The Volkswagen Vento currently exists in a sphere which is dominated by Koreans and Japs. While its rivals are loaded to the brim with modern-day features, radical looks and a wide array of engine-transmission combinations, the Vento is still carrying the baton of being a driver-focused sedan. It has been around for 10 years since it was first launched in India and its overall profile has remained the same over the years.
Engine and performance
Volkswagen Vento recently received a new 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine which can also be seen on the Polo and the Skoda Rapid. The TSI motor uses a 3-cylinder configuration and churns out 110 PS and 175 Nm of torque. While the peak power output isn’t the best in its segment but it is the torquiest Sedan.
The engine comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox and it behaves in a typical German fashion. We might overuse the word ‘German’ in this review because this is what defines the Vento the most. Coming back to the gearbox, it assists the peppy turbo-petrol in the exact manner it should. The throws are short and the shifts are precise. We have said this earlier as well, that 3-cylinder engines do come with mild vibrations and aren’t as smooth as 4-pot motors but Volkswagen has managed to make the TSI motor as vibe free as they could.
The surge arrives after the tacho needle crosses the 1500 rpm but the real fun begins when you cross the 2000 rpm mark. It pulls cleanly till it hits the 6,500 rpm redline. The engine is a rev friendly unit and doesn’t resist at all when you step on the pedal. Tractability in the lower revs could have been better though because some of the naturally aspirated engine its rivals come equipped with, offer better tractability at lower speeds. It is still liveable though and doesn’t pose a problem in real-world driving conditions.
Ride and handling
Volkswagen knows how to nail the perfect balance between comfort and handling and that doesn’t seem to change with the Vento as well. It might lag a little behind in terms of equipment on offer but it does make up for it once you get behind the wheel. The feel is again, typically ‘German’ and the car feels solidly put together. There are many factors which make it such a great driver’s sedan. Its peppy motor, slick manual gearbox, taut suspension setup and a precise steering wheel, they all work in tandem to provide a driving experience which is still unmatched in its segment. It is very confidence-inspiring and induces the driver to push it to its limits.
The steering wheel is very communicative and is always found talking to the driver. The Vento feels so connected that it also lets the driver know its limits. With its peppy motor singing all the way up and the gearbox working in unison, it is a joy to drive the Vento. Just like the Polo, Vento’s intentions are pretty clear too. It wants to become the best driver’s sedan in its segment and it manages to do so.
Exterior and Interior
The current-gen Vento that we have here has been carrying the same design philosophy from time immemorial. The design feels very un-offensive and proportionate. The LED headlights does provide a sense of modernity and has decent illumination too. The blacked-out roof adds to its sportiness which is further accentuated by the TSI edition graphics which adorn the side profile of the sedan.
The rear end includes a piano black insert on the boot lid and a chrome line which runs horizontally. We do feel that it is high time now that Volkswagen should update this ‘timeless’ design of the Vento and make it look more radical.
The same can be said about the interiors as well. The cabin is the same as found on the 2019 facelifted Vento. The driver’s seat is height adjustable and the steering wheel has tilt and telescopic adjustability so that the driver can configure it according to his needs. The 6.5-inch infotainment screen isn’t the best of the lot but it does come with Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility. The quality of the materials used in carving the cabin is good but the Vento does miss out on some features like push-button start, wireless charging, rear camera, 60:40 split rear seat and Isofix child mounts. The knee room at the rear isn’t something to write home about either.
The current-gen Volkswagen Polo starts at INR 9 Lakh and goes up to INR 12 Lakh. While it might not have all the bells and whistles its rivals boast of, but it does have something which is unmatched in its segment and that is its driving dynamics. We hope that Volkswagen rolls out an updated model soon so that the Vento can charge in on its rivals with much more ferocity.