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New Volkswagen T-Cross unveiled: it’s VW’s Arona!

Published: 25 October 2018

► VW's fifth 'T' soft-roader
► T-Cross is Nissan Juke rival
► Shares MQB Polo tech

Volkswagen has added yet another SUV to its model range, with the all-new T-Cross fitting in beneath the T-Roc, Tiguan and Touareg flagship.

So, it’s the smallest SUV that VW now makes, and you can order one from spring 2019.

Haven’t we seen this before?

You’re probably thinking of the T-Roc – another, slightly larger SUV that Volkswagen launched this year with a name not too dissimilar. The T-Cross, however, is smaller than the T-Roc but also slightly larger than the Volkswagen Polo on which it shares a platform, boasting similar engines, tech and practicality.

That said, the T-Cross certainly has more than a whiff of shrunken-down Tiguan/Touareg about it, far more so than the curvier T-Roc. In fact, to these eyes, it’s hard to get an accurate sense of the T-Cross’ scale from the pictures. If you’re confused, you’re not the only ones; short answer is, this is the same class size (and the same underneath) as the Seat Arona. Got it?

Okay… Tell me about the engines

To start with, the UK market will be offered a choice of two 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder engine, either in 94 or 113bhp form. As per other Volkswagen Group cars using the same powerplants, the T-Cross will be available with a five- or six-speed manual, plus a seven-speed DSG transmission.

Opt for the punchiest engine and the 0-62mph sprint will take 9.9 seconds with an eventual top speed of 120mph. Volkswagen will be offering a four-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel with the T-Cross in other markets, however these won’t be coming to the UK – at least not to begin with. 

And the tech? 

Think Polo cabin and you’re pretty much there. Granted, the view out will be a little more open, but the logical layout and high-quality materials remain. As does the Active Info Display that takes the place of regular dials. Allowing drivers to scroll through media, sat-nav, driver assistance and mobile phone information, it’s essentially Volkswagen’s equivalent of the Audi Virtual Cockpit system – albeit not as intuitive. 

Speaking of driver assistance tech, the T-Cross will be available with Front Assist (featuring Pedestrian Monitoring and City Emergency Braking, plus a Blind Spot Monitor, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, Rear Traffic Alert and the e-call emergency alert system.  

Anything else I should know?

There is, unsurprisingly, a focus on personalisation, with a variety of bold exterior colours, contrasting roof and pillar colours, contrasting dash décor and various interior trim options available.

Boot space measures between 385 and 455 litres with the rear seats in place – marking a noticeable improvement on the Volkswagen Polo.

Prices and specs are to be confirmed closer to the car’s on-sale date of spring 2019, however, expect a starting figure of around £17,000.

By James Dennison

Manager of Parkers' video content and contributor to CAR

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