Volkswagen’s replacement for displacement is in the form of
their TSI engine technology. The theory implies downsizing engine capacity and
adding a turbocharger would return efficient burning of petrol and more power.
The mantra started with the 1.4 TSI engine launched back in 2006. Then the 1.8
and 2.0 litre units followed. And now the newest iteration is the 1.2 TSI which
made its debut in the recent Polo GT TSI. We were amazed how good this hot
little hatchback is. And now, Volkswagen has decided to equip the fantastic 1.2
TSI unit in the Vento saloon.
Not only does the Vento get the TSI engine technology, but
also comes equipped with the flawless 7-speed DSG gearbox. Adding these two
together translates into an efficient, technically advanced and powerful
mid-size saloon which makes the office run supremely comfortable and easy, and
can be used for full bore pedal-to-the-metal weekends laps on the Buddh
International Circuit (BIC). And speaking of BIC, here we are for a few cheeky
laps with the new Vento 1.2 TSI.
The regular Vento is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol or diesel
engine. This one gets a 1.2 litre turbocharged direct injection petrol unit,
which does not sound much but does produce 103 ponies. Thanks to the
turbocharger the 1.2 litre engine produces as much power as the standard 1.6
litre, and more torque. This same engine works wonders for the Polo GT TSI,
making it one of the most exciting hatchbacks in the country. You might wonder
that the combination of this engine and weight of the Vento would spoil the
fun. But you’d be wrong. The Vento TSI is absolutely fun to drive. The
acceleration lags a tiny bit behind the little Polo but is still very
The second most important reason for this turn of speed is
that super quick 7-speed DSG transmission. The earlier automatic variant of the
standard Vento petrol was a yawning slow 6-speed transmission. This one is a
superfast dual-shift gearbox which makes the earlier one look archaic. Where
the 1.6 automatic took more than 16 seconds to reach 100kmph, the Vento TSI
will sprint in just about 11 seconds. This acceleration number might be a
second slower than the Polo, but then here is where the weight kicks in, and do
not forget the Vento is more car for your money. The Vento TSI will not pin you
back in your seat as the diesel variant does, but the sensation it gives makes
up for that. The engine is silky smooth and even sounds nice when you give it
the beans. The top speed hovers near the 160kmph mark on the gauge, which is
plenty for our roads.
The transmission in ‘D’ is apt for everyday use. The shifts
are quick and optimised for efficient driving. However, when the mood takes you
fancy shift in ‘S’ for more response and delayed shifts till the 6000rpm
redline. The 7-speed DSG also gives you some control over the shifts by putting
in manual, but frankly you will not need much of that. The paddle-shifts work
best for this purpose, or if you have a bigger engine, both of which are not
present on the Vento TSI.
The ride quality is brilliant and so is the high speed
stability. The steering is straight and true. It does not communicate much to
the driver but is precise and easy. You can chuck it into a corner at not-legal
speeds, and you exit out of it on the line that you decided. Being front wheel
drive the understeer does kick in, but way past the limits of talent or lunacy.
True enthusiasts might want to look in the tyre department to extract more
The TSI engine and DSG gearbox have made the Vento a very
attractive buy. It is extremely easy for everybody, fun to drive, light on your
wallet and probably the most technically advanced mid-size sedan in the
segment. We could not test the fuel efficiency but expect it upwards of
11-12kmpl. The only thing that angers me is why Volkswagen not put the 1.4 TSI engine
in it. That would have truly transformed the Vento from an attractive buy to an
Vento TSI specifications
1197cc, Four Cylinder, Turbocharged, direct injection
7-speed Dual-shift Gearbox (DSG)
103.5 bhp@ 5000rpm
175 Nm@ 1500-4100rpm
Brake: Front/ Rear
Fuel Tank Capacity
Tyres: Front/ Rear
McPherson strut with stabiliser bar/Semi-independent
Disc / Drum
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