The MQB platform from Volkswagen offers flexibility in terms of body types and powertrains.
The MQB platform from Volkswagen offers flexibility in terms of body types and powertrains.Shot by Team evo India

Top of the class: How Volkswagen cars are setting the standards high

Exploring innovation, driving pleasure and German engineering with Volkswagen’s Indian line-up

Volkswagen. It has carved a niche for itself with a line-up of cars that set the bar high in whichever class they belong to. From the Tiguan to the locally-produced Taigun and Virtus, each Volkswagen bears the unmistakable VW roundel, signifying a commitment to quality, innovation, and driving pleasure. More emphasis here on the last point – driving pleasure. Every time someone from evo India has driven a VW, they have come away with a big smile, impressed by the ride and handling. This fact is highlighted even more when you know that the car you are driving leads the segment in terms of safety and crash protection. So, let’s delve into what makes these cars class benchmarks, explore their key attributes, from the MQB platform to the potent TSI engines and Volkswagen’s commitment to safety.

At the heart of Volkswagen’s success story in India, lies the innovative MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform, which forms the foundation for a range of VW vehicles worldwide. Specifically tailored for the Indian market is the MQB-A0-IN platform, which has proven to be a game-changer achieving up to 95 per cent localisation. It offers a blend of flexibility and sophistication, allowing Volkswagen to create a diverse line-up that caters to varied consumer preferences, be it a 1-litre family sedan or an SUV with a 1.5-litre turbo mill and a DSG gearbox. This platform ensures that every Volkswagen car maintains structural integrity while optimising the performance, safety and comfort that you would expect from a German manufacturer.

The 2-litre mill from the Tiguan offers spirited performance, responsiveness and good fuel efficiency.
The 2-litre mill from the Tiguan offers spirited performance, responsiveness and good fuel efficiency.Shot by Team evo India

Volkswagen’s global best-seller, the Tiguan, is based on this MQB platform. A vehicle that embodies the very essence of driving pleasure, the Tiguan stands tall among SUVs, redefining the driving experience with its precision, responsiveness and unparalleled sense of control. Safety is paramount in every Volkswagen and the Tiguan is no exception. It is packed with advanced safety features and a robust structural design boasting a 5-star crash test rating – a testament to Volkswagen’s unwavering commitment to the safety of its drivers and passengers. The beating heart of the Tiguan’s unmistakable German performance is its TSI (Turbocharged Stratified Injection) engine tech. These power plants combine turbocharging with direct fuel injection, delivering a perfect balance between power and efficiency. Whether it’s the Tiguan’s 2-litre TSI engine or the 1- and 1.5-litre engines found in the locally-made Taigun and Virtus, TSI engines offer spirited performance, responsiveness and fuel efficiency, making each Volkswagen vehicle a standout in its class. Next comes the design and although I would agree that it’s quite subjective, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Tiguan comes with a sophisticated design that appeals to nearly everyone. Its elegant contours, well-defined lines and attention to detail showcase a timeless design that transcends fleeting trends.

The Tiguan is VW's global best-seller.
The Tiguan is VW's global best-seller.Shot by Team evo India

Now, let’s shift our focus to the Taigun and the Virtus, two vehicles that have taken their respective segments by storm. The mid-size SUV segment has a lot of beefed-up hatches. The Taigun is different. It’s a proper SUV that can do serious SUV stuff but is equally comfortable on our pothole-ridden roads. The Taigun redefines the mid-size SUV category with its exceptional driving dynamics, setting a new standard for the segment and proving that practicality and driving pleasure can coexist harmoniously. The Virtus, on the other hand, sets new benchmarks in the mid-size sedan segment. It has breathed new life into the category, retaining its throne as the benchmark for driving pleasure. I remember our Editor being impressed by the Virtus in his drive review saying, “For a sedan, the ride quality is superb.” Similarly impressed by the Taigun, he said, “This is engaging. This is involving. This is fun. And this also feels very stable and planted doing triple-digit speeds.” And he’s not the only one either. Numerous journalists swear by VW’s ride quality and handling.

The Taigun leads the segment in terms of driving pleasure.
The Taigun leads the segment in terms of driving pleasure.Shot by Team evo India

Like its siblings, the Virtus offers over 40 safety features and a design that exudes class. Drawing inspiration from the Tiguan’s sophisticated design, the Taigun and Virtus bear clear stylistic resemblances. Each car in the line-up boasts an attractive exterior and an interior designed for comfort, with high-quality materials and intuitive ergonomics. Similar things can be said about the performance. With their 1.5-litre TSI engine generating 148bhp and 250Nm of torque, both are equally at home on the daily commute or a thrilling weekend adventure. What’s even nicer is that you have several gearbox options too, one of them being the seven-speed DSG, famous for being butter smooth. Volkswagen’s commitment to safety is equally remarkable, evident in the 5-star safety ratings awarded to both the Taigun and Virtus. Safety benchmarks in their own right, these cars boast advanced safety features and robust structural design. From reinforced passenger compartments to a comprehensive suite of active and passive safety systems, Volkswagen ensures that drivers and passengers are protected.

1.5-litre TSI engine in the GT variants generate 148bhp and 250Nm of torque.
1.5-litre TSI engine in the GT variants generate 148bhp and 250Nm of torque.Shot by Team evo India

But that’s not all. These cars are not just about style and performance; they are practical, reliable and designed to cater to the real needs of drivers and passengers alike. Achieving a high percentage of localisation means that these cars are more affordable, making Volkswagen vehicles an intelligent choice for discerning consumers. As mentioned above, the platform can offer a family sedan or an SUV while still being uncompromising in terms of safety and driving dynamics.

Ultimately though, what sets Volkswagen apart is its German engineering heritage. Every Volkswagen vehicle is a testament to precision, innovation and craftsmanship. While designed to excel in the Indian market, these cars are engineered to meet global standards, reflecting Volkswagen’s commitment to delivering quality even in places that don’t require it by law. With a touch of German engineering magic, Volkswagen continues to redefine what it means to be a class benchmark, setting the standard for excellence in the Indian as well as the global automotive scene.

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