No T-Roc or T-Cross: When Will Volkswagen Finally Offer a Small SUV?

As you’ve probably observed, sub-compact SUVs and crossovers are by far one of the most popular segments of the auto industry right now, both on the mainstream side and the luxury side.

These vehicles are popping up everywhere across the land and it’s easy to understand why: With gas prices still relatively low, they attract many drivers looking for more versatility, ground clearance and traction (with their available AWD systems) than an ordinary compact or even midsize car will offer. On top of that, most of them are quite stylish and colourful.

Every single automaker—whether Japanese, Korean, American, Swedish or German—currently sells at least one small SUV. Actually, there’s one exception: Volkswagen. But why? Good question…

Bigger is better

We hear you: “Volkswagen has the Golf Alltrack.” True, it’s got many desirable SUV-like features including a raised profile, rugged lower-body cladding and VW’s 4MOTION technology, but we’re still talking about a wagon. A number of potential buyers ignore it for that exact reason. What’s more, the base MSRP of $34,345 puts it in a much higher price range than most entry-level sub-compact SUVs in Canada.

If you look at the 2018 portfolio, Volkswagen isn’t just bucking the trend; it’s going in the opposite direction. The second-generation Tiguan is 25% roomier than the previous model, while the new Atlas is the largest SUV ever sold by the German brand on this side of the Atlantic. These two are squarely aimed at Canadian and American families in need of substantial space.

Elsewhere around the world…

In Europe, things are different (raise your hand if you’ve heard this before). Volkswagen last year added the T-Roc, a fashionable little SUV that appeals to Millennials in particular with a host of customization options. We took it for a spin in Portugal and Volkswagen Canada’s PR boss, Thomas Tetzlaff, told us there’s “no reason why we shouldn’t get this thing back home,” but simultaneously admitted that the T-Roc would “cannibalize” Alltrack sales in North America due to our addiction to SUVs. More importantly, bringing it straight from Portugal would result in a higher price tag than the Tiguan’s, while adapting one of the North American assembly plants (Tennessee or Mexico) would imply heavy investment.

Recently, Volkswagen has been putting the final touches to its T-Cross, a new sub-compact SUV designed for young, urban families with generous rear-seat room and trunk capacity. It will be sold globally starting next spring, but not in Canada nor in the U.S. because it’s “too small,” according to Andreas Kruger, Volkswagen brand small car line director, in an interview to Automotive News Europe.

What this all means is that we must keep waiting, again and again, or else flock in droves to VW dealers asking as loud as we can for a T-Roc or T-Cross. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for 2019 or 2020!

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

Toronto2018 Volkswagen Tiguan: extra large
At the Detroit Auto Show, the German manufacturer presented the new generation of its compact SUV, the Tiguan. However, already knew that it would be a long-wheelbase version designed with the North-American market in mind, while the regular Tiguan is reserved for other countries. It’s the biggest one of the …
Test Drives2018 Volkswagen Atlas: “Let’s Sell Them a Big SUV”
As far as crossovers and SUVs go here in North America, Volkswagen’s been playing catchup with its competition. Sure, the German carmaker has had the Tiguan and the Touareg to compensate, but in a segment where value primes over everything else, Volkswagen’s combo of people haulers have long been deemed …
First Drives2018 Volkswagen T-Roc: We're Not Asking Loud Enough
My first drive of the 2018 Volkswagen T-Roc in Portugal was without question one of the oddest press trips I’ve had the privilege to be invited to this year. After a 10-hour flight, a leg in Germany and a five-hour time change, I stayed there for only one day to …
Test Drives2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack: Please Buy One
If you find my headline a little desperate, that’s because the car you see here, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, is under serious threat. People aren’t buying cars anymore. The phenomenon has become so major that some carmakers, such as Ford, have given up on selling automobiles altogether. Within the …
Test Drives2018 Volkswagen Atlas: Conquering America
Although the Volkswagen Touareg was an excellent midsize SUV, it might have been a little too European—and expensive—to attract North American families into the brand’ product portfolio. Based on the same architecture as the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7, the Touareg’s bones were solid, its off-road capacities were good, and …