Polo owner drives the Honda City & VW Virtus & shares his observations

City has exceptionally good riding quality in the conditions in which it is supposed to be driven. However, highway manners are not on par with the Virtus

BHPian Sid13 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I was in the market for a car and considered both City and VW Virtus. I am surely leaning towards VW Virtus. my thought process in comparison was like follows ( I am driving a Polo for last 8 years so that may also have influenced my thought process)

Features: In terms of sheer comparison City wins hands down. But people mentioning the sunroof etc as a big plus is quite laughable. From my POV the sunroof is a marketing gimmick in Indian conditions. Just like pseudo SUVs are.

My point is, while City is way ahead in terms of features, you won’t miss any must-have features on VW.

Interior look and feel and perceived build quality: Surely citys interior feels much better and offers a far more premium experience. However, I have also experienced City owners complaining about rattling issues. Maybe that points towards some inconsistency in the production process and hopefully is not a common problem.

In terms of interior ergonomics, VW is typical German. everything is in the right place except the Hazard Warning switch. Citys ergonomics has nothing to complain about either.

Infotainment system: VW Is better. End of story.

Build quality: The Cits body panels feel wafer thin and lite compared to VW. However does it equate to better safety, I don’t know. But VW surely feels like a much more well-built car (For me it’s a reason which heavily influences my buying decision compared to features).

Ride quality: City has exceptionally good riding quality in the conditions in which it is supposed to be driven. However, highway manners are not on par with VW. While the steering gives adequate feedback the ride is not confidence inspiring. City bounces way too much. At high speeds, it could give motion sickness to rear-seat passengers.

VW excels in this area. VW offers well-sorted and balanced ride quality on all sorts of surfaces. How they manage such good balance on very bad roads as well as a superb planted ride at high speeds is quite phenomenal. I would buy VW for this reason alone.

Steering: City’s steering is quite good at all driving speeds. VW steering is light compared to earlier VWs however weighs adequately at high speeds.

Someone saying City would offer better driveability in hats is a claim really difficult to substantiate for two reasons: 1. In comparison City has a very soft suspension. 2. The 1.5 NA engine has a flat mid-range. you have to grab its neck and rev like crazy to produce good results (Which is quite fun to do on the open highways) but quite impractical on winding ghat sessions.

Whereas VWs low end is nothing to write home about. However, the mid-range and above have excellent driveability which would make it excellent fun to drive on winding roads. Whereas City would be more fun to drive on open straight highways. But the softer suspension would give up before it reaches the engines potential.

Also, the Virtus offers almost SUV-like ground clearance whereas in City you need to be conscious about the possibility of scraping the belly, especially on full loads.

However, after owning VW for 8 years and comparing it with a friend’s experience who owns a WRV for 7 years, I would say the experience is not that different. Also, VW has really brought down service and spare costs in the last few years. A lot of negativity associated with VWs high maintenance cost is bad experiences from the past carried forward. Also, it may have a lot to do with how a particular dealer and service advisor deals with you.

Mileage: The 1.0 turbo is very sensitive to driver inputs. However, real-world mileage tests by several review sites show that if driven sensibly it offers better mileage than City (ARAI figures are also better on VW).

The two products are surely targeted at two sets of audiences. While City offers great VFM, especially if you are feature driven. Also on reliability and ASS Honda should score better.

VW cars are more fun to drive, and as a driver more engaging. Someone who is driven by dynamics and stability wouldn’t be fully satisfied by City after driving either of the VW twins. The added advantage is the 5-star ratings India made Taigun and Kushaq has got as well as the Virtus Latin American version.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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