Volkswagen Launches the Rugged-Looking Cross Up for Markets Other Than This One
It’s cuter than ever. Volkswagen has dressed up its Up small car for playing outside by creating the Cross Up. The Cross Up attempts to look tough with its unique 16-inch aluminum wheels on 185/50 rubber, and contrast-colored elements such as the silver mirror caps, bumpers, and roof rails. The Cross Up also sits higher off the ground, featuring big black-plastic wheel arches, and there even are underride guards.
The interior gets a significant upgrade as well, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and hand brake, uniquely styled seats in red or anthracite, and a red, black, or dark silver dashboard panel. The effect is upscale and stylish; altogether, the Cross Up treatment turns the Up, with its extremely clean and almost academic design language, into a more fashionable and aesthetically approachable car.
The Cross Up comes only with the more powerful 75-hp, 1.0-liter inline-three, mated to a five-speed manual, while the standard Up range consists of the 75-hp mill and a 60-hp-strength version serving base duties. In Germany, the Cross Up’s sticker starts at €13,925 including a 19 percent sales tax (essentially $15,050 at current exchange rates before taxes), a considerable premium over the standard Up range, which starts at €9975 including German taxes ($10,780 sans tax). The price hike for the Cross Up is justified not only by the looks and the more powerful engine, but also by more standard equipment, such as power windows, mirrors, and door locks; a tachometer; stability control; and a variable trunk floor.
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Down the road, VW will offer more variations of the Up, our favorite of which is a turbocharged version of the triple with 110 horsepower available—a prototype of which we drove last year, alongside a prototype of the Cross Up. While the market for minicars in the U.S. is as miniature as the vehicles themselves, the Up’s ever-expanding lineup of cleverly packaged city cars would have as good a shot as any to make it in America.
By Jens Meiners