Volkswagen has figured out that it can’t continue to sell European cars to the Americans. That’s why the Jetta branch split off from the family tree, and it should be followed by a small crossover to slot below the Tiguan.
According to a new report from Car and Driver, Volkswagen USA is already developing and designing this model in-house with the needs and wants of American consumers in mind. Its target is the Jeep Renegade, which sold over 100,000 units last year, though the Honda HR-V is also being taken seriously.
The small “SUV” segment started kind of diverse and spread out. You had the expensive MINI Countryman, the weird Juke and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, a misfit. But it seems most customers want the same thing now: features, space, and the high driving position. The dynamics and off-road capabilities play a much smaller part.
Although it was late to the party, VW already has two small crossovers in Europe, the T-Roc and last week’s big debut, the T-Cross. In both cases, it’s been confirmed that they won’t be sold in America.
We believe the newcomer will be big on space since that’s what made the Honda HR-V so successful. The Atlas has shown VW isn’t afraid to push the MQB past its limits. The newcomer should use a version of the architecture that’s similar to the 2019 Jetta, not to mention most of its internal goodies and the solid rear axle.
If VW doesn’t want to return to the 2-liter, a small 1.5-liter turbo with 147 horsepower should be standard with a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive in tow. Prices should also be kept below the $24,300 of the Tiguan. In any case, the project won’t be completed before 2020, which means the German brand will be among the last to join the subcompact crossover segment.