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T-Cross, VW's first small SUV

Created on 06/05/2019 @ 10:18

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

Volkswagen has expanded its family with the arrival of the T-Cross, the company’s first small SUV, in a clear response to market trends.

Across the SUV market rival companies have been flooding showrooms with a full range of SUV options while VW bosses have patiently watched the sector grow – until now that is.

Now VW has completed the jigsaw with a model in every SUV sector and the T-Cross has been carefully priced from a fiver under £17,000 with a high level of standard equipment to become a real option.

T-Cross is VW’s fifth SUV, sitting below the T-Roc and just above the Polo and is offered in S, SE, SEL, and R-Line trims.

Entry level S trim cars are identifiable by their 16-inch ‘Rochester’ alloy wheels, while the entire T-Cross range gets electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors as standard, in addition to an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with VW Connect; rear LED tail lights; and automatic headlights.

Standard-fit Front Assist with the city emergency braking system and Predictive Pedestrian Protection, as well as Lane Assist with blind spot plus lane keeping system and Hill Start Assist offer one of the highest levels of driver assistance in the class.

In addition, an eCall system adds peace of mind and reinforces the message that connectivity is high on the new T-Cross model’s long list of talents.

All T-Cross versions offered in the UK benefit from the car’s signature sliding rear bench seat as standard offering great flexibility and the choice between enhanced rear leg room or a bigger load area of up to 455 litres.

SE examples are equipped with 17-inch ‘Clayton’ alloy wheels, black roof rails and front fog lights with cornering function; a leather-trimmed, multifunction steering wheel; and a variable boot floor. Tech highlights include adaptive cruise control, app connect and a driver alert system. Prices starting at £18,795.

SEL brings 17-inch ‘Chesterfield’ alloys, tinted windows, LED headlights and silver roof rails, as well as front sport seats, carpet mats and an ambient lighting package. Climate control and a Discover Navigation system are also included, while a driver tiredness detection system and front and rear parking sensors also feature as standard in this £21,650 version.

Top-spec T-Cross R-Line models gain 18- inch ‘Navada’ alloy wheels; sporty R-Line exterior and interior styling; and Volkswagen’s innovative Active Info Display. Prices for these start at £23,550.

Options available include five different alloy wheel designs; keyless entry; high-spec sound system; and multiple style packs.

These allow owners to customise the look of the interior and exterior of their cars, with orange, bamboo garden and black style packs available. We were particularly taken by the orange offering(pictured).

Two petrol engines are available at launch – 95 PS and 115 PS variants of Volkswagen’s 1.0-litre TSI unit, available with a 5- or 6-speed manual, or a 7-speed DSG gearbox, depending on the engine and specification.

Both engines have impressive torque available from low revs – the 95 PS version delivering 175 Nm from just 2,000 rpm, and the 115 PS version serving up its 200 Nm across the same 2,000 rpm to 3,500 rpm band. T-Cross models equipped with the 95 PS engine reach 62 mph in 11.5 seconds, with a top speed of 112 mph where legal, while the punchier 115 PS versions top out at 120 mph, reaching 62 mph in 10.2 seconds.

We drove the R-Line 1.0TSI 115PS 7-speed DSG top of the range model which hit the road at £24,195 and came with a surprising top speed of 120mph and 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds. The driver needs to keep the revs up though and the T-Cross didn’t always sound too happy around town. On the motorway was a different matter.

Combined fuel figures of 45mpg are competitive and CO2 emissions figures of 112 g/km will be attractive to private and fleet buyers, as will the 13E insurance grouping and three year or 60,000 miles warranty

It’s taken VW a long while to come to the party but this car benefits from all the quality on offer higher up the range with a  host of standard fittings. You wonder sometimes why we need so many SUV variants but expect T-Cross sales to be impressive.

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