The Volkswagen Santana was launched in May 2018 with a manual transmission. It came along with other Volkswagen models that were manufactured in China. The Santana was then introduced as the entry-level sedan and the most affordable among the line-up, to replace the Polo variant.
The most recent update for the Santana is when Volkswagen Philippines launched the facelifted version for the 2021. It now comes with a more efficient engine, and the top-spec model gets more interior features. The manual version propelled by the smaller 1.4-liter MPI engine however, was discontinued when the 2021 facelift was released.
Volkswagen's affordable but capable sedan
The Santana carries a straightforward, minimalist aesthetic that makes it timeless and classy. It is detailed in straight lines that are very subtle and basic yet does not lack the striking personality of the Volkswagen brand. The model comes in three sleek colors: polar white, reflex silver, and deep black.
All variants of the sedan rides on 15-inch alloy wheels, and are equipped with halogen headlights and foglights. The Santana’s body is considerably up to German quality standards.
Consistent with the exterior, the interiors of the Volkswagen Santana are straightforward and non-conforming in style. The dashboard is simple with clean horizontal lines, exuding class in its timeless design.
The top-of-the-line Santana SE AT variant, is fully upholstered in gray leather and the signature VW plaid fabric. Its dashboard is sleeker with glossy details that add another layer of design against the monotony of the plastic finishes. A sunroof is also incorporated on top of the driver’s and front passenger’s seats.
Technology & Safety
The top-of-the-line Volkswagen Santana model features an electronic engine immobilizer and keyless entry for added car security. It also has an anti-lock brake system that ensures that the car remains easy to maneuver in the event of slippery roads.
Both variants of the 2021 Santana also come with front and side airbags, and stability control. The top-spec SE AT however, does get automatic headlamps, and rain-sensing wipers.
Platform & Chassis
The Santana is classified as a subcompact, 4-door sedan which rides on the Volkswagen A05+ platform, shared with the VW Jetta model. This platform proves the capability of an all-wheel drive, specifically created by Volkswagen for their compact cars.
All Santana variants are matched with a front-engine, front-wheel drivetrain. The McPherson suspension independent in front, while the torsion beam is semi-independent at the rear. Front brakes are ventilated disks while rear brakes are drums.
Engine & Drivetrain
As of 2021, the Volkswagen Santana only has one engine option. It's a 1.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine, which now comes with BlueMotion technology. The said engine sends power to the front via a six-speed automatic transmission. At the most, the 1.5-liter mill can produce up to 109 horsepower and 145 Nm of torque.
Overall, the Santana is easy to maneuver for city driving. When it comes to highways and long-haul drives, the cars need some improvements on the steering.