Volkswagen Philippines underwent a monumental change to its lineup in the country a few years ago. What the company has done since they have made the switch to SAIC-produced models is completely change what they offer to Filipinos at a lower price point – a German-designed automobile for the same price as a Japanese one. In this episode of Behind the Wheel, we present the most affordable wagon, The Santana GTS, it’s a “Volkswagon” for all.

Designed to be very straightforward, the Santana GTS has simple lines that are very German and direct to the point. Slats for the grille, headlamps that work, tail lamps that also work, and four wheels; two of which are receiving power from the engine. It is quite possibly one of the most simply styled subcompacts to date, and did we mention that it is also a wagon. So, no, it isn’t a hatchback. Don’t ever call it a hatchback. 

Similar to its sedan counterpart, the GTS dons the same general interior that mimics the exterior. It cuts to the chase and isn’t overly styled. Of note, however, is the faux carbon fiber trim paired with red accents throughout the cabin. It also features a flat bottomed steering wheel and a cruise control button layout that you may need to get used to. 

Couple that with its frugal 1.5L MPI engine and 6-speed automatic, and you’ll be humming along nicely to the tune of your engine as well as the optional Blaupunkt infotainment system if you fancy it. At 108 hp, and 150 Nm of torque, you’ll be running swimmingly through the streets and highways of the Philippines, and of course, you can take your whole family and all of their luggage if need be. 

The Santana GTS is the perfect family car for those who want straightforward German styling in a practical body style. The Santana GTS is the most affordable wagon in the Philippines, coming in at P998,000, it almost touches the one million peso mark, but it brings with it space and value that is only enhanced by its extended roofline. 

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