CROSS-PURPOSES (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Volkswagen's considered entry into the supermini-based SUV sector, the T-Cross, should find a ready market, thinks Jonathan Crouch
Ten Second Reviewword count: 61
Think of a Volkswagen Polo with a more adventurous image, a slightly larger cabin and a more flexible interior. You're picturing this car, Volkswagen's smallest SUV, the T-Cross. It's trendy, quite sophisticated and very acceptably efficient, thanks to its 1.0-litre TSI petrol and 1.6 TDI diesel engine options. And you can make it very much your own. What's not to like?
Backgroundword count: 121
It may seem as if Volkswagen has a considerable number of family SUVs in its model line-up but the surprising truth is that until the introduction of this T-Cross model, the Wolfsburg brand had been completely absent from one of this crucial segment's fastest-growing sectors; that for supermini-based SUVs. Nissan launched the Juke in 2011. Renault announced the Captur in 2014. It wasn't though until late 2018 that we first saw this T-Cross. It slots into the Volkswagen range just below the Golf-based T-Roc. Which in turn sits below the Tiguan and Touareg SUVs in the company's line-up. the T-Cross is Polo-based and sits on the same MQB-A0 platform as its VW Group cousins, the Skoda Kamiq and the SEAT Arona.
Driving Experienceword count: 243
There are three T-Cross engine options. Most buyers will want Volkswagen's 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine. Entry-level variants get it in 95PS form with a 5-speed gearbox but further up the range, the variants available feature this unit in a 115PS state of tune. Go for that and you'll be offered the option of a 7-speed DSG auto gearbox. Both engines have impressive torque available from low revs - the 95PS version delivering 175Nm from just 2,000rpm and the 115PS version serving up its 200Nm across the same 2,000rpm to 3,500rpm band. In other words, you won't have to row this little VW along with the gear lever through town. T-Cross models equipped with the 95PS engine reach 62mph in 11.5 seconds, with a top speed of 112mph where legal, while the punchier 115PS versions top out at 120mph, reaching 62mph in 10.2 seconds. We said there were three engine options. The minority-interest third choice is a 1.6-litre TDI diesel with 95PS. It develops 250Nm of pulling power, a useful increase from the 200Nm figure you get in the 1.0 TSI 115PS unit. All T-Cross models are front-driven: there's not much appetite in this segment for 4WD. In any case, the Polo platform doesn't allow for it. Don't expect a T-Cross to ride quite as well as a Polo - that taller, heavier body has to tell somewhere - but for the school run and commuting duties, few buyers are likely to have issues.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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