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Volkswagen Vento: Timeless design, good performance

By Faisal Khan
May 12, 2015 09:39 IST
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"The Volkswagen Vento diesel comes with a timeless design and the new 1.5-litre diesel with the 7-speed DSG is a real driver's delight, while also being the best in class," notes Faisal Khan. 

While the C-segment sedan space is known to be the Honda City's playing ground, other manufacturers too have been equipping their offerings to come close to the Japanese sedan.

Thinking out of the box, Volkswagen took two steps forward and has introduced the new 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox paired to its new diesel mill and is the third diesel automatic in its class.

With the option of Hyundai Verna and Skoda Rapid already present in the segment, we test the new Vento 1.5 TDI diesel automatic to see if it makes the capable German more appealing. 

The styling updates on the new Vento diesel are minimum but work well to improve the car's appeal. The Vento's styling remains relatively simple and has ensured that it does not age faster.

The design is timeless and only gets better with the revised front fascia that features a new chrome grille and new blackened headlight cluster coming from the recently updated Polo.

The side profile remains largely the same, save for the new alloy wheel design while there is the new Toffee brown shade added to the colour palette coming from the Jetta, it lends a tad bit premium to the looks of the sedan. 

While the exterior updates are subtle, it is the interiors that have received major revisions.

The dashboard continues to retain the same layout but gets brushed silver inserts all over, whereas the new 3-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel with steering mounted controls give a sporty touch.

The instrument cluster now gets bigger fonts for easy readability and an updated Multi-Information Display (MID) unit. The cabin continues to offer excellent space at the front and rear while the beige themed seats add to the roomy feeling. 

Essentially a smaller version of the 1.6-litre diesel that powered the sedan earlier, the Volkswagen Vento now uses a 1.5-litre TDI motor tuned to produced 105 PS of power at 4400 RPM while peak torque of 250 Nm comes between 1500-2500 RPM.

The engine is paired to a 5-speed manual and 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox options and it is the latter that satiates the enthusiast's need.

The autobox comes with three driving modes - D, S and manual with the latter two bringing out the performance very well from each gear.

The upshifts are quick, but it is the downshift that takes longer than expected. The engine shows its true nature in the mid-range while the top-end is lacking and it does not rev as freely as the older 1.6-litre unit. The updated Vento diesel does the 0-100 km/hr in 11.29 seconds (as per our VBOX tests). 

The Vento was always offered with sorted driving dynamics giving an appreciable blend between ride and handling. In the updated version too, the C-segment

Volkswagen sedan offers the same balance along with improved grip levels that come courtesy of the new Apollo Alnac tyres. The suspension absorbs the bumps pretty easily but does feel uncomfortable on bad roads with the setting inclining towards the softer side.

The steering feedback is good but not as rich as the Ford Fiesta in the same segment, but you do end up having fun around corners. Braking performance as always is excellent on the Vento. 

The Volkswagen Vento has been doing steady numbers but still misses out on quite a few points against competition as it isn't as well equipped and doesn't have as much power as some of its rivals.

That said, this C-segment sedan gets the best engine-gearbox combination in its class for both the petrol and diesel engine options.

If a diesel automatic is your need of the hour, you need not look beyond the Vento DSG AT as it offers the best automatic transmission in the segment while also being the car with the best build quality that will stick around throughout your ownership.

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