Very soon Volkswagen will offer a full range of SUVs, some will be soft roaders, others like the Tiguan, more capable off the beaten track.
Although the T-Cross is built in Spain, it is interesting that VWSA built 161 954 vehicles in 2019, which is the highest production volume the Uitenhage plant has achieved since it began manufacturing Volkswagen vehicles in 1951.
Of the 161 954 vehicles, 108 422 were manufactured for export and 53 532 were produced for the local market. The production volume consists of 131 365 Polos and 30 589 Polo Vivos.
The T-Cross is the entry level crossover in VWs SUV range. It is not really that capable offroad but on gravel, on the highway and especially in town it does a really good job. It does have a slightly higher road height at 180 mm but for now at least only front wheel drive and at the moment only the little 3 pot 999cc turbo-petrol mill doing duty with one performance level available for now, 85 kW with 200 Nm, more than capable for around town. A detuned 70kW version of this motor and a 1.5 TSI engine with 110kW are on the way. You can order one already.
Things to like
- Looks – she is certainly a looker
- Size especially rear leg room
- Ride is good, but I would prefer 16″ wheels and higher 60 profile tyres
- Good visibility even for a short driver
- The cockpit layout in the R-Line is very pleasant and functional. The VW multi-function steering wheel is a joy to use.
- Start button behind gear lever on left
- Hard plastics
- Small boot
- No climate control only air-conditioner, only mentioning it because it is an expensive little car
- With my driving style I found the car had an irritating pause before the power came on. Its as if it misses a beat.
The optional ‘Energetic Orange’ design package makes the T-Cross truly eye-catching for the very young at heart:
• Seat covers in ‘Diag’ design with seat centre and inner sections in Orange and Ceramique
• Décor in ‘Transition’ 3D design in Energetic Orange and Grey
• Design element in steering wheel in Energetic Orange
• Exterior mirror housings in Energetic Orange
• Black 18 inch ‘Cologne’ wheels with Hot Orange finish for T-Cross Highline
Note the review car has a few optional extras:
- KESSY Keyless entry
- beats® Sound System
- Park Package (Park Assist, Rear View Camera and Power-fold Mirrors)
- Infotainment Package (Discover Media: 3D Map, App-Connect, Voice Control, Inductive Charging and Active Info Display)
- LED Headlights and Rear View Camera
- R-Line Exterior with 17-inch Manila alloy wheels
The Comfortline we drove costs R334 600 without the optional extras. The extras fitted to our test car cost R70 050, bringing the total cost to R415 035 including VAT.
The 1.0 TSI 85kW Highline DSG® costs R365 000 and the 1.5 TSI 110kW R-Line DSG® is priced at R403 500.
• Renault Duster 1.5dCi TechRoad auto R332 900 ¬- Best buy
• Ford EcoSport 1.0T Titanium auto R357 300
• Haval H2 1.5T Luxury auto R329 900 – Good option, facelift just launched
• Mahindra XUV 300 1.5 TD R324 999
• Suzuki Vitara 1.4T GLX auto R399 900 – Solid alternative
• Kia Seltos 1.6 EX auto R371 999
• Hyundai Creta 1.6 Exec LE auto R397 900
The warranty for the T-Cross is still only 3 years or 120 000 km.
The small SUV/ crossover market segment is wide open. Take your time and go and test drive a number of cars before deciding, especially the three cars which have been highlighted.