The VW Tiguan is one attractive crossover. It has the right lines and the second-generation crossover now has three rows. Well, it appears imitation is the sincerest form of flattery since Chinese automaker Zotye (don't ask us how to pronounce it, and we've even looked it up) just announced that it plans to sell its T600 crossover in America. The only thing is it really looks like a cheap Tiguan.
It doesn't seem like Zotye even tried to make it look much different. The styling is clean and crisp like the Tiguan, and the grille, headlights, and overall shape is very similar. The hood is flatter, and the leading edge is taller, almost Honda-like. The T600 isn't a bad-looking crossover, but while knockoffs in China sell well, we're not sure how many Americans will fall for it.
The T600 will be the car companies first model sold here, and then they plan on introducing a sedan and a larger SUV to the American mix. There are very few details about the plan to bring them here, but it looks like the company has signed agreements with some dealerships to sell the brand here. The plan is to have 300 locations ready to sell the T600 when it comes here. That's a very ambitious start for a brand no one has heard of and for a crossover we've kind of already seen.
There aren't many details about the T600, but it appears to be a 5-passenger, 2-row crossover with near-luxury appointments. The T600 will have a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A handsome 3-spoke steering wheel, a center console-mounted rotary shifter, touchscreen infotainment center, head-up display, ambient lighting, and leather and brushed metal trim may show up in the production car based on the photos that have been released.
We'll see if Zotye can gain any kind of traction here in a sea of small crossovers. It's a big challenge for a Chinese company to start selling cars in America in the first place, and to bring one that looks like a cheaper version of what's probably a better vehicle might not be the best move.