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Volkswagen T-Cross review: What's in the box?

The new Volkswagen T-Cross doesn't feel like a small car inside, for which you can credit the squarish shape.


FUNNY how large cars try to hide their size with sensuous lines and soft curves, while compact ones attempt to mask their smallness with boxiness. Witness the new T-Cross, which is only VW's third Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) for Singapore in a world obsessed with such cars (Audi, BMW and Mercedes offer at least 22 between them here).

It's also the smallest of VW's SUVs. Based on the compact Polo, the T-Cross has the same 2,551mm wheelbase.

Yet, it doesn't feel like a small car inside, for which you can credit the squarish shape. It creates space for a roomy cabin, though the T-Cross is not a wide car, so three abreast in the back works best with slender booties.

The car's own booty is decently large. Cargo capacity starts at 385 litres but grows to 455 litres if you slide the rear seats forward. Fold them down, and you get 1,281 litres. That sort of usefulness is one reason people are abandoning sedans for SUVs.

Sharing the Polo's bones means the T-Cross has the same exuberant handling. It has a confoundingly smooth ride for a small SUV, but it hooks around bends in a carefree sort of way. And though a 1.0-litre engine doesn't sound like much, in reality it's enough to give the VW more than enough get-up-and-go for local traffic.

Where the Volkswagen's basic roots show themselves is in the cabin. The plastics generally feel cheap, the manual handbrake seems old-school, and while the fabric upholstery looks good, buyers here tend to prefer leather.

Nevertheless, the equipment list is long. You get an eight-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the 10.25-inch digital cockpit is a flashy touch. Dual-zone climate control is standard, as is a wireless charging pad.

Funky colours for the cabin trim suggest the T-Cross is aimed at the young, yet it's versatile enough for most life stages. It manages to disguise its small dimensions, but more importantly, it overcomes them.

Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI R-Line

Engine 999cc, inline 3, turbocharged
Power 115hp at 5,000-5,500rpm
Torque 200Nm at 2,000-3,500rpm
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h 10.2 seconds
Top Speed 193km/h
Fuel Efficiency 5.2L/100km
Agent Volkswagen Group Singapore
Price S$132,400 with COE
Available Now

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