The NDTV Car And Bike Award for the Subcompact sedan of the year 2017 went to Volkswagen's newest offering, the Ameo. It is a very important product for the German carmaker, not just because it was entering a highly competitive segment, but also because it was the first VW car that was 'Made in India, for India.' It's the first car to be developed by Volkswagen specifically for the Indian market and comes with the highest level of localisation (82 per cent), amongst all VW cars sold in the country. The Ameo is also the latest entrant in the subcompact sedan space. Yes it was a little late to the party but VW packed it with a load of segment-first features, and undercuts most of its rivals by a considerable price margin. VW has priced the car between ₹ 5.24 lakh to ₹ 9.31 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Based on the popular Polo hatchback, the Ameo shares a lot of similarities with its sibling in terms of design and dimensions and comes with improved styling along with a host of additional features that make it a compelling package. It also sports the most powerful diesel engine in its class. The Ameo has features like - rain sensing wipers, anti-pinch power windows (front and rear), cornering lights, rear view camera with parking sensors, touchscreen infotainment system with Mirror Link and a lot more other features. Safety equipment like ABS and dual front airbags are part of standard equipment. The Ameo gets both a 1.2-litre MPI petrol engine which churns out 74 bhp and the 108 bhp 1.5-litre TDI diesel motor. Both come mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard, while the latter also gets the option of a 7-speed DSG unit.
The Ameo is expected to be a volume churner for Volkswagen with a daily production capacity of 150 units every day out of the Chakan facility's total production capacity of 500. The company has invested ₹ 720 crore in the development of the sub-compact sedan. Volkswagen started selling the Ameo in July 2016 with only the petrol on offer, while the diesel trim was launched a couple of months back. In fact, till now Volkswagen India has sold 10,966 units of the Ameo subcompact sedan in India. It competes with the Hyundai Xcent, Ford Figo Aspire, Tata Zest, Honda Amaze and the mighty Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire.