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Unveiled ahead of its Geneva debut is this, the new Volkswagen cross up!. Essentially a dressed up variant of the company’s ingenious city car, it joins the existing members of Volkswagen’s Cross family, the CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran; the last of which is available here in Malaysia.

Modelled as a lifestyle-oriented model, the cross up! gets SUV-style plastic mouldings on the wheel arches and side sills, plus full-length door protector strips. Further distinguishing itself from regular up! models are silver detailings on the roof rails, wing mirrors and bumpers. New-style 16-inch ‘cross’ wheels complete the visual flourish.

Unlike the Fiat Panda 4×4, a similarly spruced up supermini, the cross up! does not gain a four-wheel drive system nor low-range gears for off-roading of any kind. It’s a purely cosmetic job – just like the rest of the Cross family – though at least the ride height has been adjusted for a more rugged look.

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As it is, the three-cylinder 75 PS petrol engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission is the sole powertrain choice, driving the 185/50 R16 front tyres. Electronic stability programme (ESC) is standard even on the cheapest model.

Inside, it can be specified with features that are unique to the cross up! model. The seats can be had in either red or anthracite (grey) trims, the instrument panel dashpad in a choice of red, black or dark silver, and the air outlets are jazzed up with a dash of chrome. Door tread plates with ‘cross up!’ lettering is up for the pickings too.

They toy count isn’t as high as more upscale Volkswagens, but remote central locking, electric front windows, fog lights, electrically adjustable heated wing mirrors, split folding rear seats, variable cargo floor, rev counter and a multifunction display all come as standard. Prices start at €13,925 (RM57,750) in its home markets with deliveries scheduled to begin in October.