Isn’t it nice to see how some automobile companies are getting technologies from high-end car models and planting those into sub-R10 lakh models? Last year we saw a few such cars and, of these, three were from Volkswagen—Polo GT TSI, Polo GT TDI and Vento TSI. While we have driven these three cars in a controlled environment—at the Buddh International Circuit—we recently took the Vento TSI out on city roads to see how it fares in real-life conditions.
On the outside, but for a small TSI badging at the rear, the Vento TSI is hard to distinguish from the ‘regular’ Vento. But what you do get are 185/60 R15 alloy wheels, halogen headlamps, chrome finish on trunk and fog light surrounds, high-mounted third brake light, heat-insulating glass for windscreen, side and rear windows, and rear parking sensors. The car, however, doesn’t get a rear parking camera.
Inside the cabin you get leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, illuminated trunk and chrome trim.
You also get features such as climatronic air-conditioning (which automatically regulates the temperature inside the cabin), rear AC vents, front centre armrest, rear seats with foldable armrest, and tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Mention must be made here of the fact that the rear passenger can adjust the front passenger seat from behind just by moving a lever. The Vento TSI, however, doesn’t get cruise control.
That’s where all the difference lies. Under the hood, Volkswagen has now cut the petrol engine capacity by 400cc, but this doesn’t mean loss of power. Because it is turbocharged, this 1.2-litre motor produces a healthy 104 bhp of power and a class-leading 175 Nm of torque. But the best thing about the car is its gearbox—the Vento TSI gets the high-tech 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox, which not only shifts gears faster than you can realise, but also contributes to better fuel economy. Volkswagen claims an ARAI-certified mileage of 16.93 kmpl per litre for the Vento TSI.
You only have to slightly nudge the accelerator to realise what this small but mighty engine is capable of. In fact, on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway, an ‘excited’ Nissan Sunny driver tried to race our review car. The next moment we slotted the gearbox into the Sport mode and floored the accelerator pedal. In no time the DSG sprung into action, changed gears at exactly the right time the engine demanded, and all the 104 horses of the engine came into