Volkswagen is reportedly proceeding with plans to produce a three-row SUV dubbed the VeeDub. Last April, Volkswagen’s U.S. chief Jonathan Browning said that the company was considering this model but it has now been confirmed that it will make a car to rival the Honda Pilot and that it will most probably be built from Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant or a company facility in Mexico.
It’s expected that this SUV will be built on a new Passat platform, guaranteeing that the crossover would be big enough for the preferences of U.S. consumers. Volkswagen’s European subsidiary Škoda had recently said that it is developing a seven-seat crossover. It’s possible that the two models from these two brands will be closely related. They may even be badge-engineered twins.
Consumers will be glad with the price of the ute compared to the Volkswagen Touareg, which is priced from $43,845. The ‘Reg is considered VW’s halo vehicle. VW is rushing at revising its product lineup in the U.S. to also have bigger and more affordable models.
This concept will be used by the three-row SUV, which is a major peg in VW’s goal to sell 800,000 vehicles by 2018. It’s likely that the standard engine would be Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter V-6. A 3.0-liter diesel V-6 may be offered as an option. The VeeDub is competing against models such as the Pilot and Ford Explorer. The Passat offered in the U.S. is competitively priced so a price premium over those models isn’t likely.
The starting price of the Pilot is $29,280. Meanwhile, the Ford Explorer is priced at $29,105. Within a few short years, Volkswagen will be offering its three-row crossover. At this time, it’s probable that the Routan minivan—a rebadged Chrysler Town & Country— would not be available.
According to a Volkswagen official, the next Tiguan won’t be a GTI on stilts and will directed at U.S. consumers, more along the lines of the Honda CR-V or Nissan Rogue.
Notably, the Tiguan is an import from Germany. This means that its profit is lower since VW would have to charge a premium for it over mainstream rivals. [source: Caranddriver]