Last weekend offered me the chance to drive the stock version of the Volkswagen Vento. This is the second time in a year that I have driven the race spec versions of cars before driving the regular ones. It happened with the Ameo and now with the Vento. I got the opportunity to drive the race spec Vento at BIC last year. That was a complete hoot to drive. Powerful, safe, excellent handling dynamics, top notch braking. The laps I spent driving that didn’t feel enough. If there is a car, I would buy for track days, the VW Vento touring cup car would be the one.The Vento that I drove came in the new Lapiz Blue body colour that is being offered on the Polo and Ameo as well. Step in and you are greeted with a flat-bottomed steering that is both height and reach adjustable. The seats are plush looking and comfortable enough for long highway drives. The Vento comes with aluminium brake and accelerator pedals with black carbon finish outer rear view mirrors, glove box light, 16-inch Grey Portago alloy wheels for the High Line plus variant, body colour rear spoiler and rear USB charging port. The top spec version of the Vento now comes with dual front side airbags in addition to the dual airbags that are offered as standard. This is in sync with the high safety standards that all Volkswagen cars come with.The cabin is spacious with ample leg room offered to passengers in the second row. The Vento now comes equipped with the Connect app which is an intelligent vehicle assistant system. This app offers connected features such as trip tracking, fuel cost monitoring, driving behaviour analysis, SOS call, scheduling service appointments.
The infotainment system on offer is responsive, easy to use UI, apple car play or android auto, Bluetooth, USB connectivity.
HOW IS IT TO DRIVEThe 1.5 TDI engine spec version that I drove was as smooth and refined as they come. Go past 1500 rpm and the car springs to life. Acceleration is brisk, overtaking on highways becomes a breeze and before you realise, you are touching 3-digit speeds. The Vento churns out 108Hp at 4000rpm and 250Nm@1500-30000 RPM of power. The ARAI claimed mileage is 21.5 kmpl.
The real pleasure of driving Volkswagen cars comes courtesy their legendary “DSG” gearbox.This is by far the best gearbox in the business. Gear changes are swift, smooth and not once is any form of lag felt. The DSG always pleases me with the ease with which it functions. No wonder Volkswagen Motorsport is one of the leading racing programmes in the country… When you have such a strong foundation to start with while building a race car, half the battle is won.
The handling, braking, driving dynamics on the Vento are very impressive. Whenever you drive a VW car, the first thing one notices is how well planted and solid these cars are on the road.The Vento is a very good highway car ideal for weekend holidays. The boot space on offer is 494 litres. I carried 3 mid-size bags and other luggage on my trip. There was still room for some more. I mentioned how spacious the cabin is earlier in the article, especially rear seat comfort.
Over the 400 kilometres I drove not once did my fellow passengers complain of discomfort. The Vento is a very capable city and highway car. It offers lots and comes with the VW badge of safety and efficiency. A car that I would love to travel in often on family road trips. It comes with a 4-year warranty or 100000 kilometres.Prices for the VW Vento for the 1.5 TDI Trendline (Base Model) start at Rs 9,45,000/- ex-showroom Mumbai, Rs 13,36,000/- for the 1.5 TDI Highline AT model ex-showroom Mumbai, Rs 8,63.000/- for the 1.6 Trendline Petrol (Base Model) ex-showroom Mumbai and 11,95,000/- for the 1.2 TSI Highline AT( Petrol) Model ex-showroom Mumbai.