Volkswagen doesn’t offer the T-Roc or T-Cross here in the U.S., and now it’s debuting another stylish small crossover that will likely remain forbidden fruit on our shores. The Volkswagen Nivus will launch soon in Brazil and other markets in South America.
Measuring 168 inches in length, the Nivus about the same size as subcompact crossovers we’re familiar with, like the Nissan Kicks. It’s about 17 inches shorter than the Tiguan, the smallest crossover VW sells here in the U.S. The Nivus sits on the flexible MQB architecture that underpins the Golf, Tiguan, and a host of other Volkswagen Group vehicles.
The five-seater stands out from its competition with a low roof and coupe-like proportions. Windswept body lines, LED headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels complete the look. Inside the cabin, the Nivus features plenty of tech goodies. There’s a 10-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch main infotainment display, and smartphone connectivity for Android and Apple phones. Safety technologies on the small crossover include autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
The Nivus has a modest but respectable three-cylinder engine that makes 126 hp, routed through a six-speed automatic transmission. The 200 TSI engine is also used on the Polo, Virtus, and T-Cross sold globally.
The Nivus will arrive in Brazil in the next few weeks and in Argentina by the end of the year. By 2021, the crossover will show up in other South American markets. A version for Europe will arrive in the second half of 2021.
Although we might never see the Nivus here in America, VW plans to bring a new small crossover stateside. As we learned last year, the Tiguan is on the large side and VW sees room for a second, smaller entry. The last we heard, it will be made in Mexico and go on sale in early 2021.