T-Cross ticks the boxes
INTRODUCING yet another SUV into an already packed market, a market that seems to have no limit, means it will have to be good.
VW's latest foray, the compact T-Cross seems to tick all the boxes of what people expect for their money. Fashionable, practical, economical and cheap to run and at a price that's attractive and competitive.
Based on the excellent Polo chassis, although longer, the newcomer has become part of VW's impressive list of SUVs, from Tiguan, T-Roc, Tiguan Allspace and the brand flagship, the Touareg.
Compact it may be, but it is also stylish, economical and impressively kitted out.
On this model, as well as the usual electric aids, there are neat touches like multifunction computer, automatic dimming mirror, rain sensing wipers, leather trim steering wheel, electrically operated and heated door mirrors and remote tailgate unlocking.
It is a slightly angular, rugged SUV, sitting high off the ground with distinctive roof rails and alloy wheels. It features slim headlights and wide grille togdther with plenty of shiny bits around said grille, body-coloured bumpers, door handles and door mirrors with integrated indicators.
The interior is typical VW 'less is more', intuitively laid out with high quality fixtures and fittings and with controls and switches logically placed.
Centre point on this model is the eight inch central touch screen which controls major functions like navigation and connectivity.
This includes Bluetooth telephone and audio connection, Car-Net App Connect, which combines the functionality of Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto and MirrorLink allowing mirroring of smartphone display on the infotainment touch-screen via USB.
Smartphones can be charged inductively, and up to four USB ports – two front and two for rear seat passenger are available.
Luxurious it most certainly is not, with plenty of plastic and metal finish and hard wearing cloth seats, but practical and robust it is.
Just like the Polo, it is based on the VW groups MQB architecture, which allows the driven front axle to be located well forward, thus improving space. The total length of 4,235mm, the 2,551mm wheelbase allows a spacious interior with enough room for five people.
In addition, a nice touch allows the rear bench seat to slide backwards and forwards.allowing a further 14cm of legroom This can also increase/decrease the 385-455 litre boot, which can be extended to a cavernous 1,281 litres with the seats folded. It also features a choice of one litre, three cylinder engines, either 95ps driven here or the more powerful 115ps.
It certainly pulls well for modest power, but the gains are in fuel economy, which is an impressive 48.6mpg, low emissions and low running costs with a group 8 insurance. The satisfying thrum of the three pot engine gives a feeling of extra power under acceleration.
It does handle well feel taut and agile or corners, while the ride, while that being higher off he ground is never unsettled except on the worst of road.
Safety kit is comprehensive and includes full set of airbags, lane assist, pedestrian monitoring, emergency braking, hill start assist , plus blind spot detection and rear traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with radar sensor. plus speed sensitive power steering.
It's quite a package for just a shade over £18,000 on the road.
It may be the baby SUV but is not overshadowed by its bigger siblings.
Volkswagen T-Cross SE 1.0 TSI
Mechanical: 95ps, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 11.5 seconds
Combined mpg: 48.6
Insurance group: 8
CO2 emissions: 112g/km
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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