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VW Vento diesel is the best automatic car in its segment

December 03, 2014 08:06 IST
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Photograph: Courtesy, MotorBeam

The Vento 1.5 DSG offers performance and convenience without compromising on mileage, says Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com

Did you know, the C-segment car category in India has 9 models, with almost every manufacturer having a product on offer (except Toyota).

To keep things fresh and models competitive, car makers usually go and update their vehicles every now and then.

The launch of the new Honda City led to a decrease in sales of almost all cars and to counter the best selling Japanese, Volkswagen updated its Vento a couple of months back, also giving it an automatic gearbox for the diesel version.

How good is it? Let's find out.

 

The updated Volkswagen Vento doesn't look vastly different from the model it replaces although it does come across as fresher.

The German automaker has given the car a minor nip and tuck with the front getting more striking elements.

Chrome has been added on the front bumper but nothing is in excess and it's tastefully done. The headlights are revised while changes to the other sides are minimal.

The new Vento also gets a new pattern for the alloy wheels which looks classy while a new Toffee Brown shade has been added from the Jetta, giving it good presence.

 

The interiors of the updated Volkswagen Vento also get changes and they do uplift the ambience of the cabin considerably.

The car gets a new 3-spoke flat bottom steering wheel which is fantastic to hold while the centre console gets silver inserts.

The rest of the cabin remains the same as before but VW has changed the font on the instrument cluster to make it much easier to read on the go. The cabin has generous space and build quality is faultless.

 

The updated Vento features a new diesel engine which is a downsized version of the 1.6-litre motor.

Displacing 1.5-litres, the new engine is lower on displacement but offers the same output of 105 PS at 4400 RPM and 250 Nm of torque between 1500-2500 RPM.

This oil burner is matched to a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, the latter being big news as this autobox is the most advanced in this segment.

Performance has seen an improvement in the low-end but there is still some lag which is amplified by the gearbox. The top-end has seen a compromise and the car doesn't pull as enthusiastically to the redline as before.

 

We tested the 0-100 kmph time of the diesel powered Vento and got a time of 11.29 seconds which is decent but could be better if we could launch the car by dialling in some revs but the autobox prevents that.

The 7-speed gearbox is a gem, there are 3 modes - D, S and manual (tiptronic) and cog swapping happens in a smooth and surefooted manner.

It does however take some time to downshift at times and you do need to prod the big pedal to request the gearbox for a lower gear.

 

Volkswagen hasn't made much of a change to the suspension but the car gets better tyres which is apparent when driving through corners as they don't give up so easily.

The ride quality is good but the suspension is on the softer side which makes the vehicle bouncy over bad roads at speed. Low speed ride is very good.

The steering has good feel for an EPS but isn't high on feedback. Brakes offer good stopping power.

 

The Volkswagen Vento is the best diesel automatic car in the segment, there are no two ways about it. With the new engine, Volkswagen has managed to retain performance while also offering good mileage.

The automatic gearbox is a gem and makes driving hassle free without comprising on the driving fun.

Priced at Rs. 13.32 lakh (in Mumbai), for the Highline variant, the Vento 1.5 DSG offers a good all-round blend of performance, comfort and convenience with excellent build quality to boot.

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