Volkswagen Philippines has entered the local subcompact fray with the new Volkswagen Santana 1.4 MPI Trendline and it’s giving the competition sleepless nights. The combination of German quality with a Japanese price tag is a formidable one, and the market welcomes it with open arms.

The Volkswagen Santana is your basic no-frills vehicle. Whether as a first car or for business, the Santana gives the driver just what’s important; Reliability and Quality. Despite the short list of standard equipment, it comes with the more important options like power side mirrors with signal lamps, rear window defogger, halogen headlights and 6-way adjustable driver’s seat.


The interior is basic but classy. The fabric seats are comfortable and offers ample support. The dash is made with gray plastic but sports a textured finish, devoid of all unnecessary clutter, and more importantly, all controls are within reach. The knobs of the AC and Entertainment system (AM/FM Radio, Aux-in & USB, SD Card, with 2-Speakers) are easily discerned even without taking your eyes off the road.


A 1.4-liter Multi-Point Injection petrol engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. With 90ps / 5,500rpm, and torque at 132 Nm/ 3,800rpm, it has enough grunt to propel the Santana even with 4 passengers. The engine struggles a little at take off, but comes to its own above 2,000rpm. One welcome feature is a large 55-liter fuel tank.


The Santana has a good ride quality, thanks to the MacPherson Independent Suspension for the front and Composite torsion semi-independent suspension at the rear. No clunking sounds going over ruts, unlike other brands. Tires are the basic 175/70/ R14 with steel rims with covers.

Another safety feature. The hood release lever cannot be pulled while the driver’s door is closed


  • Driver and Passenger airbags
  • Front seatbelt: 3-point with pretensioner
  • Rear seatbelt: 3-point x 3
  • Antilock Braking System (ABS)
  • Immobilizer
  • ISOFIX Anchorage points
A sign of its Chinese manufacturing heritage
The Headlight dial at the dash instead of the usual signal lever knob. A European tradition.

With manufacturing origins in China, the Santana also enjoys being one of the best selling models in that market. Because of the proximity of the Philippines to China, sourcing of spare parts is easier and transport is quicker. Also, trade relations with the Chinese market means a hefty tax cut for Sino- based products, hence the lower price.

Price (as tested) Php686,000

The distinctive rear
The baggage compartment is surprisingly spacious.          A Brompton Folding Bike fits inside with lots of room to spare

Visit your dealer nearest you:

  • Volkswagen BGC at 938 28th Street City Center, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Volkswagen Quezon Avenue at 1229 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
  • Volkswagen Alabang at Caltex along Alabang-Zapote Road, Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City
  • Volkswagen Greenfield District Service Center at 833 Sheridan Street, Barangay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
  • Volkswagen Pampanga at McArthur Highway, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
  • Volkswagen Cebu at A. Soriano Avenue, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City
  • Volkswagen Iloilo (upper ground level of SM Iloilo along Benigno Aquino Sr. Avenue)
  • Volkswagen Bacolod (along Araneta Street, Singcang, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental).

For more information on the Santana and other vehicles in Volkswagen Philippines’ roster, log on to

Text and Images by Earl Manalansan







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