpm. Sure it's a powerful turbo petrol, but does not really have an intense surge that's ready to strike. It does take a bit of time for power to build up. Yet, there's this strong tug post 2,000rpm and then, there's nothing getting in the way for your love for speed. It revs cleanly till 6,000rpm and keeps building speed without making much noise.
This engine also comes with the option of a six-speed torque converter automatic, but here we are focusing on the one mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It's good with short throws, slick shifts, and with a fairly light clutch action making it quite easy-to-drive. You wouldn’t be shuffling through gears quite often as there's ample of torque available to get going and that too at moderate throttle inputs. You'll always find yourself blending into the traffic and not falling behind other cars. In fact, it is surprisingly fast enough for urban settings despite not being a light car.
3. Driver's car
What's very interesting is how this car handles. It just puts a smile across your face. And reasonably so, whether its driving in the city, going flat out on highways, or attacking corners; it's a great driving machine. Handling is impressively tidy with a precise steering having good feedback making it very engaging to drive.
4. Balanced ride
Moreover, its suspension offers an impressive balance. Though the body roll can be felt in corners, but then the road imperfections are dealt in a better way. Thankfully, the underside of the car refused to bottom out even in some harshest of road conditions.
5. Solid build quality
The Volkswagen Vento is called the Polo sedan in some markets outside India. And it's indeed a three-box Polo with a stretched wheelbase. With plenty of periodic changes and even change of heart, the Vento is still sold in the Indian market. Today, even after 10 years, its overall design language remains more or less the same. Even so, VW has time and again kept updating it to keep it relevant to the market. However, the latest model still continues to have the tough build quality that German cars boast of, and is well appreciated by owners and prospective buyers for the same.
1. Looks dated
This 2020 version carries over the same changes the Vento facelift got in 2019. It includes redesigned bumpers, LED headlights with LED DRLs, and new 16-inch alloys. This one here is the TSI edition, which adds some decals to the sides to further distinguish it from the older model. Yet, even with its understated elegance, the Vento feels quite dated. Especially, if you were to compare it with its flashy rivals like the latest Honda City and the Hyundai Verna.
Also, the old-fashioned ways continue with the traditional, typical interior that we've seen in most Volkswagen cars. This also means you have a minimalistic design with hard plastics and an age-old design with no wow-factor as such. The rivals, meanwhile, have moved way ahead offering a more modern layout and design.
2. Not the most spacious in segment
Well, it's a comfortable sedan for four people, but still not the most spacious in its segment. We don't recommend getting in a third person in the second row as he/she won't be comfortable, especially due to the high floor hump.
The Volkswagen Vento is a little long in the tooth and does need a generation change. Still, people who love to drive are going to find this sedan interesting. After all, it is a car with a robust built and adequate features, but more importantly - it provides a very engaging driving experience!
Pictures by Kapil Angane