Why Your Next Car Should Be An Executive Sedan: Volkswagen Virtus vs Honda City

Virtus vs City

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The sporty Honda All-New City is all set to take on the Volkswagen Virtus. In the battle between Volkswagen Virtus vs Honda City, buyers will have to make a tough decision because both sedans provide similar offerings, however, the City appeals to both the daily driver and the enthusiast (thanks to its sublime engine). Feature-rich with a 5-star ASEAN NCAP rating is an added bonus for the City.

The VW Wagen has dynamic appeal and buyers can easily tell that it has been specially designed for India suspension, ride quality and useable space. It is also rich in features and gives the driver a big car feel. Still, it is agile enough to squeeze through traffic with light controls to make the driving experience effortless.

This article details the finer points of Volkswagen Virtus vs Honda City to help you decide which one is better. Yes, they are evenly matched, so let’s take a closer look at how they stack up against each other.


VW Virtus vs Honda City – Engine and Transmission

The Honda All New City comes with two engine options in the model's fifth generation. First up is a 1.5 litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine with a peak power output of 119 bhp @ 6,600 rpm and a maximum torque of 145 Nm @ 4,300 rpm. Transmission options for the petrol engine are a 6-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. There is also a four-cylinder, 1.5-litre diesel engine that delivers 98 bhp and 200 Nm. This diesel engine has the option of only a 6-speed manual transmission.

Also Checkout Best Affordable CVT Cars In India 2022 & Why You Should Buy One Today


The Volkswagen Virtus was launched on 9th June 2022 and comes in four variants. There are 2 petrol engines on offer, a 1.0 litre and a 1.5-litre petrol engine. The 1.0-litre engine has a maximum power output of 114 bhp and 178 Nm of torque. There are two transmissions with this engine, a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The 1.5-litre engine produces 148 bhp of power and 250 Nm of torque with only a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).

The Honda City has a free-revving engine that is eager to power up, with lots of low-end pull. This makes the City easy to use in the city with light throttle inputs. If you do need some extra power, there is plenty at hand in the mid-range as well, and the engine responds well. Overtaking on the highway is effortless as the iVTEC with variable valve timing gives you that extra bhp when needed. Power output is linear till 6,500 rpm.

The Volkswagen Virtus’ 1-litre engine is turbocharged and offers a good balance between performance and cruising. It has more than adequate power to propel the sedan although it will not pull any fancy tricks if you bury the throttle. Driving is spirited and you won’t be left wanting for more. However, exciting is not a way to describe the performance, as it doesn’t have enough low-end grunt.

Also read Top Reasons Why People Love Sedan Cars In India


Volkswagen Virtus vs Honda City – Exterior

The fifth generation Honda City has bigger dimensions than the outgoing model which equates to slightly more interior space. The front is dominated by large LED headlamps with a stylish chrome grille that lends a sporty look to the City. There are integrated LED DRLs, fog lamps and a camera for left lane blind spot detection. The City gets 16-inch alloy wheels and the rear is equipped with LED taillights.


The All-New City gets a futuristic design and continues to edge out other premium sedans and even some compact SUVs which fall in the same price range such as the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. The exterior has lots of character and follows similar design cues from the larger Civic. The sloping windshield, tapering nose, and sleek roof bring out a sporty touch to the City and the tapered rear completes these neat lines.

The Volkswagen Virtus has a much more mature front end in contrast to the City. It gets a clean chrome grille that extends to the headlights and DRLs. There is a wide aerodynamic bumper with chrome inserts that houses the fog lamps neatly. The top-spec variant also gets dual-tone alloy wheels and the rear has prominent Virtus branding in the form of a large emblem in case you mistake this sedan for anything else.

Volkswagen Virtus

There are six colour options for the VW including Reflex Silver, Candy White, Wild Cherry Red, Carbon Steel Grey, Rising Blue and Curcuma Yellow. The Virtus gives a big car feel, it is much more than a Vento replacement. In fact, it is closer to the Jetta in terms of design, space and specifications. A modern offering from the German giant.


VW Virtus vs Honda City - Interiors

The All-New City gets an all-new interior with a dual-tone colour scheme and premium leather seats. The dashboard offers a clean design with faux wood inserts that make it look special. There is a digital instrument cluster and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display that has Android Auto and Apple Car Play connectivity features. There are also Google and Alexa voice assistants for the tech-savvy driver. The quality of switches and controls is excellent and you can certainly tell there has been a lot of attention to detail while designing the cabin. There are some hard plastics here and there, but overall, the quality is above par with sedans in this segment.

Also read How To Connect Your Android Smartphone To Your Car’s Infotainment System With Bluetooth


For safety features, the All-New City gets six airbags (driver and passenger plus on the sides), a host of electronic traction controls with ABS and EBD, hill assist, a rearview camera with parking sensors, ambient lighting and a paddle shifter-like we have seen on the sporty Civic.

There are lots of cubby holes in the cabin which provide convenience to store items. One of the advantages of the City design is a wide-angle view from the windscreen and supportive seats which enhance comfort. The rear seats are spacious with adequate legroom and headroom. Boot space is enormous and easy to load luggage and cargo. Weekend trips and long journeys will be hassle-free with the All-New City.

The VW Virtus interior gets a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple Car Play connectivity. Other notable features include ventilated front seats, wireless charging, automatic climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery, an electric sunroof and a digital instrument binnacle. Regarding safety features, there are 6 airbags (driver, passenger and both sides), multi-collision breaks, electronic traction control, ABS with EBD and a reverse parking camera.

The VW Virtus can seat 5 passengers quite comfortably. Ingress/ egress can be a problem, but once you are in, there is enough room to stretch your legs. Thigh support isn’t the best, but you can manage to find a good seating posture. The driver’s seat is adjustable and so is the steering wheel allowing the driver to find the perfect position. Some may say that the cabin is not as premium as you would expect from a car priced at Rs.11.22 Lakh (average ex-shroom).

Some of the cons of the VW interior include a noisy fan for the ventilated seats, the fit and finish of interior parts are not on par with the rest in this segment, a flimsy handbrake, and a lack of quality from the switches. 

Also read Volkswagen Cars Price in India


Volkswagen Virtus vs Honda City – Key specifications, features and price

 VW VirtusHonda All New City
Engine1.0 litre, 3-cylinder Inline, DOHC1.5 litre, 4 cylinder inline, DOHC
Transmission6-speed Manual6-Speed Manual
Engine Type1.0 litre TSI1.5 litre iVTEC with VTC
Fuel TypePetrolPetrol
Max Power (bhp)114 bhp @ 5000 rpm119 bhp @ 6,600 rpm
Max Torque (Nm)178 Nm @ 1750 rpm145 Nm @ 4,300 rpm
Mileage19.4 kmpl17.8 kmpl
Driving Range873 km712 km
DrivetrainFWDFWD
Emission StandardBS6BS6
TurbochargerYesNo
Length (mm)4561 mm4549 mm
Width (mm)1752 mm1748 mm
Height (mm)1507 mm1489 mm
Wheelbase (mm)2651 mm2600 mm
Ground Clearance (mm)179 mm165 mm
Kerb Weight (kg)1100 kg1107 kg
Boot space (litres)521 litres506 litres
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres)45 litres40 litres
Front SuspensionMcPherson StrutMcPherson Strut
Rear SuspensionTwist Beam AxleTorsion Beam
Front Brake TypeDiscVentilated Disc
Rear Brake TypeDrumDrum
Front Tyres205/55 R16185/60 R15
Rear Tyres205/55 R16185/60 R15
Over Speed WarningYesYes
NCAP ratingNo5 stars
Airbags4 Airbags (Driver, passenger, 2 sides)4 Airbags (Driver, passenger, 2 sides)
Anti-Lock Braking SystemYesYes
Electronic Brake Force DistributionYesYes
Brake AssistYesYes
Electronic Stability ProgrammeYesYes
Air ConditioningManual, Single ZoneAutomatic Climate Control, Single Zone
Roof Mounted AntennaNoYes
HeadlightsLEDHalogen Projector
Ambient Interior LightingYesNo
Smart ConnectivityAndroid Auto, Apple Car PlayAndroid Auto, Apple Car Play
Manufacturer Warranty4 Years3 Years
Warranty (km)100,000 kmUnlimited

Pros and Cons of the Volkswagen Virtus

The VW Virtus is a well-rounded premium sedan that has high-quality interiors and looks more like an expensive German saloon. Here are some pros and cons of the VW Virtus.


Pros

  • Styling is modern and has a sporty feel
  • Light controls and steering make the VW easy to drive
  • Lots of features like ventilated seats, electric sunroof, etc
  • Suspension and ride set up is well sorted, the car has excellent dynamics
  • Large fuel tank capacity means fewer trips to the petrol station  
  • The interior is roomy and has plenty of premium materials to make passengers comfortable
  • Great engine options that offer smooth and refined performance

Cons

  • The interior looks premium enough, but lacks the use of premium materials
  • Infotainment system is sometimes hard to use
  • Seating at the rear is slightly cramped and other sedans in the segment have a wider rear bench
  • The 999cc engine is slightly underpowered, could do with some more oomph
  • There is no diesel engine on offer for the Virtus

Also read Difference Between Petrol Engine and Diesel Engine Explained


Pros and Cons of the All-New Honda City

The Honda City has always been the standard benchmark for premium sedans in this segment. It was the VTEC engine that got people excited, but now it is the whole package including superior ride/handling and stylish looks. Let’s dive into some pros and cons of the Honda All New City


Pros

  • Perfect engine, a great performer and works well with the transmission and dynamic chassis.
  • Both engine options are frugal and offer good power
  • Rear seating is roomy and can seat passengers in comfort
  • Spacious interiors with seats that offer good support, makes the ride more comfortable
  • Has a good performing CVT that offers convenient driving. Paddle shifters are an added advantage
  • The City is an effortless driver’s car and can be sporty if pushed hard
  • Styling is top notch and lends a premium look to the exterior

Cons

  • The price point puts it in the realm of compact SUVs, which are favoured as the better choice of car in India
  • Quality of interiors could be better
  • Infotainment system does not feel expensive, not a joy to use
  • Features are not on par with the rest of the segment. Misses out on some essentials
  • Although a diesel powerplant is available, it is only offered with a manual transmission
  • The diesel engine can get a little noisy when revved hard

Also read Difference Between Manual and Automatic Transmission


Conclusion

The Volkswagen Virtus is a well-rounded package that has an impressive engine with spec ’d-out interiors. Quality may not be the best in the business, especially the interior bits and materials, but car owners will be hard-pressed to find any faults in the sedan. The engine performance is adequate and although slightly underpowered, it does step up to the plate when required. City driving is what it does best and the automatic transmission is one of the best in the business. If you are looking for more power, then perhaps the 1.5 litre is a better option for you. It has premium pricing, but owners will love the big car feel and India-specific set-up.

Both the VW Virtus and Honda All-New City go up against the likes of the Hyundai Verna, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Volkswagen Vento, Skoda Slavia and Skoda Rapid. The Honda is matched against the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Renault Duster as well, so it has a lot to live up to. The Honda City is a mid-size sedan that is comfortable and spacious. We have come to trust and respect the Honda badge here in India and this is a good selling point for the City.

If you found this article on Volkswagen Virtus vs Honda City, you may also want to read about VW Virtus Makes A National Record-150 Deliveries and visit carorbis blog for more blogs like this.


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Colin Dias

Colin Dias

Automotive enthusiast. Heavy Metal fan. Classic car aficionado.