EARLY IMPRESSIONS / REVIEW: 2011 Volkswagen Vento for India

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VW_Vento_India_1

Volkswagen Vento for India

Yesterday morning we caught the Volkswagen Vento on test yet again – this time on video, probably making it the first ever video to catch the 2011 Polo Sedan / Vento in motion! To catch this car on video, we followed the test mule for over 15 kms – on the highway and in the city as well. Here are our early impressions (which won’t be the ultimate yardstick yet since these were test mules and not the on-road production models that we closely observed, however they should give you an idea of what to expect from the Indian version of the Vento):

– We started following the car at exactly the same spot where we had spotted the Indigo Manza before its launch. That particular stretch of the highway being bumpy, the Manza’s tail was bouncing up and down with no end. The Vento however felt a lot more stable (at speeds close of 80-90 km/h). This should translate into a superior road holding capability and should give the Vento some great driving dynamics.

– The paint quality did not look too awe inspiring – but is on par with the Suzuki’s and Honda’s. Probably the production model will have a better finish. The test mules we followed had a hint of ‘violet’ to it but that could probably be a part of the ‘Ford camo’ that the car is clad under.

– Even in flesh, the Vento doesn’t have any remarkable street presence, especially from the rear three quarter. On the road, the body form looks a tad old school as compared to the aggressive (not necessarily better) body styles of the Honda City, FIAT Linea or the SX-4.

– The tyres look too skinny and make the car look like a typical entry-level sedan than an entry-level luxury car. Probably the black rims impart that appearance.

– In the city, we had a chance to be next to the car when it was stationary. The interiors look similar to the ones we have seen in the photos however some sections were taped up so we can’t really comment on the finer details/changes (if any) for the Indian version. Interestingly, the interiors were draped in a combination of black and beige.

– Rear leg loom looked decent and the cabin has ample headroom. The Vento’s cabin looks roomier than the Polo’s at least from the outside.

– Here’s the important bit. When the car accelerated from standstill, the engine note did not sound like a 3-cylinder mill at all. Hence our speculation of a 1.6-litre in-line 4-cylinder engine looks be on target and the mill seems to have indeed made its way into the Indian Vento’s engine bay. The engine note made it sound like a petrol mill, but going by VW’s current strategy with the Polo, the Vento too will have a same capacity (and power?) diesel engine as the petrol. If the car does pack in 1.6-litre engines, it might become the next executive sedan that the enthusiasts will crave for.

– Overall the car looks well proportioned, but the taillight design makes the rear end look lame. A good set of wheels might make the car look beefier, but we’ll have to wait and watch what India gets in the end.