Volkswagen Virtus 1.0L TSI & 1.5L TSI GT Road Test Review – Sedan Class Comeback?

German car maker Volkswagen has been around for some time now in the Indian market and has had its ups and downs in terms of its market share here. Their 1st sedan model for India was the Vento which has been selling for long and has been received well. Now when the Sedan segment has been taken over by the SUV segment VW wants to revive it and aims at 20% of the segment with its All New Sedan the Virtus.

Food for Thought

First things first, the Virtus is the fourth model to have been built using the India specific MQB-A0-IN modular platform from the Volkswagen Group after the Skoda Kushaq, the Volkswagen Taigun and the Skoda SLavia. So rightly so lot of underpinnings from the Taigun and the Slavia would trickle down to the Virtus naturally. The Virtus is the largest sedan in its segment in terms length, width, height and wheelbase. It also has the most ground clearance that of 179mm putting it into the SUV class. The Virtus 1.5L TSI also becomes the most powerful sedan in its class with 150PS of power output and 250Nm of torque along with the Slavia.

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Exteriors

In terms of looks the Virtus comes like a very handsome looking sedan with loads of road presence. The sedan is large in size and comes with loads of road presence. It measures 4,561 mm in length, 1,752 mm in width, and 1,507 mm in height and 2651mm of wheelbase. This makes it the largest car in its class. Compared to the Volkswagen Vento that it replaces, the Virtus is 128 mm longer, 53 mm wider, and 21 mm taller. Volkswagen Virtus also has 99 mm longer wheelbase than the Vento.

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The Volkswagen Virtus is available in two body styles, 1.0L and the 1.5L GT Line. The 1.5L GT Line gets dualtone body color with GT badging on the grille and fenders along with red brake calipers and a black lip spoiler on the boot.

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Speaking about the design and exterior styling, the Virtus follows typical styling cues from brand Volkswagen. It gets trademark new age Volkswagen grille with chrome embellished twin horizontal slats that extend into the headlamps, sculpted bonnet, sleek L shaped LED projector headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights and razor-sharp character lines across body is what we loved the most on its side profile. It runs on dark tone 16 inch alloy wheels while the 1.0L Virtus gets dual tone alloys. The window glass area is vast and runs a premium looking beltline defining it while there also is a chrome half kink that glorifies the C-pillar. Smart looking GT badging on the fenders like seen on the Taigun make the sides look more rich while the roof comes with a electric sun roof and a shark fin radio antenna finished in glossy black.

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The rear profile is highlighted with sharp styled LED tail lamps with dark housing that extend into the boot lid along with Volkswagen badging on the lid. Rear bumper gets a chrome garnish with stop reflectors that run across the width defining it and making it look wider. Overall the styling on the Virtus exterior looks classy, premium and very catchy. The sedan appears to have taken inspiration from coupes, visible in its silhouette. And yes the Virtus reminds a lot of the Volkswagen Jetta especially from the rear profile.

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Interiors

Inside the cabin, Volkswagen Virtus sedan gets a triple layered dash board that looks and feels premium finished in black, faux red and beige color with glossy black inserts. The key highlight is the 10-inch touch-screen infotainment system with all the connectivity features on it, this is the same AVN unit also seen on the Taigun but is placed in flushed style into the dash.

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The steering is a three-spoke wheel, identical to the one Volkswagen Taigun gets with silver inserts, MFD buttons and height/reach adjust. The automatic variant of the Virtus also gets paddle shifters on the steering. The Virtus comes with an 8 inch all digital instrument cluster that looks premium and up market. The climate control again is a single zone unit as seen on the Taigun which retains the touch and slide control. You also get ambient lighting on the interior package of the Virtus

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The cabin gets a dual-tone premium looking theme. The features include rear AC vents, wireless charging, digital cockpit etc. In terms of seating the Virtus gets ventilated front seats. Driver’s seat gets height adjust while the seats get dual tone faux leather upholstery with red hand stitching on the top end trim. Seat comfort feels very good and the spacious cabin reminds you a lot of the elder bother the Jetta in terms of comfort, premium quality, space and styling. You get two USB C ports in the front and two at the rear along with wireless mobile charging upfront on the Virtus.

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At the rear you get three adjustable head rests, folding arm rear and rear AC vents along with two USB C type charge ports. Due to its large dimension the Virtus rear seat comfort is extra ordinary where the passenger can stretch his feet with ease. Seats offer excellent support and comfort with good under thigh and back padding. Best in class knee room, head room, shoulder room and leg room are its key hallmark for the rear seating.

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The Volkswagen Virtus comes with a best in class largest boot capacity that of 521 liters which can take in 4 suit cases with ease. And yes this already large boot space can be further extended to 1050 liters by folding down the rear seats.

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Engine – Transmission – Drive

The Volkswagen comes powered with the same two petrol engine options that also power the Taigun. You have the 1.0-litre TSI petrol and a 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine. The smaller three-cylinder petrol engine is capable of churning out 113 bhp of power and 175 Nm of torque. It comes available with a six speed manual and a six-speed automatic gearbox options.

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While the chart topper Volkswagen Virtus comes powered with the 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine that generates 150 PS of power and 250 Nm of torque. Transmission options here are the 6-speed manual and also a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

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To start off this 3-Cylinder engine model feels highly refined at idle. There is no hint that this missing a cylinder. Rev the engine and you notice the turbo spooling in style. Shift to drive mode and the Virtus glides ahead in style. The sedan drives in a very mature way mainly due to its sheer size and the way its suspension and chassis is fine tuned. The Virtus drives extremely well under all conditions delivering a very plush drive to its occupants.

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The key highlight is the way this sedan hugs the corners at high speeds without much body roll to the rear passengers. The steering has a very positive feedback to it and feels lively at all speeds giving a connected feel to the driver. The 6-speed automatic transmission shifts without any lag or juddering. You also have the option to use then paddle shifters or switch to sport mode of the need arises. The 1.0L Virtus is also tuned to deliver best in class fuel efficiency that Volkswagen claims but we got around 17-18.5 kmpl during our review drive all day around some good and bad roads which is excellent for the car of its size and class.

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Now coming to the top end 1.5L Virtus GT Line this larger engine model feels highly refined at idle and also has a meaty roar to it. Rev the engine and you notice the turbo spooling in style. Shift to drive mode and the Virtus glides ahead in style. The sedan drives in a very mature way mainly due to its sheer size and the way its suspension and chassis is fine tuned. The Virtus 1.5L drives extremely well under all conditions delivering a very plush drive to its occupants. The key highlight is the way this sedan hugs the corners at high speeds without much body roll to the rear passengers. The larger engine hits out more power and that is evident from the word go with the Virtus pouncing ahead in robust style, ease and grace.

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The steering has a very positive feedback to it and feels lively at all speeds giving a connected feel to the driver. The 6-speed DSG automatic transmission shifts without any lag or juddering with precise action, easily the best automatic in its class. The gear ratios are tuned for performance and the Virtus 1.5L has loads of it. This version of the Virtus is meant for performance and the drive pleasure is loaded till the brim on it. The Virtus 1.5L TSI delivers unmatched drivability with finesse across all power bands and conditions.

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Safety

Safety-wise, the Volkswagen Virtus comes with six airbags, ESC, an electronic differential system (EDS), a tyre pressure monitor, hill-hold control, a rear parking camera, multi-collision brake and ISOFIX child seat mounts, self cleaning disc brake.

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Competition Check

The Volkswagen Virtus competes against the likes of the Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Hyundai Verna and the it’s cousin the Skoda Slavia that launched recently. Bottom-line here being that the Virtus 1.5 TSI is the most powerful sedan in the class along with the Skoda Slavia 1.5L overpowering its competition and also the only cars in its class to come with Dual Clutch Automatic transmission option.

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Verdict

The Volkswagen Virtus 1.0L is the one to go for if you want an efficient yet fun to drive spacious sedan but if you are still power hungry and want best in class sedan that will bring a smile to your face each and every time you get behind the wheels of this sedan. If you want a all out fun experience with unmatched drive pleasure then get the Virtus 1.5L GT without a hiss. Do we recommend the Volkswagen Virtus to you? Yes we surely do and if you think it’s expensive to run and maintain a Volkswagen well think again as VW is offering you an unmatched Cashless Service package at ₹24,499 for 4 years which can be also extended to 2 more years if you desire to give you a peaceful stress free cashless ownership experience. Well if you are the one who wants unmatched performance, safety, drive pleasure and European looks the Volkswagen Virtus is just the perfect sedan that you can get out there.

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Words – Ritesh Madhok
Video & Photography – Bhushan Joshi
Location – Amritsar Punjab

 

 

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