A Euro connection: Geely Emgrand vs. Volkswagen Santana

A Euro connection: Geely Emgrand vs. Volkswagen Santana

While most European car brands locally cater to the upscale market, some of them offer vehicles that carry the style and substance of Euro cars for the price that match — and in some cases, undercut — those of more common Japanese makes. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How much is the Geely Emgrand?

    The Emgrand range is topped by the Premium (P908,000), and followed by the Comfort (P798,000).
  • How much is the Volkswagen Santana?

    The Santana starts at P686,000, up to P948,000 for the SE variant. Volkswagen Philippines is bundling promos with the Santana and VW models until June 30.
  • Take Geely and Volkswagen, for example. While the former is a Chinese maker and the latter's local arm offers products from VW China, offerings from both brands — such as the Emgrand and Santana, respectively — stay true to their European connections. 

    Geely has acquired Volvo, and so the Chinese carmaker's products wear the stylish and minimalist designs that made the Swedish brand's cars recognizable. 

    In the 2022 Emgrand, its front end is mostly composed of only a waterfall radiator grille that's flanked by sleek headlights. The car's side profile features an equally clean design with broad shoulder lines and doors that do without fussy lines. 

    Geely Emgrand partial right profile Geely Emgrand Rear Profile

    This subcompact sedan's rear end is slightly more adventurous as it's centered by a horizontal LED tail lamp that runs across the car's width. By the way, here's a fun fact about the 2022 Emgrand's rear lights: When the car is locked or unlocked, the rear combination lamps' 190 LED bulbs produce three different light patterns.

    As for the 2022 Santana, this subcompact sedan developed by Volkswagen's Chinese division definitely wouldn't look out of place in the German manufacturer's stable.  

    That's because the 2022 Santana wears the VW family face: Two rectangular headlights flow neatly into the grille, creating the illusion that these three pieces make a single panel. Meanwhile, the sedan's side profile is composed of straight lines and a staid shape. 

    VW Santana Profile VW Santana Rear Quarter

    At the rear, the no-nonsense design theme continues, with the 2022 Santana's triangular tail lights that border the plate number recess. 

    Inside, both the Emgrand and Santana both feature dashboards that are easy on the eyes — perhaps another Euro design cue. The cabins of these small sedans are also well-equipped. 

    The higher trim of the 2022 Emgrand is equipped with a 12.3-inch digital meter with a 3D interface and a high-definition display that shows relevant driving information. Across the Emgrand range, an eight-inch central screen takes care of the phone mirroring, and other vehicle functions such as toggling between driving modes, the sunroof, and smart aircon features.

    Among these aircon features is the Intelligent Scene that deodorizes and keeps the cabin air clean at all times. This is very useful when getting into the 2022 Emgrand after it is parked under direct sunlight, not used for an extended period of time, or for starting the car in the morning with stuffy air trapped overnight. With the AC's CN95 filter, air entering the cabin is virus- and germ-free. 

    Geely Emgrand cockpit medium

    Inside the 2022 Santana, front and center is an optional seven inch Infotainment System with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The infotainment can pipe music through six speakers. 

    Elsewhere in the cabin, the 2022 Santana's higher trim levels are equipped with more creature comforts, such as part-leather seats, cruise control, and even a sunroof. The 2022 Santana's manual aircon comes with a pollen filter for cleaner cabin air. 

    VW Santana Interior

    In terms of quality, Geely and Volkswagen Philippines say that the Emgrand and Santana match those of European metal. 

    The Emgrand is built on the Geely Auto Group's B-segment Modular Architecture, a platform also used by the Coolray. Due to BMA's over five million kilometers of test mileage, the Emgrand is expected to have better reliability and a longer lifespan. 

    Volkswagen Philippines says the 2022 Santana is German-engineered, and only needs servicing once every year for every 10,000 kilometers. The local VW arm, by the way, is also bundling promos with its lineup, including the Santana

    Under the 2022 Emgrand’s hood is a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine that churns out 102hp and 142Nm of torque. The engine's all-aluminum alloy cylinder block makes it lightweight. Depending on the variant, this is mated with an eight-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) for improved acceleration, decreased shift shocks, and high responsiveness.

    Geely Emgrand on the road

    VW Santana Front

    Moving to the 2022 Santana, its 1.5-liter NA features BlueMotion technology for increased efficiency, and horsepower and torque figures of 108hp and 145Nm, respectively. A six-speed automatic is available in upper 2022 Santana variants. 

    To ensure the safety of every occupant, the 2022 Emgrand comes with a well-equipped safety kit. This includes anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), electronic stability program, traction control, hill hold control, electronic parking brake with autohold, six airbags, three ultrasonic reversing radars, high-definition wide angle reverse camera, real-time temperature and pressure tire monitoring system, and rear intelligent monitoring system. 

    The 2022 Santana matches all of the above, particularly with its tire monitoring system, electronic stability program, and reversing sonars. 

    And so the Emgrand and Santana are appearing to be worth more than their European-inspired looks and engineering. In their top-tier trims — the Emgrand Premium and Santana 180 MPI AT SE — their attractions continue still. 

    See the spec sheets of the 2022 Emgrand Premium and 2022 Santana 180 MPI AT SE below:

    SPECIFICATIONS

    Geely Emgrand Premium

    Volkswagen Santana 180 MPI AT SE

    Overall Length (mm)

    4,638

    4,475

    Overall Width (mm)

    1,822

    1,706

    Overall Height (mm)

    1,460

    1,469

    Wheelbase (mm)

    2,650

    2,603

    Ground Clearance (mm)

    151

    150

    Seating Capacity

    Five

    Five

    Fuel Tank Capacity (L)

    50

    55

    Cargo Volume (L)

    500

    400

    Engine

    Inline-4, 16-valve, DOHC, with D-CVVT

     

    4-cylinder, in-line, Multi-Point Fuel Injection Gasoline Engine with BlueMotion technology

     

    Engine Capacity (cc)

    1,498

    1,498

    Transmission

    Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Eight-speed Tiptronic Manual Mode

    Six-Speed Automatic

    Power Output (hp/rpm)

    102/5,600

    108/6,100

    Torque (Nm/rpm)

    142/4,400-4,800

    145/4,000

    Emission Standard

    Euro VI 

     Euro V

    Drive Modes

    Eco, Comfort, and Sport

     Without

    Suspension

    Front: MacPherson Strut

    Rear: Torsion Beam

     

    Front: MacPherson Independent Suspension 

    Rear: Composite Torsion Beam Semi-independent Suspension

    Brakes

    Front: Ventilated Disc

    Rear: Solid Disc

    Front: Ventilated Disc

    Rear: Drum

    Parking Brake

    Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) with Auto Brake Hold

     Manual 

    Wheels

    17-inch Aluminum Alloy

    15-inch Alloy

    Tires

    205/50R17

     

    185/60R15

     

    Spare Tire

    Space Saver

    Space Saver

    Headlights

    Projector LED

     

    Halogen-type With Adjustable Headlights

    Auto Headlight Control

    With

     With

    Daytime Running Lights

    LED

     Without 

    Power Side Mirrors

    With Power Fold and Defrost

     Without

    Hands-Free Trunk Release

    With

     Without

    Antenna

    Glass Printed

     Fin Type

    Interior Color

    White and Blue

     Gray

    Infotainment System

    Eight-inch Infotainment with Wireless Screen Mirroring via EasyConnection

    Seven-Inch Infotainment System with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (Optional)

    Speakers

    Six

     Six

    Seats

    Driver: Six-way Power

    Front Passenger: Four-way Manual

    Rear: 60:40 Split Trunk-Pass Through

    Driver: Six-way Manual

    Front Passenger: Four-way Manual

    Rear: 60:40 Split Folding with Heater

    Seat Material

    Premium Leather and Suede Feel

    Leather/Fabric

    Air-conditioning

    Electronic with Intelligent Interactive System

     Manual

    Rear AC Vents

    With

     Without

    Gauge Cluster

    12.3-inch Digital

     Info Display 

    Airbags

    Front, Front Side, and Side Curtain

     

    Driver and Front Passenger

     

    Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

    With Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

     

    With Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

     

    Traction and Stability Control

    With

     With

    Hill Start Assist

    With

     Without

    Reverse Camera

    With

     Without

    Rear Parking Sensors

    With

     Without

    Cruise Control

    With

     Without

    Tire Pressure Monitoring System

    With

     Without

    Immobilizer

    With

     With

    Central Locking

    Speed-Sensing

     Manual 

    Available Body Colors

    Proud Teal, Dark Blue, Gold, Gray, Red, and White

     

    Polar White, Reflex Silver, Deep Black, 

     

    PRICE

    P908,000

     P948,000

     

    Photos from Sojitz G Auto Philippines, Volkswagen Philippines, and Roy Robles

    Dylan Afuang

    Dylan Afuang

    Growing up in the 2000s, Dylan browsed through car magazines before reading proper books, and watched motoring TV shows as often as he did cartoons. So, talking about cars came natural to him. His dream car is the Honda S2000.

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