This is the all-new Volkswagen T-Cross, the latest and smallest SUV from the German brand. It’s a rival for the likes of the Nissan Juke, Citroen C3 Aircross and SEAT Arona and due to go on sale in the UK in February in special First Edition guise for £23,150. Prices for the standard T-Cross model will open from around £16,500 when the rest of the range arrives later in the year.
The VW T-Cross sits beneath the T-Roc in Volkswagen’s lineup and shares a lot of its mechanical running gear with the Polo supermini. It’s based on the same MQB A0 platform and measures in at 4,107mm long and 1,558mm tall, which makes it 54mm longer and 97mm wider than the Polo. Drivers also sit 100mm higher in the T-Cross than they would in the hatchback.
In the flesh its chunky wheel arches, boxy profile and tall bonnet give the T-Cross a more prominent SUV look than any of its rivals. On paper, at least, it’s also more practical; the 385-litre boot – larger than a VW Golf’s – can expand to 455 litres with the rear bench slid forward, while dropping the bench completely frees up 1,281 litres of luggage space.
“The T-Cross is about versatility – that’s its number one focus,” Felix Kaschutzke, T-Cross project for manager sales & marketing, told Auto Express. “This car is built for young, small families, the car is very versatile for these types of customers.”
To keep costs down, four-wheel drive will not be offered; all T-Cross models will be front-wheel drive. In the UK, buyers will get the option of a 94bhp or 113bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. Both use a six-speed manual as standard, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available as an option.
While a 1.6-litre TDI engine is available to buyers on the continent, Volkswagen UK has decided against selling it over here due to the market’s shift way from diesel-powered cars. However, it could be offered later down the line if there is demand – along with the possibility of mild-hybrid technology, too.
Inside, the overall design is recognisable from the Polo; a central touchscreen on the dashboard gives access to all of the car’s functions and is offered in two sizes: 6.5 and 8.0 inches. VW’s digital instrument cluster, called Active Info Display, is also available and will be standard on higher-spec models.
VW’s usual array of specs will make up the range in the UK but there is also a special First Edition launch model being offered. The standard range starts with entry-level S models and moves up through SE, SEL and R-Line trims. As standard all models will feature alloy wheels (sizes range from 16 -18 inches), blind spot monitoring, Bluetooth, air-con and four USB charging ports. Options include wireless phone charging, adaptive cruise control, keyless go and a sunroof.
VW is one of the last big car makers to add a compact SUV to its model range. Asked why it had taken so long for the German firm to develop the T-Cross, Kaschutzke cited production constraints and wanting to get the model set-up exactly how customers expect it to be: “It’s clear we are late with this car,” he said. “But this something we have done before. Usually we are not the first in the segment but we are usually the best,” Kaschutzke explained.
“What we made sure with the T-Cross is to make it a true SUV, with SUV characteristics such as the seating position and versatility, this is the number one priority we have with the car,” he added. “This is the difference between this car and other competitors – we are doing it differently.”
Volkswagen T-Cross First Edition
Volkswagen has announced a limited run, special edition T-Cross. Restricted to 250 units, the special edition version of the company’s new crossover comes with a host of equipment upgrades and exclusive badging, with prices starting from £23,150 when the order books open in February.
Upgrades to Volkswagen T-Cross First Edition include a 300-watt sound system, an extra subwoofer, an eight-inch infotainment system, LED headlights, silver roof rails, 18-inch alloy wheels and exclusive decals on the C-Pillars.
All T-Cross First Editions are powered by Volkswagen’s 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine, producing 113bhp and 200Nm of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is equipped, and power is sent to the front wheels.
Standard safety kit includes autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. Practicality should be reasonable too, with the T-Cross’s sliding rear seats allowing either an extra 70-litres of boot capacity or an extra 140mm of legroom. Deliveries for the Volkswagen T-Cross First Edition are expected to commence in April, followed by the car’s full-scale commercial release later in the year.
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