The last time I drove an Ameo it was the Ameo Cup Car at the MMRT – Chennai. Fast and furious are the adjectives that spring to mind when describing that car. Last week the stock version of the Ameo was waiting for me to drive.
How different was this Ameo compared to its race brethren? Let’s find out…
The Ameo is a compact shaped mid-size sedan, step in and the first things you notice is the flat-bottomed sporty looking steering wheel which is height and reach adjustable. There’s an accompanying armrest between the front seats.
Switch on the car and the responsive touchscreen infotainment system comes to life. This supports Bluetooth audio, USB, AUX, SD-Card support, voice command along with mirror Link. The Ameo comes with rear ac-vent, electrically adjustable and retractable outside rear view mirrors. There are lots of features to choose from. There’s cruise control, reverse parking camera with sensors, automatic rain sensing wipers, one-touch power windows and a cooled glove box.
Put the Ameo into drive mode and the familiarity and efficiency of the VW TDI engine greets you. I drove in dense traffic situations the first day, conditions which are now a regular reality in Mumbai. The Ameo is completely at ease in such conditions. There’s enough and more power for over taking when required, the braking is very responsive and sharp.
The thing I noticed after driving the Ameo over 70 kms that day was the fuel efficiency. The fuel gauge had barely budged from its starting position in the morning.
I was now looking forward to driving it on the highway over the weekend.
A trip to Shahapur had been pending for a while now. Shahapur is located on the Mumbai – Nashik Highway around 50 kms from Thane. This highway unlike the Mumbai – Pune Expressway and the Mumbai – Gujarat highway isn’t usually choked with very bad traffic most times. I was praying that the traffic gods played along, to ensure a smooth and pleasant drive. The weather was just perfect for such a drive.
The engine’s full potential came to life the moment we hit the highway. The 7 speed DSG gearbox is smooth, refined and lives up to its huge reputation. The shift from drive mode to sports mode is seamless. Shift to sports mode and the gear shifts in the Ameo happen at a higher RPM. 100 kms whizzed by and we were at our destination in a little over 2 hours. The Ameo’s suspension has been tuned for our road conditions. The stretches of bad roads we encountered once off the highway, were a non-issue, tackled very easily by the Ameo.
The handling is sharp and very responsive. The hilly terrain I drove on with its series of corners was tailor made for the Ameo. The car handled that very smoothly and efficiently.
In my conversation with Sirish Vissa – Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India, he had mentioned how the Ameo cup car had a solid foundation to start with. The stock Ameo is a very solid product in terms of handling, suspension, engine and transmission.
This is a car that has more power than any other car in its price range and category. The cost for the Ameo starts at ₹ 5.67 Lakhs and goes up to ₹ 10 Lakhs. The petrol version starts at ₹ 5.67 Lakhs. The diesel version starts at ₹ 6.7 Lakhs.
There are lots of features on offer for the price. Combined with the fact that this is an easy car to drive around the city, makes the Ameo an attractive proposition in the mid-size sedan category. So, if that is the kind of car you are looking at buying next, take the Ameo out for a test drive…