Are you a Nissan Murano Crosscabriolet enthusiast, living in Europe? Anyone? Never mind, meet the new VW T-Roc Cabriolet.
Sure, it looks like a bathtub on wheels. Or one of those little 5 mph electric Jeeps you might buy for your kid. But unlike 99% of other crossovers, it’s at least distinctive. If you lose it in a busy parking lot, there will always be someone pointing in its general direction. Laughing.
It comes with a soft top roof which can fold down in nine seconds, at speeds up to 18 mph. But given that it’s a top-heavy crossover that’s more likely to roll over than normal cars, VW thought to add a rollover protection system that’s invisible normally but pops up if the cars computers thinks it’s going to roll. The Cabriolet also has various structural reinforcements, so it should have some structural rigidity. Unlike the Murano Crosscabriolet, which had the structural rigidity of used toilet paper.
If you pay extra, the T-Roc Cabriolet comes with a new infotainment system, which is permanently online, and has new features, including an “online connectivity unit.” The screen is eight inches, with an 11.7 inch screen in place of a conventional gauge cluster being an optional extra. Will you be able to see these screens with the roof down? Who knows.
But even if the sunlight renders the digital gauges invisible, it’ll be quite difficult to get a speeding ticket. That’s because two engines are available, and neither are particularly powerful. The base engine is a turbocharged 1 liter, 3-cylinder engine with 115 hp, with the other engine being a 1.5 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, making 150 hp. That power goes to the wheels via your choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed dual clutch automatic. It’s available in two trims. The base trim is Style, and the more expensive trim is R-Line, which adds fog lights, speed-sensitive power steering, and sports suspension, which turns your convertible crossover into track-day monster. Not really. It probably won’t do much.
But low performance is the least of the T-Roc Cabriolet’s problems. It’s a 2-door SUV. The only 2-door SUVs that have ever sold well are SUVs with serious off-road capabilities, like the Jeep Wrangler. Even then, most of them are sold with 4 doors. And you can be assured that the T-Roc Cabriolet is not a hardcore off-roader. It’s not even AWD. Given that VW are trying to cut costs (and models such as the Beetle) to pay for Dieselgate fines, making a 2-door convertible version of a crossover SUV seems like an odd decision.
But you never know. Buyers right now are buying “lifestyle” crossovers, and according to the VW press release, a convertible roof makes it more lifestylish. What style of life that is exactly, I don’t know.
No word on prices yet, but it will be more expensive than the regular T-Roc. Which itself is more expensive than the equivalent hatchback. Do yourself a favor and get the hatchback.