A few years ago, Volkswagen Philippines launched the Santana. A lot of people were skeptical of the model replacing the Polo. But after quite some time on the market, we found that it offers the same amount of practicality and quality as the Polo that preceded it at a lower price.
So while a subcompact sedan or wagon sounds good, is this particular VW daily driver material? The answer to that question is yes, and here’s why.
If you’re the type of person who likes to fly under the radar, then perhaps the understated style of the Santana is for you. Other cars tend to the more aggressive side of the design spectrum. VW stuck to its guns with the Santana and conservatively styled the subcompact to meet the discerning tastes of low-key individuals.
Such is the impact of many European cars. Volkswagen is German, and there is nothing more straightforward than the design of the Santana. Purposely simple, either the sedan or hatchback features a timeless design. You might be hard-pressed to pick out the subtle changes from generation to generation. Even the newest crop of VWs has small but meaningful style updates, but you can definitely tell that it is still a Volks.
Right, here’s the shocking thing about the Santana. Even in the lowest trim model introduced back in 2018, it stood as one of the most frugal sedans we’ve tested. Memorable enough for us to be talking about it until today.
In the latest iteration of the sedan body style, we were able to track up to 8.8 km/L in city traffic. Once that cleared up, we were getting close to highway figures at 14.2 km/L. Then once the road opens up on the highway, you get up to 21.5 km/L. If you don’t want to be pinching pennies for your fuel, this is a viable option for a daily.
You won’t notice its age
There are many cars that age gracefully, then there’s VW’s lineup. Even the Golf GTS still looks new by 2021 standards. In fact, we have some friends that still putter around in their 5-plus-year-old models, as shiny as they came from the factory. Again, it all goes back to the style of VW. They know how to make something that won’t look like it’s ready for a refresh. Other models like the Vios require a facelift every so often in order to keep fresh, and that’s a hassle if you always want the latest and greatest.
With the Santana, you don’t need any of that. It is what it is, and the car looks comfortable in its own skin. You can get used to the Santana real quick, but just like Korean celebrities, you’ll hardly notice the change even after a generation has passed.
Long maintenance interval
Most brands recommend or even require that you go back to the casa’s service center after just 5,000 km. That is not the case with the big wigs at AC Motors since they recommend that you come back only once per year, or 10,000 km.
Imagine, if you don’t drive particularly far, just go or schedule your appointment every time your car’s registration is due. Of course, you can go for other indicators, but hey that’s about double the mileage before the oil needs changing.
If you want more:
There is another option for customers if they want something around the same size but with even greater amounts of practicality. The Santana GTS is a wagon by all stretches of the imagination. The rear cargo area is more substantial than a normal hatchback because it extends beyond the C-pillars.
More space means more luggage, groceries, and just stuff in general. Who doesn’t want the ability to haul more stuff? Anyway, the Santana comes in many variants to choose from. Regardless of the circumstance, you’ll find that it’ll be a great partner on the daily.
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