If there is one thing that you cannot blame VW for, it is resting on its own laurels. The carmaker is keen to catch up with rivals in the competitive midsize space and has upgraded the Vento for a second time in around six months. Though the changes may not be as dramatic or immediately visible to many, they do go to make a good product even better. Here is what we think of this well-built car from the German carmaker.
The biggest change on the outside is the new grille. With its horizontal chrome slats the new grille makes the Vento look like a shrunken version of the luxurious Passat. The bumper has been tweaked subtly as well. The car also gets a new design for the alloy wheels. The rear end is similar except the addition of new lamps, which mimic the looks of a LED-cluster. Though the overall silhouette remains largely unchanged, the Vento looks even more posh and upmarket than ever before, especially in this shade of beige pictured here. But despite these changes, the Vento still looks rather boring compared to cars in this segment.
There is absolutely no doubt that the Vento is the best car in this segment in terms of build quality. VW haven’t changed anything inside the cabin and thankfully so. This interior is so good that it would do justice on a car at a higher price point as well. Key styling elements include a flat bottom steering wheel with piano black detailing and the central console with matte black finish. The circular and square elements gel well. The black, beige combination also gets dashes of brushed aluminium and looks upmarket.
The seats both in the front and back offer good support and generous cushioning. Legroom is good all across and though it cannot match the segment best, Maruti Ciaz, it is still very good. In terms of practicality there are plenty of places to keep odds and ends and the glovebox is a generous size as well.
Engine, performance and gearbox
We drove the top-of the line 1.2 TSi with the 7-speed DSG gearbox. DSG means the Dual shift gearbox which offers two clutches. This helps the transmission to reduce any lag and improve efficiency. This is the best automatic gearbox on sale at this price point in India. You also get the 1.5 TDI model. The petrol that we drove is quick to respond to throttle inputs and is a gem of a motor.
The DSG gearbox comes with two drive modes - a normal ‘D’, and sporty ‘S’ mode. In the ‘S’ mode press the accelerator hard and the gearbox will hang onto the revs a lot longer, delivering sheer driving thrills. Another plus point of this engine is its sheer refinement and flexible nature.
Ride and handling
The Vento isn’t a true blue drivers car, but there is some fun to be had for keener drivers. The chassis is well balanced, the steering is agile and the tyres offer good grip. The ride is comfortable for the most part and high speed manners are good as well. The Vento feels very stable and reassuring when it comes to high speed ride on the highway and is easily one of the best cars for those long highway trips.
Safety and equipment
VW have added cruise control on the latest generation car. You also get equipment like ABS and airbags. You also get automatic climate control, an SD card slot in the stereo system. Overall, all the bells and whistles to keep you and your loved ones safe and comfortable.
While the Vento may no longer be the best in this class anymore, it does offer an upmarket image, a comfortable cabin as well as accomplished ride. All that along with the VW brand name makes it a desirable car nonetheless.