The new Volkswagen T-Cross!
The new Volkswagen T-Cross!

Caroline drives the 2020 Volkswagen T-Cross!

B-segment crossovers are hot property these days, guaranteed success in a market that seems to adore an SUV-like high seating position and more ‘rugged’ styling than the traditional hatchbacks on which they are based.

Volkswagen has now furnished their showrooms with a full complement of SUVs with the eminent arrival of the baby to the clan – the new Volkswagen T-Cross. It slots in below the T-Roc.

Priced from €22,495, the T-Cross occupies that sweet spot of the market where the compact crossovers reside. It’s blessed with good looks and is a far more interesting car to look at than the Polo. Yes such desirability does carry a premium but it’s one that buyers have proven they are willing to pay.

In Ireland the new T-Cross is available in four trim lines and engines include a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine (95hp or 115hp) and a 1.6-litre diesel (95hp). A manual gearbox comes as standard however a 7-speed DSG automatic is available.

The interior of the new T-Cross
The interior of the new T-Cross

How big is it?

The T-Cross sits on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, and is 54 mm longer than the Polo and 138 mm higher. It’s a compact car but by class standards it is generously sized and four adults should be comfortable enough. The boot is one of the best in class, holding between 385- and 455-litres thanks to a sliding rear bench that can be moved by 14 cm.

Inside the T-Cross features the latest in Volkswagen design and technology. Cabin quality is very good, avoiding the cheap and nasty look. Volkswagen’s infotainment screens look and behave very well, with full smartphone compatibility.

Trim lines include the entry level ‘T-Cross’, followed by the ‘Life’ starting at €24,550, ‘Style’ starting at €26,795 and ‘R-Line’ starting at €27,995. The ‘Life’ model has 16” alloy wheels, 8” infotainment system, App Connect, Climatronic Air Conditioning, 2 USB interfaces and Adaptive Cruise Control. The ‘Style’ models adds 17” alloy wheels, LED headlights, and a Chrome package, while the ‘R-Line’ model gains 17” wheels and an R-Line exterior package.

The problem with the T-Cross is that it can get very expensive very quickly. Volkswagen are not after the budget end of the market with the T-Cross. The T-Cross R-line 1.0-litre DSG I was driving starts from €29,895, and at that price it would be in the market with larger cars.

The 2019 Volkswagen T-Cross is one of the best small SUVs on the market
The 2019 Volkswagen T-Cross is one of the best small SUVs on the market

On the road in the 2020 Volkswagen T-Cross

Small automatics are getting more and more popular and the T-Cross 1.0 DSG is a fine example of one. A 7-speed automatic gearbox is matched to a small 1.0 litre petrol engine and works amazingly well. It’s a pleasure to drive, smooth and smart with no dim-witted gear changes present here. Motor tax for this model is €200 per year and over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 5.9 l/100km. The T-Cross is fun to drive, refined and comfortable for what it is.

The Volkswagen T-Cross recently won Irish Compact SUV of the Year at the Irish Car of the Year awards. The judges were unanimous in their recommendation of the new T-Cross. It feels like a larger and more substantial car than the Polo though there is not much between them in terms of dimensions. It’s a more expensive car to buy but Volkswagen has a good track record in selling SUVs. The T-Cross is a highly desirable small SUV and the 1.0-litre petrol engine is a perfect mate for it!

The T-Cross is available from €22,495
The T-Cross is available from €22,495

Volkswagen T-Cross vs Volkswagen T-Roc

Many of you may be looking at what’s the difference between the Volkswagen T-Cross and the T-Roc. The T-Roc is positioned higher in the Volkswagen range and is more expensive. In Ireland in 2020, the Volkswagen T-Cross is available from €23,195. The Volkswagen T-ROC is available from €26,195. The T-Roc looks more like a crossover, or a slightly raised hatchback. The T-Cross has more chunky, small SUV inspired looks. The T-Roc is a little bigger inside for passengers, more like a Golf. Both cars are available with a similar engine line-up of small efficient petrol and diesel engines here.

Read our Volkswagen T-Roc review here.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI R Line DSG
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
115 hp
Torque: 200 Nm
10.2 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Fuel economy:
6.3 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
111 g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year