The Indian compact sedan segment is a crowded space, but that is not stopping the car majors from launching more new models in it. This is because the compact sedan segment is highly popular in India and is one of the hottest segments that are most coveted. Compact sedans are larger, more spacious and usually more feature-rich than the compact hatchback counterparts, while also being far more affordable than mid-sized or luxury sedans. Compact sedans also have the advantage of the right size to be a city friendly car which would fit into tight car parking spaces than the larger cars.
This segment was originally started by the Tata Indigo CS, but was highly popularized by the Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire, which continues to be the undisputed segment leader, despite the arrival of many new models and the immense competition. The last model to enter this space was the highly capable Figo Aspire from American car giant Ford, but this came in August last year. Now, the German car major Volkswagen is all braced up to jump into the bandwagon with its Ameo.
The Volkswagen Ameo is essentially the compact sedan version of the Polo, but it does come with a lot of work to make it highly sturdy and safety feature enriched. More importantly, the Ameo is the first India specific car model to come from the house of a German auto major. Volkswagen first showcased the Ameo at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo in February which was the car’s world premiere.
The Ameo is placed as a premium compact sedan model above the Volkswagen Polo hatchback and below the Volkswagen Vento mid-sized sedan. This means that the Ameo is just place below the Vento which is a premium C-segment sedan, and thus will be more premium than many of its segment competitors. This as a result, means that although the Ameo will be pitched against the Maruti DZire, Hyundai Xcent and the Tata Zest, it will primarily lock its horns with the more premium models in the segment – the Honda Amaze and the Ford Figo Aspire.
Here we are pitching the new Volkswagen Ameo against the Honda Amaze, to find out which model is braced better to fight and win in this cut-throat market competition:
The dimensions are very important when it comes to sub-4 meter cars as there are very strict rules in this segment. The right proportions of a compact sedan model decide the car’s look, the well proportionate appeal, and of course space. So, dimensions are more important for a compact sedan model than others. And this also tells what kind of power the car’s engines will offer.
|Dimensions and Capacities||Volkswagen Ameo||Honda Amaze|
|Length||3995 mm||3990 mm|
|Width||1682 mm||1680 mm|
|Height||1483 mm||1505 mm|
|Wheelbase||2470 mm||2405 mm|
|Ground clearance||165 mm||165 mm|
|Boot capacity||330 litre||400 litre|
The Volkswagen Ameo is exactly what one can image the Polo with an added boot, something exactly what Maruti did with the DZire by adding a boot to the Swift hatch. The Ameo thus looks very similar to the Polo and flaunts the same smooth character lines and adds a stubby boot at the end. This makes the rear of the vehicle pretty odd. On the other hand, although the Honda Amaze is not a very handsome looking car and is based on the Brio hatch platform, it does look more proportionate as it was designed as a compact sedan from the beginning. Moreover, the Amaze has recently got a facelift and now flaunts sportier character lines to make it more good looking.
Here we have compared only the top of the range models of both the petrol and diesel versions of the two compact sedan models. One of the well known facts is the Amaze though a capable model does not come with great features as compared to the newer models, while the Ameo is one of best equipped cars in the segment.
Some of the common features that can be found in both the Ameo and Amaze are all power windows, day/night mirror, electrically adjustable ORVMs, steering mounted audio controls and Beige upholstery.
However, they are very different when the finer features are concerned. The VW Ameo boasts of touchscreen music system, cruise control, rain sensing automatic wipers and one touchdown function for all its power windows. The Ameo’s infotainment system also gets MirrorLink connectivity and Apple CarPlay support which is a class first feature. On the other hand, the Amaze only offers the basic stuff and no additional impressive features.
The Amaze gets a 1.2L 4-cylinder petrol mill generating 87 bhp and 109 Nm, while Ameo gets the Polo’s 1.2L 3-pot petrol unit delivering 74 bhp and 110 Nm. A 5 speed manual transmission is common among the cars. On the other hand, Both the Ameo and the Amaze gets 1.5L 4-cylinder diesel engines, both of which offers power figure in the range of 90-100 bhp, but the difference lies in the torque figures. Amaze offers 200 Nm of peak torque which is kind of standard in the segment, but the Ameo will offer 230 Nm of top torque which is the highest in the segment.
|Engine and Gearbox||Volkswagen Ameo||Honda Amaze|
|Engine capacity||1.5 litre (D) / 1.2 litre (P)||1.5 litre (D) / 1.2 litre (P)|
|Gearbox||5 MT & 7 DSG / 5 MT||5 MT / 5 MT & CVT|
|Power||105PS / 76PS||100PS / 88PS & 90PS|
|Torque||250Nm / 110Nm||200Nm / 109Nm & 110Nm|
|Mileage (Kmpl)||20kmpl / 17kmpl||25.8kmpl / 17.8kmpl & 18.1kmpl|
A 5 speed manual transmission is again standard for both the cars’ diesel version. However, the Ameo will be the only one in the segment to offer a sophisticated 7 speed DSG Automatic transmission.
Volkswagen Ameo is priced in the range of Rs. 5.25 lakhs to Rs. 7.06 lakhs. This means that it's not significantly expensive than the Amaze if you do not take into account the top variant. Honda Amaze is priced in the range of Rs. 5.3 lakhs to Rs. 8.26 lakhs and we find the top variant of the Ameo a better deal.
On the whole, the upcoming Volkswagen Ameo is a better quality and better equipped vehicle than the Honda Amaze. The Ameo offers impressive dynamics and build quality like the Polo and standard airbags and ABS for superior safety. The Amaze does not offer safety features as standard and is priced more than the Ameo, not only that the cabin quality too is not a match for the Ameo. If there's one area in which the Amaze is better than the Ameo, it's the rear seat comfort. If everyone in your family is not a 6 footer, it makes more sense that to go with the Ameo.