Volkswagen recently announced their intentions of building a convertible SUV, many of us simply shook our heads and sighed. The idea has been tried before by others, and the results ranged from disappointment to disgust, with only sporadic positives coming from a single corner of the market segment. With a budget of nearly 100,000,000 dollars to design and produce the T-Roc Cabriolet, we’re hoping the German automaker doesn’t follow in the footsteps of the strange and downright ugly concepts that have trod this path before.
Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the companies who have tried dropping the top on their SUVs and how that turned out.
This little Japanese company managed to sneak one of the first small SUVs into the North American markets. In a landscape trodden by Jeeps, and not much else to take them on, the Suzuki Sidekick — later renamed the Vitara — hit the scene as an effective trail riding alternative to the Jeep. In North America at least, the Sidekick would become emblematic of the Suzuki brand, and kick-start the invasion of small Asian SUVs on the North American markets. The Sidekick, or Vitara if you prefer, would go on to continue being sold under the GM badge as the Geo Tracker and eventually the Chevy Tracker.
Our next convertible tried to recreate the Sidekick’s pioneering spirit but managed to sow doubt in the entire market segment.