After Ford introduced the new Mondeo in China yesterday, another major automaker is showing off a product for sale in the People’s Republic. In case you’re unfamiliar with the Lamando, it’s basically a CN-spec Jetta sold by local joint venture SAIC-VW since 2014. The compact sedan evolves into a more attractive and practical vehicle for this sleek liftback with matrix LED headlights reminding us of the ID. electric models.
In other words, the Lamando L and Jetta have the same relationship as the larger Passat and Arteon. At 4,784 millimeters (188 in) long, 1,831 mm (72 in) wide and 1,469 mm (57.8 in) high, the car is significantly larger than the Lamando three-box sedan and has a wheelbase more generous stretching to 2,731 mm (107.5 in). in). Despite its larger footprint, it’s still smaller than the Arteon in every dimension.
While the regular sedan is based on the MQB platform, its cooler cousin with frameless windows is based on the updated MQB Evo architecture introduced by the VW Group in 2019 for the latest Golf, Octavia, A3, Leon and the Chinese Talagon full-size SUV. Even though in Europe the less powerful compact cars sold by the German conglomerate are stuck with a torsion beam rear suspension, the Lamando L gets a multi-link setup as standard.
The sleek liftback with its slightly devilish face rolls on up to 18-inch wheels and is the latest model to adopt LED light bars front and rear. The VW logo appears to be illuminated in white at the front and red at the rear where the taillights might remind you of Arteon’s rival Peugeot 508. All in all, dare we say, this is one of the nicest designs we’ve seen in years from VW’s flagship brand.
Entering the cabin, the dashboard design sends out a strong Golf Mk8 vibe, although there are some changes to the central air vents and very few buttons. The Lamando L is nicely equipped with a Beats sound system, head-up display, sunroof, power DSG switch, power front seats, and adaptive cruise control. In the back, there are two air vents, a center armrest with two cupholders and a pair of USB ports.
Power is provided by the familiar 1.4-liter TSI engine with 150 hp and 250 Newton-meters (183 pound-feet) of torque channeled to the front axle via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The 2022 VW Lamando L hits 60 mph from a standstill in eight and a half seconds, which isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible either. A more powerful 2.0 TSI could follow later in the car’s life cycle.
Meanwhile, VW-SAIC will put the car on sale in China this spring, and you can still buy the standard Lamando.