2020 onwards, the VW Group’s product offensive – as part of its India 2.0 plan – will include a couple of crossovers from both Skoda and VW. Both will be based on a modified version of the famed MQB platform, much like the VW T-Cross that you see here.
Wolfsburg has been producing SUVs for decades, but VW’s first compact crossover is what you see here – the T-Cross. And, ahead of its global launch in 2019, we got to sample a prototype.
The Volkswagen T-Cross is based on the same MQB-A0 platform that underpins the latest Polo – that’s available globally, but not in India – from which it inherits most of its mechanicals as well. Compared to the hatch though, the T-Cross is 5cm longer and 11cm taller. The wheelbase, at 2,560mm, however, is identical.
The front end is now more audacious, as is the rear section – which is characterised by a continuous band connecting the two rear lights. The compact crossovers coming to India will be based on a modified version of this platform, namely the MQB-A0 IN – the main difference being that it’ll be longer by around 100mm and, therefore, more spacious at the back.
However, the interior should be more or less the same – at least, design wise – to what we’ve got here. That said, the prototype that we tested came with unfinished interiors. But, from what we could see, it’s clear that the T-Cross is going to have a pretty fresh and vivacious cabin. The dashboard, center console and steering wheel will all have different colours to match the loud and snazzy upholstery. The instrument cluster is made of a single TFT panel and comprises of a tachometer, speedo and all the other information related to the vehicle’s functionality. Right in the middle of the dashboard sits an 8-inch multimedia touchscreen.
High on versatility
The driving position in the T-Cross is, of course, higher than the hatchback. However, the rear seats are around 5cm higher than the front seats, and that makes a world of difference for the passengers in the back. The front seats are wide, and the rears can slide back and forth by 15cm. The boot capacity is decent as well. Depending on the position of the rear seats, you can have a luggage capacity that varies between 385-litres to 455-litres.
Once on the road, the three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine demonstrates excellent qualities – it’s powerful, and there’s a strong surge of torque at low engine speeds. Vibrations are kept to a bare minimum, and the refinement levels are impressive – until you decide to rev the engine to its redline that is. Combined with a seven-speed DSG transmission, the drivetrain works flawlessly. As for the driving dynamics, despite its height, the T-Cross is very predictable. There is body roll, but it doesn’t feel wayward. The steering feedback is precise and prompt. Ride quality is pretty comfortable as well. Like any VW, the ride of the T-Cross feels superior. Going over bumps and undulations doesn’t throw it off balance. All in all, first impressions were more than just satisfactory. Now, let’s just wait and see if Volkswagen can better it in the final production version.
Functionality: The rear seats are 5cm higher than the fronts, which means that passengers at the back enjoy enhanced visibility. The sliding seats at the back also allow passengers to utilise the maximum available space for legroom.
Safety: The T-Cross is equipped with a full range of modern driver assistance devices – automatic emergency braking system, blind spot warning, lane-change assistant and active cruise control.
Engines: The choice is between a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TSI engine, generating 94bhp or 115bhp, and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder TSI petrol, developing 148bhp. A single diesel variant, with a 94bhp 1.6-litre TDI is also expected. A five-speed manual and seven-speed DSG automatic will be offered. The T-Cross will be a front-wheel drive vehicle, with no provision for all-wheel drive.
- VW T-Cross 1.0 TSI
Engine: 999cc / 3-cylinders / 12 Valves/ Turbocharged
Transmission: 7-Speed DSG Automatic / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 114bhp @ 5,500rpm
Torque: 200Nm @ 2,000 – 3,500rpm
Dimensions: Wheelbase – 2,560mm Length – 4,110mm Width – NA Height – 1,560mm
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