2019 Volkswagen Vento TSI review: The only performance sedan in its class

The Volkswagen Vento TSI petrol facelift may not have much differentiation as far as looks are concerned, but it still delivers on the thrills and at the same time, stays frugal at the fuel pumps too.

By:Updated: Oct 31, 2019 11:14 AM

Post the Polo GT TDI drive experience, we had a go at the facelifted Vento TSI. The good bit with the Vento is that, unlike the Polo one can order it with petrol and diesel engines with dual clutch automatic transmissions. We’ve extensively experienced the Vento TDI DSG before but now, it is time for the 2019 Volkswagen Vento TSI review. Buckle yourself.

That punch…

…is still intact. The 1.2-litre, turbocharged, BS-IV, 4-cylinder petrol engine is good for 105hp of power and 175Nm of torque. A 7-speed DSG automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. Right from the word go, the Vento TSI has got the goods. Forget full bore, even part throttle responses are good. This reminded us why the Vento facelift can still be a serious contender in this segment. It is one sedan that, apart from the now defunct Linea 125S, delivers on the performance front more than other aspects. This is not saying that comfort is compromised and we will elaborate on it a bit later.

Efficiency-wise, the Volkswagen Vento TSI delivered close to 13kmpl overall (the claimed number is 18kmpl). This is despite the repeated high speed runs as well as slow traffic crawls. More often than not, we let the DSG do its thing but when needed, the manual mode was a bit more rewarding. Put the gear lever into Sport and both the transmission modes will equally delight – redline shifts and slightly raspier exhaust note. We do wish though that the brakes were a tad sharper.

What is new with this facelift

Frankly, nothing much. VW says that the bumpers are new and the headlight internals have been revised as well. On the topic of headlights, our test car was running LEDs and these proved quite effective on a 5am airport dash. There are static cornering lights too. You will also notice the new mesh grille. The tail lights too have been altered slightly but if we didn’t tell you this, probably you may not notice it. If you like cleaning your car now, you will also notice that the wipers can now be completely lifted and they don’t foul with the edge of the bonnet. Inside, the same layout welcomes you and so does the touchscreen infotainment system replete with Android Auto, MirrorLink as well as Apple CarPlay. The front seats are comfortable, if placed a tad low while the rear ones could do with a bit more legroom. The boot space is decent and could hold one huge airport bag as well as a few smaller ones.

What we wish should have changed

Volkswagen could have increased the wheelbase of the car, thereby giving more room to the chauffeur-driven passengers. Moreover, an auto hold function with the automatic transmission will have worked wonders as well. The suspension could have been a bit less clunky in operation. A nitpicking will be that the exhaust note could have been a bit more aggressive too.

What impresses

The high speed stability as well as the ability to climb to triple digit numbers on the speedometer rather quickly, are impressive. The cornering as well as handling manners too are good. Thankfully, the Vento facelift gets a rear parking camera too.

Final words

At Rs 13.17 lakh, the Volkswagen Vento TSI facelift isn’t the most aggressively priced car in its segment but it does offer a whole lot of driving pleasure. This is something which other sedans like the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Hyundai Verna and Honda City cannot claim to deliver. If we were to buy this car, it will be for the fact that we love driving and the new Volkswagen Vento is an engaging and rewarding car to drive.

Images by Lijo Mathai and Bhaskar Goswami

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