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Volkswagen recently inaugurated its country's first Pop-up store in Bangalore. The Pop-Up and City-Store from Volkswagen aims to offer its customers a more digital experience while purchasing their cars.
As part of the inauguration, Volkswagen organised a drive in the city with their entire lineup of cars on offer. We got a chance to drive the cars and here is our experience.
The Volkswagen City-Store
The Volkswagen City and Pop-Up Store in Bangalore is the first in the country. Volkswagen plans to open 30 more similar stores across major metros in the country. The City-Store or Pop-Up Store will offer Volkswagen customers a more digital and connected way of not only choosing the right car, but also personalising it according to their preference.
The Store uses connected solutions to offer customers all the details of the car they are interested in. Customers can select the particular car, variant, colour, accessories and a bunch of other features. They will also be able to compare either two variants of the same car or different cars as well.
These stores aim to offer a more premium experience, with a colourful, vibrant and more energetic feel. All customer queries and requirements will be addressed paperlessly through digital means — click here to know more about the Volkswagen Pop-Up Stores.
As part of the main drive event, Volkswagen offered its entire product lineup: Polo GT, Ameo, Vento, Tiguan & Passat. We got a chance to drive most of the cars from the lineup.
Before we get into the drive itself, lets finish of the technical specifications of each of the car on offer. Starting with the Volkswagen Ameo, the compact-sedan we drove was the 1.5-litre TDI diesel engine producing 110bhp and 250Nm of torque. It was mated to the optional seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
Next is the sporty Volkswagen Polo GT, in the form of a 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine. It produces 105bhp and 175Nm of torque and comes mated to the same seven-speed DSG automatic as standard; without the option of a manual.
The other two cars we got our hands on were the Tiguan SUV and the Passat sedan. Both cars are offered with the same 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, however in different state-of-tunes. The engine on the Tiguan churns out 143bhp and 340Nm of torque while on the Passat it produces a higher 177bhp and 350Nm of torque. Both cars also come with the same standard seven-speed DSG gearbox, without any manual transmission option.
There was also the Volkswagen Vento, however, due we did not get a chance to drive it. The Vento sedan is available with three engine options: two petrol and one diesel. This includes a 1.6-litre MPi petrol producing 105bhp and 153Nm of torque; a 1.2-litre TSi churning out 105bhp and 174Nm of torque and the 1.5-litre TDI diesel putting out 110bhp and 250Nm of torque. Botht the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel is offered with an automatic gearbox option; while the 1.6-litre petrol comes standard with a manual transmission.
As part of the drive organised, we started off from the newly-launched Volkswagen City-Store and headed towards Nandi Hills on the outskirts of the City. With the Bangalore traffic in mind, our first choice was the Ameo compact-sedan.
The Volkswagen Ameo diesel is a proper car for the city traffic. The steering wheel was light, allowing us to easily maneuver through the chaos of the city streets. The 110bhp engine on the light compact-sedan further allowed us to push through the traffic without breaking a sweat while the smooth gear transitions from the DSG unit further assisted us during the overtakes.
Once on the highway, the Ameo completely changed character. The 250Nm of torque from the diesel engine, pulled the car forward with ease. There was a small yet noticeable amount of lag initially, however past the 1,750rpm the Ameo offered a surge of continuous power.
Upon reaching the foot of Nandi hills, we soon hopped into the Polo GT TSI. The Sporty Volkswagen Polo GT petrol with the DSG gearbox, was the perfect choice for the narrow winding roads up the hill. The Polo GT immediately felt more lively and fun. The 105bhp power output was available from the word go, while the smooth shifts from the DSG unit, further offered the confidence to push the car around.
The drive up the hill was completed pretty quickly, with the Polo GT offering good stability even during hard cornering and braking. The suspension absorbed most of the undulations while the brakes further offered the confidence to accelerate harder.
Now at the top and with the photoshoot done, we got into the first of the flagship models, the Passat. The Volkswagen's flagship sedan offered a good balance between premium and sportyness. The cabin of the Passat was covered in leather, wood inserts and soft-touch materials all around. There was also a bit of gloss-black and silver accents further accentuating the premiumness of the flagship sedan in India.
The Passat glides through the roads effortlessly. The power from the 2.0-litre engine is available from the get go, without any noticeable lag even at low speeds. The seven-speed DSG is the stand-out feature with quick automatic shifts, which are completely smooth and easily go unnoticed. The Passat also offers the manual-shift with the DSG in 'Sport' mode, allowing us to control the gearshift to extract additional performance from the engine.
Lastly, we finally got our hands on the Tiguan SUV. Powered by the same engine as on the Passat, the Tiguan feels agile and nimble. There is little to no body roll from the SUV, and it offers extreme levels of stability even under heavy braking or sharp turning.
The seating position on the Tiguan is also upright, offering a good commanding view of the road ahead. The car is available with four driving modes, however we just made use of the normal mode as there wasn't much off-roading during the drive.
Thoughts On The Volkswagen Drive In Bangalore
Volkswagen's lineup of cars in India offer something for all kinds of customers; right from the Polo hatchback to the range-topping Passat. We did hope to see the Polo GTI in the lineup for the drive, however, that's just us being nitpicky.