Two joint ventures are set to build affordable compact saloon models based on Skoda Rapid underpinnings
10 August 2012

Volkswagen is preparing to launch its own saloon version of the new Skoda Rapid/Seat Toledo, a vehicle that should go on to become one of its best sellers.

However, the new price-leading VW will not be sold in the UK, having being conceived to be produced and sold exclusively in China. Confusingly, it will be built under two different names and joint ventures.

The new saloon (adapted from a hatchback in Europe) will replace the archaic Santana 3000 Vista and Jetta Mk2 models.

It will be assembled by VW’s Chinese joint ventures Shanghai-VW and FAW-VW. 

The Shanghai-VW-produced model will be called the Santana and the FAW-VW car will be badged Jetta.

Both are underpinned by a heavily reworked version of the Polo’s PQ25 platform with a more rugged torsion beam rear axle to cope with China’s unique road conditions.

While the pair share the same mechanical package and some common steel body panels, they are differentiated from one another by differing headlamps, bumpers, bonnet, door handles and tail-lamps. 

The prototypes pictured here were driven by Autocar in a recent validation test in and around the Chinese city of Chengdu, where FAW-VW will produce the Jetta at the rate of up to 1200 per day.

The more basic Santana will be built at a Shanghai-VW factory on the outskirts of Shanghai. 

Petrol engines include a 1.4 with 89bhp and a 1.6 with 109bhp. Transmissions include a five-speed manual and a six-speed automatic.

The new saloons will be revealed later this year at the Guangzhou motor show. Their arrival will take VW’s saloon offerings to seven in China, a market where saloon sales dominate. Indeed, China’s 10 best-selling cars in 2012 so far are all saloons.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta has a big boot, pleasant dynamics and good pricing, but is a bit dull

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The new Santana still won’t spell an end to the 27-year-old original, though; VW R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg has confirmed that it will continue to be built in reduced numbers, mainly for taxi fleets.

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12 August 2012

Dont be fooled. This will be built in Russia and Brazil - two very big and important markets where price/name means everything

14 August 2012

agreed 5 wheels... Who are VW trying to kid???  It's just a variation on the latest US-led Mexican built Jetta, you know the bad one...the one they only can really push in europe if they slap on a 'budget' label like Skoda or Seat.  Backward step from the Golf Mk6 based Jetta in my opinion.

Just depresses me to think that up to CC the largest engine you can specify is a 2-litre V5 or V6 that's VW crossed out for when I replace my 9-5 aero

21 March 2013

Volkswagen Group China (VGC) is division of the German automotive concern Volkswagen Group in the People's Republic of China.

Volkswagen Group China enjoys sales of about 2.81 million cars (2012) in the Chinese market and is the second-largest foreign carmaker after General Motors. The Chinese market is one of the main markets of the Group. Operations of Volkswagen in China include the production, sales and services of whole cars, parts and components, engines and transmission systems, and the sales and service of imported cars. The company's locally manufactured and imported vehicles are sold under various brand names such as Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Škoda, Bentley, and Lamborghini in China.

20 April 2016
That was really awesome and nice post,

14 March 2019

This post is really interesting! I think it’s a variation of Mexican build Jetta. The new design is simple, not used for the high standard purpose. However, it has confirmed to design in a reduced amount.flats in kochi for 50 lakhs And this is building mainly for taxi fields.

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