Review: Volkswagen T-Cross review, test drive

What’s it?

VW has been in hibernation mode in India for a while. However come late 2020, early 2021, it’ll go on a product offensive with launches in contrast to something the German model has launched right here earlier than. The primary of those made-in-India automobiles would be the VW T-Cross. Particularly tailored for our market, and particularly focused on the Hyundai Creta, the India-spec T-Cross, nevertheless, will differ from this Euro-spec automotive vastly. It is going to be constructed on an extended wheelbase, have a extra of a rugged look, and there'll even be a extra highly effective petrol engine. VW calls this sub-platform 'MQB A0 IN'. For India, and other than being bigger, the modifications made will even make it extra inexpensive.

VW designers have achieved job on the European T-Cross. Other than the newborn Tiguan vibe, what the T-Cross additionally has is a pleasant steadiness. On one hand, it’s neat and tidy, and on the opposite, it is usually stuffed with thrilling particulars; a steadiness that's not simple to attain. And what's much more necessary is that VW's designers have gotten the stance proper. The excessive bonnet, the upright cabin, the robust shoulder line – all of them work extraordinarily effectively as a result of the wheels are simply the proper dimension. Because the T-Cross is focused at a youthful viewers, the skinning can be a bit extra aggressive than commonplace VW fare. The shoulder line and waist are properly chiselled and there are robust creases on the backside of the doorways.

What helps full the image is the crisp detailing: the robust chin with the squared-out fog lights, and what I actually like is how the horizontal LED strips within the headlights hyperlink with one another by way of a chrome strip that runs throughout the vast grille. And even on the rear, the interlinked tail-lights look cool.

What's it like inside?

The European Volkswagen T-Cross isn't very large – it’s simply four.1m lengthy and 1.58m tall. The T-Cross, nevertheless, is sort of roomy on the within as a result of it’s a substantial 1.78m vast and VW has, fairly well, used a excessive seating place. The driving force sits nearly 600mm above the highway and passengers on the again are sat even larger. And area for the driving force and passenger are additionally spectacular because the entrance axle is positioned as removed from the entrance seats as doable, one thing the versatile MQB platform means that you can do.

The massive and supportive seats then add generously to consolation ranges and what additionally helps the driving force is that each, the seat and steering wheel regulate have a variety of movement. Legroom within the rear doesn't appear to be a lot, however when you get in you realise it’s truly fairly good, and that's since you are sat excessive. Headroom too is adequate, even for six-footers. Boot area isn’t huge at 385 litres, however with the distinctive sliding again seats, it could possibly go as much as 455 litres.

What can even delight Indian automotive patrons is the dual display screen cockpit within the cabin. Other than a flat eight.Zero-inch touchscreen positioned over the central console, the T-Cross additionally will get an Audi-like screen-based instrument panel. And just like the one on the Audi, this one might be configured to show navigation, info, conventional dials or varied mixtures of the three. The display screen is super-sharp, very vibrant even in direct daylight and so fluid, the dials look unbelievable. And what additionally amps up the cabin really feel is the brand new, high-quality VW steering wheel that’s superbly constructed, nice to have a look at and due to its flat base, is simple to drop low. VW, nevertheless, has gone a bit overboard with the design of the remainder of the sprint, particularly a few of the extra outlandish ones you may order. Sure, the textures and synthetic grains work effectively however the extra colors and designs and patterns lack the sophistication you count on of a VW. The T-Cross additionally has nearly no soft-touch bits or padded sections, and this makes the cabin really feel type of primary. What saves the day, nevertheless, is that the match, end and high quality of the plastic components are first-rate, and the anodized steel highlights work extraordinarily effectively too. 

The place the T-Cross scores is as an alternative of fabric plushness, you get loads of package. There's inductive wi-fi charging, 4 USB ports, auto management for top and low beam, a 300-watt, eight-channel Beats audio system and even energetic lane holding, radar-based cruise management and a level of autonomous driving. However what number of of those options will make it to India is anyone's guess.

What's it wish to drive?

Whereas the automotive in India will probably be powered by two petrol engines – a 1.Zero and a 1.5 TSi – we've examined solely the 1.Zero model. On paper, the three-cylinder model of the EA211 that makes 115hp appears inadequate for the job, however this isn't solely true. Sure, there’s a little bit of lag under 2,000rpm, it lacks the mid-range punch of a bigger capability unit and it does get 'thrummy' in direction of 6,000rpm. Nonetheless, in different areas, it does extraordinarily effectively. Cross 1,800 or 2,000rpm and it pulls pretty energetically all the way in which to the 6,500rpm redline, the circulate of energy submit 2,000rpm is sort of linear and constant, and between three,500 and 5,500rpm it feels fairly peppy too. Zero-100kph, in reality, might be dispatched in a not-so-pedestrian 10.2sec, and because the 6-speed handbook is mild, exact and has a pleasant, 'rubber-insulated' really feel, swapping cogs to extract the utmost from the gearbox is sort of pleasing. And, as you may count on, there's even a DSG computerized on supply; it’s fast, intuitive and a great deal of enjoyable to make use of by way of the paddles.

The T-Cross rides effectively regardless of the 17-inch wheels fitted on this check automotive. The suspension and tyres don't take up every little thing the highway throws at it and massive bumps with sharp edges can unsettle the SUV a bit, however the trip, typically, is great. It’s silent over bumps, the automotive doesn't get tossed round an excessive amount of regardless of the 190mm clearance and it even isolates you from the highway effectively. So, total consolation ranges are very excessive.

What provides immensely to the driving expertise is the steering. Mild, simple to twirl and blessed with a simple 'oily' really feel at low pace, it weights up properly as speeds construct. And the wonderful bit is that there even is a good quantity of actual highway really feel right here whenever you press on.

The VW T-Cross is even steady at excessive speeds and feels sure-footed coming into corners at pace. This implies you don't want to essentially decelerate and might confidently carry loads of pace into corners. Manhandle it in tighter corners, hustle it round a bit and it does roll, and this implies you naturally again off, however preserve it neat and tidy and also you'll be shocked simply how a lot driving pleasure you may extract.    

Ought to I purchase one?

When the VW T-Cross involves India in 2020-2021, it is going to be fairly totally different from the automotive pushed right here. Extra spacious, extra comfy and greater on the within, it’ll give Indian prospects what they need. Sure, a diesel engine is unlikely and it gained't get all of the tech we've skilled on this automotive. Nonetheless, what the European model of the T-Cross has proven us is that VW in the present day is on the prime of its recreation on the subject of SUVs, even compact ones. Engaging to have a look at, refined, comfy, versatile, glorious to drive and with an all-round efficiency that smacks of lethal intent, it is a automotive that has enormous potential. Get the value proper – as VW says it’ll – and what you’ve is an SUV with the potential to be a winner.

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