What it’s like owning a Diesel Highline Volkswagen Vento

After driving the VW Vento highline for about 92,000kms over the span of 2years 5months I can truly say that the German manufacturer hasn’t skimped out on quality even though at it’s price level. Mated with a 1.6TDI engine also known as the EA 189, a 4 cylinder motor that produces 105PS @ 4400rpm and 250Nm of torque between 1500 to 2500rpm. It’s this torque that makes this car so much fun. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, at higher speeds the car seems lacking a 6th gear as the engine gets noisy and there is available power which is lost cause of the lack of the final gear. High speed stability is very good and the car feels planted even at higher triple digits. Braking is adequate, VW could have added in callipers that grab better and rotors that can dissipate heat faster. Gear throw is short and precise and slot in properly. Unlike the competition.

Just when I got it. No mods other than a GTI grill.

The steering is precise for an electronic power steering system unlike the competition, you know where the wheels are and what they are doing. There is proper weight at high speed and at low speeds it’s easy to manoeuvre through tight traffic.

A very comfortable car that can seat 5 people with their luggage comfortably for those long cross state road trips. My only niggle with the front seats is the lack of proper side bolster, other than that they have good lumbar and under thigh support so you’re not tired after a long trip. Forward visibility out of the cabin is very good and the side glass let’s in a lot of light into the cabin. Rear visibility is slightly hampered by the rear c-pillar and the tiny interior mirror doesn’t help much and you have to rely on parking sensors that come standard on the highline trim. The stock suspension takes bumps well and only crashes over really huge potholes. The combination of good seats, proper light and good suspension makes this a good long distance muncher. The stock suspension has a little give over tight bends and the car does have a little body roll but it’s not unnerving. In fact the Vento is quite fun on a backroad.

The Vento maybe not be loaded with features like the competition but that being said it’s not lacking, the features are actually quite adequate and doesn’t make you feel like you’re driving a relic. The stock player I had was the monochrome head unit with an MMI system like the ones found in Audi, I have replaced it with a factory replacement 6.5” RCD330 with mirror link, aux and Bluetooth.

6.5” RCD330 with mirror link, aux and Bluetooth

You get climate control and rear AC vents to keep everyone happy. It comes with 4 cup holders in front (2 in the centre console and two on either sides of the door pockets big enough to hold a 2liter bottle of water. The rear passengers get a single cooled cup holder in the middle.

Not so stock anymore

I have done some work to my car, replaced the stock suspension for fully adjustable coil overs from ksport. This makes the car more planted at higher speeds and removes the body roll.  A Racedynamics Diesel Tronic tuning box was added in to squeeze out some more power from the engine, a wrap to protect the original paint, and replaced the stock air filter for a pipercross replacement one. The stock 15″ rims were swapped with 16″ Momo revenge ones with wider profile tires @ 205/50.

As per problems at 92,000 Kms and counting the only things I have replaced so far are suspension bushes and lower arm bushes which were worn by the bad roads. Periodic service is a must with this car.  The car is serviced at every 15000 interval and tires rotated, balanced every 5000kms. The service charge is more compared to other companies but I feel you pay for the quality. These are strong cars and are pretty good at handling everything you throw at them.