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.