Unlike many saloons derived from hatchback body styles, the Vento looks like it was meant to have a boot all along – that’s how well integrated the third box is. It’s a simple, handsome design and one that echoes the Polo right up to the B-pillar, which is in fact a shame. With the only difference at the front being the chrome highlights on the chin, the lower grille design and the round foglamps, the Vento looks too similar to the Polo for comfort – and we prefer the Polo’s sportier chin. From the rear, the Vento with its huge boot looks big. The tail-lamp design looks a bit old-fashioned and the rear isn’t particularly exciting and at best it’s a clean and understated design.
The Vento is based on the same platform as the Polo but is 414mm longer, of which a massive 96mm has gone into increasing the wheelbase. You can clearly see the additional length by the amount of space in the rear of the Vento. Also, the rear track is 35mm wider and the wider haunches have allowed a wee bit more width for the rear seat. The Vento adopts the Polo’s MacPherson strut front suspension and non-independent trailing arm rear setup, modified to adjust for the wider track. Also different from the Polo is the steering, which has been made a wee bit heavier by tweaking the software on this electric setup.
The fit and finish and consistency of panel gaps are top class but what’s disappointing is the way the doors shut – with an unsatisfying and hollow thud. This reflects the light build of the Vento which, at 1,220kg (for the diesel), is just 95kg more than an equivalently specced Polo – impressive considering how much more car the Vento is. The Vento petrol is 100kg lighter than the diesel and on par with other saloons in the segment, except for the Linea which is the heaviest.
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Issue: 181 | September 2014
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