Can VW succeed where Nissan and Land Rover have failed?
Crossovers and SUVs are extremely successful and have even overtaken sedan sales in many cases. Despite the massive sales numbers of crossovers, there has never been a hugely successful convertible SUV/crossover unless we count the Jeep Wrangler. We've seen weird convertible SUVs like the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet come and go and, more recently, the Land Rover Evoque Cabriolet. None of these models have been major successes, but Volkswagen wants to build one anyway.
The basis for this new convertible crossover will be the T-Roc SUV, and VW already previewed its intentions with the T-Cross Breeze concept. Volkswagen says that a new T-Roc-based convertible crossover will go on sale in the second half of 2020. So far, only one sketch has been made public (shown above) and we think it looks pretty good. The Murano CC was an eyesore, but the Evoque Cabrio is a much better effort, and we see some similarities between it and what VW has in mind. We really like the look of the standard T-Roc, so it'll be be interesting whether or not VW can manage to chop its roof off with a good end result. Then again, no major automaker has managed, at least so far, to make a truly good-looking convertible SUV.
Will VW be the first? Another issue worth discussing is that the whole point of a convertible is to have a bit of fun driving. You know, like a Mazda MX-5 MIata. Unfortunately, crossovers are heavy and the convertible mechanisms only add to that. Crossovers are supposed to be practical, but once "convertible-ized", they typically lose two doors, trunk and cargo space, and room for passengers may also be sacrifice. The body styles of crossovers and convertibles just don't go well together, as recent history has shown. We'll see if Volkswagen can make it work. Third time's a charm, right?