You’ve already seen in our review about what VW’s new compact sedan is all about, and now it’s time for it to prove its mettle against the competition. Granted, it’s got some pretty strong and quite well-established rivals in this class, and there are quite a few of them. However, because the Ameo is only available as a petrol for now, we’ve only brought along the best. The Amaze comes with Honda’s rev-happy i-VTEC engine, and for many, that’s a huge draw in itself. But the car has also just been given a facelift that addresses some of its shortcomings. Then there’s the Ford Figo Aspire, which, when it came along, beat out our previous favourite, the Hyundai Xcent, to become top dog of the compact sedan segment. It’s got all the right elements in place, as we’ve already seen, but then, the Ameo is packing some serious heat as well. So, can this latecomer upset the balance in this popular class of cars? Let’s find out.
Three-Box Balancing Act
Let’s face it, any carmaker trying to squeeze a three-box sedan shape into a four-metre length restriction is going to have a hard time balancing good proportions and space. However, it also depends on the starting point from which the compact sedan in question is derived. The Polo was only ever designed to be a hatchback, and though VW has done a commendable job in raking the C-pillar a bit more, squeezing in every last millimetre of length and incorporating a lot of light-catching lines into the boot, the Ameo clearly looks the most awkwardly proportioned of this lot, with the most truncated boot. Still, there are always takers for VW’s characteristically European clean lines and they’re ever present here.
The Aspire doesn’t have as much of a problem as it and its Figo hatchback sibling, were developed alongside one another. So, even though its boot deck does seem quite tall, it’s got the better, more flowing proportions overall. There are some neat new Ford design details that give it a lot of character, like the chrome-slatted grille and the swept-back headlamps, and the result is a car that looks quite muscular despite its small size and tiny wheels.
The Amaze has always been one of the better executed shapes in this class. With the tiny Brio as a starting point, the designers had plenty of room left over to integrate a proper boot onto the back. The facelift has done well to make the car look a little less dowdy than before, and crucially, differentiate it from the Brio. The thick chrome strip on the grille links it to the City and the sharp cuts in the front bumper are nice too. Overall though, it still looks a little plain, lacking the aggression of the Ford or the sophistication of the Volkswagen.
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