There are several models we’d love for Volkswagen Philippines to bring here. We miss having the Tiguan around, as well as the Jetta and the Golf wagon. While it would be nice to have the new generations of those models here, there is one car that we reckon would be a good fit for the local lineup.
Volkswagen recently premiered the updated version of the Virtus in Brazil. Formerly known as the Polo Notch, it has all the ingredients to make a promising subcompact sedan contender in the country.
What is it?
Before you think this is just a reskinned Santana, the Virtus is a totally different model unrelated to the one seen in showrooms here. It rides on the latest MQB modular platform that underpins the latest generation of the Polo hatchback. The Virtus also shares its chassis with the T-Cross crossover. The new Virtus measures 4,561mm long, 1,751mm wide, and 1,487mm tall, putting it in the larger end of the subcompact-sedan segment.
OTHER STORIES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
Hyundai trademarks the name ‘Stargazer X’ in PH...what could it be?
Report: The traditional jeepney will hang around a little longer
Okay, tell me more
Volkswagen claims the Virtus is the largest subcompact sedan around. With that, let’s compare it to the Honda City and the new-gen Toyota Vios. The Vios measures 4,425mm long, 1,740mm wide, and 1,480mm tall. As for the City, it’s 4,553mm long, 1,748mm wide, and 1,489mm tall. The Virtus is longer and wider than the Japanese subcompacts, but it’s just a few millimeters less in height compared to the City. All in all, it’s one of the biggest, but just by a bit.
Let’s see the features
Volkswagen Brazil laid out several highlights of the Virtus. The sedan gets a digital instrument panel and a touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. On top of that, wireless charging is available, plus rear air-conditioning vents, automatic climate control, and even adaptive cruise control. Volkswagen also claims a cargo capacity of 521 liters.
The Virtus comes equipped with stability control, front and side airbags, and post-collision braking standard in all of its variants. It also scored a five-star safety rating in Latin NCAP crash and safety testing.
What about the engine choices?
For the Brazilian market, the Virtus comes with two engine options. Most of the models come equipped with a 1.0-liter TSI (Turbo Stratified Injection) that packs 128hp and 200Nm of torque. Reserved for the top-spec variant is the 1.4 TSI with 148hp and 250Nm of torque. You won’t get Volkswagen’s dual-clutch transmission in the Virtus. Instead, it shifts with a traditional six-speed automatic.
Any chance it would come here?
Given that subcompact sedans are still strong sellers here, it would be nice to see a European alternative join the mix. However, that bit doesn’t necessarily mean high chances of the Virtus coming here. But if Volkswagen Philippines wants to make a dent in the sedan market, this model is a good place to start.
That said, the Virtus will soon be available in China and carry the name Lavida XR. If Volkswagen Philippines will continue sourcing units from there, that might be a way for this sedan to be sold here.