Looking to replace my VW Polo with a sedan: Which is the best option?

Having driven 8 years of Polo, I am thinking if the Virtus will be too repetitive in spite of all the changes surrounding the car.

BHPian RaghuVis recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi All,

As with most of you, the 8-year itch has started to bug me and it doesn't seem to go away. But my itch has solid backing. My current car is 1.2L NA Petrol VW Polo Comfortline bought in 2015. I had a relative working in VW at that time so even though it was a Comfortline, I had some sweet upgrades before taking delivery -- Alloys, Bluetooth connectivity, rear spoiler etc. All free of cost of course. Since then, I had updated the music system to a touch one and had a reverse camera fitted over the years. So far it has run just 50K with the whole Covid period seeing almost 2K run in that 1.5 - 2 years.

Now the reasons for Itch:

  • First and foremost, the car is out of any type of warranty. That in itself is a huge red flag. I mean everyone around me gets a bit skeptical when I say that I have an out-of-warranty VW!
  • I am tired of driving a manual. I am not an enthusiast in terms of getting a kick out of manual driving. I really want a comfortable automatic.
  • Creature comforts -- My car can really be called ancient as interior comforts and features are all out of date. I mean touch buttons in your steering is a minimal feature I guess. So are many other countless features.
  • It would in all probability be the last gasoline vehicle I buy. With good petrol engines getting vanished and getting downgraded to match emission norms (not a bad point env-wise), I might not have more options two or three years down the line.
  • The drive has become a bit boring. Who doesn't like or want a change if it is affordable?

Now that I have given at least 5 pointers for my causes of itch, let me jot down what I am looking for in my next upgrade:

  • First and foremost an AT gear. I am not at all averse to buying DCT/DSG as I hope to buy an extended warranty to the fullest option available.
  • I am one of those rare people in the minority as I love sedans. Apart from Ground Clearance, I do not think there is anything I will miss out wrt pseudo SUV's in the market. Although I am not going to go off-roading, our pothole-filled roads are more off-road than one can imagine and hence this is going to be a concern.
  • Safety. One main reason to buy Polo when the family wanted Ritz/Swift was its safety. And till this day, it has been an amazing feeling of being safe when we all sit in my polo. I need that safe feeling in my next car as well.
  • Features -- Any car in the top 2 trims are well loaded If I am not wrong. nothing more to specify here.
  • Low running and hence not averse to turbo petrol options.

Before going further, I must admit, I have not done TD of any cars and most of the knowledge I gather is from Team-Bhp itself. Having clarified that let me take you to my list of cars that I have shortlisted:

Option 1 -- VW Virtus 1.5 GT:


  • Design -- Being a polo guy, it just ticks all the boxes to me in terms of appearance.
  • Gearbox -- Not interested in one more 3-pot engine. So looking only at 1.5L turbo petrol and that puts me with only DSG on offer. Have nice reviews in team-bhp both official review as well user reviews. Taking the maximum extended warranty and praying to god is all that I can do.
  • Safety -- 5-star safety. Although have not sat in one yet. Many say the build is not at all in the levels of Polo.
  • Ground Clearance -- A usual deal breaker for a sedan. Love that VW and Skoda gave this option. I am loving it.
  • Space -- we are a family of 3 only so space is not a big dealbreaker.


  • Repetitive -- Having driven 8 years of Polo, I am thinking if this will be too repetitive in spite of all the changes surrounding the car.
  • DSG -- Nothing more to say.
  • Interiors -- Body-colored interiors are a bit off-putting.
  • Small nuances missing -- As mentioned in the official review, no spot on top of the dashboard to place a deity, no smartphone holders on the front seatbacks, no ticket clip on the windshield, and no elastic band in the doorpad to keep items in place, or even something as simple as the small reflective tapes on the doors.
  • Features -- Though feature-rich, there are many things missing in a 22L car.

Option 2 -- Hyundai Verna 1.5 DCT:


  • Looks-- Polarizing and I love it. And I am the sort of person who likes the interior to be more beautiful than the exterior as that is where I spend my time.
  • Gearbox -- a bit lesser notorious than DSG from what I hear. Although the review point out that it is not as fun as VW/Skoda, I feel that is good enough for me.
  • Features -- definitely more feature rich than VW/Skoda Twins.
  • Suspension -- No longer a boat so that is good enough for me.

Brand-- Is it safe to say I move on to a better brand? somehow that is the vibe i am getting


  • Safety - The biggest question mark. All those safety features mean nothing when there is a big accident and the car doesn't protect me and my family. Not sure how to shake off this feeling.
  • Ground Clearance -- With Hyundai not talking about it, I feel it's a real Achilles heel.
  • Features -- feature rich but still not Android Auto? I will have to live another 8 years with this.
  • Engine -- Not sure if its a valid point but their engines are pretty weak when it comes to mileage. My running is less so its not a deal breaker, but their turbo really drinks petrol.
  • Price -- No discounts for at least 2 years whereas I can wiggle something out of VW.

Other Sedans:

  • Honda City-- Definitely not interested in a brand that might not survive for the next decade in India. (Let us see if Elevate can elevate this concern). Also, I want to try turbo petrol for a change.
  • Skoda Slavia -- Not a Skoda fan to be honest but I love the car. Almost similar to Virtus and in addition have small yet significant things which will need a second look. For now, in the waiting list. feeling scared of horror stories when I think about service history.
  • Ciaz -- Forgot that this is still being sold. Nothing to say about it. Not on my list.

Pseudo SUV:

Though not a fan, Am I missing out by not considering cars like Taigun or Kushaq or Seltos? not mentioning Creta as I didn't like the looks at all. Ruling out TATA as they don't have a petrol car in those segments.

Let me know friends as to what I should do. I am definitely not on an urgent run to buy one. Something by the end of 2023 also will do.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

You have a 1.2L NA Polo. That 1.5L motor with the DSG itself is lightyears ahead, and a HUGE upgrade over your current car. Get the Virtus 1.5L DSG with the blackened roof etc. and rev away into the sunset.

Be sure to pick the extended warranty.

Before signing though, test-drive the Verna & Slavia. Never know which car pulls the strings to your heart.

Here's what BHPian Rajeevraj had to say on the matter:

It is a tough situation to be in. If you are looking for a sedan and from your shortlist assuming budget is around 20-25 Lakhs, you really have no other options than listed. The Virtus is the most suitable choice, but not sure how much of an upgrade it will 'feel' like.

If you drop the sedan requirement, then obviously you have a list of SUVs and Pseudo SUVs to consider. From an upgrade point , will better.

If you are opened to pre-owned, an Octavia maybe a good option. Or one of the other extinct D segment sedans. This is the path I would look at first being a sedan guy myself.

Here's what BHPian bijims had to say on the matter:

With sedans in the sub 25 lakh segment a dying breed in India, your choices are limited to the options listed. If you want to go Hybrid, then the Honda City eHEV is a good choice but considering your low running, it isn't worth the investment.

From your list, the VW Virtus seems the best option, followed by the Verna as pointed out by you. Coming to the Virtus, yes it may feel a bit repetitive, but with all the advancements over the Polo, I think it shouldn't feel too similar. As regards the DSG gearbox, the only thing you can do is get the maximum possible extended warranty (I think VW offers up to 7 years) and hope nothing goes wrong. The small nuances and the interior color scheme are some things that have to be overlooked as each car has its own pros and cons, but overall, in the sub 25 lakh sedan segment, I feel the Virtus 1.5 DSG is the most fun car worth owning.

Now coming to the Verna, the car is definitely much improved and a worthy consideration, with quick shifting DCT and a feature loaded cabin. However, safety still remains a question and the ground clearance is 170 mm as told to me by the sales executives at Hyundai which falls short of the 179 mm of the Virtus, Android auto and Apple carplay for the 10.25 inch touchscreen are available but only through wired connection, I heard that it is OTA compatible and an update can bring wireless connectivity, but not sure when Hyundai will provide the same. As regards mileage, I don't think there would be a great difference between the Virtus DSG and the Verna DCT, as both are turbocharged and sensitive to driving style. As regards discounts, yes there is hardly any chance of getting discounts from Hyundai whereas VW regularly offers discounts on their cars.

Between the two, I guess you could arrive at a final decision after a thorough test drive and feeling the differences yourself.

Now, if you are looking at the used-car market, then there are quite a lot of premium sedans worth considering from BMW, Audi, Mercedes etc., but do remember their maintenance costs will definitely be on the higher end.

Here's what BHPian Jangra had to say on the matter:

While you've answered your own question, there are only 3 fun to drive sedans: Virtus / Slavia OR a Verna.
If I were you, I would drive Virtus home for its Jetta-like timeless design, and the GT variant looks sweet. Checks your safety box. Between Slavia and Virtus, it should really come down to your choice of design and proximity to their ASS.

Since you haven't listed your daily drives (km), I will suggest you test drive MG ZS EV. It's far more fun to drive than Seltos, Kushaq, and the sedans you've listed. It is feature-loaded and the most sorted EV in its price range. Fun to drive factor is extraordinary. It almost matches the drive experience of my Kodiaq 2 TSI and feels even faster while the cabin feels rich and luxurious.

Here's what BHPian Mclraen Rulez had to say on the matter:

I also have a 2015 1.2 NA Polo Comfortline and am looking for upgrade options. Many people have already suggested the Virtus/Slavia and you should definitely TD them. However, here is the contrarian opinion and alternative suggestion.

The Virtus/Slavia are not built as well as the Polo. There is significantly more cost cutting and some of them are quite visible, especially in the interior. Examples are shoddly boot carpeting and floor, losing one-touch windows, lower quality plastics and fabrics, etc. These are things on the Polo that you take for granted and you only realize how nice they were once they're gone.

If you're open to crossovers, the MG Astor is a surprisingly similar car. It has a weak engine (but you're used to that!) but other than that, it does well and has the same strengths as the Polo (build quality, good materials, etc.) It's worth a look and may also open you up to crossovers in general, where there are better options.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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