The German automaker Volkswagen introduced its first subcompact sedan in the year 2016 in the Indian market. The Ameo is based on the Polo and it looks quite similar from the front, but the subtle distinguishes it from the Polo. Like, the stronger creases that make it more masculine. It was introduced with a 1.2 litre three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. However, the 1.2-litre petrol engine was phased out due to its low fuel efficiency and replaced with a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which is inherited from the Polo. The Ameo fills the gap between the two other offerings of the company, the Polo and the Vento.
The new Ameo comes with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that churns out 75 hp with a peak 95 Nm of torque. The 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine produces a massive 108 hp and a highly impressive 250 Nm of torque, making it the most powerful diesel subcompact sedan in the market. The ex-showroom price of the 2020 Ameo starts at Rs 5.29 lakhs and goes up to Rs 10 lakhs. The Volkswagen group played it smart, they took the Polo, enlarged hatchback into a sedan, gave it some design tweaks and voila, the Ameo was made.
Ameo offers some standard features across all models like the LED turn lights mounted on the ORVMs, the tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel and a flat-bottom steering wheel to make it look more sporty. The car comes with some standard safety features like Anti-lock Braking System, Dual front airbags, adjustable head restraints, etc. The Ameo is a strong, well built and a slightly heavier car compared to its rivals like the Honda Amaze, Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Tata Zest.
Best in class stability
Loaded with features
Great handling and riding experience
Engine lags in delivering power on open roads
Cramped up rear passenger space
Dirt prone beige interior
The three-cylinder engine turns noisy at higher speeds
The Ameo has gone through a few changes, major ones being:
discontinuation of the Comfortline Plus and Highline variants
New variants are Trendline, Comfortline and Highline Plus
Highline Plus gets new Automatic Rain sensing wipers
1st in segment: Anti-pinch front and rear windows
1st in segment: Opening and closing of windows with key remote
The car hasn't really changed that much apart from a little more chrome detailing on the exterior as well as the interiors of the car. The new Ameo looks more refined and drives the same as well. The interior has seen some minor updates like the leather-wrapped gear knob on the Highline plus model. The chrome inlays in and around the cabin and the soft-touch anti-scratch plastics used in the cabin feel premium and also sturdy.
There are three variants for the new Ameo- Trendline, Comfortline and Highline Plus. All the three variants are available in petrol and diesel versions. The price of the Ameo ranges from Rs. 5.29 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs. There is a new GT Line variant introduced, only with the diesel AT version for now, which is priced at Rs 10 lakhs in the Indian market. Following is a table of the three variants and what all they offer:
Price (Petrol variant)
Rs 5.59 Lacs
Rs 6.66 Lacs
Rs 8.01 Lacs
Price ( Diesel variant)
Rs 7.13 lacs
Rs 8.12 Lacs
Rs 9.27 Lacs (MT)
If you are willing to buy a petrol variant of the Ameo then, we recommend you the Top-selling 1.0 MP Trendline variant of the car. The version is available for a price tag of Rs 6.62 lakhs. This is a value for money considering that it comes with the basic features that a car in this segment like anti-lock braking system, dual front airbags, with premium interior and a sufficient power delivery for daily commuting. If you are willing to go for a diesel variant then the top-selling 1.5 TDI Comfortline is recommended. It has massive power delivery figures and decent fuel economy. It possesses ample features inside the cabin and rides well on the highways as well. The engine is quick and responsive and feels powerful to drive.
Powering the Ameo is the Polo's tried and tested 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine (Manual transmission), the 1.5 Litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine (Manual Transmission) and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine (DSG or Automatic variant). The 1.0-litre petrol engine produces 75 bhp and 95 Nm of torque @3000-4300 rpm. While the 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine produces 108 hp and a massive 250 nm of torque @1500-3000 rpm. Both the engine are available for the three variants - Trendline, Comfortline and Highline Plus. The 999 cc Petrol engine can reach a 0-100 km/h speed mark at around 16.5 seconds, with a top speed of up to 150 km/h. The 1498 cc Diesel engine can do a 0-100 mark in 9.89 seconds (MT) and 9.96 seconds (AT), with a top speed of up to 185 km/h estimated.
The Ameo's 75hp, 1.0-litre petrol engine is the least powerful three-cylinder engine when compared to its rivals. It is also the least powerful one when compared to the other cars in the same segment like the Tata Tigor, Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Hyundai Xcent and the Ford Figo Aspire. The three-cylinder is also noisy and can be a bit at higher speeds or revs. Even the Tata Tigor carries a three-cylinder engine but it is more refined. Here is a more comprehensive description of the cars competing with the Volkswagen Ameo:
ARAI claimed fuel efficiency
On the spec sheet, the Ford Aspire's power delivery looks phenomenal and also is actually. When it comes to it the Ameo, the engine on the Ameo doesn't like to be hurried. Overtakes need a firm stomping on the accelerator and then you have to wait for the revs to build. Downshifting a gear, or even two, helps a little, but progress is similarly slow. There is a typical three-cylinder engine thrumb that you get but it's not that annoying. In fact, there is little to no noise when you are pleasantly riding. However, it gets awkward when you start pushing the car's limits. The noise starts at around 3500 rpm and it gets rough at 5000 rpm. Else, if you are cruising, it will feel composed. You get to experience some vibrations that a three-cylinder is kind of known to build and it can be felt on the pedals.
The 999 cc Petrol engine can reach a 0-100 km/h speed mark at around 16.5 seconds, with a top speed of up to 150 km/h. The 1498 cc Diesel engine can do a 0-100 mark in 9.89 seconds (MT) and 9.96 seconds (AT), with a top speed of up to 185 km/h estimated. The less powered petrol engine is the slowest of the lot when compared to its rivals. Here is a comparison of the petrol engine cars:
0-100kph in seconds
Some of the diesel engine cars are not left behind. The Tata Tigor Diesel takes 16.8 seconds to reach 0-100 kph speed mark but is also the underpowered one as compared to other Diesel engine cars in the comparison and also the only three-cylinder engine in the lot. However, the Ameo's diesel engine has impressive Torque figures on the spec sheet but it faces a very tough competition from the Ford aspire. When compared to its rivals, the Ameo's diesel engine performs along with them gracefully. Here is a comparison of the Acceleration between the cars in this segment.
0-100 kph in seconds
1.5 TDI Diesel Engine
i-DTEC Diesel Engine
TDCi Diesel Engine
The Ford Aspire is surprisingly quick and fast. The car boosts with power with a hard press on the pedal. Also, there is no lag in power delivery as compared to the Ameo. the gear shifts are smooth and it feels more responsive and agile. The Ford Aspire is not only handsome on the looks, but also handsomely performs when required.
Volkswagen has always got the dynamics of its car right, ignore the cramped rear passenger space and the ugly boxy boot. The Ameo has heavy and precise steering, it is quick and responsive. Turning into corners is smooth and the car remains composed. The car doesn't roll much and there is no dramatic understeer either. The car feels significantly quicker and handles well. The car feels planted in a straight line too, which is good because it gets to three-digit speeds in almost no time. The brakes also have a good bite and feel. The Ameo is also slightly heavier at 1050 kgs of kerb weight, which makes it more grounded and improves the handling of the car. The McPherson strut with stabiliser bar for the front and the semi-independent trailing arm for the rear, like suspension, overall is practically the best at absorbing jerks but also providing the ultimate grip at high speeds and those curvy roads.
When driving in the city or at low speeds, the steering is moderately light and offers a great response. Considering the traffic and road conditions on Indian roads, it does a great job at providing a great riding and handling experience.
The seating position for the driver is particularly on-spot. The height-adjustable seats and the adjustable steering position helps the driver to find the right driving position. the driver has good visibility. It has overall good visibility as the dash isn't very high, the A-pillar isn't too thick and the glass section in C-pillar makes it easier to spot trouble when changing lanes or joining on to the main road.
The Ameo gets front ventilated disc and rear drum brakes. They have a good bite and feel. The car comes standard with Anti-lock Braking System, which is very helpful for overall safety. The braking system does a great job, along with the suspension of the car to provide you the optimum comfort. The car's weight distribution also helps in making the brakes give a more productive response. The brake pedal is calibrated precisely and doesn't disappoint you.
The Ameo is a slightly heavier car compared to its rivals. Therefore, the fuel economy can be a little disappointing for most people. But considering its kerb weight, it provides a decent return on fuel consumption. The 1.0 Litre petrol engine returns a mileage of 19.44 kpl, whereas the 1.5L Diesel MT provides an estimated mileage of 21.44 kpl and the Diesel AT provides a mileage of around 21.73 kpl.
The mileage is in decent figures, however, it falls short on providing maximum fuel economy as compared to its rivals with Diesel engines. Here, is a quick look at those figures when compared with the rivals:
Petrol Engine mileage (kmpl)
Diesel Engine Mileage (kmpl)
Fuel Tank Capacity (in litres)
Looking at the figures, the Tata Tigor provides the best fuel economy in the competition but it falls short in terms of the power delivery when compared to the Ameo. The Amaze has the highest return on the Diesel engine version and it does not lack in terms of power.
The Ameo hasn't really seen any major updates in its design since its launch. The car received some minor updates like the smoky headlamps, chrome inserts on the interior and exterior are only some to count. In order to make this car solid and sturdy on the chassis, there have been some minor cost-cutting measures taken, that are evident in the car. The front has been reduced by 35 mm and the front has some extra long grille design to distinguish it from the Polo and make it look more masculine and aggressive.
In order to produce a subcompact sedan, the boot space has been compromised and as a result, we get a box-shaped boot, and that's not a beautiful part of the car. It kinda looks ugly and it does not even offer much space.
Kerb Weight (kg)
1062 (P), 1130 (D)
1498(e), 1501(S, V, VX)
Ground Clearance (mm)
The Ameo Highline Plus and the new GT line are the heaviest models by the company and also the only ones in the segment. The extra weight has been emphasized on providing maximum security of the cabin and also on the premium feeling interior of the car. The ground clearance of the car is shorter than its rivals and that is something you can pay attention to, but in everyday driving, the car gets through without almost no underbody scraping. It is still enough to tackle a bumpy little road or potholes on the road.
On the outside, the new Ameo gets:
Smoked Black Headlamps
Fog Lamps with cornering function
Galvanized steel body
Side chrome accents
Ameo's cabin provides a premium feels premium to a certain extent. On the Highline Plus model, the leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, along with the soft-touch plastic inside the cabin feels good. We won't say luscious, but yeah it feels premium. The interior feels nice and sturdy, what you'd expect from a German car manufacturer.
The seats are a bit stiff though, they can cause back pain on a long journey. There is a compromised rear knee room and legroom. There is no central armrest. Also, the under-thigh support on the rear bench is also not good.
Kerb Weight (kg)
1062 (P), 1130 (D)
1498(e), 1501(S, V, VX)
Ground Clearance (mm)
In terms of space in the back, all the other cars are quite spacious and accommodating. They even have a bigger boot size to carry some large items or cargo on a long journey. Ameo is good in providing a powerful and nice handling experience and also the German interior feel.
Ameo has an intuitive touchscreen infotainment system that supports MirrorLink connectivity along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also supports voice commands for numerous functions like, for making calls or choosing songs or even sending a text to someone. It isn't anything exotic but it gives a good response.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Bluetooth and Aux-in support
The car gets some interesting interior features that make it premium, like the leather-wrapped gear knob, the sporty flat-bottom leather-wrapped steering wheel with electrical adjustments. The car also gets electrically height-adjustable driver, it also adjustable for reach and recline. The dual-tone interior also looks great along with the upscale materials used. It gets:
Tilt and telescopic steering
Cooled glove box
Rear ac vents
Ameo's boot has a less storage capacity. Even the Maruti Baleno being a hatchback provides more space at 339 litres as compared to the 330 litres on the Ameo. however, it has been practically designed. The wide square opening of the boot helps in easy loading and unloading of large items. It is decently sized enough to fit a couple of small bags and a large suitcase.
Boot space (in litres)
The Amaze really amazes us here in terms of the boot capacity it has. It is easy to load and unload stuff in it as well. The Tigor isn't much behind the Amaze and it also offers a large loading capacity. It has a stylish boot that offers practicality as well.
The chassis of the Ameo has been made by Galvanized Steel, so it is not going to rust or severely degraded over time. the steel body provides a rigid framework and the car's overall structure is really heavy and strong. The Germans never compromise on the safety of the passengers and thus, the Ameo turns reliable. It comes with two front airbags and ABS as standard.
The new Ameo comes with 3 free services, 4-year warranty and also 4-year Roadside Assistance. It also gets 6-year Anti-perforation warranty along with 3 years of paint warranty.
The new-gen Amaze is the newest kid on the block, and upon its arrival, has shaken up the whole segment. Not only it is more spacious and practical, but it also comes with strong brand backing of Honda. That said, the Ameo is a better product when one boils it down to interior quality and driving dynamics. The Amaze is more practical, however, the Ameo is a much better product to drive, and an enthusiast will surely love pushing the Ameo to full potential on the tarmac.
While the Petrol engines of both the cars are lacklustre, to say the least, the real fight is between the Diesel engines. The Tigor’s Diesel offers better drivability, however, the Ameo’s engine is simply the best in the segment, with an enormous amount of torque and a slick gearbox. Moreover, the build quality of the Ameo is better too.
With the facelift, Aspire hasn’t made much of an impact and is still not an aspirational product in the segment. The Ameo’s Petrol engine surely lags behind that of Aspire’s, and when you bring oil-burner’s into the equation, its an evenly matched contest. Boiling it down to dynamics and overall build quality, and the Ameo will just about manage to pull your heartstrings.
The Ameo offers a solid European design as the Vento or the Polo. It has a high-quality interior with excellent fit and finish, along with high-speed stability. What lets it down is the awkward looking boot, the cramped rear seat and the poor after-sales service experience. If one really has to go for a car in this segment and price range, Ameo is recommendable if you won't mind the negatives. Count on the positives like the high-speed stability, ample of features inside the premium cabin, the quick and responsive engine that makes it to three-digit speeds in almost no time, etc and the Ameo won't disappoint you.