“It’s better to be late than never” goes the adage, and Volkswagen has done just that with its latest compact sub-4m sedan. The German auto major will finally be entering this lucrative segment of the market with its offering called the Volkswagen Ameo.
On the outside, the Ameo looks identical to the Volkswagen Polo with the exception of creaseson the outer edges of the front bumper and body-coloured front lip spoiler. The changes are more striking as the view shifts rearward of the B-pillar. The roofline slants sharply downward with the bootlid featuring angular lines. The rear fascia has a flat face with the square-shaped tail lamps adding to the stubby appearance.
The interior has a dual-tone theme with silver finish accentuating the center console, AC vents and steering wheel – which is a three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction unit. Behind the steering wheel sits the two-pod instrument cluster with a multifunction display showing essential information. The infotainment system is operated through a centrally-mounted touchscreen supporting functions such as radio, CD, MP3, USB, aux-in, Bluetooth and i-Pod connectivity. A feature called Mirrorlink enables the phone’s display to be copied onto the infotainment screen.
The Volkswagen Ameo comes with segment-first features such as rain sensing wipers and cruise control. Other convenience-enhancing attributes are automatic climate control with pollen filter, electrically-adjustable side mirrors, cooled glove box, auto dimming cabin rearview mirror, height adjustable driver seat, central locking and power windows with pinch guard safety.
Safety has been given utmost importance and this is apparent with introduction of ABS and dual airbags as standard on all variants.
The Ameo will be powered by a choice of 1.2-litre three cylinder MPI petrol engine and a 1.5-litre four cylinder TDI engine. The former makes 73 hp and is paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox while the latter generates 88 hp and can be coupled to either a 5-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG transmission.
The compact sedan will be produced at Volkswagen’s Chakan facility and once launched by the second half of this year will rival the likes of the Honda Amaze, Tata Zest, Hyundai Xcent, Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and Ford Figo Aspire.