The Jazzed Up Santana
Ever since the now-popular Volkswagen Santana has been launched, people have been asking for the automatic transmission version. Sure, the Santana with the 1.4 liter, 5-speed was a respectable performer, and more importantly, priced lower for its segment, but the market is always looking for upgraded version- -something to break away with from the pack.
Well, the good people at Volkswagen were already on it even before you asked for it.
Presenting the Volkswagen Santana 180 MPI AT SE.
Although the Santana MPI MT and Santana SE look similar in design profile, the higher version has a lot more to offer. Aside from the automatic tranny, Upgraded features abound, like the bigger engine, leatherette and fabric combination upholstery, sunroof and of course, the Blaupunkt entertainment system, which offers superior sound quality, not to mention easier drive modes control.
The interior has a bit more pizzaz than the base model. The right side of the dash has a silver panel that gives it it a pleasant contrast against the black background. Also, a thin spear runs across the width of the whole face of the dash. The Steering wheel has remote controls for the radio, cruise control and drive information. Most notable are the side airbags, which is a big plus.
Outside, the trademark VW sedan profile can be seen prominently (similar to the popular Jetta). The top of the line Santana is equipped with chrome grille, cornering foglights and bigger 15in 10-spoke magwheel and tire combination. These are the exterior features that differentiate it from the lesser Santana. Let’s not forget about that sunroof.
This Santana has the bigger 1.5-liter MPI Blue Motion Technology engine. You can feel the additional power, producing 108 PS and 150 Nm of torque. The most welcome item here is the 6-speed automatic transmission. Coupled this with a bigger 55 liter gas tank capacity, 500km trips is a big possibility. City driving (Traffic) yields a respectable 9km/L average.
The transmission has an S (Sport) mode, which is more fun to use. It basically moves the shift point to a higher rpm. So from a standing start, acceleration is much better, shifting at about 3500 rpm, which maximizes the power of the powerplant. Overtaking is easier; power is present at that crucial passing moment, although downshifting is a tad slow.
The Santana 180 MPI AT SE gives you maximum value for money. It has more features than the leading competitor’s compact sedan, and is priced lower. You get what you pay for, and more.
Price as tested: PHP 993,000
Visit your nearest VW dealer:
- 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 Alabang
- Volkswagen Bacolod (along Araneta Street, Singcang, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental).
For more information about Volkswagen Philippines and its lineup of vehicles, log on to www.volkswagen.com.ph.
Text/ Images by Earl Manalansan