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The T-Cross is Volkswagen's brand new compact SUV that punches well above its weight.

08 Dec 2020


Compact SUVs form an endless list. There's the Honda HR-V, the Hyundai Venue, the Kia Stonic, the Seat Arona, the Toyota C-HR… You get the drift.

Now, Volkswagen is adding on one more to this list with its all new T-Cross - the brand's smallest SUV that shares the same MQB A0 platform as the Volkswagen Polo hatchback.

Another SUV?!?!

Tip to tip, the T-Cross is rather compact
But despite that, the T-Cross manages to pull off a design with chunkier and aggressive styling bits that separate it from the compact hatch.

Hence, squatting at 4,108mm x 1,760mm x 1,584mm (L x W x H), the car you see here is more than just a beefier-looking Polo, with a taller and boxier design that translates to enhanced ruggedness and added practicality.

You can almost immediately tell that Volkswagen decided that the T-Cross should be given a unique look to fit its very own unique personality.

The rear sports a modern and appealing design
And unique it is, indeed. The T-Cross comes with a range of cheeky colours, one of which is a funky orange that will please even the most fastidious fashionista. Choosing this colour will even get you orange wheels, something you don't get to see very often on the road.

In that quirky sense, the T-Cross isn't just another SUV, if you may. It is an unconventional and characterful one at it that wouldn't make you wonder why you chose this instead of a regular Polo or Golf.

It's more spacious too

At 385 litres, boot space is ample for your needs
What wouldn't make you wonder about your choice of car is also the practicality and flexibility that the T-Cross brings to the table. Thanks to its increased overall length of 55mm over the Polo as well as a sliding rear bench, this car here could well be the most spacious in its class.

The boot space, for instance, stands at 385 litres. Push one of the rear benches forward by 140mm and the space increases to 455 litres - more than any of its peers in its class.

Making the T-Cross spacious at the back despite the similar wheelbase with the Polo is the unobtrusive central transmission tunnel. This allows the middle occupant to get into position comfortably without having to eat into the leg space of the other two passengers.

Rough and tough

Cabin is rather progressive, thanks to its large and clear infotainment screen and instrument panel
However, while the T-Cross excels with its spaciousness, hard plastics adorn the cabin. It doesn't lose its appeal, thankfully, because fittings are close to perfect and there are bits of glossy finishing on the dash that help to break up the look and feel of vast plastics. But this would also mean that if you're used to driving a Polo or a Golf, the T-Cross may come across as a tad tacky for you.

Where the car lacks, it makes up for it with crisp and clear graphics from the 10.25-inch instrument panel and the 8.0-inch infotainment system - both of which are easy to navigate without any form of lag that so often spoil the user experience of drivers.

Almost like a chilli padi

Gloss finishing on the dash helps to break up the vast plastics used in the cabin
On the move, the 114bhp and 200Nm of twisting force are more than sufficient for your everyday drive. Thus, you can be rest assured that the minute 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine will not, in any way, be disappointing. In fact, it's far from it.

Thanks to lightning-quick shifts from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the T-Cross manages to build up speed very steadily and quickly. It finishes the century sprint in 10.2 seconds - a timing that's faster than even cars with higher displacement capacity in its class.

Sure, it's not quite as agile and fun as a hatch, given its size, but that's not to say that the compact SUV isn't at home on tempting long and winding roads.

The 1.0-litre three-cylinder is a wonderful gem of an engine
The taut chassis lets you get away with corner-to-corner driving, but as you'd come to expect, the height of the car naturally exhibits body roll that forces you to take your foot off the right pedal much earlier and quicker than you'd normally would with a hatch like the Polo.

Good thing is, there's a decent awareness of connection from the front wheels as power and torque are sent there.

On that note of decent, the T-Cross remains to be a comfortable and capable family hauler around town, which is ultimately what it was created to be. Broken tarmac around road construction areas as well as speed bumps are all taken in the car's stride, sending no vibrations back into the cabin.

Up there with the best

While there is an endless list of cars in this segment, the Volkswagen T-Cross manages to stay above by ensuring that it isn't just another regular compact SUV.

Its well-mannered, matured nature allows it to pot around smoothly without any protest, lets four occupants snuggle in comfort, and it looks good - to the point where you almost feel proud to be seen driving one.

Car Information

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Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI DSG R-Line (A)
Rate it

Price

: $119,900

Engine Type

:

3-cylinder in-line 12-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

999cc

Horsepower

:

85kW (114 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

200 Nm / 3500 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

10.2sec

Top Speed

:

193km/h

Fuel consumption

:

19.2 km/L

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