Will it stand out in an already overly saturated segment?

Volkswagen just dropped its latest compact crossover in a worldwide debut following a heavily publicized Internet streaming event. It’s called the T-Cross, and it’s designed as a jack-of-all-trades passenger vehicle for the “urban” lifestyle, something that could net big sales for the German automaker in the near future.

Based on VW’s MQB architecture, the T-Cross is somewhat related to the Volkswagen Polo. The cabin seats up to five passengers, with the rear bench adjusting as needed for more cargo room. The cabin tech includes wireless smartphone charing and as many as four USB ports.

Under the hood, the T-Cross offers three gas engines and a diesel powerplant as well, all of which are turbocharged. These include a duo of 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas options making between 95 and 115 horsepower, followed by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 150 horsepower. Finally, there’s a 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel making 95 horsepower.

Unsurprisingly, safety tech is a big focus for the T-Cross, with the standard spec tossing in a Front Assist area monitoring system with Pedestrian Monitoring and a City Emergency Braking System, as well as lane keeping assist, Hill Start Assist, and Blind Spot Detection. Further features are offered as optional equipment.

Will the T-Cross have what it takes to steal sales from competitors like the Honda HR-V or Toyota C-HR? Given Volkswagen is throwing a lot of weight into this new debut, we think it’s highly likely.

Further Reading

Volkswagen Hopes the T-Cross Will Inject an Urbanized Dose of Cool Into Its SUV Lineup Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Volkswagen T-Cross.

2016 Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze Concept.

world premiere in Amsterdam, Shanghai and São Paulo: Volkswagen presents its new T-Cross, the company’s first small SUV, and thereby resolutely continues the SUV product offensive it began in 2015. This new model will soon be debuting in the markets of three continents with its combination of style, practicality, flexibility, connectivity and economy, and setting new standards for its class as it goes. The urban crossover model reveals itself to be an ideal companion in everyday life and beyond.

With the T-Cross, Volkswagen introduces another new SUV model: even shorter and therefore better suited to the city than the T–Roc, and even more compact than the Tiguan. Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of Volkswagen Brand, explained at the world premiere in Amsterdam: “We’re actually presenting the T-Cross today three times over! We unveiled it a few hours ago in Shanghai, and São Paulo will follow later tonight. It shows just how important the T-Cross is to the Volkswagen brand as a truly global product.”

The new T-Cross is a cool companion for all occasions
The T-Cross is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB), which allows the driven front axle to be located well forward. With a total vehicle length of 4.11 metres, the 2.56-metre wheelbase is comparatively generous, allowing a spacious interior with enough room for five people. For the greatest possible versatility in the interior, the sliding rear seat can be adjusted by 14 centimetres, allowing more passenger leg room or more luggage space. The luggage compartment holds between 385 and 455 litres. Thanks to a rear seat back that folds down fully or partially, in the blink of an eye it is possible to create a flat loading space with up to 1.281 litres of storage volume.

The new T-Cross has a choice of four turbocharged engines: three petrol and one diesel. The two 1.0 TSI three-cylinder petrol engines with petrol particulate filter generate 70 kW / 95 PS or 85 kW / 115 PS. The top model is the 1.5 TSI four-cylinder engine with 110 kW / 150 PS. Completing the range is a 1.6 TDI four-cylinder engine with 70 kW / 95 PS. All engines comply with the latest Euro 6d-TEMP emission standard.

Standard equipment for the new T-Cross includes numerous driver assistance systems which were previously reserved for higher vehicle classes. Together with the vehicle’s outstanding crash characteristics and exemplary occupant protection, these increase safety, reduce the risk of a collision and improve driving comfort. Already included as standard equipment are the Front Assist area monitoring system with Pedestrian Monitoring and City Emergency Braking System, the lane keeping assistant Lane Assist, Hill Start Assist, the proactive occupant protection system, and the Blind Spot Detection lane change assist system with the integrated Rear Traffic Alert. Also available as options are the Driver Alert System, automatic adaptive cruise control and Park Assist.

The new T-Cross provides the highest level of networking and connectivity with the outside world. Even the operation and customisation of the on-board functions are intuitive. Smartphones can be charged inductively, and up to four USB ports provide for digital convenience.

Production – Spain, South America and China
Just like its sister model the Polo, the new T-Cross is manufactured at the Spanish Volkswagen factory in Navarra. Volkswagen is set to invest some one billion euros there by 2019 in order to serve the particularly strong growth in the market for compact SUVs. At the same time, approximately 10% more jobs will be created there. For the 2017-2027 period, independent forecasting institutes expect an approximate doubling worldwide of so-called CUVs (Crossover Utility Vehicles) in the small car segment – the class to which T-Cross belongs. In South America and China – two further growth markets – versions of the T-Cross specially tailored for those markets are being made.

Volkswagen’s SUV offensive
With the new T-Cross, Volkswagen is moving forward with its global SUV offensive. This was begun in 2016 with the current Tiguan. The Tiguan Allspace, carrying up to seven passengers, and the more compact T-Roc followed in 2017. Likewise the Atlas – designed for the USA – and its Chinese sister version the Teramont appeared in 2017, both as seven-seaters.

In 2018, Volkswagen of America presented the two Atlas concept vehicles Cross Sport and Tanoak. In China the new Touareg is celebrating its world premiere, accompanied by two future SUVs for that region: the Powerful Family SUV Tharu and the Advanced Midsize SUV Tayron.

A glimpse into the future: In 2020, the ID. CROZZ will be Volkswagen’s first fully-electric SUV to be launched on the market. Then, with models ranging from the T-Cross to the ID. CROZZ, Volkswagen will offer one of the world’s largest SUV ranges and cover practically all segments.

T-Cross: The vehicle is not yet available for sale.

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