TEST DRIVE: 2019 Volkswagen Santana 1.5 180 MPI AT SE Comfortline - The Anti-Hero
Everybody loves superheroes. The chiseled jawline, these cape-wearing adults are loved by almost everybody. But it takes a different taste to appreciate an anti-hero. These characters almost do the same stuff our usual superheros do–fighting crime, keeping their identities hidden, yadda-yadda-yadda. The Volkswagen Santana 180 MPI AT SE Comfortline is pretty much like that, and provides more than the usual heroes on the road. The heart of the Volkswagen Santana 180 MPI AT SE Comfortline is the 1.5-liter MPI petrol engine that offers a sufficient 108 horses output and 150 Nm of torque. Although the six-speed automatic transmission seemingly dillydallies, the good thing about it is that the gear shifts does not jolt the passengers, making it a very comfortable ride. The neo-People’s Car from the German brand stays true to its Comfortline tag as it boasts leather and fabric for its interiors, with front and rear reading lights and pollen-filtering air conditioning system. The sound system is a notch higher than its competitors in the market as it has a seven-inch Blaupunkt touchscreen infotainment system with six speakers to play a good entrance song should the hero on the road get a little too cocky. On the outside, this daily-drive beams an ample–and not blinding–halogen headlights. It senses tingles at the slight drop of rain. To add a little flair, as to what anti-heroes possess, it sports a sun roof, making it more elegant than its counterparts—and even some in the higher class. But it is not just for flair and primary function, it has nifty safety features, making a formidable choice when picking your first vehicle. Automatic headlights with coming home and leaving home function, heated rear window, front and rear fog lamps, a neat multifunction steering wheel, and cruise control come as standard for this hero in the class. Though it does not have a rearview camera, the Volkswagen Santana 180 MPI AT SE Comfortline has a Rear Park Distance Control to ensure it doesn’t get the slightest nick when getting a spot. Although, the start/stop function gets tricky, it gets the job done when it comes to hypermiling: taking it for a spin on the metro, as well as highways–with heavy traffic to bear–it clocked a fuel consumption of about 15 kilometers per liter. But much as everyone wanted the anti-heroes to fail, the Volkswagen Santana 180 MPI AT SE Comfortline provides safety package for one to get on the challenges of daily commute poses. Aside from the usual dual front airbags, it has front side airbags, ISOFIX anchorage points, Anti-brake locks, electronic stability and anti Slip program. At a sub-PHP1 million–PHP993,000, to be exact–price, if the superheroes in its class don’t get rattled by what this car has, the Volkswagen Santana 180 MPI AT SE Comfortline might find itself within the roster of caped crusaders.