There is nothing more convenient than using an automatic gearbox-equipped car in day-to-day driving. And when the automatic transmission is coupled with the wallet-friendly diesel fuel, the convenience doesn’t come at much of an extra cost either. Although we had the Vento diesel DSG for a very brief period, it has left a lasting impression on us.
Being an automatic, my daily commutes from Chembur to Parel were very relaxing. The fairly flat torque curve and surge of power that kicks in well below 2000rpm makes the Vento quite effortless to drive and even at a crawl, it ambles along quite easily. Left in D, the gearbox shifts up early and seamlessly in the interest of fuel economy and also adds to the Vento’s relaxed demeanour. While the automatic was a boon in traffic, we did face some issues. To begin with, we missed having paddles on the steering wheel. And then the Vento occasionally tends to jerk a bit at low engine speeds when the turbo lag of the engine coincides with the ‘box executing a shift. Still, when you want lightning-quick upshifts or downshifts, the twin clutch automatic always obliges.
Extremely easy to drive in the city and very efficient too
The Vento, in my hands, did a lot of highway duty too and it’s not hard to understand why. The Vento is a real mile muncher and this we realised on our various trips, be it to Pune or to my farm house or to Mahabaleshwar. On the highway, the high-tech seven-speed twin-clutch transmission comes into its own and the motor has enough grunt to propel the Vento with adequate verve even with a full complement of passengers on board. Apart from an initial bit of hesitation or lack of immediate response that is so typical of a twin-clutch unit, the Vento accelerates in a way that belies its benign character. Flex your right foot, wait as the smooth gearbox pauses slightly to pick the right ratio, and then sit back as the car shoots forward with great rapidity. Even the soft ride adds to its comfortable nature.
What makes the driving environment even nicer are the beautifully built interiors. The super fit and finish of the dash and the modern chrome-lined vents and touchscreen centre console give the cabin an upmarket feel. That said, the high-grade leather seats that our top-of-the-line Vento is equipped with get very hot, especially in Mumbai’s scorching summers, and the AC struggles to cool down the cabin. On the plus side though, the big seats and generous cabin space make long drives a pleasure rather than a pain. The Vento is incredibly calm and composed, giving the driver and passengers a sense of confidence very few cars could ever match. Throw in the economy and the long legs of a diesel and it seems quite the perfect car. Despite hard driving and city commutes, the Vento returned a very impressive 14kpl. That’s an impressive figure given the spirited driving and constant use of the tip-tronic manual gear selector. Plus-minusing through the seven-speed DSG ’box puts you in the right gear to place yourself better for a quick overtaking manoeuvre, especially up the ghats where you need to constantly stick to second and third gears.
Always in demand, the Vento was always the first choice when planning holidays
The Vento proved to be reliable in its 10,500km stint with us. Six months down the line, we experienced mostly the upsides of the Vento, with very few and negligible downs, and it surely has left a long-term impression on all of us. I only wish we could’ve had this impressive car for a while longer.