Volk­swa­gen T-cross

Brand ar­rives late to small SUV seg­ment with £17,000 Polo-based T-cross for 2019

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - JAMES ATTWOOD

Watch out, Nis­san Juke

Volk­swa­gen has re­vealed the new T-cross with which it plans to take on the Nis­san Juke and Re­nault Cap­tur in the com­pact cross­over mar­ket – and says it will be a “truly cred­i­ble” SUV.

The T-cross sits be­neath the T-roc, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg in the firm’s range of SUVS. It fi­nally gives VW a model in the bur­geon­ing su­per­min­i­sized-cross­over mar­ket, a year af­ter sis­ter brand Seat launched the Arona.

Project man­ager Felix Kaschützke ad­mit­ted VW was late to the seg­ment but said that was “some­thing we have done be­fore”. He added: “Usu­ally we are not the first in a seg­ment but, when we come, we are the best. When cus­tomers hear there is a new small SUV from Volk­swa­gen, they know we’ll get it right. We’ve put ev­ery­thing in this car that cus­tomers might ex­pect.”

The T-cross is based on the VW Group’s MQB A0 su­per­mini plat­form, and shares many me­chan­i­cal un­der­pin­nings with the Polo, which it will be built along­side at the firm’s Pam­plona fac­tory. But while it shares a num­ber of me­chan­i­cal el­e­ments – in­clud­ing pow­er­trains – with the su­per­mini, the T-cross has dis­tinc­tive SUV styling. Kaschützke says that was a re­sult of a fo­cus on ver­sa­til­ity.

“We needed to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it [from the Polo] so cus­tomers could see the added ben­e­fits,” he said. “It can’t just be a re­worked Polo: it has to be a truly cred­i­ble car. Peo­ple aren’t go­ing to buy this car be­cause it’s an SUV but be­cause of the ver­sa­til­ity it gives them: a higher driv­ing view­point and ex­tra space.” The five-seat T-cross is 4107mm long and 1558mm high, mak­ing it marginally big­ger than the Polo (4053mm and 1461mm re­spec­tively). The wheel­base of the two cars is iden­ti­cal, the ex­tra length com­ing from larger front and rear over­hangs. The T-cross is 127mm shorter than the T-roc, which is sim­i­lar in size to a Golf.

The T-cross fea­tures a rear seat that can slide up to 15mm, giv­ing the boot a vari­able ca­pac­ity of be­tween 385 and 455 litres. The seat­ing po­si­tion is 100mm higher than in the Polo, and a new in­te­rior fea­tures a 3D-ef­fect dash­board, which will be avail­able in a range of colours.

In the UK, two 1.0-litre TSI petrol en­gines will be of­fered at launch, with 94bhp or 113bhp, pow­ered through five- or six-speed man­u­als, or a seven-speed DSG au­to­matic. A 1.6-litre diesel with 94bhp will be of­fered in cer­tain mar­kets, and a 1.5-litre 148bhp petrol will fol­low, al­though it is un­de­cided if ei­ther will be avail­able to Bri­tish buy­ers. It will only be of­fered in front-wheel drive.

There are no plans for a hy­brid ver­sion, ow­ing to the cost of in­stalling the pow­er­train in smaller cars, al­though Kaschützke said the firm was “look­ing into it” for the fu­ture.

A large num­ber of driver as­sis­tance sys­tems, in­clud­ing au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol and lane as­sist, will be fit­ted as stan­dard, along with four USB ports. Four dif­fer­ent trim lev­els – S, SE, SEL and R-line – will be of­fered in the UK. While ex­act spec­i­fi­ca­tions have yet to be set, higher-end mod­els will re­ceive op­tions such as a wire­less smart­phone charger and key­less en­try.

Higher-end R-line mod­els will re­ceive sportier body­work and in­te­rior up­grades. A va­ri­ety of per­son­al­i­sa­tion op­tions will in­clude con­trast­ing roof and pil­lar colours, in­te­rior trim and coloured wheel rims.

The T-cross will go on sale in the UK in Jan­uary next year, with prices likely to start from around £17,000.

T-cross is aimed at small fam­i­lies and on sale in Jan­uary EX­CLU­SIVE PIC­TURES

DYSON EV TO BE MADE IN SIN­GA­PORE

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