Volkswagen Shows Off CLA Competitor In Chengdu

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Volkswagen’s latest MQB-based vehicle is another challenge to Mercedes-Benz – the last time they threw down the gauntlet against Daimler, we ended up with the Phaeton. This should fare a bit better.

Dubbed the “Lamando”, the vehicle in question is based on the MK7 Golf and its MQB chassis, and uses both the 1.4L and 2.0L TSI 4-cylinder engines, along with a 7-speed DSG gearbox. The Lamando will be built in China, for the Chinese market only, with a starting price of about $29,000. This puts it in direct competition with the Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Live shots of the car can be seen here. Sales of the Americanized Jetta have slumped recently, despite a strong (but price-driven) introduction. A car like this would do a lot to add some pizzazz to Volkswagen’s compact sedan, and given its MQB bones, it could likely be built in Mexico easily. How about it, VW?

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Athos Nobile Athos Nobile on Aug 30, 2014

    I fail to see why a customer would choose this over a CLA. The car looks good and it would be great as a... Jetta.

    • See 1 previous
    • Athos Nobile Athos Nobile on Aug 30, 2014

      @Flybrian I think they wanted to do a mini CLS. And they got close. The design is also cohesive between A, B, CLA and CLK.

  • George B George B on Aug 30, 2014

    Looks like a Chinese Jetta with a high beltline and big wheels to me. I haven't driven a Jetta in more than a year, but the GLI interior felt like a "real Volkswagen" while the base interior was cost-reduced a little too much. In my opinion, Jetta sales would improve if Volkswagen made a better effort to disguise the down-market plastic. It felt like German engineers had contempt for Americans. "You want a big, cheap Jetta. We'll give you a big, cheap Jetta!"

  • Probert A few mega packs would probably have served as decent backup.
  • Lou_BC Lead sleds. Now-a-days GM would just use Bondo.
  • Jrhurren This is a great series. Thanks Corey
  • Tane94 Not as stylish as the Soul which it is replacing but a practical shape and bonus points for EV only.
  • Ronin What is the magical white swan event in the foreseeable future that will suddenly reverse the trend?Success tends to follow success, and likewise failure. The perception, other than among true believers, is that e-cars are a lost cause. Neither government fiat, nor government bribery, nor even the promise of superior virtue among one's peers have been enough to push past the early adapter curve. Either the bust-out is right now for e-cars, or it doesn't happen. Marketing 101.Even subtle language-manipulation, such as deeming those possessing common sense as suffering from some sort of vague anxiety (eg, "range anxiety") has not been enough to induce people to care.Twenty years from now funny AI-generated comedians will make fun of the '20s, and their obsession with theose silly half-forgotten EVs. They will point out that, yes, EVs actually ran on electricity generated by such organic fuels as coal and natural gas after all, and then they will perform synthesized laughter at us.