The hotly-contested compact family car segment will be well and truly shaken up later this year with the arrival of the new Volkswagen T-Cross on local soil. Will the T-Cross have its rivals licked in this segment?
South Africans always love a good Volkswagen and based on our recent experience with the T-Cross in Spain, it’s a winner! Don’t believe us? Read Ciro De Siena's International Launch Review and watch the video above to see what the T-Cross is all about.
SUVs are big business and Volkswagen aims to make the most of the trend by launching a massive SUV assault. To give you some idea, by 2025, the firm reckons that every second Volkswagen sold will be an SUV, with over 30 SUV models on offer around the world.
A part of that strategy involves the T-Cross, a Polo-based compact family car that is expected to land at under R300 000 (for the base model) when it arrives in South Africa in the second half of 2019. In 2020, it will be followed by the introduction of the larger T-Roc, both of which will slot in beneath the already successful Tiguan in Volkswagen’s SUV lineup while the Touareg will remain as the brand’s pinnacle SUV offering.
The T-Cross will feature a stylish and upmarket cabin with many nice-to-have features often seen on bigger cars.
The T-Cross will be offered with a similarly styled cabin as the Polo with coloured dash pads and a digital cockpit (optionally). Despite its compact dimensions load space is claimed at 385-litres (455 litres by sliding the second row forward) and expanding to 1 281-litres with the seats folded down.
In terms of engines, a total of 4 turbocharged engines will power the T-Cross. There are two 1.0-litre turbopetrol, 3-cylinder engines on offer with either 70 kW or 85 kW as well as a range-topping 1.5-litre turbopetrol engine with 110 kW. On the diesel front, a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine with 70 kW will round off the T-Cross range. All T-Cross variants will be front-wheel-drive with both manual and dual clutch transmissions on offer.
Here are 7 rivals that the new Volkswagen T-Cross will have to beat in the sales race in the compact family car segment…
An all-new Ford EcoSport came to market in 2018 and it’s proving to be a popular choice in this segment with February 2019 sales amounting to 456 units sold locally (it's the top seller in the segment). Not bad… The EcoSport is powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine with 91 kW and 150 Nm of torque as well as a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine with 92 kW and 170 Nm of torque. The only diesel option in the range is a 1.5-litre turbodiesel with 74 kW and 205 Nm. A 5-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission is available to buyers.
In terms of practicality, the EcoSport’s load bay offers 333-litres, expanding to 705-litres. The EcoSport is priced between R254 950 and R346 900.
The Creta is hugely successful in South Africa and in February 2019, it sold 275 units locally. The Creta is powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine with 90 kW and 150 Nm of torque as well as a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine with 94 kW and 260 Nm of torque. A 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission is offered. In terms of load space, the Creta pips the T-Cross with a loadbay measuring at 402-litres.
The Hyundai Creta, however, is priced between R349 900 and R414 900.
An updated CX-3 came to market mid-2018 and the stylish compact family car is selling well locally with February 2019 sales coming in at 309 units sold. The CX-3 employs a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine with 115 kW and 206 Nm of torque and is offered with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. It’s not the most spacious compact family car in the market as its load bay is claimed to offer 264-litres, expanding to 1 260-litres with the rear seats folded down.
The CX-3 is priced between R299 400 and R404 200.
The Captur remains a popular and stylish choice in this segment and the arrival of the facelifted model in 2018 will ensure that this French rival remains relevant in our market. Engine options include a turbocharged 3-cylinder, 1.0-litre turbopetrol engine with 66 kW and 135 Nm of torque as well as a 1.2-litre turbopetrol engine with 88 kW and 190 Nm of torque. A 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine is also offered with 66 kW and 220 Nm of torque. A 5-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission is offered. In terms of space, the Captur’s load bay is claimed at 377-litres, expanding to 1 235-litres with the rear seats folded down.
The Captur is priced between R246 900 and R336 900.
Chinese SUV manufacturer, Haval, has been doing steady business in South Africa since its arrival in 2017 and the H2 compact crossover is considered to be a high-value offering in this segment. It’s powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine with 105 kW and 202 Nm, coupled with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. While Haval hasn’t disclosed load space capacity, the H2’s space offering is on par with rivals in this segment.
The H2 is attractively priced between R259 900 and R319 900.
For the practically-minded buyer, the Suzuki Vitara is a sensible choice in this segment but it’s styling, particularly on the inside, is not as premium as most of the rivals on this list. Nonetheless, the Vitara has much to offer and it’s powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine with 86 kW and 151 Nm of torque and comes mated to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The Vitara is reasonably spacious too with the loadbay claimed at 375-litres and expanding to 1 120-litres with all the seats folded down.
It’s also nicely priced between R281 900 and R374 900.
The Honda HR-V was also updated in 2018 and it’s one of the more pricier options in this segment, which partly explains why its sales numbers are middling (only 79 were sold in February 2019). It is a solid car, however, and buyers have 2 engines to choose from including a 1.5-litre petrol engine with 88 kW and 145 Nm of torque (mated with a CVT) or a 1.8-litre petrol engine with 105 kW and 172 Nm of torque, also mated with a CVT. Both engines are naturally aspirated.
Load space is reasonable at 393-litres, expanding to 1 002-litres although with Honda's Magic seating system, it's certainly one of the more practical models in the segment.
Pricing for the HR-V starts at R354 900 and goes up to R419 900.