By Vineeth K:
In India, a mid size sedan segment would probably be one which many car lovers aspire. This segment showcases all the decent entry level sedans launched in the country. You start naming them it will consist of a smart boy from every leading car manufacturers in India. The competition so far had been between Maruti Suzuki SX4, Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Honda City, Chevrolet Aveo and Tata Indigo Manza. Also the segment had been remaining dull for quite a while with no big happenings other than few facelifts. But much of the surprise came when the German giant Volkswagen introduced Vento, the Sedan version of its premium hatch Polo.
No car enthusiasts would have expected Vento to be such a perfect craft. After all putting a boot to a hatch has always been a challenge for the design team. Tata tries it over and over again and still people cannot see a perfect sedan in its Indigo variants. Suzuki succeeded to an extent by creating Dezire out of Swift. But the winner definitely is the Vento with a right proportion of lines and muscles and now definitely stands as a strong rival to the present players in the segment. The best news is that it comes in a diesel variant as well. It is more threatening for the Honda City which is yet to launch a diesel version, something Honda should have done long back.
Speaking more about the car, it is offered in two variants: the petrol and diesel models named Highline and Trendline respectively. The diesel variant has a 1.6 litre engine producing an output of 105 PS @ 4400 rpm with a torque of 153 NM @3800 rpm. The petrol variant also comes with a 1.6 litre engine with an output of 105 PS @ 5250 rpm and a torque of 153 NM @ 3800 rpm. A 6 speed automatic gearbox option is available in petrol model. Diesel model comes only in a 5 speed manual gear box. Safety features are also up to the segment standards. The highline variant is equipped with ABS, front dual airbags and anti theft system. Comfort level is also to the highest in Vento. Height adjustable seats, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, electrically adjustable outside mirror, etc are few of the many goodies in a highline variant. The Vento petrol Trendline variant starts at a price of Rs.6,99,000 lakhs ex showroom, New Delhi. The diesel Trendline starts at a price tag of Rs.7,99,000. Altogether, Volkswagen has produced a car that is value for money and more in Indian market.
But will Vento rule the segment? Well it has all that is required to be the segment leader. A perfect design, brand value, renowned engineering tradition and competitive pricing. The only one factor that any prospective customer will doubt is the availability of after-sale services. But with an expanding distribution network and highly customer centric approach, this should not be a problem for Volkswagen. So let us wait and watch the game.