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First look: Golf SUV may Crossover

In the rough: Latest VW employs Golf's front-drive underpinnings.

Volkswagen's jacked-up Golf is under consideration for release in Australia

6 Oct 2006

VOLKSWAGEN is contemplating introducing the new CrossGolf to Australia in 2007.

"We are not ruling the CrossGolf out," Volkswagen Australia public relations manager Matthew Wiesner told GoAuto. "It is under consideration at the moment." As the name implies, the CrossGolf is a crossover vehicle, with a sports-utility vehicle appearance.

Launched at the Paris motor show last week, it is not to be confused with the upcoming Tiguan compact SUV. That car is a bespoke SUV that is aimed straight at the Toyota RAV4’s jugular.

In fact, the CrossGolf isn’t even a 4WD, instead maintaining the front-wheel drive set-up from the Golf V platform. This also extends to the fully independent suspension, complete with its very car-like multi-link set-up in the rear.

Initially the CrossGolf will be available with four Golf-derived four-cylinder powerplant choices when it goes on sale across Europe in November.

They are a 75kW 1.6-litre and 103kW 1.4-litre Turbo-charged and Supercharged (TSI) petrol units, or Volkswagen’s 77kW 1.9-litre and 103kW 2.0-litre TDI diesel engines.

3 center imageAll bar the 1.6 are available with the DSG direct-shift automatic gearbox.

Cheekily, the CrossGolf shares no exterior body panels and only some interior parts with the current Golf V, despite what the badge on it reads as.

Instead it is based on the Golf Plus MPV, a Europe-only five-seater hatchback released at the Geneva motor show last year.

As Volkswagen’s answer to the Renault Scenic, the Plus MPV features a slightly larger body and more versatile and roomy interior than the perennial Volkswagen small car favourite, as well as distinctive one-box styling.

So the CrossGolf is actually a CrossGolfPlusMPV/SUV, if Volkswagen’s international press release is anything to go by: "The new kid on the block features parallels to the SUV world on the outside... with special side coverings, independent bumpers and 20mm higher ground clearance, including 17-inch wheels and much more." Volkswagen is keen to carve a larger slice of the 1.4 million annual SUV sales in Europe.

The odds are not stacked in the favour of the CrossGolf making it to Australia, seeing as the current Golf Plus has already been rejected.

There is also a CrossPolo version of VW’s ageing front-wheel drive light car, but in this case the former actually uses the Polo body as a base.

Based on the pre-2005 facelift Polo Fun, it has enjoyed moderate success since being unveiled in Europe late last year.

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