Indian-made Volkswagen Virtus launched in South Africa: Here’s what’s different

  • Here is a quick look at what is different with the Volkswagen Polo Sedan for South Africa as compared to the Virtus sold in India.
The Volkswagen Polo Sedan is the rebadged version of the Virtus
The Volkswagen Polo Sedan is the rebadged version of the Virtus

Volkswagen has launched the made-in-India Virtus compact sedan in the South African market and the model goes by the name Polo Sedan there. The name though is not the only change on the Polo Sedan for South Africa. The model also comes with a different engine option, selective variants and fewer features compared to the India-spec version.

Here’s a quick look at what is different with the Volkswagen Polo Sedan for South Africa as compared to the Virtus sold in India.

Also Read : Volkswagen Taigun, Virtus to get a slew of updates. New variants, colours and more

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New Name

The Polo Sedan is essentially the name used for the Volkswagen Vento earlier in South Africa and given that the Virtus replaces the Vento, VW South Africa decided to retain the model name instead of going with a rebranding exercise.

Naturally aspirated engine

The new Volkswagen Polo Sedan gets a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with 108 bhp and 152 Nm of peak torque, instead of the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engines sold in India. The engine is paired with a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter, while the 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DSG have been missed altogether. Given South Africa is yet to catch up with the BS6 equivalent emission norms, it makes sense to offer the naturally aspirated engine option that once featured on the India-spec Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid.

Volkswagen Polo Sedan Interior
The Volkswagen Polo Sedan misses out on a digital console, ventilated seats, sunroof, six airbags and more
Volkswagen Polo Sedan Interior
The Volkswagen Polo Sedan misses out on a digital console, ventilated seats, sunroof, six airbags and more

No feature-laden top-end variants

The Volkswagen Polo Sedan is offered only in two trims - Sedan and Life - and misses out on the Top Line and GT Line variants that the Indian versions get. This means that fancy features like the electric sunroof, dual-tone alloy wheels, projector LED headlamps, six airbags, push-button start/stop, digital instrument console and even ventilated front seats are all missed on the Polo Sedan.

You continue to get other gizmos including LED headlamps, a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, auto climate control, cruise control, and wireless charging. The car comes with dual front airbags as standard, along with three-point seatbelts for all passengers, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, ESC and more.

Also Read : Volkswagen focusing on premium product segment in India

More expensive

The Volkswagen Polo Sedan is priced from 340,700 South African Rand (approx. 15.10 lakh), going up to 369,900 (approx. 16.39 lakh). In comparison, the India-spec Virtus starts from 11.48 lakh, going up 18.57 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom India).

The Volkswagen Virtus for India and South Africa is made at the automaker’s Chakan facility in Maharashtra. India is the global production hub for the Virtus with the model exported to several markets globally - both left-hand drive and right-hand drive. Volkswagen India recently announced its plans with more special editions including the new GT Limited Edition range on the Virtus that will debut in June this year bringing more colours and features to the sedan.

First Published Date: 03 May 2023, 11:05 AM IST
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