Volkswagen is planning to introduce two-row versions of its full-size Atlas and long-wheelbase Tiguan crossovers, according to Automotive News, allowing the automaker to expand its crossover lineup at little cost. Today, the Atlas is offered only as a three-row model, while the shorter-wheelbase, two-row version of the Tiguan is not sold in the United States.
The two-row version of the VW Atlas will be a “slightly lower-positioned five-seater, with nice, coupe-ish styling, [but the] same dimensions” as the three-row, says Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken. The two-row version of the long-wheelbase Tiguan, meanwhile, will “get kind of a little smaller” when it loses its third row, he says.
Volkswagen’s strategy certainly seems like a sound one. The Atlas and long-wheelbase Tiguan are already developed; by putting relatively little cash into tweaking each for a two-row configuration, VW stands to effectively double its number of entrants in the compact and full-size crossover segments. This has us wondering: should General Motors consider taking a page out of Volkswagen’s book and introducing two-row versions of crossovers like the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse?
It’s hard to imagine a downside to such a strategy; at a time when crossovers and SUVs are all the rage, steadily siphoning sales away from cars with each passing year, expanding the lineup at such a minimal cost seems like a no-brainer. Then again, as we’ve said, Volkswagen doesn’t sell its existing short-wheelbase Tiguan in the US, leaving an obvious gap in the market for a two-row version to fill. In fact, the German automaker doesn’t sell a two-row crossover any bigger than a subcompact here. By contrast, GM’s crossover lineup is a bit more filled-out.
What’s your take? Should General Motors consider adding two-row versions of its big, three-row crossovers? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.