The Volkswagen Santana is yet another Polo based sedan


Kaustubh Shinde, They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store. Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!

Volkswagen has always been big on platform sharing. Most Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat and Audi models share their platforms to reduce cost. The Polo platform is a base for many variants like the CrossPolo, Polo GTI as well as models such as the Vento and Rapid (in Indian and European spec).

VW Santana 2013 China rearVW Santana 2013 China front

Now, the platform can boast of yet another product – the 2012 Volkswagen Santana in China.

The 2013 VW Santana (codenamed Sanata NF) is a sedan (like Vento) based on a stretched Polo platform. It may seem wider and longer than a normal Polo but beneath the skin it’s a Polo. One may be lead to believe that that it is a re-skinned Vento but it is an all-new sedan only for the Chinese markets.

Design wise, the new Santana seems much closer to the Volkswagen Jetta than the Vento. In fact, the rear is a photocopy of the Jetta. Engine options include a 1.4L petrol with 90hp and 1.6L petrol with 110hp. The new Santana will be manufactured by Shanghai-Volkswagen joint venture to replace the 1980’s Jetta that is well past its prime.

The new Santana is expected to debut this November at the Guangzhou Auto Show. Our VW Vento will also head to China with a ‘Jetta’ badging making it two Polo based sedans in the same market. The Santana will appeal to the fleet operators whereas the VW Vento will appeal to the families.

Readers should not confuse this model with the Volkswagen Lavida, which is a similar car, but based on an old Octavia.

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