Volkswagen Virtus first drive review

Volkswagen Virtus first drive review

Volkswagen Virtus is here to add to the resurgence of sedans, sharing it's underpinnings with its sister sibling.

Words: Vishal Joshi
Photography: Volkswagen


Volkswagen said that the all-new Virtus is 'Big' in size, convenience, comfort, etc. We shall get into that in a couple of minutes. But for now, it's safe to say that it's a 'new' Volkswagen. Well, looks are down to an individual, but you cannot deny that it appears to be new. Of course, it is an all-new car, but it's the start of the sedan's second sequel in India too. And that's where the Virtus comes in hot. It is not only here to paint a new picture of the new-gen sedan scene in India, but, it hasn't forgotten its roots too.

I mean, come on, it just isn't me who sees the cues or even, an apt amalgamation of more-than-a-decade-old Audis and Volkswagen sedans, from the side. It starts from the crease that in between the wheel arch and the ORVM, to the outer tip of the taillights. The taillights! They are as obvious as why Grammys are called Grammys. Even the signature headlights that run like a smile from end to end resemble a modern-day Volkswagen. Now, below these headlights is a fat grille that teeths vertically wide, and adds a dot of pride, under the mean looking headlights. These bits make it a Volkswagen that ties two silences in a knot. One, the calm and consistent legacy of the marque and the future ones that are going to run on battery alone. And that right there is the paradigm shift we are in right now. And all the manufacturers are trying to build that strong bridge. Have to give this one to Volkswagen though.

On the inside, the layout is kept pretty simple. There's this one common thing I noticed between the exterior and the interior. And that is, the way these lines go straight and make a quick turn and bring that young self out. And that is exactly how Virtus welcomes you inside its thick interiors. Yes! You hear the typical Volkswagen 'thud' from the doors and noise cancels out instantly once you are cocooned in the cabin. In here, you are welcomed with a dark theme that runs all over the car. The ventilated front seats are not only comfortable, but offer the right driving posture once the seat and the steering wheel are synced to your comfort and confidence level. The steering wheel's thickness also shows a deep thought it has been a result of.

Now, since we were given the keys to the top spec of the twins, we had a long list of features to play with, and drive comfortably along the long and lonesome highways of Amritsar. Here's where I tasted the comeback of the sedans. It started with the most relevant one, the ventilated front seats. Oh the days of dry front and wet backs are gone now, especially when you are stepping out of a sedan to handover the key to that valet. The Volkswagen Play touchscreen infotainment system synced and switched between Android and iOS quite quickly and easily. That connected us to an 8-speaker output that is expressive, if not bold. They are synced in a way that its omnidirectional delivery creates a car filling experience. While driving, not only did the digital instrument cluster not intrude on the view, but the virtual shape of dials and the shade of the colors also made sense, at all speeds that we did. One feature that inspired confidence was the fact that the Virtus comes with 6 airbags. These are still a few features that we've mentioned. More shall be served hot once you spend more time in it.

However, whatever time we spent in both the variants, was enough to learn about the Virtus. Firstly, Volkswagen let me hang out with the 1.0-litre equipped Dynamic line that has 110PS of power and 178Nm of torque. The moment I stepped into this one, I was looking ahead (literally and metaphorically) to the 1.5-litre TSI equipped Performance line, which has 150PS of power and 250Nm of torque on demand. Now here's the trick. I learnt more about the former, after I drove the latter. Meaning, their Performance line showed how the Dynamic line is not really far in terms of the following.

At the start, during the city and then on the highway, the Dynamic felt crisp. It felt light footed, but not really unstable. Its engine did not ask too much from the gearbox, nor did the automatic 'box strain the engine. They went well with each other like a French wave. They looked out for each other, and performed their duty, in harmony. This symphony let me hit a ton with ease, which doesn't translate to a lazy delivery, mind you. It means the Virtus was effortless at cruising, barely asking for any inputs from my right foot once it was in a flow. It felt like a paper boat on calmly flowing water, all you have to do is direct your boat. However, the word 'try' took birth in our communication when we both tried to overtake together. This reminded me of the paddle shifters that added some drama to the visuals, nothing more, nothing less. However, it felt adequate for our Indian roads and of course, the Indians on the road. Speaking of adequacy, the brakes weren't harsh on me; they had a soft translation, even at the time when I applied maximum pressure to stop in minimum braking distance. After hopping into the Performance line with all the excitement and a spark in the eyes, all I ended up doing was just keep waiting for that extra bit of oomph that I expected looking at its red hot color, the Wild Cherry one. Of course, it didn't disappoint, but I know it was me that expected more from it, since I was disappointed from VW pulling the plug on the Polo. Perhaps this led me to paint this objective that they'd inject this one with the same jet of power. But hey! It's silly me. Not the Performance line. Of course, I think the shifts could've been faster and the wheels could've been smaller.

But since Volkswagen has lately rolled out cars that target the mass too, I wouldn't really expect that surge given the greedy enthusiast that I am, let alone the expectations we have from a sedan. Because when it comes to that, Volkswagen has not only made it longer than its late sedan, but big on comfort, convenience, I'd add Joy here, and a lot more. They have barely left anything for us to wait for our newfound love for sedans all over again. Of course, the one thing that we have to wait for is the price. We guess it could be upwards of the 9 lakh INR mark. What do y'all think; let us know in the comments section below.