Volkswagen launches Ameo in India from ‎₹ 5.24 Lakhs

After a lot of hype and pre-launch hoopla that stretched into months, Volkswagen finally launched its 'made-for-India' Ameo compact sedan today. Based on the same platform as the Polo hatchback and Vento sedan, the Ameo is the German brand's entry into the crowded and popular sub-4m sedan segment that's currently dominated by the Maruti-Suzuki Swift Dzire with the Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent trailing behind.

Volkswagen cars are known for their clean and timeless design with nary a hint of flashiness in their sheet metal. The Ameo is no different. The fascia is pretty much like its siblings and you could hardly differentiate between the Polo, Ameo and Vento when viewed side by side. The classy front end turns into a slightly awkward profile with the long hood and the short and stubby boot not gelling well together. That said, the boot integration is superb and doesn't look like an afterthought in the Ameo. The squarish taillights and the bootlid with the Skoda Rapid-like treatment for the number plate recess looks distinct and neat.

The interiors are typical Volkswagen with the cabin and the dashboard looking very similar to the Polo and Vento. That's a good thing because, knowing Volkswagen, the build quality, fit and finish should easily be the best in segment. With a wheelbase that's identical to the Polo, space at the rear might not be class leading or even as much as the Vento. Like the rest of the Volkswagen lineup, safety features like Antilock Braking System (ABS), driver and front passenger airbag, front and rear fog lamps, front and rear height-adjustable head restraints and rear defogger are standard across the range.

It might be a late entrant to the compact sedan space but Volkswagen has given the Ameo a lot of kit to fight it out with the best-sellers. First-in-class features include cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, front center armrest with storage, auto-dimming rear view mirrors and one-touch, anti-pinch front and rear power windows that could also be opened with the remote key. Other features in the Ameo include automatic climate control, touchscreen infotainment system with USB, Aux-in and SD card input, steering-mounted BlueTooth and audio controls, Voice Command, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, power-folding rear view mirrors, cooled glove box, rear AC vents and leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob.

At launch, the Ameo is only available with a 1.2-liter petrol engine under its hood. Shared with the Polo, the engine that's mated to a 5-speed manual transmission generates 73 horsepower and 110 Nm of torque. Later this year, Ameo will also get the updated 1.5-liter turbocharged diesel engine that's said to generate more power than the one in the Polo and Vento. In what could be the car's USP, Ameo's diesel variants will also get the infamous 7-speed DSG dual clutch gearbox. 

Available in three trim levels - Trendline, Comfortline and Highline, the Ameo is competitively priced with ex-showroom Delhi prices of INR 5.24, 5.99 and 7.05 Lakhs respectively. When launched, the diesel variants would be positioned at a premium over the petrol variants with the DSG-equipped variants at the top of the price chain.

Of course, the Ameo isn't going to challenge the Swift Dzire but it's clean styling, feature-rich interiors, decent pricing and Volkswagen's premium image gives it a fair shot at success.


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