Volkswagen Virtus 1.5L GT Manual Review: Sedan For The Enthusiasts?

Published on 30 May, 2024, 3:30 PM IST
Updated on 30 May, 2024, 3:30 PM IST

Pratik Rakshit
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Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

VW has finally added a manual gearbox on its more potent petrol engine.

Volkswagen, a brand known for its engineering prowess and commitment to driving dynamics, has finally answered the call of enthusiasts with the introduction of a manual gearbox option for the larger and more powerful Virtus compact sedan. Should you buy it then? The Virtus is undeniably a driver’s car. While the TSI units make strong cases, it lacked punch. That now, is fixed to a certain extent. How, you ask? VW has finally added a manual gearbox on its more potent petrol engine. And if you are considering buying this, then you should stick around till the end of this review to find out all the hits and misses.

What We Like

Exterior

There’s no denying the Virtus is a good-looking car, it has a very European design, sharp cuts, strong lines and an aggressive front. But let me quickly tell you what I like. This Deep Black Pearl paint scheme is exclusive to the GT Line. Next up, is the alloy design on the 16-inchers, the design is very fresh and sporty while the red brake calipers add a nice contrast. View it from the side, and you’ll understand what I mean.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

And finally, the roofline flows well onto the C-Pillar. Looks very proportionate and gels well with the rear section of the car. View it from the front, side or back, the Virtus just looks very sporty, and very refreshing.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

FEATURES

What features are standard you ask? Let me quickly count it for you. LED headlamps, DRLs, taillamps, a sunroof, an all-digital instrument panel, wired Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and 8-speakers are standard.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

The higher trims get a little extra. A 10.25-inch screen, wireless Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, red ambient lights, red stitching on seat covers of the GT Line and electrically adjustable front seats for both the driver and the co-passenger. All in all, Volkswagen has covered almost every creature comfort you would want in your Virtus.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

SAFETY

Do I even need to talk about this aspect? Let me jog up your memory. Five stars for adult and child occupant protection from Global NCAP. 6-airbags, ABS, ESC, traction control, three-point seatbelts for all passengers and seat belt reminders are standard.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

POWERTRAIN OPTIONS

Two turbocharged petrol engines, a manual, an automatic and a DSG box. A thoughtful addition is cylinder deactivation on the larger displacement offering, so on lower speeds or while on cruise it turns off two cylinders, from 4 to 2 to make it more fuel efficient.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

1.0L TSI

1.5L TSI

Displacement

999 cc

1498 cc

Max Power

113 bhp @5000-5500 rpm

148 bhp @5000-6000 rpm

Peak Torque

178 Nm @1750-4500 rpm

250 Nm @1600-3500 rpm

Transmission

6-Speed MT/

6-Speed AT

6-Speed MT/

7-Speed DSG

HANDLING

And that brings me to the next part. Now, for enthusiasts, a sedan with a manual gearbox is like the holy grail, there’s nothing more that you could ask for and the Virtus is now in that league.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

The DSG unit has its benefits, but the manual gives you so much more control. If you’ve enjoyed the 1.0-litre manual turbo, then you will find this one even more fulfilling. There’s loads of involvement for the driver now. It handles corners like a champ and almost makes you think if it’s the perfect sedan in its class.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE

RIDE

Well, everything was going perfectly well till now. But as far as the ride quality is concerned, it’s always been on the firmer side, it’s ideal for the driver especially when you are extracting performance. But not so much for the rear passengers, it's harsh, and firm and makes the people sitting behind rather uncomfortable.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

POWERTRAIN OPTIONS

Well, the lack of a diesel engine certainly hurts the Virtus, but then again, no car in this segment offers one either.

REAR SEAT SPACE

Space is the next big factor that bothers me, especially at the back, it's spacious for two but not for three grown adults.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

Length

4561 mm

Width

1752 mm

Height

1507 mm

Wheelbase

2651 mm

LONG CLUTCH TRAVEL

I particularly had difficulty adapting to the long clutch travel, it is quite heavy when crawling in traffic at low speeds and requires time getting used to it. But, the initial jerk at lower rpms is something that most people won’t enjoy.

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

PRICES & RIVALS

VW claims that Virtus is accessible to a larger audience now, but it could’ve been more competitive.

Virtus 1.0L TSI

(Prices, ex-showroom, India)

Comfortline MT

₹11.56 lakh

Highline MT

₹13.58 lakh

Highline AT

₹14.88 lakh

Topline MT

₹15.28 lakh

Topline MT (MY24)

₹15.60 lakh

Topline AT

₹16.58 lakh

Topline AT (MY24)

₹16.85 lakh

Virtus 1.5L TSI

(Prices, ex-showroom, India)

GT DSG

₹16.62 lakh

GT Plus MT

₹17.28 lakh

GT Plus MT (MY24)

₹17.60 lakh

GT Plus DSG

₹18.83 lakh

GT Plus DSG (MY24)

₹19.15 lakh

The Hyundai Verna is more lucrative. Its feature-rich modern-looking cabin and the 5-star GNCAP rating along with Level 2 ADAS has helped Hyundai clock more than 11 thousand units each month. VW manages around 6 to 7 thousand units a month. Quite a margin, no?

Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 GT Manual

So now that you know both sides of the coin, would you still buy the Virtus?

Photography By: Apoorv Choudhary

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