Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 24 Sept 2019 – Updated April 2020

The Volkswagen Polo and Polo Vivo are always among the top-selling compact cars within South Africa. We just love their style, quality, practicality and affordability. Well now the time has come for the new T-Cross, and it’s a game-changer!

Long test drive video:

In Short

From launch quick points (Driven 1.0 TSI DSG)

  • 1.0 TSI engine with 85kW : 200 Nm
  • Priced at R365,000 (Model tested on launch. From below R300,000 Q2 2020)
  • Fuel Consumption Average (Claimed) – 5.3l/100km
  • 7-Speed DSG Transmission available
  • Volkswagen Digital Cockpit & Composition Media Available
  • Large 377-litre luggage load space (seats folded-up)
  • Length – 4235 mm ; Height – 1584 mm ; Width (excl. mirrors) – 1782 mm

Think of the T-Cross as a progression of the new Volkswagen Polo. Riding on the well-established Volkswagen Audi Group MQB platform, the T-Cross features many of the Polo’s under-pinning’s while adding new style and ride-height.

As you would expect, the build quality is impeccable. The design is modern, and I personally think that its poster Makenna Turquoise colour body paint perfectly sums-up its ultra-chic and sophisticated elements. At market launch, the T-Cross will only be available in the 1.0 TSI engine with 85kW power output. In the first quarter of 2020, the 1.5 TSI 110kW will be introduced and in the second quarter, the range will be completed with the introduction of the 70kW engine, the one which is also set to land at considerably below R300,000.

Unmistakable from Every Angle

Featuring distinct styling elements and bold lines, the face of the T-Cross is adorned by its modern LED lights. From the side profile, the T-Cross is unmistakably a compact SUV and from the rear, the vehicle cannot be missed by its large framed black trim panel.

From the striking exterior, you enter the T-Cross dynamic interior space. Suedes of colour, customisation and typical VW build solidity is what you can expect. Much like the Makena Turquoise and Energetic Orange, the cabin space can be filled with many exciting colour accents which just simply make the space pop and come alive.

The Drive, Practicality & Key Features

During my time driving the T-Cross I was able to explore the abilities of its 1.0-Litre TSI motor while driving some of the beautiful garden route roads, and over a couple of sneak backroads and trails. With its ride height, it handles the bumps and potholes like a true champ, and its on-road manners are very good as well, offering a very Polo style level of fun, impressive road holding and simply a praiseworthy performance.

You can have the T-Cross with a manual transmission, however, I spent time with the DSG automated version, which is soooo good, it’s the one I would certainly opt for. While of-course at its very affordable price there are some plastics around the interior, they feel premium, and thanks to an overall good build, noise harshness levels (NVH) are really on point with any premium family SUV.

From its available Beats audio system, to Volkswagen Composition media with the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the option of a fully digital Virtual Cockpit style instrument cluster and a wealth of USB, Auxiliary and other ports throughout the cabin, this new T-Cross is definitely ahead of its competitors within its market segment.

In Conclusion

While it may be late to the compact crossover segment, they say that the best things in life are worth waiting for, and this is a case in point. During the launch I was able to explore living life to the full, adventure, fun and enjoyment and these are all elements which culminate within the new T-Cross.

Recommended Retail Price (VAT and emissions tax included)

1.0 TSI 70kW – Coming Soon – Price TBC (Below R300,000)

1.0 TSI 85kW Comfortline DSG®                   R334 600

1.0 TSI 85kW Highline DSG®                         R375 400

1.5 TSI 110kW R-Line DSG®                          R403 500

The T-Cross comes standard with a 3 year/120 000km warranty, a 3 year/ 45 000km Volkswagen Service Plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 15 000km.

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