Volkswagen Vento Diesel Road Test


The Polo and Vento are for Volkswagen India what bread and butter is for your breakfast table, high hopes and aspirations on both the models. The Polo doing real well now it’s time for the Vento to show its colors. For those who don’t know the facts, the Vento is the Sedan version of the Polo which is much longer, wider and more loaded. The Vento basically is designed and engineered for the Indian market by VW engineers with a very Indian suspension setup and tune too. We drive the 1.6 Liter Volkswagen Vento Diesel to see how it performs in the real world driving conditions.

Volkswagen Vento Diesel Design and Exteriors

The Volkswagen Vento Diesel is a well designed car, very difficult to tell that it’s the sedan version of the Polo. It has no signs being stretched out of a Polo, the front reminds you of the Polo to an extent but not identical. It has clean lines and all over the body. The Volkswagen Vento Diesel though is based on the Polo platform is an all different car. The size of the body of the Vento is much larger in length, height and width.

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Volkswagen Vento is the first mid-sized sedan from the German auto giant and is placed between the Polo hatch and the Jetta sedan. Primarily the Vento has a rich and solid looks from the outside. The car has all the class and family lines found on its ender brother Jetta and the Passat. Neat flowing lines all around make the car look appealing when viewed from any angle. The front end looks much like the Polo but with some difference. The front bumper is much more rounded on the Volkswagen Vento Diesel with the edges nicely smoothened out. The bonnet feels much larger as compared to the Polo.

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The front grill has prominent double lines going across which is in chrome even on the base model. Large Volkswagen logo sits in the centre of the grill. Headlights are same as the Polo but slightly larger we feel. The air dam goes down low on the bumper. The base model Trendline doesn’t have the fog lamps while the other models do have a neat little fog lights inserted next to the air dam. Viewed from the sides the Volkswagen Vento Diesel looks very classy and this is the best angle to view the car. The Vento has a very neat side profile with large fenders and a very muscular looking wing mirrors, 6-spoke alloy wheels with 185/60 – R15 tyres on the top end Highline while the Trend line gets the 14inc steel wheels with full sized wheel caps. A very large glass area with large windows and a slightly angled rear quarter glass is the highlight of the side profile of the Vento. Door handles are pretty well sized and easy to grip as well. The rear of the Volkswagen Vento Diesel is also a nice angle to view the car. Typical European looking tail lamps.

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The doors are heavy and open in a typical 3 stage action. A nice sweet thud is music to ears when you close the doors. Even the boot has a flowing line that goes across from the left tail lamp to the right tail lamp leaving the rear with a very dynamic character. The boot lid also has a chrome strip exclusive to the top end Highline variant. The boot lid opens fully where it has a lock that prevents the lid to fall on some ones head while loading and unloading stuff in it. The Volkswagen Vento Diesel is the first car from VW that has the VOLKSWAGEN logo inscribed on one side of the boot while VENTO on the other corner.

Volkswagen Vento Diesel Interiors

Get inside the Volkswagen Vento Diesel and you would be reminded of the Jetta and the Polos cabin. Typically German is what the cabin can be described in two words. The seats are in the Livon fabric which to us is the same fabric material in light beige color that’s seen on the Polo hatch seats. Front drivers seat is height adjustable while the front passenger seat has a rather unique adjuster that can be used to push the seat forward or pulled back by a passenger sitting on the rear seat. Seat belts are also height adjustable. Steering wheel is ditto that as the Polo a 3 spoke affair with a dash of chrome to state that this is the top end version of the Volkswagen Vento Diesel that you are driving. The steering has the height and reach adjust across all variants. What is missing is the steering mounted audio controls which would have added a lot more flair and convenience at least on the top end Highgline variant.

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Instrumentation is easy to read with the speedo, RPM meter and the tell-tale lights nicely spread out and large in size to the eye. The Speedo console is also same as that seen on the Polo which has the much needed on-board computer that monitors the efficiency levels, kms to empty and the Odometer with trip meter and a digital fuel meter all in bright red glow. Air conditioner is manual on the Trendline while the Highline gets a climatronic (Climate Control) as Volkswagen likes to call it. The Aircon cools pretty well and quick but its blower is a bit noisy even when set on the second speed. The AC vents are ala Polo with individual knobs to shut the air-flow if needed. There’s also an AC vent for the rear passengers placed between the front seats and we feel this is one of the extra bit offered on the Volkswagen Vento Diesel. There is no music system offered on the Trendline while the Highline gets the Polo’s MP3 player which is highly audible to the human ears. AUX port and USB ports are suspiciously missing.

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Wing mirrors are electrically adjustable on the Highline while the Trendline gets manual type adjusters. The dash quality and the switches, knobs handles is ditto from the Polo and is of very high quality. The Volkswagen Vento Diesel has a very large glove box which we feel is one of the largest in this segment. Plastic material on the dash and in the cabin is second to none and up there in the Jetta territory. Front seats are perfect in shape and support while they are also cushioned in the much needed areas to support the behinds just perfectly. Another neat little touch is the centre arm-rest which is very supportive for the driver during long drives; mind you this arm rest is available as a standard fitment across all variants. This arm-rest can be folded up if the driver doesn’t feel the need for it, space to store some stuff is available in the armrest. Centre console has glass holders that are deep. The gear knob is again the same found on the Polo. Coming to the rear seats, the cushioning and design of the seats is perfect but we would have like a bit more inclination for the back rest. Another thing missing is the 60-40 split folding seat. Map pockets behind the front seat are present on the Highline but missing from the Trendline. Door pads have bottle holders that can easily hold a 1litre bottle.

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Door handles from the inside is also very ergonomically designed. Leg room is much more than that on the Polo thanks to the Ventos longer length. We found out the leg room at the rear and the front to be more than that on the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna which are the direct rivals of the Vento, guess the stretched dynamics of the Volkswagen Vento Diesel over the Polo surely show. Head room at the rear can be of slight worry for tall passengers because of the sloppy roofline but then that is for the 6ft plus passengers. Rear seat centre armrest that is foldable is only on the Highline version. Adjustable head rests are standard on the rear seats across all variants which is a good sign. The centre rear view mirror is small and we didn’t like that a lot while reversing or maneuvering in traffic. The boot is of 480 litre capacity and has a easy loading and unloading opening. Wall to wall carpets is a nice touch in the Vento’s boot giving it a up market feel here as well. Overall the build quality is the best and plastic and cabin material used would last for many years.

Volkswagen Vento Diesel Safety

Volkswagen is known to build cars that are safe as a tank. The Volkswagen Vento Diesel too gets all the genetic Volkswagen virtues. 3 point seat belts that are height adjustable, front driver and passenger air bags (only on Highline), ABS, anti theft system, engine immobilizer and auto sensing power windows that stop rolling when something comes in their way. Safety is the USP of all Volkswagencars and the Volkswagen Vento Diesel is one of the safest cars in its segment. You also have an unmatched 6 year anti-corrosion warranty on the entire galvanized body of the car.

Volkswagen Vento Diesel Engine, Drive and Handling

We drove the Volkswagen Vento Diesel that’s powered by an 1.6litre engine that generates 105 PS of power and manages to make 250Nm of torque at 1500rpm – 2500rpm. The Volkswagen Vento Diesel version is mated to a 5 speed manual gear box while there is also an automatic version that has a 6 speed auto Tiptronic gearbox but that’s only on the Petrol version. We drove the 1.6 Diesel. The engine noise and vibration at idle is zero, there is no diesel clattering either. The cabin felt super silent even on the move. Refinement of the diesel 1.6litre is high and the engine revs smoothly.

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The 1.6 L under the Volkswagen Vento Diesel hood is a CRDI unit, it has an uncanny resemblance in sound that’s very similar to that of the Skoda Laura’s 1.9 Pumpe Düse unit which also hails from the Volkswagen family. At low rpms ie below the 1800rpm slight turbo lag is felt but it’s nowhere underpowered or sluggish. Drivability is very decent and you certainly won't be using the gearbox as much as the gear ratios are well spread out. Also like to mention here that the gear shifter is one of the best seen in this segment on a Diesel. Thanks to the well sorted gear ratios overtaking is a pleasure at all speeds and one doesn’t have to mess with shifting gears to do so. Once you tap the accelerator paddle and the needle shifts over the 2k RPM there’s a sudden hit of torque and the acceleration builds up rapidly The engine is also exceedingly revv-happy at all RPMs till the Vento hits the 5500 rpm. What is commendable is the Volkswagen Vento Diesel mid range punch that easily propels it to the 3 digit speed figures while still in the 3rd gear.

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We hit the 180 kmph with ease and are sure that the car can do the 200 kmph with ease. What we liked is the short-throw gearshift that’s a pleasure to grip and shift. If you want to juice out the best efficiency from the already efficient Diesel engine then just follow the gear shift indicator on the MID that tells you when to up shift or downshift according to the RPM that you driving at. For example if you are driving at 25 kmph on the 3rd gear a down ward arrow would be shown with 2 so that meaning to downshift to the second gear to stay in the correct RPM. If you driving at 40KMPH on the 2nd gear the upward arrow with 3 would be seen telling you to up shift to the 3rd gear. Acceleration is pretty quick and the tyre easily does the wheel-spin whenever the driver wishes to do so. Over all a big thumbs up for the drive quality, refinement and handling for the Vento.

Volkswagen Vento Diesel Suspension

The front suspension on the Volkswagen Vento Diesel is the McPherson strut and the rear is a semi-independent trailing arm. The Vento has a very planted like drive feel at low speeds and also at high speeds. The drive is on the softer side and perfectly balanced for the harsh Indian conditions, turning radius at 5.4 meters is also very handy for tight city turns and also while parking. The ground clearance of 168 mm which is more than the Polo is also a very welcome important feature to the Volkswagen Vento Diesel. The Vento is a very well engineered car for the Indian roads and its suspension set up is perfectly tuned for harsh conditions, thumbs up for that.

Volkswagen Vento Diesel Mileage

This is the most important part of any review and yes the Volkswagen Vento Diesel doesn’t let us down here. Mileage figures of 17kmpl in overall driving conditions is what we managed and the best of 19.60kmpl is what we got on proper highway drives with mostly the car in the 5th gear. Excellent efficiency figures is what Vento Diesel is capable of.


With the Volkswagen Vento, VW has entered the mid-sized saloon segment which is primarily led by the Honda City which is only available in petrol. The Vento has a Diesel engine option which should be its trump card in getting big numbers. Typical Volkswagen German engineering and build quality is its USP. Super refined Diesel engine that’s efficient as well should help things further. The pricing of the Volkswagen Vento is also spot on with the base Petrol Trendline standing at Rs. 6.99 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) which nearly 1.14 lakhs cheaper than the segment leader the Honda City that sells at Rs. 8.13lakhs ex-showroom Delhi while the top end Petrol Highline is priced at Rs. 8.23lakhs ex Delhi which is still cheaper than the Honda Citys top end that sells at 0.05 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi. The Petrol Auto version is also handsomely priced at Rs. 9.21lakhs which is a 6 speed auto tranny where the City Auto sells at Rs. 9.77lakhs for a 5 speed tranny. The Diesel Trendline is priced at Rs. 7.99 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) which is bang in the Hyundai Verna Diesels pricing. The Top end Highline Volkswagen Vento diesel is priced at Rs 9.23 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) which is slightly more than the Vernas top end variant which sells at Rs. 8.57 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi)
Volkswagen Vento is the car that’s very much able to take on the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna heads on.

Things we missed in Volkswagen Vento Diesel

1.    Aircon blower could be a bit more silent.
2.    Music system could be also standard on the base Trendline.
3.    Rear seat backrest could be a bit more inclined.
4.    Clutch dead pedal missing.
5.    Steering mounted audio controls missed.

Impressive Features in Volkswagen Vento Diesel

1.    Refined and very able 1.6litre Diesel engine.
2.    High efficiency figures.
3.    Striking European VW looks, very handsome looker.
4.    Superb balanced ride quality and handling.
5.    Best in class build quality and fit finish.
6.    Tout handling.
7.    Generous leg room – front and rear.
8.    Unique front passenger seat adjust knob for the rear passenger.
9.    Rear AC vent.
10.  Unmatched 6 year anti corrosion warranty.


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