Polo vs Vento Comparison Review

Updated on: Dec 28, 2016
Volkswagen Vento vs Polo Comparison Review:


"The manual geared Polo petrol is bit of a bummer. Its 1200cc 3-cylinder engine gets overwhelmed by the sheer amount of weight it has to carry. The Vento manual fares much better thanks to its 1600cc 4-cylinder mill. Since the Vento is a longer car than the excise duty exemption limit of 4-metres, VW has been able to give it an engine that it deserves."

Pricing & Features Comparison:  
Polo’s range-topping variant, the ‘Highline-diesel’, retails for 9.6 Lakh Rs. on road Delhi, which is , 3.8 Lakh rupees cheaper than, diesel Vento's 'Highline-manual' variant costing 13.4 Lakh Rs.

Both cars are absolutely identical in terms of features except for the extra Parking Camera on the Vento. This means the Vento is charging almost 4 Lakh Rs. extra for an extra 200 litres of boot-space! Read on to find out if that's the only difference between the two or is there more...

Pricing of other Variants:
Polo Highline (petrol, manual) - 7.85 Lakh

Vento Highline (petrol, manual) - 11.20 Lakh

Polo GT TSI (petrol, automatic) - 10.10 Lakh
Vento Highline (petrol, automatic) - 13.05 Lakh

Vento Highline (diesel, automatic) - 14.85 Lakh

Common Features: ABS, Airbags-2, AC, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking, Keyless Entry, Stereo: FM, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers, Steering Wheel Switches, Electrically Adjustable Mirrors, Rear Defogger, Auto-up Anti-Pinch Driver’s Window, Fog Lamps, Touchscreen, Driver’s Seat Height Adjust, Parking Sensors, Automatic Climate Control, Rear Wash-Wipe, Electrically Folding Mirrors, Alloy Wheels, Cornering Lamps, Auto Dimming Inside Mirror, Navigation, Mirror Link, Cruise Control, Rain Sensing Wipers, Telescopic Steering Adjustment

Extra Features in Vento (Highline): Parking Camera

Extra Features in Polo (Highline): none

Fuel Efficiency Comparison:
Polo diesel, has an ARAI certified mileage of 20.1 kmpl (19.9 for GT TDI), which is half a kmpl less than Vento manual’s mileage of 20.6 kmpl and 1.4 kmpl less than Vento automatic's 21.5 kmpl. In our back-to-back tests the Polo and both the Ventos were just as fuel efficient.

The manual geared Polo petrol has an ARAI certified mileage of 16.5 kmpl, which is 0.4 kmpl more than Vento manual’s mileage of 16.1 kmpl. The Polo GT TSI automatic also has an ARAI certified mileage of just 16.5 kmpl, which is a 1.7 kmpl lower than Vento automatic's mileage of 18.2 kmpl. In our back-to-back tests, the manual versions of both cars were 1 kmpl less efficient than the automatic versions of both cars.

Fuel Cost: (for 75,000 km)
Polo (petrol, manual) - 4.20 Lakh, Vento (petrol, manual) - 4.35, Vento (petrol, automatic) - 3.80 Lakh, Polo GT TSI (petrol, automatic) - 4.20 Lakh
Polo (diesel, manual) - 2.85 Lakh, Vento (diesel, manual) - 2.80 Lakh, Vento (diesel, automatic) - 2.70

Performance & Drivability Comparison:
Petrol:
The manual geared Polo petrol is bit of a bummer. Its 1200cc 3-cylinder engine gets overwhelmed by the sheer amount of weight it has to carry. The Vento manual fares much better thanks to its 1600cc 4-cylinder mill. Since the Vento is a longer car than the excise duty exemption limit of 4-metres, VW has been able to give it an engine that it deserves. In fact the naturally aspirated engine of the Vento manual is almost as good as the automatic Vento & Polo GT's turbocharged mill. It is actually, much more linear in terms of its power delivery than the TSI mill and doesn't suffer from any turbo-lag like the TSI. The TSI mill in the Polo and Vento is available only when paired with VW's cutting edge DSG Dual Clutch gearbox. The gearbox is an absolute pleasure to pilot with lightening-quick yet unbelievably smooth shifts. Only problem is the notorious reputation that it has developed for early failure in our market.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Vento 1.6 - 92, Vento 1.2 TSI - 89, Polo – 71, Polo GT TSI - 95
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Vento 1.6 - 134, Vento 1.2 TSI - 149, Polo – 104Polo GT TSI – 158

Power (PS@rpm): Vento 1.6 – 105@5250, Vento 1.2 TSI - 105@5009, Polo – 75@5400, Polo GT TSI – 105@5000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Vento 1.6 – 153@4800, Vento 1.2 TSI - 175@1500-4100, Polo – 110@3750, Polo GT TSI – 175@1500-4100
Kerb Weight (kg): Vento 1.6 - 1145, Vento 1.2 TSI - 1179, Polo – 1053, Polo GT TSI – 1109

Diesel:
Both diesel cars are powered by the 1500cc powertrain, albeit in different states of tune. The Vento borrows the higher output mill from the Ameo, which makes it look much more powerful than the Polo, on paper. However, in reality there is hardly any difference in their performance on the road. In fact Polo 90 bhp state-of-tune feels more drivable than Vento's 105 bhp calibration. Only the Vento is available with an optional DSG automatic, which is incredibly smooth and responsive but suffers from a poor track record for reliability in India.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Vento - 90, Polo – 78
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Vento - 175, Polo – 206

Power (PS@rpm): Vento – 110@4000, Polo – 90@4200
Torque (Nm@rpm): Vento – 250@1500-3000, Polo – 230@1500-2500
Kerb Weight (kg): Vento - 1216, Polo – 1158

Handling & Ride Quality Comparison:
Both cars have impeccable dynamics, true to their European origin. They have excellent grip coupled with precise and well-weighted steering setups and outstanding stability at speed. The Vento has a slightly longer wheelbase and better weight distribution giving it a slight edge over the Polo in terms of handling as well as ride quality. Whereas, Polo's smaller wheelbase and shorter length makes it more agile and maneuverable around town.

Ground Clearance (mm): Vento – 163, Polo - 165

Wheelbase (mm): Vento – 2553, Polo - 2469

Tyre Size:
Vento: 185/60R15
Polo: 175/70R14 (Trendline), 185/60R15 (Comfortline, Highline, GT)

Space & Comfort Comparison:
Vento being a sedan has a couple of advantages over the Polo. Firstly it has better leg-room and knee room in the rear, which is a welcome relief compared to Polo's slightly claustrophobic rear seat. Secondly it has a useful 200 litre larger boot, which comes in quite handy on week-long road trips and airport runs. Otherwise both cars have a solidly built and luxurious interiors compared to most other cars in their segment.

Boot-space (lit): Vento - 494, Polo - 294

Length (mm): Vento– 4390, Polo - 3971            
Width (mm): Vento – 1699, Polo - 1682
Height (mm): Vento – 1467, Polo - 1469

Reliability & After Sales Service Comparison:
Volkswagen is no match to Service Support offered by Hyundai, in our country. Firstly, Hyundai with its 800 plus touch points, has a far wider reach than Volkswagen's 120 odd outlets. Secondly, Volkswagen cars haven't turned out to be as reliable in spite of the much touted 'German Engineering', while Hyundai cars have been largely trouble free ever since the first Santro debuted in India in 1998. Beware of the GT TSI's dual clutch gearbox, which has acquired the dubious distinction of packing up beyond repair in innumerable cases. Volkswagen's dealers are also not as well disciplined as Hyundai's, thanks to the Korean habit of obsessive micro-management and a vice-like grip over dealership operations.

Resale & Cost of Ownership Comparison:
Five to seven year old Vento, be it petrol or diesel, retail for just above 4 Lakh Rs. in the used car market. Polos of similar vintage are available for just 50,000 Rs. lesser, which is bit of a surprise. This means that the Vento depreciates far more rapidly than a Polo over a similar ownership period! This makes the Polo around 3 Lakh Rs. cheaper than an equivalent Vento, in terms of Overall Ownership Cost in the long run.

Resale Value (after usage of 5 to 7 years)
Vento Highline (petrol manual) – 4.25 Lakh
Polo Highline (petrol manual) – 3.50 Lakh

Vento Highline AT (petrol automatic) – 4.00 Lakh
Polo GT TSI (petrol automatic) – 3.75 Lakh

Vento Highline (diesel manual) – 4.25 Lakh
Polo Highline (diesel manual) – 3.75 Lakh

Vento Highline AT (diesel automatic) - 4.00 Lakh

Total Cost of Ownership (Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)

Vento Highline (petrol manual) – 11.30 Lakh
Polo Highline (petrol manual) – 8.55 Lakh

Vento Highline AT (petrol automatic) – 12.90 Lakh
Polo GT TSI (petrol automatic) – 10.55 Lakh

Vento Highline (diesel manual) – 11.95 Lakh
Polo Highline (diesel manual) – 8.70 Lakh

Vento Highline AT (diesel automatic) - 13.55 Lakh

Verdict:
The Polo is the clear winner of this test. Paying an extra 3 Lakh Rs. for a reversing camera, couple of inches of rear leg-room and some extra boot-space is sheer madness. A 10-12% difference in pricing between the two cars would have been understandable, since 8% is snatched away by the Government for added excise duty and the added length can be assumed to cost 2% extra on the total bill of materials at max. For the petrol Vento an additional 5% for the larger engine would be a fair enough premium, bringing up the difference to not more than 80,000 to 1 Lakh Rs. Anything more than VW is charging its unsuspecting customers is nothing less than daylight robbery.

Related CarComparos:

Volkswagen Vento vs Hyundai Creta
Volkswagen Vento vs Volkswagen Ameo


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