We finally get to import vehicles from one of the most prolific automobile producing country in the world, China. To be sure, before this, no product of Volkswagen made for the China market can be sold outside of the country.
And I bet the first reaction you give is that China made anything are substandard and cannot be trusted to last long.
Of course what we conveniently forget whenever we say this is that the iPhone you are using to type down that comment is made in China, that branded Sony computer you are lugging in your bag is made in China, and that most everything of quality but made in consumer quantity are all made in China.
The thing is, Volkswagen is a German brand and those guys are sticklers for quality that they will never allow their badge to be associated with an inferior quality made product.
Lamando A market of its own
In China, the Lamando has no equivalent, even with competing brands. No other manufacturer makes something like it in China.
It is a sedan-coupe, in muich the same style as the Volkswagen CC (as we mentioned earlier) and sits in top of the Jetta platform (also mentioned earlier). It is built premium both inside and outside and quite interestingly, it does deliver that unique German make expected of a Volkswagen.
The interior feels expensive (not very Chinese as many Chinese brands tend to be) and the fabrics and materials feel quite luxurious if not too high end. The dashboard is easy to read, with big round gauges for speed and tach and a horizontal box in the middle for vehicle information.
There is not much difference between the dashboards of the three new sedans of Volkswagen from China (Lamando, Lavida and Santana) coming off a functional and very precise.
It has a 7-inch infotainment screen that allows Apple car play and is connected to an 8-speaker system. The climate controls are where we expect it to be, at the bottom of the infotainment screen and not much fancy controls there except for the 2-zone control system, but this now comes standard in almost all Volkswagen models anyway. It has cruise control, leather seats and airbags too. But the panoramic sunroof is a nice touch highlighting the Lamando’s claim to luxury and sophistication.
The interior make needs a little more to get that true German car assembled feel. Somehow, inside the Lamando, even if it does feel good, you know it is from China. There is that distinct feel that pervades the assembly of the interior.
The Lamando runs on 4-cylinder, in-line, Turbocharged, fuel-injected gasoline engine with Blue Motion technology and is Euro 5 compliant. The 1.4 liter engine throws out 110kW of power at 5000rpm and 250Nm of torque atits power band of 1,750-3000 rpm.
This engine is controlled by a 7-speed DSG transmission that delivers to a front wheel drive train and rolls on top of a McPherson Independent Suspension in front and a four-link independent suspension at the rear. It can be stopped by a four wheel disc brake system with all the alphabets of a safety system.
The Lamando is quite big, 4,598mm in length, 1,826mm in width and 1,425mm in height and its wheelbase is 2,656mm allowing for a roomier interior.
It has two variants, the Lamando 280 TSI DSG Comfortline that costs P1,569,000 and the 280 TSI DSG Highline which sets you back by P1,703,000. Boith have a 3-year warranty (or 100,000 kms whichever comes first) and a low cost maintenance schedule of once a year or 10,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.
Since there is really no defined segment in China for the Lamando, it seems to take on that provision here too, making it the bearer of a market of its own.