It seems every carmaker from Audi to Zil is tacking black plastic trim on to their mainstream hatchback and calling it a crossover. Volkswagen did it with the Polo, and even showed a crossover concept based on their dinky little three-cylinder Up city car at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.

And the response was positive enough that the concept has gone into production practically unchanged - without even so much as a suspension lift kit.

The VWV Cross Up (now there's an unfortunate name for a car!) gets its tough-guy looks from black plastic bumper surrounds, side sills and wheel-arch trims, with brushed-metal roof rack and bumper trims to match special 16” alloy rims.

STANDARD UP

Inside, there's special upholstery fabric in either red or dark grey, leather trim on the steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake, and chromed accents on the vents dials and door sills.

And that's it - the rest is standard Up, with the same 55kW three-cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels through the same five-speed manual gearbox.

The Cross Up will make its official world debut at the Geneva show in March and will go on sale in Europe from the third quarter of 2013, with prices starting at €13 925 (R165 500). Since VWSA doesn't bring in the standard Up, it's unlikely we'll see the Cross Up in South Africa.