The Vento has evolved over the years to still stay competitive. It has its strong points like good interior quality, solid build, is a good car to drive and has modern mechanicals like high-tech 1.2-litre TSi engine or the dual clutch auto option on both the petrol as well as the diesel variants. Despite being more than seven years old it still remains competitive, but more modern competition has stolen its thunder be it in terms of appearance or the amount of features they offer.The Vento might be nearly a decade old, but with Volkswagen making revisions almost every year it still is competitive and even now it doesn’t look or feel dated. Three years ago, we had the Vento with the TSI motor in our long-term fleet and it was deeply impressive. Be it the build quality, engine and gearbox performance or the comfortable seating, the Vento proved to be a soothing sedan. Now it’s time to welcome the frugal Vento TDI, mated to an easy-to-drive dual clutch automatic transmission in our long term fleet.
Whereas most of the cars in our long term fleet have boring colours, our Vento has come in a cool blue shade. This colour combined with the dark grey alloys makes the Vento look elegant and classy. The car which we have got, is one below the top-of-the-line Highline Plus variant. So there are some features that I really miss and some that I don’t. Things I miss are the full LED headlamps that look fantastic and the reverse parking camera which is really useful. Leather seats is something I don’t miss, because of the hot climate in Mumbai.
Although the exterior design has aged well, the same can’t be said about the interior. Sure, the dash layout is clean and the logical placement of frequently used knobs and switches is easy to get used to, but the design now looks a little too simple and dated. Good interior fit and finish has always been a VW strong point and it still holds true. Although you don’t get any soft touch plastics, it doesn’t look cheap or shiny thanks to the quality graining and tight and consistent panel gaps. Then there is the 7 inch touch infotainment system which, based on our first impression, seems intuitive to use.
The biggest highlight of this car though is the engine and gearbox. The engine is powered by the 1.5-litre turbo diesel motor good for 110bhp. Although it doesn’t produce class leading figures, it is very responsive at any gear or speed. Then there is the modern 7-speed dual clutch gearbox that is smooth, quick and efficient. I took the car for a brief drive and it impressed me straight away. Except for the engine’s noisy nature, there isn’t much to complain about. On the move the Vento feels smooth, easy to drive and when you need the extra punch, the S-mode on the gearbox comes in handy.
I am really looking forward to using the Vento over the next three months, in which we will cover city commute, long distances and we will tell you how is it to live with this Volkswagen sedan.