When Germany wanted to build a 'People's Car' which is simple and cheap on your wallet, Volkswagen with the help of Ferdinand Porsche (Founder of Porsche) built the Volkswagen Beetle.
The Beetle is the only longest running and most manufactured single platform car in the world, selling more than 21 million units worldwide.
Volkswagen India had a similar aspiration for the Indian market. A car was made-in-India and made-for-India and was called Ameo; engineered and designed by Germans. Tilo Klumpp, senior designer Volkswagen was asked to build a 'limousine' measuring under four meters.
Has the company delivered? Let's find out.
Design of the Volkswagen Ameo
With solid and crisp detailing of the front profile, the Ameo is straight out of the Polo. The creases give it a muscular design, which has been slightly tweaked to set it apart from the Polo.
The designers have shaved off 35mm from the front bumper to give space at the rear and increase the boot space. You can identify the Ameo from the side profile, with the boot being prominent.
Moving to the rear, the roof of the Ameo tapers to the boot area, Volkswagen says it has not compromised on the headroom for the rear passengers; yes the headroom is decent. The boot, which is the talking point of any sub-four-metre sedan is stubby and the layers and creases sum up the rear profile.
Interiors of the Volkswagen Ameo
The rich dual tone interior feels premium and reminds you of the Polo, looking cramped at the rear. Front seats are where you feel comfortable, the armrest is a welcome for your long drives.
It's the rear seat that lets you down, legroom is just enough for an average height passenger. As for the headroom, Volkswagen just scraped through without brushing your head.
What I was not impressed is the second-row seating, which is just enough for two adults, you don't even have the armrest.
With climate temperature soaring every day, the rear AC vent is welcome and that's where Volkswagen has pulled a rabbit out of the hole; a USP in the Ameo.
The all important boot is smaller compared to some of its competitors, however, the design has made sure large luggage fit perfectly. The design of the boot lid opens wide and this helps load luggage efficiently without much hassle.
On the entertainment bit, the touchscreen with VW's trademark MirrorLink feels premium and something its rivals miss out. The touchscreen is sensitive and there is less effort in using the system.
Personally, I liked the grandness of the piano black trims on the flat bottom steering wheel and the gear shifter, though some might find fingerprints on it a bit of a letdown.
- Automatic Rain Sensing Wipers
- Cruise Control
- Standard Dual Airbags & ABS with EBD
- Power Windows with One-Touch Operation
- Opening and Closing of Windows Through key remote
Drive & Handling of the Volkswagen Ameo
Volkswagen has powered the Ameo which is identical to the Polo engine, a 1.2-litre 3-cylinder MPI petrol engine developing 74bhp and a peak torque at 110Nm.
The petrol unit lags at lower power band and you will have rev the engine to get you going. In city conditions though the Ameo is comfortable to drive, but depress the accelerator and the 3-cylinder noise creeps into the cabin.
On travelling and pushing the Ameo, which might be a bit more than it would have wanted, the car returned a decent mileage. You can expect an average of 14-15kmpl depending on the road conditions.
The suspension is taken care by McPherson Strut in the front and Semi-independent trailing arm at the rear which is rather soft. There is a bit of nod when you throw the car around the turn at a reasonable speed.
Braking is taken care by discs in the front and drums for the rear wheel assisted by ABS is sharp and to the point.
Volkswagen has fitted the Ameo with the MRF tyres (185/60 R15), and the base variant gets the same MRF (175/70 R14) and is grippy.
ARAI Mileage: 17.83kmpl
- Trendline - Rs. 5,24,300
- Trendline (Metallic) - Rs. 5,34,300
- Comfortline - Rs. 5,99,950
- Comfortline (Metallic) - Rs. 6,09,950
- Highline - Rs. 7,05,900
*Prices are Ex-Showroom (Delhi)
Pros and Cons of the Volkswagen Ameo
√ Features like cruise control, auto rain sensing wipers, anti-pinch windows
√ Standard airbags with ABS
√ Great price
√ The sense of luxury with the awesome infotainment system.
√ Good quality plastics
Χ Not commendable petrol engine
Χ Bad rear legroom
Χ Bad for three adults at the rear passenger seats
Verdict of the Volkswagen Ameo
Volkswagen might be late in the segment, the rich and premium design makes you not to ignore the Ameo. Pricing being the main factor in this segment, Volkswagen has priced it lower than its competitors and could give a good fight.
The German auto major will have to break into the dominant Maruti Swift DZire and that could be a bit of a bother. Volkswagen will have to address the power ratio on the petrol engine which is a bit of dampener.
Author Verdict of the Volkswagen Ameo
Volkswagen has gatecrashed the party with the Ameo. The compact sedan segment is slowing down due to the euphoria of the 'SUV Craze' and Volkswagen might be late in the game. Ameo (I Love) the car.
The Ameo ticks most of the boxes for me with a fresh approach in the sub-four metre segment. Volkswagen is getting it right in India, the Ameo is a compact car with a premium touch. It might not be the sporty Volkswagen are known for, but it has got all its ingredients right.