The Volkswagen T-Cross is a compact powerhouse on the road
Since its inception in 2019, the Volkswagen T-Cross has been a popular choice and a testament to Volkswagen's enduring legacy in South Africa. Built on the versatile MQB platform shared with the VW Polo, the T-Cross was predestined for success.
This review focuses on the T-Cross in its 1.0 TSI Comfortline manual variant. Our test vehicle came equipped with an array of optional features that elevate its appeal. Among these enhancements, the R-Line exterior kit stands out with its 17-inch Manila-style wheels, adding a dash of sportiness for an additional R22,000.
This variant's safety and convenience are paramount, with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and autonomous emergency braking assistance bundled together for R6,200. The digital sophistication of the Active Info Display digital cluster can be yours for an extra R10,200, while parking assist, a reverse camera, and electronically folding mirrors demand R10,800. The Composition Media system, rounding off the optional features, includes App Connect and wireless charging for R8,900, bringing the added features to R58,100 on top of the standard price of R399,000.
Externally, the T-Cross boasts a design that is both purposeful and modern, adorned with a variety of aesthetic options; ours came draped in a Silver hue. This visual appeal is matched by a cabin that, while beautifully designed, embraces a minimalist aesthetic with its touchscreen-centric control layout.
Despite some critiques regarding interior material quality, the vehicle does not falter in delivering a premium experience, especially with options such as the Discover Media Infotainment package. This system elevates the in-cabin experience with its high-definition 8-inch display, offering a range of functions from navigation to smartphone mirroring. Additionally, practical features such as adjustable rear seating and ample storage solutions underscore the T-Cross's utility as a versatile family vehicle.
Under the hood, Volkswagen has ingeniously fitted the Comfortline with a detuned version of its 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine, delivering 70kW and 175Nm of torque. This contrasts with the Highline's beefier 85kW and 200Nm output. Moreover, the traditional seven-speed DSG gearbox has been replaced with a long-throw five-speed manual transmission, directing power to the front wheels. Although it occasionally feels underpowered in demanding scenarios. This is a minor trade-off for a vehicle that offers a pleasant driving experience.
Fuel efficiency remains a key consideration, with real-world consumption figures slightly higher than Volkswagen's claimed figure of 4.9l/100km. I achieved 9l /100km. This indicates that achieving optimal fuel economy may require a more conservative driving approach.
Despite its many virtues, the T-Cross's pricing places it in a competitive market filled with similar and more affordable alternatives, especially when accounting for optional extras.
The Volkswagen T-Cross stands out and represents Volkswagen's commitment to quality. While it may navigate a densely populated segment and face criticisms over interior material quality and pricing, its success story is undiminished.
Overall, the T-Cross continues to reinforce Volkswagen's reputation for producing reputable, desirable vehicles for the modern driver.