What a Tease: Volkswagen's Three-Row SUV (Almost) Lives!

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Volkswagen’s “Everything Americans want in one lovely package” SUV has been talked about and teased seemingly forever, but now there’s some physical evidence to look at.

The automaker just issued a photo of the midsize SUV’s first assembled test body at its Chattanooga, Tennessee facility, where production of the model kicks off later this year.

A three-row SUV was one project not affected by VW’s diesel emissions scandal and its astronomical financial fallout. The planned $900 million investment in the Chattanooga plant went ahead even after the Environmental Protection Agency dropped its stink bomb.

The yet-unnamed model is an extremely important product for the company, which plans to focus heavily on lucrative crossovers and SUVs to recapture lost market share in the U.S. That’s after they finish buying back (or fixing) all of those nasty diesels.

Drawing inspiration from the 2013 CrossBlue concept vehicle, the new SUV will hit showrooms in early 2017. There’s not much to see in the photo, aside from the hood and bare interior, but elements of the hood resemble that of a partially disguised prototype photographed near VW’s California test facility last month.

[Image: Volkswagen of America]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Felix Hoenikker Felix Hoenikker on May 05, 2016

    It will all come down to pricing even if the CUV is competitive otherwise. VW will need to lure customers in with mucho cash on the hood to offset the bad diesel gate press over the past year.

  • Kyree Kyree on May 05, 2016

    2017 seems like a ridiculous timeframe. You'd think it would have been here sometime this year.

    • See 1 previous
    • Dr. Doctor Dr. Doctor on May 05, 2016

      @tedward I'd imagine that there would be a lot of tooling and process optimization and validation to get the MQB system up and running at Chattanooga. Odds are that they want to get production dialed in and everything running well in order to prevent any quality issues given VW even more bad press.

  • Bullnuke Bullnuke on May 05, 2016

    I wonder if they all have their sleeping bags for overnighter's. It's a race between VW and Tesla to be last-to-market!

  • Flybrian Flybrian on May 05, 2016

    A 2017MY vehicle inspired by a 4 year-old concept that looked like a then-3-year-old Jetta. Its been gestating so long, will anyone even care at the time it debuts? This is like the Thunderbird or the NSX or anything Alfa promises.