As in the entire North American region, passenger car sales continue to fall in Mexico, yet that did not stop Volkswagen from launching a new sedan.
The model in question is the Polo Mk6-based Virtus, a subcompact sedan that debuted in early 2018 in Brazil and later in other South American markets. Interestingly, the Virtus does not replace the (previous-gen Polo-based) Vento, but is positioned between it and the Jetta.
The Virtus was specially designed for emerging markets where small models are still in high demand. In Mexico, for example, small passenger cars accounted for 55 percent of new vehicle sales during the first half of 2019, according to the Mexican Association of Automotive Dealers cited by Autonews Mexico.
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VW is hoping the Virtus can generate significant sales despite the fact that the subcompact sedan segment is one of the most competitive in Mexico. Built on the MQB-A0 platform, it has a generous wheelbase of 2,651 mm (104.4 in), 98 mm (3.8 in) longer than the VW Vento. As a result, VW says it offers enough space for five adults and an impressive cargo capacity of 521 liters (18.4 cu-ft).
In Mexico, the Virtus is offered with only one engine, a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit rated at 110 PS (109 HP) and 155 Nm (114 lb-ft) of torque. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual while a six-speed Tiptronic automatic is offered as an option.
Standard equipment includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink connectivity, USB and SD card ports, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, height-adjustable driver’s seat, six-speaker audio system, and more. Safety features include four airbags, ABS, and electronic stability control.
Prices start from 275,990 Mexican pesos (approximately $14,050) for the manual model and 295,990 Mexican pesos ($15,100) for the automatic version.