Volkswagen Cross Santana added to local lineup as 'new' offering

Volkswagen Philippines seems to be doubling down on China-market-sourced offerings with the newly announced Cross Santana. We were actually hoping it would be an announcement of an upcoming EV model, but we get a new crossover.

SAIC Volkswagen launched the Cross Santana for the Chinese market in 2016; the current year is 2023. Being the curious folk we are, we checked the SAIC VW website, and this model is not even there. Additionally, the Santana lineup was officially axed in 2022 with a report citing leaked government documents pre-empting it in late 2021.

Volkswagen Cross Santana image

The Cross Santana will be available as a mono variant - 180 MPI AT, similar to the sedan and GTS wagon already in their lineup. It is powered by the same 1.5-liter naturally aspirated multi-point injection engine rated at 111 PS and 135 Nm mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Cross Santana shares the same interior appointments as its platform mates. It is equipped with a 7-inch infotainment system with six speakers and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Seating is a combination of leather and fabric with red stitching, and a sunroof is standard.

Volkswagen Cross Santana image

The Volkswagen Cross Santana 180 MPI AT is priced at Php 1,098,000. At that price point, it competes with established market segment players that are fresher, better-equipped, and have more styling.

It seems they have not learned their lesson after the recent snafu where their "public advisory on gray market EVs" social media post backfired on them. Fans of the brand and potential customers called on them to bring nameplates that are more attuned to the global market and officially launch the ID series EVs, even if they come from China.