2020 Volkswagen Vento 1.0 TSI AT – First Drive Review

Volkswagen Vento 1.0 TSI Gear- Car Magazine Online
The design might be showing its age now, but it still is quite relevant

The Vento has been around for over a decade now and has gone through plenty of updates since. However, they have never been revolutionary, and the basic silhouette of the Vento is still just as it was when I was in college.

VW Vento TSI AT Drive Review - Topgear Magazine India
The new AT gearbox helps keep the Vento relevant

The three-box design, the minimalistic but functional interior, ample boot space, and the ‘tough German’ reputation continues to be the Vento’s USP. The build quality is so stellar that VW has been able to bank on just that and keep the Vento in production and also manage to attract an audience.

VW Vento TSI AT Interior - Topgear Magazine India
Cabin is showing its age now, but build is solid as always

This latest iteration then is yet another shot in the arm to keep it fresh and relevant.
Recently we drove the new 1.0-litre TSI engine, and we were mighty impressed. The three-cylinder 108bhp turbo-petrol engine has good grunt and more than decent performance. It is an engine that likes to be revved and pushed so with the 6-speed manual transmission, and it is a car driving enthusiasts will enjoy.
But that is a diminishing breed thanks to the ever-rising traffic and road conditions. So an automatic option is always a sales booster.

Volkswagen Vento 1.0 TSI  Gear- Car Magazine Online
The 6-speed AT is not as quick as the DSG, but is smooth and responsive

Now, we’ve seen VW automatic transmissions before, and they always have impressed. The DSG gearbox was such a hit that it would attract buyers on its own. However, for the latest Vento, VW has plonked in a 6-speed automatic. No dual-clutch, no complicated mechatronics chip. Just a good ol’ auto. But does it mean the Vento is now relaxed and lethargic? Nope. Even though it doesn’t have the swiftness of the DSG, this gearbox is by no means, slow. The shifts are smooth and quick. There is no jerk even at slow speeds and to be fair, if you weren’t told, you wouldn’t know it isn’t a DSG. That is how impressive this is. It also gets a sports mode for the gearbox which sharpens up the shifts and holds it right up to the redline before shifting up. You also get a manual mode that gives you a bit more control, but we would have liked paddle-shifters a lot more. In the city and while daily drives to and fro from work, the Vento is almost flawless. Yes, you don’t get a modern-looking interior or a vast array features. Still, you get all the necessary ones like a sunroof, touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, four airbags and ABS, automatic wipers and a few more. Also, the automatic gearbox is available only on the ‘Highline’ and ‘Highline+’ models and is almost Rs 91,000 more expensive than the equivalent manual variant. So does it make sense?

Volkswagen Vento 1.0 TSI  BS6 - Car Magazine India
New 1.0-litre engine is smooth and refined thanks to its BS6 credentials

With many newer and modern options on the market, the Vento is showing its age. The dated cabin and lack of features are the sharpest thorns in its way. But, this new smooth-shifting automatic gearbox paired with the stellar build and that German-built assurance just might be enough to help drag the Vento ahead.