Volkswagen Ameo Petrol Test Drive Review – ‘Sensibly Dezirable’


What is it?

Volkswagen‘s answer to the rather invincible Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, the new Ameo is a Polo-based compact sedan that becomes the cheapest offering from the Volkswagen’s Indian subsidiary. The Ameo has been tailor made to suit the desires and aspirations of a typical Indian lower-C segment car buyer. And while this new car has gone on sale at an ultra competitive starting price of roughly INR 5.15 Lakhs, the Ameo, in a manner typical of other VW products, comes across as a well engineered and designed car that has a touch of sophistication to it. Read our Volkswagen Ameo Petrol Test Drive Review to find out what this new compact sedan from the German manufacturer is all about.

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Also See – Volkswagen Ameo Price & Specs

Volkswagen Ameo Petrol Test Drive Review (English Video)

A Slightly Longer Polo or a Shorter Vento?

The Ameo’s price might undercut that of the Polo hatchback by a considerable margin, but for all practical purposes, the new member of the Polo family is a slightly larger-than-Polo product that finds itself slotted between its donor car and the full-sized Vento sedan. When parked alongside the Polo and the Vento, however, it doesn’t take much to realize that the Ameo is more of slightly longer Polo than a truncated Vento. Except for an all-new posterior, there’s nothing much that differentiates the Ameo from the Polo, at least not at the first glance. We’ve been told that this car’s designers cropped out a full 35 mm from the front of the Polo when deriving this car’s design. The end result is that the Ameo looks sufficiently proportionate. This, along with things like the slightly different grille and re-shaped foglamps, aren’t much to the Ameo’s nose look any different from that of the Polo. The rear-end, however, is where one finds most of the changes. Now, we’ve always maintained that these sub-4 metre compact sedans don’t make for the prettiest of sights and hence, we never expected the Ameo to be any different from the entire crop of rather ill-proportioned designs that seem to be much of an ‘after thought’ than anything else. What this actually means is that with the exception of the Ford Figo Aspire, which is the only, I repeat, ONLY compact sedan that looks pretty pleasing to most, these sub 4-metre offerings don’t score much in terms of aesthetic value. The Ameo, however, is surely among the better designs in its segment. The design team led by Tilo Klumpp has rather successfully managed to integrate a boot seamlessly with the Polo hatchback. Also, thanks to the squarish taillamps, the chunky bumper, the Skoda-like surface treatment on the boot lid, the Ameo’s posterior has enough to hold your attention.

On the Inside?

The interior is a reflection of the exterior, which means most of it comes from the Polo hatchback. There are quality plastics all around and the entire setup feels solidly built. Everything is exactly like how it is on the Polo, which means that the well-built and pleasantly designed cabin has one big flaw- a cramped rear seat. With tall occupants at front, it gets a squeeze for two to sit at the rear! However, apart from this, it gets really hard to point out the negatives of the Ameo’s cabin. Even the boot space, at 330 litres, is significantly larger than the Polo’s and can easily hold the entire luggage for a weekend family trip. Thanks to bits like the quality of materials, the build quality, the design, things like the flat-bottomed steering wheel, the Ameo’s interior scores pretty well in spite of a cramped rear.

Among the highlights of this new Volkswagen is its rather long features list- you get features like cruise control, auto-dimming rear view mirror, cooled glove compartment, rear aircon vents, touchscreen infotainment with rear parking sensors and camera and one-touch up/down for the front power windows. All of this in a car of this price and segment, and you’re looking at serious value-for-money here.

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What’s Under the Hood?

Currently, the Ameo has gone on sale only in just one engine variant- a 1.2-litre three cylinder naturally aspirated Petrol motor comes from, you guessed it, the Polo. This engine puts out a max. power of 75 PS @ 5,400 RPM and a peak torque of 110 Nm @ 3,750 RPM. With such modest power figures, the Ameo isn’t a really quick car, no, rather far from it. However, the torque spread is good and low- and mid-range performance is pretty good. In city driving, the lack of outright power is hardly apparent and there’s sufficient grunt to keep up with the faster traffic. The engine comes mated to a 5-Speed Manual gearbox that offers slick shifts. It is only out on the expressway that you could be left wanting for more. Overtaking fast-moving vehicles almost always requires you to downshift. And while this car can cruise at 100 KMPH almost all day long, attaining speeds anywhere over 120 KMPH is a process that requires a really long and empty stretch of road. The Ameo won’t impress the speed junkies, but thanks to sufficiently high levels of refinement, reasonable fuel mileage and good bottom-end grunt, the new VW makes for a good entry-level family sedan. Talking of the fuel mileage, the Ameo 1.2 MPI boasts of an ARAI-rated fuel mileage of 17.83 kmpl.

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Around the Corner

The Ameo shares its wheelbase and its suspension with the Polo, which means that the ride and handling manners remain almost unchanged. Much like the Polo, the Ameo gobbles up most of the undulations and the minor speed humps with ease and it is only the bigger craters that tend to unsettle this car. Around the corners, the new Volkswagen Ameo, in spite of mediocre power figures, is almost a hoot to drive. The steering, which is pretty direct, isn’t too light and offers enough in terms of feedback. Also, thanks to the Ameo’s sure-footed nature, going that wee bit faster in the corners never gets unnerving. Even the high speed stability is fantastic. However, much like the Polo, there’s a slight body roll when tacking tight corners at fast speeds. Also, unlike the Polo, which gets the grippy Apollo Alnac tires, the Ameo makes do with MRF ZVTVs. Overall, the Ameo impresses with its ride and handling manners. It ride and handles in a really matured manner, which is something that we have experienced on all VW cars.

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Summing it Up!

The Ameo is exactly like what we expected it to be- a Polo with a larger boot and some additional features. All this means that the Ameo comes across as a really well-engineered product that offers a good build quality, excellent ride and handling manners and a long list of features. On the flip side, however, this also means that the Ameo gets to make do with the rather mediocre performance that the Polo’s 1.2-litre, three-pot petrol engine offers. You also get a slightly cramped rear seat. However, at almost INR 40,000 cheaper than the Polo, the Ameo makes for a great value-for-money proposition. The new Volkswagen Ameo is perfect for those who have been choosing the likes of Swift Dzire over a Polo only for the larger boot and those sedan credentials. Oh, and we just can’t wait to sample the Ameo Diesel!


Volkswagen Ameo Petrol Specifications

Engine 1198 cc
Fuel Type Petrol
Max Power 74 bhp @ 5400 RPM
Max Torque 110 Nm @ 3750 RPM
17.83 kmpl


Length 3998 mm
Width 1682 mm
Height 1469 mm

Volkswagen Ameo Petrol Price List

Fuel Variant Ex- Showroom

(without Octroi & local taxes)

Petrol 1.2 MPI Trendline 5,13,864 5,24,300
Comfortline 5,87,914 5,99,950
Highline 6,91,680 7,05,900

Volkswagen Ameo Petrol Test Drive Review (Hindi Video)

Volkswagen Ameo Petrol Test Drive Image Gallery

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