VW supplements its SUV offering with new T-Cross entry-level

Much vaunted (having been promised for years), the all-new T-Cross completes the Volkswagen line-up of SUVs for all size and surface requirements and Iain Robertson has been privy to the very first example before its April launch date.

A big question needs to be asked. Is VW being smarter than any of its rivals? While the model descript ‘SUV’ can be readily applied to any former ‘family car’ tag, as the majority of them are front-driven (not 4x4) and they are now common automotive fodder, I wonder how long it will take before product rationalisation occurs and the (in VW’s case) Polo is erased from the line-up.

If you thought that T-Roc was the most compact SUV/family car in the German company’s range, then you can perform your double-take at the entirely new T-Cross model, which is now ready for ordering for April delivery. The First Edition variant obtains a suite of equipment upgrades that include a Beats audio system promising  300-watts output and an extra subwoofer; Discover Media sat-nav; and, naturally, LED headlights. Each of the exclusive 250-off First Edition models will be finished in Pure White with silver roof rails and unique black styling throughout, with 18.0-inch diameter ‘Funchal’ Adamantium alloy wheels and a special decal on the car’s C-pillar further marking out the First Edition.

All T-Cross First Edition models are powered by Volkswagen Group’s most efficient 1.0-litre TSI turbo-petrol engine that develops a modest 112bhp. It is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and drives the front wheels only. As with the more basic offerings in the line-up of forthcoming models, the customary level of safety addenda and driver aids is included, complete with frontal assist that incorporates autonomous emergency braking, blind spot sensors, adaptive cruise control and even lane assist as part of the EU-specified equipment.

Practicality, which is always high on the German firm’s list of talents, means that sliding rear seats are fitted as standard, the fore and aft movement of which enables an additional 70-litres of boot capacity, or up to 140mm of additional rear leg room. The boot is of a decent capacity for a compact hatch and both front seat occupants benefit from a wide range of adjustability, although space in the rear can be a little compromised, if the boot is packed to capacity.

The First Edition version of the T-Cross intends to represent a value-packed launch package, as is typical of several manufacturers these days. It is a good route to profitability for them, even though the retail story will be based on how much more the customer gets for the money. Although official prices will be announced soon, you can expect that the base model will cost from around £15,500 before discounts are applied.

The T-Cross should be an exciting new addition to the Volkswagen SUV/family car range and if you can wait until March, by which time the First Edition models should have found buyers, some good deals should be available. Looking like a down-sized version of the Tiguan, it manages to embody practicality, comfort and fun.

FCD Summary

VW’s 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine is a cracking little unit that delivers the right amount of verve, decent fuel returns and low running costs and, in our book, the VW ‘roundel’ still carries a lot of mainstream prestige.

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