You may never forget your first car. There’s nothing more special than your first, whether it's your first love or first job, or your first car. That’s why it pays to make it memorable but not too complicated that you overload your expenses or your experience with too many features.
For the men and women who just want a car, and who like having a simple and refined driving experience, we have the Volkswagen Santana. It’s a subcompact sedan that is no-frills and will stand the test of time. Here are five reasons why it’s a great first car and a good unit to keep for long.
Again and again, we’re seeing Volkswagen and its timeless appeal. The Santana is the antithesis of trendy but it’s all the better for it. It’s interesting how Volkswagen was able to make a car that’ll look like it’ll age gracefully as the years go by. Other brands will be quick to upgrade and completely revamp the shape of their vehicles, but even older VWs still look current.
The same can be said for the Santana in a few years’ time. The simple and elegant lines go on to create a timeless look. There are no hangups when it comes to the overall design of the Santana because there isn’t much to go off that’s either too trendy or too new to be considered nice to look at. It’s an understated car, we’ll give it that.
There’s nothing more painful than having to pay a ton of money to gas up your car every time your fuel warning light comes on. For a first-time car buyer, it certainly helps to have a car that doesn’t guzzle fuel like there is no tomorrow. The Santana is one of the most frugal sedans in its class, it was making headlines with its gas-sipping 1.4-liter engine since it was launched. Even the 1.5-liter engine is a fuel saver and it can get you from point A to point B without burning a hole through your wallet, netting 14.2 km/L on Sunday, 8.8 km/L in traffic, and 21.5 km/L on the highway.
Not only is it easy to fuel up, but it's also easy to maintain thanks to its 10,000 km or one-year service interval. Volkswagen also bundles in a three-year warranty with a 24/7 emergency roadside assistance program that's free for one year.
New infotainment system
If this will be your first car, it pays to have an updated infotainment system to go with it. In the past, we weren’t too fond of the Blaupunkt system available in the Santana, but now all of that has changed thanks to the advent of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Santana finally has these features and it’s high time to consider it as a well-equipped sedan for your daily drive.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to take calls and input voice commands to keep your hands on the wheel. Following that, you can also display the applications on your phone to the head unit, allowing you to ditch the cellphone holder in your vehicle. You may access maps or see your music playing right before your eyes with the system among a host of other features that will continue to get updates from Apple and Google. However, you do have to pay a premium for the infotainment system and it is only available in select variants, so be sure to inquire about it when buying!
Affordable or snazzy? Just pick!
There’s something for everyone in the lineup of the Santana. Speaking of select variants, you can select pretty much any unit that will fit your budget. The Santana’s price ranges from an extremely affordable P686,000 for the most basic of variants which still has a penchant for saving fuel and getting you from point A to point B comfortably. Meanwhile, the more expensive variants top out at P948,000 and those come loaded from the factory with pretty much everything you need from a sunroof all the way to bigger wheels and that gorgeous infotainment display.
There’s still a manual option
In an age where automatics rule the road, it’s nice to see that Volkswagen is still offering consumers the option of a manual gearbox. Take it from us, learning how to drive a stick is a challenge in the traffic of the Philippines, but once you get used to it that skill is with you for life. Driving a manual car is something that every first-time driver should learn, and we advocate that you start out with a manual gearbox first rather than be babied by an automatic.
With the Santana’s 1.4-liter variant, the MPI MT, it’s not a bad deal considering that it is one of the more affordable cars in the market and the fact that it’s a VW so it will run great and look good for years to come.
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