2020 Volkswagen Vento TSI Review: A Big Car With A Tiny Heart!
The 2020 Volkswagen Vento lets go of the diesel and the1.2 TSI mills and comes powered just by the 1.0L TSI motor. Here’s everything you need to know about this car…
Words And Photography: Neeraj Padmakumar
The Volkswagen Vento has been around for almost a decade now. This German sedan has had multiple makeovers over time, both over and under the skin. For 2020, the car gets a few mechanical changes including a new TSI engine and a 6AT. The Vento now comes in 6 variants and we took the Highline Plus MT for a quick spin.
The design of the car remains unchanged from the 2019 model. The car still has a gorgeous looking LED headlamp cluster, neat honeycomb grille, and sporty front bumpers inspired by the Volkswagen GTI. The profile looks neat with the stylish 16-inch alloy wheels and the pronounced side skirting. The tail lamps have been smoked and the rear bumper boasts of honeycomb inserts as well.
The cabin does not get any change as such. The centrally mounted touchscreen infotainment system has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The fit, finish and material quality are, as obvious, top-notch. You don’t get a sea of equipment on this car. Whatever present has been laid out in a decent fashion. The front seats offer decent leg and knee rooms and the driver seat gets manual height adjustment.
Ingress and egress to the rear seat feel much convenient, thanks be to the broad door cavities. The rear bench can seat two comfortably. The middle passenger would have a tough time struggling with the high central tunnel for space. The headroom and knee room at the rear are decent, but not luxurious. The thigh support definitely needs improvement.
Convenience And Practicality
The Vento gets numerous cupholders and cubby holes inside the cabin and on the doors. However, we ended up searching for a few modern-day features like a proper place to keep your mobile phones, ventilated seats or a wireless charging bay, but in vain. The boot offers a decent 494L of space.
How Is It To Drive ?
On the technical front, much has changed on the Volkswagen Vento. VW has given up on the diesel engines for the BS6 era. And for the petrols, the Vento ditches the 1.2L TSI motor and gets a new 1.0L TSI engine. Yes, it is the same mill that we had recently seen on the VW Polo Highline. The engine comes mated to a 6 speed manual transmission and a torque converter type 6-AT. We decided to sample the 6-speed manual box for now.
The 1.0L TSI is a BS6 compliant three-cylinder unit that is good enough to churn out 110 hp and 175 Nm. The turbo kicks in nicely from as low as 2250 rpm. City driving is indeed easy with this car. Also, there is a decent pull up to 6000 rpm. You can clock hundred in the third gear, if not the second. The car gains speed effortlessly. The shifts feel a bit notchy, but are precise. The steering feels light at low speeds but puts up weight with speed, in a linear fashion. The suspension seems to be on the softer side, courtesy be to the fact that this is a sedan and not a hatchback. The brakes offer ample stopping power but we think the tires could have been improved.
Given the fact that this 1.0L mill is a three-pot unit, one could have questions regarding its refinement. It has the familiar three-cylinder clatter for sure. You could feel slight vibrations on the steering wheel at lower rpms. The same can be better felt on the gear knob at higher revs. The engine does get noisier at higher spins. But we think it is not too crude for a three-pot unit.
This Could Be A Concern Though…
The cheaper three cylinder direct injection engines from Volkswagen are much scorned for one key defect, that of Carbon build-up inside the intake ports and intake valves. This happens primarily when the fuel quality is low and the same cannot clean the intake ports effectively. The unburned carbon inside could restrict the air flow, leading to a drop in performance and other serious damages to the mill. For a country like India, where the probability of finding good fuel amounts to a millionth of unity, this could really be an issue in the long run. Thus, while it is still too early to comment on the reliability of the 1.0L TSI, all we could advice you is to always buy the best fuel possible and do mechanical cleanups every 50k on the odo.
What has also improved on the new Volkswagen Vento is the fuel efficiency. While the 1.2L TSI engine used to offer 12-13kmpl of real world efficiency, the 1.0L guarantees 16-17kpl. Our test car returned 16+kpl.
The new VW Vento is priced from 8.86-13.29 lakh (ex.showroom, India)
To Sum It Up
What we like about the car :
- The energetic yet small engine under the hood.
- Overall dynamics
What we did not like about the car :
- Incompetency on the equipment front.
- Thigh support at the rear.