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Volkswagen Ameo vs Ford Aspire: The battle of dark horses | CarHunt

Dec 27, 2017

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Safety

Ford Aspire is available with 6 airbags, something rivals are yet to catch up to. We appreciate Ford’s effort towards safety features. VW has standard dual front airbags across the range.

Aspire also gets dual airbags as standard equipment, but ABS + EBS is optional on base trim, standard on the rest. The automatic transmission variant gets ESP (Electronic Stability Program), TCS (Traction Control System) and HHC (Hill Hold Control).

VW Ameo gets HHC on the automatic trims along with ESP; front and rear adjustable rear headrests are standard.  

Ameo also gets cornering lights and anti-pinch windows, something Aspire misses out on. Cornering lights a very practical feature to have.

Both the rivals here have lap belt for middle passenger, we would appreciate if a 3-point seat-belt is offered.  

Winner of this round : Ford Aspire.

Performance

Aspire gets 3 engine options: A 1.2 litre 4-cylinder petrol, a 1.5 litre 4-cylinder diesel and a 1.5 litre 4-cylinder petrol and this larger petrol motor can be paired with automatic transmission only. VW Ameo gets two engine options, a 1.2 litre 3-cylinder petrol and a 1.5 litre 4-cylinder diesel. Diesel can be paired with 7-speed DSG AT.

Coming to the smaller petrol units, Aspire’s 1.2 litre motor is rated at 87 BHP and 112 Nm torque whereas VW’s 1.2 litre unit puts out 75 BHP and 110 Nm torque. Both the engines are paired to 5-speed manual transmission. Ameo is quite responsive around town but on open roads feels lacking, Aspire is better on open roads but not as eager in urban jungle. Both these petrol units are outclassed by Dzire, Xcent and Amaze. Refinement is better in Aspire, but Ameo gets better gearbox which one shall be working a lot on open roads.  

Diesel war is where things get interesting. Ford’s 1.5 litre motor develops 99 BHP and 215 Nm of torque, Ameo leads this race with its 1.5 litre diesel engine putting out 110 BHP and 250 Nm torque. While Aspire is better around town, once the roads open up, Ameo starts to show its power and torque advantage. If coupled with DSG AT, Ameo offers convenience of AT with fuel economy. Though Ameo is noisier, it offers a more entertaining drive. Ameo with AT is our pick when it comes to diesel rivalry.  

Aspire is also available with dual clutch transmission, but its coupled with 1.5 litre petrol motor rated at 110 BHP and 136 NM torque. This is a smooth combination which is quick too. The 1.5 litre has good spread of power and with AT it makes for a relaxing yet quick driving experience.  

Ameo’s braking is among the segment best. Aspire a close second here. However, if we factor in rivals, Ameo goes for a tie with Honda Amaze for braking.   Larger rubber on Ameo helps its cause in this comparo.

Winner of this round : Petrol – Ford Aspire, Diesel – VW Ameo

Comfort

Ford has put considerable effort to dig out space in the limited footprint. Rear seat may not be segment leading, but is comfortable enough, so is the rear legroom.  

VW Ameo’s rear seat leaves a lot to be desired in the domain of space. Though seat is comfortable, legroom isn’t generous and transmission tunnel further accentuates Ameo’s credentials as a 4-seater than 5. Aspire also has transmission tunnel, but Ameo’s lack of room at rear amplifies effect of having transmission tunnel.

Both the cars have long list of features but Ameo offers a bit more like Rain Sensing wipers, Rear A/C Vents. Electric folding mirrors are available on Ameo on top trim while top two trims of Aspire get this feature. It’s a practical touch we would like to see trickle down to more variants.

Ride quality of Ameo is better than Aspire so is high speed stability. Ameo rides flat at highway cruising speeds and this gives it a big car feel. Aspire close behind, many would miss the feel of first generation Figo or even the first Fiesta (which was later sold as Fiesta classic).

Thoughtful execution means Aspire’s cabin feels airy as compared to Ameo. Ameo feel contemporary enough, but lack of space hits its score. Ameo’s cabin is better insulated than Aspire again given VW’s compact sedan a big car feel.

Winner of this round: Ford Aspire

Interior

Build quality and plastic, rubber quality is superb in Ameo. Despite being based on Polo which is 7+ year old car, its doesn’t feel out of place amidst tough rivalry.  It's difficult to find fault with quality execution here.  

Aspire’s instrument consoled is a bit small and we miss the good old temperature gauge. Large fuel gauge feel out of place in otherwise a practical cabin. While quality is better than most rivals, its more than a notch down on Ameo.  

Funky, swooping central console on Aspire might not be to everyone taste. It doesn’t feel out of place, but its not exciting either. The quality is not as consistent as VW.  

Feature list again runs long as is the case with current generation of compact sedans. Ameo has an edge in quality making one feel better once inside the car.

Both the car’s use beige interiors to make the cabin feel airy and upmarket. These are dirt magnets in our operating conditions.  

Winner of this round: VW Ameo

Exterior

Clearly, Aspire has better proportions than Ameo. May be add that Aspire is one of the best looking car in its class? Kudos to Ford here. All this boils down to integration of boot.

Ameo looks good and with a clear, understated design up front, but boot looks truncated pretty quickly. Presence of Vento in the market before Ameo’s arrival further makes one feel awkward for boot integration. Its not that bad in isolation, but we are used to beautiful designs from VW and in this case, Polo and Vento.

Aspire’s front end is well executed and gives it an aesthetic appeal of a car from a segment above. Darker shades look very well on Aspire.  

Rear end of both the cars could do with a bit more drama, but Aspire manages to put up a better show than Aspire. The thick chrome strip on Aspire uplifts its appearance.

Coming to alloys, Ameo offers better shoes and design while 14” Alloys look wee bit small on Aspire. It takes away the contemporary touch so well radiated by the car.

Winner of this Round: Ford Aspire.

Practicality

Aspire has smaller turning radius (4.9 mtrs.) than Ameo (5.2 mtrs.), whereas Aspire has better ground clearance at 174mm than Ameo’s 165 mm.  

Aspire’s 1.2 petrol manual has ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 18.16 kmpl, 1.5 petrol AT is rated at 17.0 kmpl while the 1.5 litre diesel stands out at 25.83 kmpl.  

Ameo’s 1.2 petrol manual has ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 17.83 kmpl whereas 1.5 litre diesel gets 22.0 kmpl. Note that Ameo is a heavier car here.

Aspire doesn’t get rear parking camera, a feature which is important. It also loses out on touchscreen infotainment system. Both of these are available on Ameo.  

Boot space of Ameo is 330 litres, while that of Aspire is 359 litres. Fuel tank capacity of Ameo is 45 litres, better than Aspire Petrol’s 42 litre and Diesel’s 40 litres.  

Winner: Ford Aspire.

Ford Aspire: Loses out on a few features, but offers much more for the asking price. Diesel engine is fast, efficient and tracable. A practical car, but lacks feel of older generation Ford’s.

Volkswagen Ameo: Feature rich, a very quick diesel. Loses out on space and market placement. It’s a very solid package with excellent dynamics and quality.

Price range (all prices are ex-showroom, Delhi)

Ford Aspire: Petrol - Rs. 5.48L - 8.34L; Diesel - Rs 6.59L- 8.12L

Volkswagen Ameo: Petrol Rs 5.55L - 8.12; Diesel - Rs 6.57L - 9.92L

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