★★★★ | Volkswagen T-Cross
VW Cross the T’s
The much anticipated VW Polo has, quite quickly, spawned a little SUV model. All using the highly adaptable MQB platform that makes up the current VW range, I was intrigued to see how the risen Polo sized B segment SUV was like at the recent UK launch drive.
There were noticeable changes for this newcomer. Firstly was the lack of a diesel engine in the range. With diesel becoming a dirty word in Europe, chances are there won’t be one. Also, this is a bit of a pseudo 4×4. It has, as is common in this segment’s top sellers, all the looks without the ability. There’s no 4 wheel drive, and no loss really. It’s not that kind of car.
Driving impressions were good. I’ve moaned about the Golf-sized T-Roc tramping its front wheels from a standing start. I was expecting much the same with the Polo’s platform, risen by 10cm to behave and I came away disappointed. Disappointed because using either the 5-speed manual or DSG gearbox, it didn’t demonstrate anything like that of its larger brother.
What did become apparent however in the 115PS engine model was the lag in the DSG gearbox. Standing starts took almost 2 seconds for throttle inputs to respond to forward motion within the powertrain. This was not a problem in the manual with the 95PS engine. According to the data, there is 1.3 seconds 0-60 between both these 1-litre petrol engines. The DSG’s lag makes it feel a whole lot more and in favour of the smaller powered unit.
Inside, and it is all useable stuff with rear sliding seat that alters the size of the boot or rear legroom. There is an adjustable rear seat that moves a whole 14cm back or forward. This makes the already large boot for this segment even bigger. Yes, it does take away rear passenger space but only if you are carrying someone in the rear.
As a small SUV from VW, I was rather taken by the T-Cross. Its size makes it feel more agile and the ride better than you’d think it should be from a small, higher-riding short wheel based car. It rode well and could be driven with gusto. Compared to the competent T-Roc, I’m not sure I’d recommend it over the T-Cross. The littler car is the better car.
Personally, I do have a clear winner. The 95PS manual SE was the better car and is my recommendation. It’s about £7,000 cheaper than the 115PS R-Line with the DSG and all the more spartan for it. So have fun and add some Volkswagen options. Making the T-Cross your own will endear it more than it already does. Volkswagen has done us proud.
DSG gearbox lag
SE is spartan
Infotainment system fiddly
Car – Volkswagen T-Cross
Price – SE £ 19,890 / R-Line £26,735 (as tested)
MPG – SE 48.6 / R-Line 45.6 mpg (combined)
Power – SE 95PS – R-Line 115PS
0-62mph – SE 11.5 / R-Line 10.2 seconds
Top Speed – SE 112 / R-Line 120 mph
Co2 – 112 (g/km) both models)