D he notchback sedan known in this country mainly under the name Jetta has two sister models in China. The reason for this is the two different joint ventures with which Volkswagen sells its cars in China: The Sagitar is built by FAW and is mainly offered in the north of the country. In the south, however, it is called Lavida and is manufactured by SAIC. There is now a new generation of it based on VW's MQB platform.
Why not Jetta right away? Because the Chinese simply continued to build the first model that we know from the eighties until 2013. While the newer generations called Bora and Vento appeared in Europe, the Chinese continued to produce the old Jetta. Finally, a new edition followed in 2008 with two new names.
Chinese Jetta based on VW Polo
At the same time, Volkswagen is also building a newer model in China called Jetta - this notchback sedan is based on platform technology on the Polo and not on the Golf as in the original Jetta.
In contrast to its predecessor, the current Lavida has grown by 6.5 centimeters and has a total length of 4.67 meters. It is 1.81 meters wide (plus 4.1 centimeters) and 1.47 meters high (plus 1.4 centimeters). The wheelbase has increased by 7.8 centimeters to 2.69 meters.
Above all, it should offer more legroom in the rear - a privilege that is particularly important to the Chinese. The smartphone can now be connected via Apple Carplay or MirrorLink. A 110 kW 1.4 liter TSI and the basic model with 85 kW in the form of a 1.5 liter MPI engine are available as engines. Diesel variants of the Lavida are not offered in China.
VW notchback sedan flopped in Europe
The notchback sedans are popular model variants, especially in China and North America. The Jetta was sold over 800,000 times worldwide in 2017. In Europe, on the other hand, the angular vehicle was not very popular: After only selling 11,000 times in 2015, Volkswagen finally took it off the market. Viewed worldwide, the Golf is still number 1 on the VW hit parade. It sells an average of one million times a year and has led the registration statistics in Germany for years.
The SAIC Volkswagen Lavida is due to hit the Chinese market in June. Prices are not yet fixed. The notchback sedan can be thelower middle class and should cost between 15,000 and 20,000 euros.