2018 Volkswagen T-Cross prototype review

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That is the closest look but of the VW T-Cross – an SUV that can make it to India in 2020 after a full-scale means of Indianisation, so to talk. The SUV for India might be tailored for our market, closely localised and might be constructed on VW’s MQB A0 platform. What you see here’s a prototype of the international-spec mannequin that’s, based on the automotive’s engineers, “95 % full”, offering a reputable glimpse of what’s to come back.

What’s it like on the skin?

Whereas the entrance and rear parts of the T-Cross pictured listed below are camouflaged, our colleagues at Autocar UK have seen an undisguised design prototype and report of an SUV with youthful styling. There’s a really clear hyperlink to the T-Roc, notably on the rear, the place there’s LED lighting and a reflector bar throughout the center. The SUV additionally has an imposing nostril and chunky chin and appears fairly grown up for an SUV that’s simply four.1m lengthy. It isn’t as bland as among the fashions at present on sale and has the SUV-esque design down pat.

What’s it like on the within?

VW’s engineers have packed as a lot security and practicality as attainable into the T-Cross, so it will get a full suite of driver help expertise, together with VW’s newest entrance help space monitoring system that may stop impacts with automobiles forward or approaching from the facet. Plus, the T-Cross can devour a class-leading 455 litres of bags when the 60/40-split rear bench is slid ahead by 20mm (a characteristic that’s distinctive within the phase) and the two-level boot ground is ready to its lowest. It swallows 1,281 litres with the rear seats utterly down.

This offers the T-Cross with “unrivalled flexibility”, based on VW small automobiles boss Andreas Krüger; though, the prototypes pushed by Autocar UK featured a strengthening bar that stretched throughout the entrance of the boot ground (simply behind the seats), which created an inconvenient raised lip about an inch excessive. This may very well be ‘engineered out’ earlier than manufacturing begins, we’re informed, however it may not be, which might hinder the usability of the boot ground’s house.

The upper-spec trims of the T-Cross will characteristic VW’s slick and useful eight.Zero-inch touchscreen infotainment system and the energetic information show instrument cluster as nicely, carried instantly over from the international-spec Polo hatchback. There are additionally vibrant trim finishes obtainable with an optionally available 3D print design on the dashboard to spruce issues up.

How does it drive?

The prototype is powered by the 115hp, three-cylinder, 1.Zero-litre turbo-petrol engine that’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (a six-speed guide might be commonplace). By the way, it’s this engine that VW has plans to localise for the Indian market. For worldwide markets, the engine additionally is available in a 95hp state of tune and is mated solely to a five-speed guide. There will even be a 150hp, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol and a 95hp, 1.6-litre diesel.

On the highway, the T-Cross, which is obtainable in front-wheel-drive solely, feels solely marginally bigger than a Polo, so it stays straightforward to string alongside the slender sections of Bavarian nation lane on the take a look at route. The 1.Zero TSI, acquainted from the worldwide Polo and Golf, stays spectacular on this software, providing robust lowdown torque with a lovely three-cylinder rumble. It feels keen and free revving within the T-Cross, even when not notably potent, and the DSG dual-clutch gearbox is fast to shift. We famous a slight hesitation to kickdown underneath heavy throttle masses on a number of events, however VW’s engineers say there’s nonetheless some calibration work to do.

The diesel is predicted to stay a low-volume choice as a result of oil burners are usually not in notably heavy demand at this finish of the market. However the 1.6-litre unit feels easy within the T-Cross, with its wholesome peak torque seemingly obtainable from underneath 2,000rpm. (Specs aren’t confirmed but.) It permits the seven-speed auto to hold onto larger gears for longer to make the entire driving expertise really feel extra easy.

Curiously, the diesel take a look at automotive rode barely higher than the petrol one – each have been on 17-inch wheels, though 16s and 18s will even be supplied – absorbing ridges and cracks with out the thuds and vibrations we’d felt within the 1.Zero-litre automotive. This may very well be linked to the marginally firmer entrance springs used within the heavier diesel doing a greater job of holding the physique composed, however we suspect it’s proof of an undecided last set-up and variations between these very well-used growth automobiles.

What does this imply?

Let’s make no mistake, right here. It’s troublesome to come back to conclusions a few manufacturing automotive so removed from it being signed off, so we gained’t. However it’s clear the T-Cross has loads going for it, notably by way of practicality.

If VW’s engineers can iron out the remaining creases and be assured sufficient to offer the model’s smallest SUV the inside it deserves, you’d be laborious pressed to doubt the glint of confidence of their eyes.

In terms of India, the T-Cross will rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Renault Captur and the upcoming five-seat Tata Harrier. It might simply be the VW mannequin that marries desirability, practicality and affordability in a single package deal.