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Volkswagen Virtus evaluation: New Honda Metropolis rival is a Jetta reborn | Autocar India

Written by Meera

With the Virtus, Volkswagen reminds us that it is aware of a factor or two about making nice sedans.

The Volkswagen Virtus is the Skoda Slavia’s sister automobile. Related in some ways, but in addition fairly totally different, it’s a alternative for the decade-old Vento. The massive information is that the VW Virtus is a automobile that’s higher in just about each measurable approach when in comparison with its predecessor. It’s bigger on the surface, larger on the within, and will get extra energy and efficiency below the hood. So simply how a lot of a step up is it, how does it evaluate with rivals from Honda and Hyundai, and eventually, is it a automobile that may hold you from becoming a member of the hordes thronging to SUVs? These and different questions answered in our first drive of what guarantees to be the perfect and most well-configured automobile Volkswagen has ever launched in India. 

Volkswagen Virtus: exterior design

Because the Skoda Slavia and Volkswagen Virtus are very comparable below the pores and skin, they share quite a bit. However additionally they look very totally different, and that is principally down to every firm’s particular person method. The place Skoda has gone for a sportier and extra compact-looking nostril, Volkswagen has chosen a extra grown-up look. You may see this virtually all over the place; from the way wherein the ‘squared’ nostril of the Virtus has been fleshed out, to how chrome detailing has been used to assist spotlight necessary particulars. The Virtus, particularly within the metallic, appears to be like as lengthy in beam as a Jetta! This impression is strengthened while you see how far again the traces stretch, after which what makes Virtus look much more upmarket is the delicate detailing. The L-shaped LED strips merge seamlessly with the grille, the VW emblem pops out properly in 3D, and in contrast to the Slavia, has nearly no cuts and creases on the bonnet. Even the partially blacked out tail-lights look each edgy and complicated.

Not all the pieces works completely for my part although. I don’t care a lot for the way the chin part has been enlarged and stretched; it appears to be like mildly out of sync, the 16-inch wheels look small when you think about the scale of the automobile, and whereas the 179mm floor clearance virtually offers it off-road capacity, the tyre-to-wheel-arch hole nonetheless rankles. I just like the distinction roof and blacked-out B-pillars although, and I additionally like which you can differentiate the extra highly effective 1.5 TSI by its all-black wheels, micro boot-lid spoiler and GT badges.  

Beneath the pores and skin is the closely localised MQB A0 IN chassis. Stiff than the outgoing automobile by a great margin, which is nice for experience, dealing with and security, enhancements to the chassis additionally imply better refinement and NVH ranges. There’s a lot surplus stiffness, even the ground has been flattened a bit extra to make the rear of the cabin really feel roomier; no four-wheel drive variations anticipated right here. These impressed by a strong door shut may even like simply how robustly this automobile is put collectively and VW has additionally been cautious in offering enough insulation. 

We at the moment are aware of the engines and gearboxes – that is the fourth product of the India 2.zero mission, in any case – and the vary as soon as once more begins with the 1.zero TSI. A 3-cylinder unit that makes 115hp and a really wholesome 178Nm, this engine is out there with both a six-speed guide or a six-speed torque converter automated. The bigger 1.5 TSI will get hundreds extra energy – a really sturdy 150hp, and an enormous 250Nm; the automated gearbox here’s a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch unit. Unusually, nonetheless, and regardless of all the additional energy and efficiency, the 1.5 TSI will get the identical tyres and even the identical brakes, with no discs on the rear. 

Volkswagen Virtus: inside and options 

Anybody who’s aware of VW’s Tiguan SUV will really feel proper at house within the Virtus. Climb in and shut the door and you might be handled to acquainted door ‘thunk’ that lends an enormous quantity of feelgood issue. You then expertise an elevated degree of match and end on the sprint and what impresses much more is that just about all the pieces you contact is fabricated from high-quality supplies. Working example, the fantastically designed and completed steering that’s an absolute deal with to carry and use.

What impresses is that, not like the Slavia, which feels pared down on the within, the Virtus has fewer apparent indicators of price trimming; they’re there, however you must look quite a bit more durable. The pink trim on the 1.5 TSI (which fortunately solely comes with the pink exterior paint) is a bit a lot and, for my part, makes the cabin look smaller than it’s, and this isn’t helped a lot by the black sprint prime and black seats. The lighter-coloured decrease half of the sprint does brighten up issues, nonetheless, and I like how VW’s designers have built-in the piano black and the contact display screen in a single steady sweep. The silver border provides definition, particularly across the instrument panel space, and the digital dials themselves are good and sharp. VW may have made higher use of the display screen although; you might be all the time looking for data and having to decide on between both speedo or tacho actually makes you hanker after a wider display screen that might have match each in.

These of you aware of the Slavia may even choose up different variations, once more right down to how Skoda and VW do issues in a different way. The starter button, for instance, on the Virtus sits on the centre console, forward of the gear lever, whereas Skoda locations it on the steering column. Then, whereas the Skoda has its lock and unlock button on the central console, VW has it on the door, proper subsequent to the door deal with. And there are different variations too. 

The touchscreen, nonetheless, may be very acquainted. Performance is nice, you get linked tech (however once more, no distant cabin cooling) and techniques like wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work notably properly. It additionally helps that you’ve got a great deal of USB C slots, the wi-fi charging prompts you earlier than it will get going, you get cooled entrance seats and there are many stowage areas too. As well as, the door pads have large bottle holders, the cooled glovebox is massive, you get stowage area forward of the central console, and there’s a small elbow field whose lid may be slid ahead if you happen to want further assist. 

The massive entrance seats are notably supportive and comfy. The Virtus permits the motive force to take their seat all the best way down, and even supposing this can be a sedan, visibility out is great. And for these sat in entrance, the sunroof above is kind of large and allows loads of gentle.

There are niggles although; the roof lining remains to be knitted, you set off the contact delicate air conditioning controls commonly while you attain for the gear lever, and some plastic bits decrease down within the cabin are a bit too fundamental, however these aside, the cabin actually impress.

Even the again seat, the place loads of house owners will sit, hits the spot. There’s a great deal of legroom, thigh assist is nice, and whereas the seat isn’t the widest and three abreast isn’t excellent, it nonetheless feels roomy right here. Want the backrest had been a bit extra reclined, however what’s good is that every one three passengers get their very own headrests and three-point seatbelts. Lacking, although, is the lever that permits rear passengers to push the entrance passenger seat ahead, as on the Vento. You gained’t need extra space within the boot, nonetheless; this one offers you 521 litres, however for individuals who do, you’ll be able to even flip and fold the seats ahead.

Volkswagen Virtus: engine, gearbox, consolation and dealing with

We drove the Virtus in Amritsar; initially by some slender lanes and over some decidedly second-rate tarmac, however later over some fabulous state highways and all the best way to the Wagah border. As anticipated, the experience may be very achieved. The suspension and tyres soaked up quite a lot of what the street throws at it, the Virtus rides flat (though the nose-heavier 1.5 TSI does pitch a bit extra) and even while you drive over some massive craters with sharp edges, there’s solely a touch of stiffness and resistance.

We solely drove the automatics, each the six-speed torque converter 1.zero TSI and the seven-speed DSG 1.5 TSI. Of the 2, it’s the 1.zero that gives the larger shock. Whereas this engine and gearbox are acquainted from the Taigun and Kushaq, the pair appear to work higher right here. Whether or not right down to a slight re-tune or the marginally lighter kerb weight of the Virtus, the 1.zero TSI takes off well from relaxation. The torque converter offers it a bit of additional shove getting off the road, after which it continues to tug ahead well as I hold my foot in. 

Gearshifts aren’t lightning fast and there’s a pause at occasions while you wish to downshift, however the gearbox works properly within the metropolis and decently on the open street too. The 1.zero TSI feels keen, responsive and all the time on the ball, and that’s precisely what you need from a small engine. It even will get paddles, so you’ll be able to get pleasure from a little bit of a sporty drive too. You may inform it’s a 3 cylinder at occasions, with a little bit of grumble and vibes at low pace, or if you happen to stretch it to close its redline. The turbo lag, although properly masked, does increase its head sometimes in visitors, however actually, the 1.zero is all of the engine you want, an engine that, in boxing phrases, punches properly above its weight.

In order for you punch, and quite a lot of it, the 1.5 TSI is the place you head, and outfitted with the short seven-speed DSG, it delivers a torrent of efficiency that simply has me holding on to the steering wheel and grinning. Whereas it doesn’t fairly leap off the road or push me again firmly in my seat, energy builds in an nearly turbine-like linear method, and earlier than it you’re going significantly fast. In search of a fast burst of energy to reap the benefits of a spot in visitors? That is the automobile for you. 

Sure, there sometimes is a little bit of a pause because the gearbox software program protects the {hardware} and the clutches, however put your foot down and the tempo normally is searing. What helps make it semi-practical and a bit extra environment friendly is that it comes with engine cease/begin and cylinder deactivation, the latter popping up on the instrument panel because the software program feeds solely two cylinders. With out the indication you’d by no means know.  

Efficiency doesn’t slack off at larger speeds both, and as I exploit the paddles and settle the Virtus into a protracted nook, I discover stability is simply very good. Sure, it has 179mm of floor clearance and that ends in some small quantity of roll, however the Virtus offers with it so properly and offers me a lot confidence, it permits me to make use of increasingly of the efficiency. The 1.5 TSI isn’t fairly as eager to dive into corners because the 1.zero TSI, and at occasions placing down all the ability wants a little bit of persistence, particularly if you end up in a nook, however even then, this clearly is among the greatest driver’s automobiles to emerge in a protracted, very long time. Automotive fans, petrolheads, this one’s for you.

Volkswagen Virtus: anticipated value and verdict

The Virtus is a automobile VW has acquired proper; that a lot is evident. It appears to be like the enterprise, has a well-built and fashionable trying inside, it’s very snug and well-equipped, it feels solidly constructed and it importantly has all of the important security options. It even comes with a big and sensible boot. On prime of all this, it rides properly, drives properly and, in fact, has loads of efficiency, whether or not you select the 1.zero or 1.5 TSI. Sure, just like the Slavia, the 1.5 TSI model will doubtless be costly, and we count on the Virtus value vary to be from Rs 11 lakh to 18 lakh (ex-showroom). Furthermore, there’s no diesel model on provide for prime milers, and it will likely be robust deciding between the VW and the Skoda. However whilst issues stand, ensure you put it in your shortlist. It’s greater than only a worthy successor to the venerable Vento, and can be a automobile that may persuade you that SUVs aren’t all the pieces.

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Meera