The latest Volkswagen sedan offering in India is the Virtus, and its prices were recently announced. The Virtus replaces the Vento which had been around for over a decade.

Powertrain options

It’s available with two turbocharged petrol engines — a 1.0 TSI and a 1.5 TSI. The former is rated at 114hp/178Nm, while the latter produces a more impressive 148hp/250Nm. The smaller, three-pot engine is offered with the usual choice of 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Volkswagen is limiting the larger four-pot to a 7-speed DSG.

Test drive

I tried to get my hands on the Virtus pretty soon after prices were announced and so I had to go to my nearest dealership for the test drive. I’m sure later on, they’ll be offering customers the chance to arrange for a test drive at their homes via the VW India website. 

Based on the pricing, I could only consider the 1.0 TSI powertrain for the Virtus. Staying true to my claims of being a petrolhead, I wanted it with the 6-speed manual shifter. 

Driving experience

The first thing I realised while putting out of the dealership was the weight of the steering wheel – it was lighter than I expected. Having driven the Polo GT TSI for a few years now, I’m in love with the Volkswagen steering and so the Virtus test drive started on a disappointing note. However, its weight was still acceptable compared to something from Hyundai, and it did make it easier to manoeuvre the Virtus through tight traffic and U-turns. 

The gear shifts felt pretty good given that it is still a basic sedan offering and not an executive segment model. It was smooth and precise. The 114hp engine felt adequate in city driving conditions and smoother once it got up to speed. Pulling away from a stop, you can really keep your foot planted through the revs while in 2nd- and 3rd gear.

Cabin experience

The test drive vehicle was the Topline trim with all the comforts on offer such as the digital instrument cluster, the 10-inch central touchscreen, a sunroof and the leatherette upholstery. I even sat in the back for the next test drive and it was fairly comfortable with plenty of room for two adults.

However, there were some glaring ergonomic issues for the driver in the Virtus. The first is the front central armrest that comes in the way when you’re trying to put on your seatbelt. The second and possibly worse issue is the manual handbrake. It’s positioned ridiculously high with a design that raises it far above the central console tunnel. My guess is they used the same setup as the Taigun crossover which does not work in the lower seating position of the Virtus sedan.

Should you buy it?

If you love sedans as I do, then this might be the last of the old-school models you can have for less than Rs 20 lakh. For me, the Volkswagen Virtus was love at first sight with its well-defined three-box profile and elegant edges. Plus, it is available in the brilliant Curcuma Yellow that I first saw on the Arteon, and the Virtus would be an attainable version for someone under the age of 30.

If you agree with any of the above-stated sentiments regarding the Virtus, you should definitely shortlist it as your next car. 

Disclaimer:- I did not take any photos of the test drive vehicle as I did not have clearance from the dealership on the day.

Let us know in the comments what you make of the Volkswagen Virtus? Don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons blog for more cool updates from the car world. You can also follow us on Instagram for more automotive content.

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