The all-new T-Cross will spearhead Volkswagen's eagerly-awaited entry into the local compact family car segment when the Polo-based newcomer hits South African showrooms in Q3 of 2019.
Volkswagen is rapidly expanding its SUV lineup [have you seen the Dune Buggy?] and the firm reckons that by 2025, every second Volkswagen sold will be an SUV. Furthermore, in that same year, Volkswagen will be offering more than 30 SUV models in markets all over the world.
The new Polo-based T-Cross will initially slot in under the Tiguan family car in Volkswagen SA's line-up, until next year, when the bigger (but still technically a compact family car) T-Roc will split them. Some of the Volkswagen T-Cross' rivals include the Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Creta, Honda HR-V, Nissan Qashqai and Suzuki Vitara. This segment is booming right now and the T-Cross is expected to sell well in our market.
The interior of the T-Cross is similar to that of the popular Polo which by all accounts should bode well for this new model.
It rides on the MQB A0 platform shared with the Polo and measures 4 200 mm long, boasts a wheelbase of 2 551 mm and is 1 584 metres high. Despite its compact dimensions, there's a strong focus on practicality, with 377 litres of space being touted in the boot. However, this can be expanded to 455 litres if you slide the second row of seats forward. Fold them flat and you gain access to 1 281 litres of carrying capacity.
The T-Cross will be equipped with LED headlights (optional) and will ride on wheel sizes ranging from 16- to 18-inches. At least 12 exterior colour options (including two-tone) will be available to customers. The interior is very much familiar from the new Polo will be available with two-colour dash pads as well as Volkswagen's digital cockpit. Inductive smartphone charging and up to 4 USB ports will be offered. Electric windows and a height adjustable driver and passenger seat will be standard across the range and a 300W Beats sounds system with an 8-channel amplifier and subwoofer will be offered as an option.
A host of driver assistance features will be offered. A driver alert system will be standard, but a front-assist ambient monitoring system with pedestrian monitoring and city emergency braking, rear-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, proactive occupant protection, blind-spot detection, hill start assist, automatic adaptive cruise control and Park Assist will be on the options list. The T-Cross holds a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
The T-Cross looks striking when specced in Energetic Orange which is optional in Highline guise.
The Volkswagen T-Cross will be offered in 3 trim levels including Trendline, Comfortline and Highline.
The T-Cross Trendline features 16-inch steel wheels, LED daytime running lights and tail lights, colour-coded handles and mirrors, electrically adjustable and heated side mirrors, electric windows at the front and rear, height and lumbar adjustable driver and passenger seats, split folding rear seats, tyre pressure monitor and a 6.5-inch 'Composition Colour' display. Front and side airbags are also included as well as Rest Assist and a Titanium black seat and instrument panel, black carpets and ceramique headliner.
Moving up to the mid-spec T-Cross Comfortline derivative, you can expect 16-inch Belmont alloy wheels, black roof rails, front fog lights, leather multi-function steering wheel with multi-function display, Park Distance Control (front and rear), cruise control, Light and Sight Package and a front centre armrest. Optional features for this trim line will include an R-Line exterior with 17-inch Manila alloy wheels, Beats sound system, inductive wireless charger, Composition Media with App-Connect, Discover Media (with Navigation), Active Info Display, Park Assist with Rear View Camera and Foldable Mirrors, Adaptive Cruise Control (includes Blind Spot Monitor, Foldable Mirrors, Lane Assist and Front Assist, LED headlights with Rear View Camera, Keyless Entry and Removable Towbar.
The top-spec Highline derivative adds standard features such as 18-inch Cologne alloy wheels, Comfort Sport Seats, inductive wireless charging, driving profile selection, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, LED headlights and Composition Media with App-Connect. Options for the T-Cross Highline include an R-Line exterior with 18-inch Nevada alloy wheels, Design Package in Energetic Orange, Beats sound system, Discover Media (with Navigation), Active Info Display, Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control (includes Blind Spot Monitor, Foldable Mirrors, Lane Assist and Front Assist), Keyless Entry, Removable Towbar and Titanium Black-Energetic Orange seats, titanium black instrument panel, black carpets and ceramique headliner.
The T-Cross is expected to take the market by storm when it arrives and should prove to be a popular seller in SA.
From launch, the new T-Cross will be offered with a turbocharged, 3-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine offering 85 kW and 200 Nm of torque with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.9 L/100km and makes use of a 7-speed DSG transmission. A 70 kW version will arrive on local soil in Q1 2020.
A range-topping 1.5-litre turbopetrol engine with 110 kW will also be offered but will be available in Q4 of 2019. While Volkswagen has not confirmed a diesel engine, there is the possibility of a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine with 70 kW joining the range.
The T-Cross is built at Volkswagen's Navarra factory in Spain, but will also be built in South America and China to serve those markets too.
Volkswagen's compact family promises to be a great-value-for-money proposition... The starting price of the T-Cross is expected to be below R300 000 but pricing will be confirmed closer to launch.
Ciro De Siena drove the T-Cross in Spain, watch the video below or read his report here!