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2021 Volkswagen Lamando 280 TSI DSG SEL: WWGVD?

The text message on our mobile phone was inquiring if we’d be interested in test driving the 2021 Volkswagen Lamando 280 TSI DSG SEL for a week. The text came from Stacey Vazquez, the young and lovely Corporate Communications and Brand Activations Specialist at AC Motors, the automotive arm of Ayala Corporation and the mother company of Volkswagen Philippines. We immediately sent our affirmative reply – almost too immediately – not only because we’ve been waiting to test drive the Lamando for quite some time, but because it’s the car that was endorsed by one of the Philippine music industry’s great artists and one of our favorite performers, “Mr. Pure Energy” himself, Gary Valenciano.

If, by now, you guessed that we’re big admirers of Gary V., you’re not far off. During our college years, his songs (and those of Martin Nievera’s) were always in our repertoire during “Minus One” sing-along parties, which later became known as “karaoke” belt-your-heart-out-and-annoy-your-neighbors-crazy nights. Over the years, Gary’s star power endured despite the influx of new and younger talents and he managed to keep his energy up despite his struggles with diabetic health conditions and his heart problem. He’s one of those rare Filipino talents who’s a real “trooper”. We hope you’ll appreciate our use of Gary’s songs as the titles of the succeeding segments.

You Got Me Working

Whoever thought of having Gary V. endorse the VW Lamando is a genius! Like Gary V. who’s a top-notch performer and a big crowd draw, the Lamando is the top-of-the-line sedan in the Volkswagen Philippines line-up. This is a mid-size luxury European 4-door sedan for those who have diligently worked their way up the corporate ladder or have wisely invested their money, time and energy into creating a profitable and enjoyable business. The Lamando is not about the ostentatious display of wealth and success but a reward of luxury and performance in a neat, economical and environment-friendly package.

Its turbocharged gasoline-injected inline 4-cylinder has a displacement of only 1.4 liters but it churns out 148 horsepower at 5,000 rpm through a wet-clutch 7-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG) manu-matic transmission, which can catapult this 1,435-kilogram German sedan to a top speed of 215 km/h. The turbo-4 produces 250 Newton-meters of torque between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm to accelerate this Volkswagen from zero to 100 km/h in just 8.5 seconds. Drive it gently and the Lamando is a docile city car. Work it hard and it scoots and hustles around like, ahem… Mr. Pure Energy.

Hang On

Driving quickly around our favorite mountain roads east of Manila, the Lamando feels planted and precise. Its independent suspension, consisting of McPherson struts in front and a four-link system at the back provides a supple yet sporty ride. The 17-inch diamond-finished alloy wheels provide a taste of bling and glamor while the meaty 225/50R17 Hankook Ventus S1 EVO2 tires provide ample grip and impressive road handling. The electronic-assisted power steering system provides ample feedback to make the drive a lot more exhilarating.

Disc brakes in all four corners provide sure-footed and fade-free stopping power. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stabilization Program with Brake Assistant (ESP), and Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) provide an extra measurement of safety and driver assistance without being overly obtrusive. The overall driving feel is traditionally Teutonic, in keeping with the car’s German heritage, and ultimately exciting, in keeping with the excitement exuded by Gary V.

Laughter All The Time

Inside, the Lamando lends a Teutonic feel as well with equal amounts of comfort and firmness added into the mix. The perforated leather interior is all business with a hint of German sports sedan, especially with the flat-bottomed leather-wrapped steering wheel and the position of the DSG shifter. The bolstered front seats can be a good place to settle into for several hours of driving while the rear seats are comfortable enough for two adult passengers and a smaller one in between. There are ISOFIX tethering points just in case the little one needs to go on a fun ride.

Admittedly, there are times we had to check if we were in a Lamando or an Audi A6 because the general feel is quite similar even though the price positioning is miles apart. Since Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group, we won’t be surprised if these cars share some technology to enhance performance and the overall Teutonic experience. We’d like to think of the A6 as the all-wheel-drive (AWD) upmarket version of our red front-wheel-drive (FWD) test car just to make our drive feel even more interesting and special.

When time came for us to return the Lamando, we found ourselves singing Sana Maulit Muli**, because, frankly, we won’t mind spending more time with this fun-to-drive 4-door German wunderkind. And, if we are blessed with the good fortune of getting a windfall that would allow us to purchase this P1,703,000 Lamando, we’d Shout for Joy** and immediately run to the nearest Volkswagen dealership. After All**, this VW is what Gary V drives!

(*- What Would Gary V Drive? / **- Gary V.’s other hit songs)


Price: P1,703,000.00

Classification: FWD 4-door mid-size luxury sedan

Engine type: Liquid-cooled inline-4 Turbocharged Fuel Injection gasoline engine with BlueMotion Technology

Capacity: 1395 cc

Maximum power: 148hp (150 PS) @ 5000 rpm

Maximum torque: 250 Nm @ 1750-3000 rpm

Transmission   7-speed DSG transmission

Length: 4598 mm

Width: 1826 mm

Height: 1425 mm

Wheelbase: 2656 mm

Curb weight: 1435 kg

Ground clearance: 115 mm

Fuel tank capacity: 50 liters

Acceleration: 8.5 seconds

Maximum speed: 215 km/h

Contact Details

Volkswagen Philippines

Website: volkswagen.com.ph