Volkswagen T-Cross (2018) Review

Looking for a Volkswagen T-Cross (2018 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Volkswagen T-Cross (2018) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The T-Cross is comfortable and good to drive, as well as being fairly affordable by VW standards.

+Comfortable and easy to drive. Surprisingly practical and spacious. Excellent 1.0-litre petrol.

-More hard plastics inside than we'd like, diesel is noisy and unrefined.

New prices start from £16,995, brokers can source from £17,225
Contract hire deals from £170.39 per month
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

Given the breadth of Volkswagen’s range, the T-Cross was a late arrival into the compact crossover sector in 2018. Up against the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, the T-Cross mixes style with practicality in a package based on the Polo’s mechanical bits. Running costs are gentle on the bank balance and the T-Cross can save you further by acting as a family’s sole transport, which not many compact crossovers could claim to manage.

Looking for a Volkswagen T-Cross (2018 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

The T-Cross is Volkswagen's answer to the likes of the Nissan Juke and Peugeot 2008 - a small crossover that's designed to be practical, good to drive and have a dash of style too. 

Of course there's no shortage of small crossovers on the market, but the T-Cross makes a strong case for itself as the best around with a practical interior, excellent refinement and a great 1.0-litre engine. It's even reasonably priced against the competition, with prices starting at around £17,000.

Think of the T-Cross as a crossover version of the Polo and you get the idea of its size. Its compact dimensions disguise a surprisingly spacious interior though. While its small size makes it great in supermarket car parks, it's big enough inside to make this a viable family car with space for kids in the back and a decent sixed boot too - larger than a Ford Focus in fact.

While the interior is solid and well built, there's quite a lot of hard plastic which is a little disappointing given the 'premium' image. There are a few other small things like the exposed bolts for the base of the back seats.

Thankfully, driving the T-Cross is an easy experience. It's safe and feels very reassuring at motorway speeds where it happily cruises along with little road or wind noise. But what makes the T-Cross stand out is the excellent 1.0 TSI engine - available in two versions. 

The three-cylinder unit gives the T-Cross some much needed character and has a surprising turn of pace for such a small engine. That combined with a slick manual gearbox means the T-Cross can actually good fun if you go for the more powerful engine. There is also a 1.6 TDI but unless you're doing mammoth mileages, but it's not particularly refined with lots of noise and vibration making its way into the cabin. We'd recommend sticking with the petrol, as the diesel feels like an afterthought. 

Thanks to the entry-level S model, the T-Cross has a competitive starting price against its rivals. Indeed, the T-Cross will tick a lot of boxes for buyers who want a vehicle that is comfortable, practical and enjoyable to drive but still compact in size. It makes an ideal family motor and is cheap to run too. We think it's the best small crossover on the market right now.  

Ask Honest John

Which crossover should I buy?
"I need a car for a round trip commute of 90 miles, mostly on the motorway. I have been looking at a SEAT Arona, Skoda Kamiq or Kia Stonic as I like the style of those. Which would you recommend and engine type, trim level etc - or is there a better choice? I am not wedded to any brand and just view a car as a tool to get to work. It needs cruise control and air con which is fairly standard these days. Thanks."
You won't go wrong with any of the three you've mentioned but the Skoda Kamiq is probably the best all-rounder. It's available with a 1.6 TDI diesel engine which would be a frugal choice for your commute. Also look at the Volkswagen T-Cross or T-Roc.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which small SUVs do you recommend the most?
"What are your top small SUVs?"
We'd recommend the latest Peugeot 2008, Volkswagen T-Cross and Ford Puma - all are great little SUVs.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Could you suggest a small, comfortable crossover?
"I’m 72 and have a 2013 Honda CR-V petrol automatic. I love the car, especially the fully adjustable driver’s seat as I have a bad back. However, I have to park on the road and I really need a smaller SUV with the same amount of tech and comfort as my CR-V. I would appreciate any suggestions."
If budget allows, you could look at something smaller but more premium like a Volvo XC40, Lexus UX or Range Rover Evoque. Alternatively, we'd recommend a Volkswagen T-Cross or Honda HR-V.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I want to replace my aging Ford Ka with something reliable, but a bit more robust - what do you suggest?
"I'm looking to change my car in 6-12 months time. I drive a Ford Ka, which I have had since new and it will be six years old this year. I currently drive along a lot of A and B rural roads, so I'm looking for something a bit more robust. However, I'm not sure whether to go down the SUV road or upgrade to a slightly bigger car. Whatever I get will need to be economical and reliable as a priority. Also, I don't have a family to drive around so I'm wondering whether I actually need a very large family car for one person. I would love to have a convertible or something sporty but not sure that's the most practical option. I've got absolutely no idea what to even look at."
How about a Ford Fiesta? It's bigger than your Ka, so will feel more robust, while also being reliable and cheap to run. It's also fun to drive and you could opt for the rugged Active model if you want something a little more SUV-like. Also, consider small crossover SUVs like the new Ford Puma, Peugeot 2008 and Volkswagen T-Cross. These have higher seating positions - which might be good for the kind of driving you do - without being significantly bigger or more expensive to run than a hatchback. As a left-field choice, if you don't need much in the way of practicality, take a look at a Mazda MX-5. They're reliable and cheap to run, while also being sporty and fun to drive.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Volkswagen T-Cross (2018) cost?

Buy new from £17,225 (list price from £18,320)
Contract hire from £170.39 per month