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Old 15th July 2016, 15:53   #46
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Default Re: Volkswagen Ameo : Official Review

Excellent review as always...

India has been receiving weird cars within the sub-4 meter category. Beefed up hatchbacks are termed SUVs and rear-extended hatchbacks has become the new trend in designing sedans. What is perplexing is whether this sub-4 meter is a blessing or a curse for the auto enthusiast.

The Feature-fever that took the mobile market by storm has now spread into the car market too. Driveability and long-term reliability is eventually becoming a matter of lesser concern for the prospective buyer.

A better engine would make this car a complete package. Rest is all good considering the build, quality of parts and features offered. But will it lift the crown off the Suzuki Dzire?, the king of the sub-4 meter sedans, only time will tell...
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Old 15th July 2016, 17:35   #47
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Default Re: Volkswagen Ameo : Official Review

Excellent review.

I am not a big fan of these sub-4 meter sedan. I have always advocated, you cannot make a sedan within 4 meters. I would buy a hatchback any day instead of a sub-4 meter sedan. No offence meant to any aspiring / owner of these class of vehicles, it's only a personal point of view.

That said, I was keeping my fingers crossed for the Ameo launch. Reason being, I have always loved the Polo. I was even thinking of getting a GT TSI, however the rear seat and leg room was a big turn off for me and I ended by buying the Rapid DSG. It is really very difficult to get in and out of the rear seat of Polo. Travelling long distance's is even more claustrophobic. I was hoping that this might change a bit with the AMEO, but sadly from the review, it doesn't appear so. This along with 1.2TSI, Diesel DSG not being offered makes this a very disappointing launch for me.

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Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Other Points


• The auto wipers & auto-dimming IRVM have no button that needs to be pressed. The features are on all the time! We love it this way.
One correction, there indeed is no button for switching on the auto-dimming mirror. Would have preferred the same in my Rapid however Rapid has a button to switch on / off this feature which I keep switched on all the time.

However there indeed is a button or wiper stalk position (whatever you would prefer to denote it as) to switch on / off the auto wiping. From the picture in the review, it looks like the exact same stalk is also present in the Rapid. Here's a picture from my Owner's Manual. This should explain. Mods please correct the post in the official review for the benefit of other readers.

Volkswagen Ameo : Official Review-20160715_163225.jpg

Here's a small review of the Auto Rain Sensor as I have been using them over the past few months.
  • The wipers turn on instantly whenever there is any rain.
  • Even if there is some splash of water from any passing car, the wipers sweep the windscreen once.
  • The sensitivity of wipers can be set via the flick switch A. It has 4 positions
  • The only discomfort I have faced : While driving, when the rains stop and its only drizzling a little, water starts accumulating on the windscreen slowly. There is slight delay in the wiper to act and I feel a little uncomfortable. I end up manually operating the wiper during this time. (Usually I flick the switch A and this causes wiper to sweep once). Not sure whether this also can be avoided by keeping the sensitivity at position 4. I usually keep it at 2 or 3
  • I tried fiddling the VCDS Cable by activating Auto Rain closure, i.e. the windows should close automatically in case it starts raining and windows are open, not that I ever drive with the windows rolled down. Tried it only for fun - Sorry this doesn't work on the Rapid.

Last edited by MadAbtCars : 15th July 2016 at 17:55.
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Old 15th July 2016, 19:02   #48
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Default Re: Volkswagen Ameo : Official Review

How would you compare the drivability of the Ford Aspire and the VW Ameo Petrol on the highway?

I was liking the Aspire except for these observations from the official review thread
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Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
The result is better fuel efficiency and higher power output. The engine makes a healthy 17 BHP and 10 Nm of torque more than the outgoing Figo, while the max power and torque are delivered at almost the same rpm as the older motor.

Let's get one thing out of the way though - this is a commuter engine, nothing else. Its only purpose in life is to get you from point A to point B. The single area where the petrol beats the diesel is in refinement. Even Ford makes no qualms about the fact that the Aspire petrol is a "metro car", purely designed for efficient / easy on the pocket driving.

The petrol feels dull at many points in the revv range. Even after you slam the pedal down, don't expect a surge of any kind. On the open road, the mid-range isn't particularly impressive and it does feel like the Figo Aspire is among the slower compact sedans. Overtaking fast buses & trucks will require careful planning. 100 km/h is managed at 2,900 rpm in 5th gear, while 120 km/h sees the tacho kiss 3,400 rpm. At 120 km/h, the power has already started to fade.
But now, after reading Ameo's review, I am certain that the Aspire is definitely refined, but how do these compare out on the open road?
I am not a fast driver, and I would not go beyond, lets say, 120 but after using Palio GTX for 8 years now, I have never thought twice before overtaking on highways. I am quite used to that rarely used surge on the highways.
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Old 15th July 2016, 20:29   #49
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Default Re: Volkswagen Ameo : Official Review

Excellent review - thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Other Points

Keeping that in mind, the Ameo really doesn't offer much utility over its hatchback sibling. Between the two, we'll stick with the Polo due to its proportionate styling & superior engine range.
I have a question. Given that it's exactly the same engine, what does superior engine range mean? Or are you guys talking about the availability of the TSI?

Specifically, how does the Polo 1.2 (non TSI) compare with the Ameo 1.2? Are they identical? Asking since I see a lot of non TSI Polos on Hyderabad roads!
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Old 16th July 2016, 00:47   #50
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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
The Ameo has the same excuse. In fact the new Swift was designed during the period that the sub-4-metre sedans became a thing in India. The Ameo has a better excuse then. I think the Dzire has very similar problems to the Ameo and doesn't have the benefit of high-quality interiors, build or features.
Well I meant more on the lines of Suzuki not needing to compete with any other manufacturer as already they were selling Swifts by the tens of thousands, thus they had already known for sure that a Swift with a boot is going to sell even more. The Ameo on the other hand is a model created to boost the low sales.. to pick up where the Polo left off by improving the practicality. The problem however is that the improvements aren't that much thus not giving the buyers a clear reason to choose the Ameo over other sub 4m sedans.

There would be 2 reasons for me to check the Ameo out - one would be that I like VW and want to see what's new about it.. after which I'd choose the Polo because design wise there is no comparison, Polo is a clear winner of the two and the rest of the missing features like armrest I can retrofit. The 2nd reason I'd check the Ameo out would be the genuine requirement of a sub-4m sedan's space for city use as, in that case I'd be open to other brands and clearly the Xcent and Amaze are superior in terms of passenger space, luggage space, engine grunt (petrol) and proportions which is what I was looking for in the first place - real estate within small size. Yes Ameo might have the European construction but in that case why not Polo itself? VW themselves are arm-twisting the buyers into choosing Ameo over Polo by offering diesel-DSG and few other goodies exclusively.. that shows that they know Polo would be the more preferred car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
How would you compare the drivability of the Ford Aspire and the VW Ameo Petrol on the highway? But now, after reading Ameo's review, I am certain that the Aspire is definitely refined, but how do these compare out on the open road? I am not a fast driver, and I would not go beyond, lets say, 120 but after using Palio GTX for 8 years now, I have never thought twice before overtaking on highways.
You will have to get used to the new fuel-efficient petrol engines of today, it is not comparable by any stretch of imagination to the older engines. Seeing that you have the Palio (1.6?) you may even have to cry a couple of times after driving either the Polo 1.2 or Aspire 1.2 before getting used to them. Sure the Aspire engine isn't bad at all.. I've driven it, but as the review says its really not a responsive one - just keep a light pressure on the pedal to build up the revs and wait 2 seconds and you'll get a satisfactory response but no more. I've also driven the Polo 1.2 3 cyl, and let me be clear that its driveable alright, its a city car and will keep up with traffic as long as you work the gears and squeeze the pedal with planning, it is very noisy though and at higher speeds its anything but effortless (I'm talking 70-80 kmph) and in that respect the Ford engine is indeed more refined. Others may disagree and maybe for their own reasons, however I'm used to a 1.4 litre engine with great drivability hence my opinion.

For your needs and seeing that a Palio 1.6 is your current car, the only car you should be looking for (if petrol) is a GT TSi which is brilliant as far as engine response goes as well as the gearing for highways. Any other engine will feel like a compromise, but if you must choose between the above 2 options Ford 1.2 > VW 1.2 since the Ford Aspire is also about 20 kgs lighter at 995-1015 kgs.

Last edited by dark.knight : 16th July 2016 at 00:52.
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Old 16th July 2016, 13:50   #51
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Default Re: Volkswagen Ameo : Official Review

A Lucid Review !

First of all, the car seems to be a halfhearted attempt by the VW India and it falls just short of appearing preposterous by looking at the only available watered down Engine.
VW are known for their meaty engines-gearbox and driveability .

You take them off and offer a stripped down Polo/Vento for the masses who mostly care about the Reliability and ASS, which is again an Achilles' Heel for the European Cars.

So you end up with a Dud in the Hand and the things that you can only wax eloquence is about the automatic rain sensors or reverse cams !

More than the catalogue of cars, the VW would fare better if they enhance their ASS.. network ...
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Old 16th July 2016, 23:11   #52
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Thumbs up Re: Volkswagen Ameo : Official Review

We own a Vento in our family & I feel disappointed that VW had to jump into the sub-four metre sedan bandwagon. VW were highly praised for seamlessly integrating a boot to the Polo while designing the Vento. My personal opinion is no different & the fact is Vento remains of the the best looking cars in the market today due to its balanced & timeless design.

VW shouldn't make a car just for the sake of adding their presence to a segment. While the Ameo does come with some nice features & quality interiors, I really cannot see this car drawing enough attention of the buyers. I believe this is a segment, in particular, where people want maximum bang for their buck & along with a peaceful ownership experience. That's where the Japanese/Korean manufacturers are trusted more in this country. Heck, even Ford is struggling to get the excellent Aspire to sell as much as it should in reality! Certainly, the high cost of ownership of VW cars is going to be the biggest factor keeping people away from buying the Ameo.

They really should have invested their time & effort in developing a Compact-SUV for India. More importantly they should have worked at ways of improving their customer service & the reliability of their cars.

Meanwhile, saw this posted by VW's Official Facebook page yesterday.

You gotta catch 'em all!

Name:  Ameo_ad.png
Views: 3292
Size:  269.9 KB

Ameo's fate maybe be doomed, but full marks to VW for creativity!

Link to original post.
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Old 17th July 2016, 12:35   #53
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Default Re: Volkswagen Ameo : Official Review

Excellent review Aditya, Thanks for sharing!

I could not figure out one USP this has over Polo.
Bringing out a new product in the name of sedan should at a bare minimum have (a) bigger boot OR (b) better (read spacious) second row seats over the hatchback sibling.
Ameo has none.

Only thing I appreciate is the timeless design which is well carried forward with small changes to bumpers, headlights, interiors etc. over the period of time and have managed to turn heads even after 7 years of initial launch.

IMO Ameo will find place in the huge (albeit shrinking with ever increasing SUV/cross-over popularity) market size in its segment.

Last edited by S.MJet : 17th July 2016 at 12:37.
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Old 17th July 2016, 12:39   #54
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Originally Posted by S.MJet View Post
I could not figure out one USP this has over Polo.
Ameo in its diesel for its re-vamped diesel variant in this DSG combo. will be the only USP over Polo. Its sales will struggle and will probably hover ~ 1000 cars/month
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Old 17th July 2016, 12:48   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.MJet View Post
I could not figure out one USP this has over Polo.
Considering the Indian market mentality- I cannot figure out one USP for Polo over Ameo now.

The same can't be said about Elite i20 vs Xcent, Baleno vs Dzire, Jazz vs Amaze etc which are successful combinations of premium hatchbacks selling alongside their compact sedans.

A customer walking into a VW showroom will be confused for sure. I believe whatever Ameo will gain will be a loss for Polo.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 17th July 2016 at 12:49.
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Old 17th July 2016, 14:05   #56
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The same can't be said about Elite i20 vs Xcent, Baleno vs Dzire, Jazz vs Amaze etc which are successful combinations of premium hatchbacks selling alongside their compact sedans.
Well if VW India justified the Ameo by this argument. Its fatally flawed. The Grand i10 is 3765 mm and Swift is 3850 mm in length, they both had some more room when playing the compact sedan card. Polo is already 3970 mm and is already known for its cramped rear. Trying to fit in a boot > hatchback sibling boot is only going to make matters worse and it shows.

Moreover Ameo isn't making a good first impression either. They should have launched with the Diesel DSG which is its only USP, or not launched at all.

Dzire also had the first mover advantage and came out when SX4 wasn't doing so well.
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Old 17th July 2016, 15:53   #57
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Moreover Ameo isn't making a good first impression either. They should have launched with the Diesel DSG which is its only USP, or not launched at all.
Guess they didn't have a choice. Remember, even Vento Diesel production has been suspended due to the emission scandal and is awaiting updates. The updated engine will most likely debut in the Ameo.

I would have preferred atleast a manual 1.2 TSi option. The additional premium for the engine could have been passed on to the customer who would be willing to pay more for a "sedan".
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Old 17th July 2016, 18:52   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Guess they didn't have a choice. Remember, even Vento Diesel production has been suspended due to the emission scandal and is awaiting updates. The updated engine will most likely debut in the Ameo.

I would have preferred atleast a manual 1.2 TSi option. The additional premium for the engine could have been passed on to the customer who would be willing to pay more for a "sedan".
I don't think the emission scandal is to blame here...
I say this because the Vento diesel is still available with the DSG. It's only the manual variant for which deliveries have been suspended until the Indianised 1.5 is out.

Cheers !

Sundar
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Old 17th July 2016, 21:54   #59
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720 crores on an 8 year old platform? I remember that Honda decided to skip the plan of fitting a diesel engine on the 3rd gen City because the new gen would be out in a year or two!
Now with the VW scandal, I guess money will be spent a bit more carefully.
IMHO, they should have spent those 720 crores on improving service and spare part availability which will improve their image and long term sales target
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Old 17th July 2016, 23:40   #60
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720 crores on an 8 year old platform?
The cost looks escalated mainly due to its development being carried out in Germany. The labor cost itself will be 10 times the cost in India if not more.

By this logic, the 720 crore looks quite probable.
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