New Volkswagen Santana is the Vento’s other 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!

Volkswagen is on a march for global domination by 2018. First part of the strategy is intense component sharing between different car models.

Volkswagen Santana front three quartersVolkswagen Santana rear three quarters

The second part of the strategy is to develop cars for specific market needs. And the third part is to replace all the aging models across the range with their successors.

The German automaker has revealed the next generation Santana for the Chinese. Despite the fact that the Volkswagen Santana is a China-specific model, the launch of the car was held in Germany and not in China. Don’t ask us why.

Volkswagen Santana front view

The new Santana is a second generation model replacing the old Santana which debuted 29 years back. The Santana was the first mass produced car of China and is one of the best selling nameplates in the land of dragons.

The Santana is based on the extended version of the PQ25 platform which means it uses the underpinnings of our Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid. The design of the car is very much a conservative ‘Volkswagen family design’ with simple lines and no curves.

It is developed to give maximum rear seat legroom (favorite USP of China) and a massive 480 liter boot. It is powered by a 1.4L petrol engine that generates 90hp with a 16 kmpl FE. A more powerful 1.6L engine bumps the output to 110 hp with a the same FE as a 1.4L. You can either opt for a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission to go with your engine choice.

Volkswagen Santana dashboard

The new Santana gets tonnes of features such as front, side and curtain airbags, ABS, ESP, air-con, automatic air conditioning, electric sliding sunroof, alloy wheels, leather upholstery and parking sensors. Price ranges from 53,100 yuan (approx 4.6 lakhs INR) to 78,800 yuan (6.8 lakhs).

The new Volkswagen Santana will be produced at Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive in China and will head to showrooms later this year.


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