By on 2023-07-14 -
Volkswagen T-Cross -
Used Car Review
VOLKSWAGEN at one time had plans to increase its SUV fleet with a small model based on the up! city car.
But nothing came of this apparently, so the smallest model available is still the excellent T-Cross, which is a sister car to the SEAT Arona and the Skoda Kamiq.
All are based on the VW Polo platform, and despite off-road looks, none is offered with four wheel drive so they are not capable of real rough stuff.
Instead, they offer a higher, chunky crossover alternative to the Polo and Golf and they drive beautifully.
The T-Cross is mainly going to be found with three cylinder 1.0-litre turbo petrol engines on the secondhand market.
These come with three different power outputs depending on the model chosen, and start with a 95bhp model that reaches 60 miles an hour from rest in 11.2 seconds and is rated at 54 miles per gallon.
Then comes a 110bhp version that drops the sprint to 10.5 seconds and can do 58 mpg, and finally, a 115bhp model that reaches the benchmark in 9.9 seconds and can also do 58mpg.
The most powerful is a 1.5 TSI with 150bhp and that can get to 60 in a shade over 8 seconds and has a rating of 51mpg.
There was one diesel introduced for a time using the well-known VW group 1.6 TDI engine. It takes 11.5 seconds for the sprint and is rated at an excellent 69mpg, but is no longer available new.
It's hard to believe that a tiny little 1.0-litre, three cylinder engine can produce such performance along with decent economy.
My pick would be either of the more powerful 1.0-litre units, which are smooth and silky right through its rev range, and have a willing and zesty nature.
They pull well from low revs to help ditch the stupid tailgaters, and once the turbo is spinning hard, it's possible to change up a gear and have almost the same level of acceleration.
The six speed gearbox has a lovely change and the clutch is as light as a feather, but most models are also available with the VW DSG automatic gearbox.
High speed ride on rougher country roads is excellent, and it's just as good at low speeds in town, soaking up the worst of surfaces with ease.
Roadholding is excellent, and the handling matches it perfectly. This is a car that loves a twisting road and will delight an enthusiastic driver.
The steering feeds information to the hands on the move, and makes slow speed manoeuvres a piece of cake, helped by very good parking sensors on upper models.
Electronic safety includes automatic emergency and post-collision braking, stability control and lane keeping assistance - of which more later.
In mid-range SEL trim, it comes with a DAB stereo and sat nav, and the screen has big, easy to hit buttons.
Well-shaped and comfortable seats have plenty of adjustment, and it has diamond cut alloy wheels, climate control and a digital dash.
Add alarm, cruise control, six airbags and a 60/40 split folding back seat and it seems very well equipped indeed.
My only criticism is the lane keeping assist, which applies a disconcertingly strong push to the steering if you cross a white line without indicating.
It's too strong, and I disliked it so much I turned it off.
Apart from this, the T-Cross is a cracking not so small car that sets a very high crossover standard.
Pay about Â£13,650 for a '19 19-reg SE 1.6TDI diesel, or Â£21,550 for a '21 21-reg SEL 1.0TSi 115bhp auto.
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