Volkswagen Nivus, an amazing software car [Review]

When my family took me to a store to choose my first cell phone, I had no specific model in mind, but I already knew exactly what software this device needed to have: the snake game.

This consumer movement to give more importance to software possibilities of a product than to the hardware itself has been happening for a long time in the computer and cell phone market, but now it is also arriving in the automotive sector.

Volkswagen took this trend back and, in 2020, launched the Nivus, the brand’s first car with the VW Play platform. You know we don’t do car analysis here at TecMundo, but we decided to go around Nivus just because of the software.

What is VW Play?

VW Play is an automotive software platform that can change the way you relate to your four wheels. Like the car itself, the VW Play was developed here in Brazil and represents a very important change.

Instead of being a simple infotainment system that allows you to mirror the applications on your phone, VW Play goes further and lets you install the applications directly into the car’s memory. The 10-inch screen is not just for decoration. It has powerful software that allows you to install preset apps in the Volkswagen store, for the driver to use without having to connect the phone with the cable.

Volkswagen starts betting on software for its cars (Press Release / Volkswagen)

I talked to the folks at Volks right after the official launch of Nivus about this VW Play and they told me a little bit about how it was built here.

The base of the operating system is a Linux kernel, and the layer that interacts with applications was created based on the Android Open Source Project. This means that developers who want to put their apps on the Volks store can simply take the apps they already have on Android and make some adaptations.

Of course, there are a number of rules so that the interfaces do not distract the driver too much, but the Waze you see on Nivus is basically the same Waze from Android and even iOS.

The downside of all this news is that, for now, there are very few apps available to download. IFood was even supposed to be available at launch, but no sign of it yet.

store apps There are still few apps in the store (Press Release / Volkswagen)

The purpose of Volks is to spread VW Play in its cars throughout South America. So, if everything goes well, we can expect more variety in this store in the coming years. It’s just never interesting to buy anything thinking primarily about the promise of software that doesn’t yet exist.

If you were curious, check out our full review in the video above.

Car Specifications


Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h

10.0 s (E) / 10.5 (G)

Maximum speed

189 km / h (E) / 184 km / h (G)



999 cm³

Maximum net power

128 hp (E) / 116 hp (G) – 5,500 rpm

Maximum net torque

20.4 kgfm (L / G) – 2,000 / 3,500 rpm



Ventilated discs





4,266 mm

Length between the axis

2,566 mm


1,757 mm


1,493 mm


In running order

1,199 kg


Cargo compartment

415 l






6 speed aut. with Tiptronic function



205/60 R16


Fuel tank

52 l


Maximum number of passengers


PERFORMANCEAcceleration from 0 to 100 km / h10.0 s (E) / 10.5 (G) Top speed189 km / h (E) / 184 km / h (G) MOTORCylinder 999 cm³Maximum net power128 hp (E) / 116 hp (G ) – 5,500 rpmMaximum net torque 20.4 kgfm (E / G) – 2,000 / 3,500 rpmBrakesFontHeadersVentilated discsRearDiscs MAIN DIMENSIONSLength4,266 mmWheelbase2,566 mmWidth1.757 mmHeight1.493 mmWEIGHT OF STEERING RANGE STEERINGDRIVERDRIVERDRIVERDRIVERDRIVERDRIVE1.199 kg 6 speed with Tiptronic function PRODUCTS AND TIRESTires205 / 60 R16FUEL RESERVOIRFuel tank52 l MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PASSENGERSMaximum number of passengers5

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