Launched in 2015, the Volkswagen Lamando is a China-only four door coupe variant of the Jetta, which in Volkswagen China’s sprawling array of models, is known as the Sagitar.
Rather confusingly, the Volkswagen Jetta in China is completely unrelated to the European market Jetta model that you and I know. This China-only Jetta is actually a reskinned Volkswagen Polo Sedan, sold by FAW-Volkswagen.
Instead, the Sagitar that is also sold by FAW-VW is what you and I recognised as a Jetta.
Back to the Lamando. It’s sold by Volkswagen’s other Chinese joint venture – Shanghai Volkswagen, which does not have a competitive product in the upper C-segment market, one of the biggest segments in China. Shanghai Volkswagen’s closest alternative to FAW-VW’s Sagitar is the Lavida, which is smaller than the Sagitar and is based on a very old platform that dates back to the Golf Mk4.
The Lamando is Volkswagen China’s effort to keep the two friendly rivals within Volkswagen China’s family happy. It allows Shanghai Volkswagen to take a slice of the market without competing too intensely with the FAW-Volkswagen’s Sagitar (our Jetta).
Currently, the Lamando is only available with either a turbocharged 1.8-litre TSI or 1.4-litre TSI engines. The Lamando GTS however, when it goes on sale in China later this year, will be powered by a 2.0-litre TSI engine borrowed from the Golf GTI, paired to a seven-speed dual clutch DSG transmission driving the front wheels.
It’s differentiated from a regular Lamando by its sportier exterior bits – smoked headlamps and tail lamps, black honeycomb grille, larger wheels, larger air dam in the front bumper,