GOOD FOR: Solid build, nice to drive, feature-rich
LOOK OUT FOR: Faulty EGR valve, worn-out clutch
A solid build, rich in features and nice to drive, these are the highlights of the VW Ameo. Launched in 2016, this sub-four-metre sedan is based on the Polo hatchback but has a bit more practicality, thanks to the extra boot space. Like all VWs though, this one too was on the steeper end of the price chart when it was new and this has not changed in the used car market either. A used Ameo that has covered less than 25,000km still commands a rather premium sum – between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 6.5 lakh. That said, you do get quite an extensive features list if you manage to find the top Highline trim, which includes automatic wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and cruise control. But what really draws buyers to the Ameo is its build quality. In a market full of light, fuel-efficient cars, this one focuses more on the build and it shows. It feels solid, there is a reassuring thud as you shut the door, and even on the inside, the build of the dashboard is tough and durable.
Clean and simple design, looks like exactly what it is – a Polo with a boot.
The Ameo has two engine options – a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel. We recommend the diesel engine; with 110hp and 250Nm of torque, it’s a lot punchier and better to drive. VW is infamous for its reliability issues, and while the situation is a lot better now, you still need to examine the car carefully. Also, the spares and maintenance costs, while lesser than before, are still higher than its rivals. A basic service will cost anywhere between Rs 12,000 and Rs 14,000, and replacement parts like bumpers and mirrors cost Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000, respectively.
Cabin is well put together. Design is simple and clean.
So, if you are looking for a used Ameo, the things you should check for are as follows. First, take a good look around the car’s exterior and its underbelly; replacing body parts won’t come cheap. Next, get inside and have a look at the AC vents, which have been known to break easily. Check the power window switches and the knob for the mirror adjust, as they tend to malfunction over time but are a relatively cheaper to fix. Watch out for any warning signs on the instrument cluster. Parts like the ABS sensor and crank sensor are expensive so it’s best to identify this before proceeding. Then there is the EGR valve, which is known to fail. If the Ameo is struggling with power and is difficult to start, the car could have a faulty valve. A new one will cost you Rs 45,000. Then you have the clutch that can get heavy on examples that have covered over 30,000km, and fixing it is a pricey affair. While on a test drive, watch out for any rattling sounds from the suspension, a faulty parking sensor and malfunctioning infotainment system.
Mechanical bits apart, check the car’s papers and if there are any outstanding fines. Insuring a three-year-old Ameo diesel will cost anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 17,000. What’s nice is that running costs are on the cheaper side, with the Ameo averaging a healthy 15kpl in a good mix of city and highway driving. Pair that with the practical 330-litre boot and good list of features, and a used Ameo makes for a very good buy.
HOW TO GET ONE IN YOUR GARAGE
These are known to break easily, and while they are cheap to fix, it’s always better to check them. Check the other switches and buttons as well.
If the car has covered over 30,000km, check the condition of the clutch. A heavy or hard clutch means difficulty driving in the city, and it is an expensive part to replace as well.
Look for loss in power while driving or if the car is struggling on start-up. It could mean a faulty EGR valve – a common issue on diesel Ameos, It costs about Rs 45,000 to fix.
Also worth knowing
The problems mentioned are
often seen on Ameos but not on all the variants, so you need not hesitate before buying one. Just be sure to do a proper examination. Also, look for individual owners, as they are likely to maintain the car a bit better. It’s always helpful if you get the car’s full service history and documents.
How much to spend
Rs 6 - 6.5 lakh
At the time of launch, the Ameo was the most expensive model in its segment and it’s the same story in the used car game as well. Even for a high-mileage car, asking prices hover around Rs 6 lakh, and while that’s steep, bear in mind these are the top-spec Highline trims that come with a lengthy features list. And then there is the fact that you also get a solid build, which could be a deciding factor for many buyers.
|Years produced ||2016-present |
|Price when new ||From Rs 7.05 lakh |
|Engine||4-cyl, 1498cc, turbo-diesel|
|Torque ||250Nm |
|Fuel tank ||45 litres |
|Ground clearence ||165mm |
|Boot space ||330 litres|