Meet Volkswagen Santana, the Vento’s Chinese Cousin


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!

We have already introduced you to the Volkswagen Vento’s Brazilian cousin – the VW Voyage. Now it is time to meet one more cousin, from the land of dragons.

Volkswagen Santana frontVolkswagen Santana rear

Volkswagen is bracing itself for the launch of the Volkswagen Santana in China.

The VW Santana is based on the extended PQ25 platform (that underpins Polo, Vento and Rapid) and is a very China specific model. The Santana will replace the aging Santana 3000 Vista and Jetta Mk2 models that have been around for decades. As one can see from the images, it looks very different to the Vento with new headlamps, bumpers, bonnet, door handles and tail-lamps.

China’s regulations require international automakers to have a partnership with a domestic maker to manufacture and retail products locally. Volkswagen has two joint ventures – Shanghai-Volkswagen and FAW-VW. Both JVs will get access to the entry-level sedan. The Shanghai-VW model will be called the Santana and the FAW-VW car will be called the Jetta.

It will be powered by two petrol engines – a 1.4L petrol mill with 89bhp and a 1.6L petrol engine with 109bhp. It will either be available in a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

Owing to China’s harsh roads, a rugged torsion beam rear axle set up has been fitted to the Santana.

Volkswagen plans to manufacture 1,200 Santanas per day in China. The Santana will play a key role in Volkswagen’s march to sell 10 million cars by 2018.


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