Why I chose the Honda City Hybrid over the Volkswagen Virtus 1.5 DSG

Assuming a 20kmpl mileage on the eHev and 10kmpl on the Virtus, I calculated that it would take around 15000 kms at Rs.120/L of petrol cost to breakeven with the Virtus.

BHPian Mumbaiker recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello to all the TeamBHPians. This is my first post

I am currently in the market looking for a sedan. I test drove the Honda City ZX petrol to start with as this has been on my list for a while now. The experience at Prabhadevi showroom wasn't great. Though I liked the car, I was skeptical as there were rumors floating around of Honda shutting shop. So I decided to wait it out. I had checked with the SA whether they had plans of any new cars to be launched, at that time I didn't get a positive response. By then the Skoda Slavia was launched, and I was wow'ed by its looks.

Once the test drive of the Slavia was available, I went to their Worli showroom. The experience was below par nearing pathetic. The SA totally ignored my family. For me, owing a car = family event.

Anyways I test drove the 1.5 DSG. The test drive was very short so couldn't really get to understand the potential of that engine. Once back to the showroom, I was hoping that the SA would provide details of the price and explain the differences in the models. When I insisted he didn't even ask us to sit and said I will send the price list on WhatsApp, so much for personnel connect. I was absolutely disappointed. The slavia was ticked off then and there. If this is the showroom experience, I cant even imagine what would happen at the service centre.

Then Honda eHev news starting trickling. I used to browse through the forum and news everyday trying to understand the launch dates and changes. Was a bit disappointed with the reduction in the boot space.

Finally I got to see the Hybrid in person and this time luckily was assigned a different SA at the Honda Prabhadevi showroom. He was nice and explained all the features. In my first visit I could drive only the Hybrid as the petrol wasn't available at that time.

So I asked him for back to back drives of the petrol and the hybrid and he happily agreed. This was done on the subsequent weekend.

For me, coming from Wagon R and Celerio, there is a huge difference in the engine and the space in the car. But I was more focused on how it feels in the rear seat (bounciness highlighted sometimes) as my kid tends to have issues with nausea sometimes. But in both the cars there was no bounciness that was felt in the rear seat by him.

Coming to the engine and the drive, I felt the eHev felt nice and powerful compared to the petrol only version. The petrol though has a 1.5 but there isn't really a pull when you floor the accelerator. It was like a linear climb and doesn't give you that "fast" feeling. But the eHev did have some of it. You press the accelerator hard, and you are pulled back in the drivers seat, though not as much as you would in the VW 1.5 dsg. Also, the brakes on the petrol aren't really great to be honest. I felt they needed to be pumped to make sure the car stops in time. But for the eHev braking was precise.

We now visited the VW showroom to check the Virtus. The looks are just awesome. We fell in love with the Blue as soon as we entered the showroom. The SA here was very friendly and explained all the features in depth. Tried to placate my concerns about the DSG gearbox and after sales as such.

I made my family sit in the rear seat to check if we all fit in. The rear seat is for 2 medium sized adults and 1 child. Try to even put 3 medium sized adults and the center seat has absolutely no space because of the curvatures in the sides of the rear seat.

The interiors of the car feel so much premium compared to the City. It looks fabulous. The boot space is another place where it beats the eHev hands-down.

As the Virtus test drive isnt available yet, we took the Taigun 1.5 dsg for the test drive.

I had never driven a VW before, and no wonder they call it the enthusiasts car. Floor the pedal and boy the car shows what it is. I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed the Tiagun 1.5 dsg. Based on this test drive, I have booked the Virtus. I am not sure though that I will be buying the Virtus given the AC issues and the DSG failure rates highlighted on this forum. I would rather live with a peace of mind.

Finally coming to the decision.

  • Family loved the looks of Virtus. But they also liked the City rear seat better.
  • Honda City doesnt come with ventilated seats, I would love those on the eHev.
  • Power is again better in the VW engine, but eHev is not really bad. It will be a good performer on the highways as well.
  • Dad is more keen on the City as it is a "Honda" as well as it is a strong hybrid.
  • Wife says Virtus has an X-factor which City lacks (I agree).

Cost Benefit analysis -

I have seen lot of calculations between the City petrol vs the City eHev and it was one of the factors too. But I didn't see any comparison of pricing and breakeven with the Virtus or the Slavia.

So here is my calculation -

Considering the Virtus to be priced similarly to the Taigun, the top end would be around 22.48 lacs on road in Mumbai including all the warranties. The eHev costs 23.36 lacs including all warranties. Assuming a 20kmpl mileage on the eHev and 10kmpl on the Virtus, I calculated that it would take around 15000 kms at Rs.120/litre of petrol cost to breakeven with the Virtus.

Considering all the above and Wife is ok giving up the boot space (really surprising to me), I have decided to go ahead with the eHev for now. I havent cancelled the Virtus booking, it will be done once the pricing is out.

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