VW Shows Cost-Cutting Skills In China With $13,000 Jetta VS5 SUV

VW’s new entry-level Jetta brand has launched its first product in China, the VS5 compact SUV.

Built by the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture at its Chengdu plant, the VS5 is in fact a rebadged Seat Ateca and the dimensions attest that. The SUV is 4,419 mm (174 inches) long, 1,841 mm (72.5 inches) wide and 1,616 mm (63.6 inches) high, with a wheelbase of 2,630 mm (103.5 inches).

Those are almost identical with the dimensions of the Ateca and Skoda Karoq, but that’s hardly surprising given that all three models are built on the same MQB platform.

For now, there is a single powertrain choice in China, the EA211 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 150 PS (148 hp) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. It’s mated to either a standard five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission supplied by Japan’s Aisin Seiki. Interestingly, VW has chosen not to fit the Jetta VS5 with the 1.5 TSI Evo unit and the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, most likely for cost reasons.

Also read: 2020 Chevrolet Tracker Launched In China With $14,500 Base Price

Speaking of costs, the Jetta VS5 is very aggressively priced in China where it targets mostly first-time car buyers. The compact SUV went on sale earlier this month with a starting price of 89,800 yuan (approximately $13,050). The range-topping version costs 119,800 yuan ($17,415).

According to FAW-Volkswagen, this marks the first time a German-developed crossover is priced below 100,000 yuan ($14,535). The Jetta brand will have its own distribution network in China, with plans in place to open more than 200 dealerships by the end of this year.

First deliveries of the VS5 are scheduled for September. The model will be later followed by the bigger VS7 SUV (a seven-seat version of the VS5 likely based on the Seat Tarraco) and the VA3 compact sedan (a rebadged Chinese-spec VW Jetta).

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  • charlie bear

    This looks decent, it will sell tons in China. Smart move from VW with the Jetta Brand.

  • designer_dick

    If it’s priced from the equivalent of £10,500 to £14,000, that makes it less than half the price of its SEAT relative, which is priced from £22,635 to £29,950 in the UK. That makes the VS5 astounding value for money, and it’s not like Chinese consumers are being fobbed off with a third-rate rehash of an outdated model, as even with some particularly stringent cost-cutting, it would be hard for Jetta to destroy the qualities of the donor car, which is considered among the very best mainstream crossovers of its size available in Europe.

    It seems to have a particularly nice interior for its price point. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/83bfe5ee9d728748bfbe1842a1d107ac7b6601de2f1a1c7d9beca3c499da4706.jpg

    • Dennis James

      Actually, it looks to me that the interior is where the cost cutting took place. While the exterior looks like a regular VW, the interior looks cheap (look at the upper dashboard material, it’s inferior).

      However, if they sold this in Europe at the stated price, Dacia Duster would be dust 🙂

      • Bash

        This article doesn’t show any interior or dash shot in the gallery, am I missing something or have this article been edited?

      • designer_dick

        I said for the price point. The smaller SEAT Arona retails for far, far more in the EU than the VS5 does in China, and it has an interior built exclusively from hard, scratchy plastics. For the equivalent of £10k to £14k, the VS5’s interior really is more than acceptable.

  • Stephen G

    Just goes to show the astronomical profit margins on automobiles. No wonder there are 74 electric car startups in China.

    • DM

      It also shows VW is really good at “dressing up” their cars depending on the targeted buyer.

  • Six_Tymes

    back down the earth normal pricing, its now the only way sales will pick up. all manufacturers cars are over priced, especially suv’s

  • Galaxium

    You have to remember that the average income in China is around $10,000. Along with accounting for purchasing power, things are just a lot cheaper in China in general.

  • Baeyoung ❂

    It shows how much “better” VW is compared to local Chinese car makers…just one badge away

  • SteersUright

    If its safety ratings are ok, why not sell it here as a really cheap car too?

  • P2L1

    Do the Chinese require crash testing like the U.S. does?

    • Lin Fong

      no, it is impossible

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