VW to build $30,000 three-row crossover for the U.S. image

Volkswagen plans to launch a big crossover that can accommodate 3 rows of seats, Car and Driver magazine has learned.

Back in April, VW USA boss Jonathan Browning told C&D that the carmaker was very seriously considering a three-row SUV. Now the magazine’s sources confirmed the new model will be produced. The car will most likely be made at VW’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee, but Mexico is not ruled out 100 percent. The three-row crossover will use the U.S. Passat platform so it will be big enough to suit the tastes of American consumers. The project could spawn a Skoda version as well, Car and Driver says.

Other than practicality, the main advantage of the new model over the Touareg will be the price, as it will be produced locally. The new three-row SUV will be a vital model in VW’s objective to sell 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018. The standard engine will most likely be the 3.6-liter V6, with a 3.0-liter diesel V6 also available.

The VW crossover will target rivals such as the Honda Pilot and the Ford Explorer, so its price should be similar to these models – around $30,000. C&D also says the arrival of the new crossover could be the end for the Routan minivan.