Volkswagen T-Cross Review 2022

Volkswagen T-Cross At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The Volkswagen 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 £19,647
Insurance Group 17
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

Given the breadth of Volkswagen’s range, the T-Cross was a late arrival into the small SUV 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.

The T-Cross is Volkswagen's answer to the likes of the Nissan Juke and Peugeot 2008 - a small SUV 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 VW 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 VW T-Cross as a crossover version of the Polo and you get the idea of its size. Its compact dimensions (it measures 4235mm long and 1782mm wide) 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 sized 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 Volkswagen 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 VW 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 Volkswagen 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 Volkswagen 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 one of it's the best small crossovers on the market right now.  

Looking for a second opinon? Why not read heycar's Volkswagen T-Cross review

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a small car that will fit a wheelchair?
"I’m looking for a car smaller than my Jaguar XE but I’m finding that the boot on most models is just too small to fit a folded wheelchair in. I need a depth of about 85cm. Can you recommend a car with a sliding rear seat, which also has heated seats? I’m quite happy to lose rear seat space."
Take a look at the Honda Jazz. It's a very versatile little car with 'Magic Seats' that flip and fold to provide more boot space when required. Its low boot lip will make it easier for loading a wheelchair, too. You'll need a high-spec EX model for heated front seats. Alternatively, if you'd prefer a small SUV, a Volkswagen T-Cross could be a good option with a sliding rear bench.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a compact but spacious SUV?
"I’ve had my MINI Cooper four-door automatic since 2015 and have loved driving it. However, as my husband and I get older, with more aches and pains, we’re finding it more and more difficult to get in/out of it. I’m therefore thinking of buying a small crossover, as its extra height would suit us better. I really don’t want one much bigger than the MINI and also want to keep the automatic engine. Easy parking and good driver legroom are a priority. The car would be used for a mixture of short and long drives. What do you suggest I buy?"
The Volkswagen T-Cross is about 200mm longer than your MINI so it's not much bigger, but should be easier to get in and out of. It's available with an automatic gearbox and comes with a range of petrol engines that would suit the shorter drives you do. You can read our review, here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/volkswagen/t-cross-2018/ Another option is the Toyota CH-R, which is about the same size as the T-Cross but has sportier looks. It's petrol-electric engines get great fuel economy, but it has an SUV like body that means it's quite roomy inside and also easier to get in and out of. Toyota CH-R review: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/c-hr-2016/
Answered by Russell Campbell
Looking for a comfortable car - what should I buy?
"I have a Volkswagen Polo TSI Bluemotion 2016, the seats are the most uncomfortable I've sat in and I've had passengers on shorter journeys say they really dislike the seating. I'm fine on short journeys in it, but any longer than 20 minutes and everyone is aching. I'm looking at a Volkswagen T-Cross (I think a Tiguan is a bit big), SEAT Arona or something along those lines. Do you know of any cars in that sort of size range with comfortable seats? My Mum has a Vauxhall Astra Estate (2015) and the seats are SO comfortable (I'm not mad on the car itself, though it does also drive really nicely on motorways)."
The Volkswagen T-Roc is the UK's most comfortable car, according to the latest Honest John Satisfaction Index: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/honest-john-satisfaction-index-2021/honest-john-satisfaction-index-2021-top-10-most-comfortable-cars/ The T-Roc is based on the same mechanical platform as the SEAT Arona, but has better seats that are firmer and more supportive. The higher driving position will also make getting in/out easier for you and your passengers to get in/out.
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best small SUV auto?
"I would be grateful for your up to date guidance on my next car, a small automatic, probably an SUV. I want a new car at a discount, at a price that I hope will not exceed £20k by too much. Apart from a good auto 'box, my basic requirements are park assist (which on my current Ford C-Max works brilliantly), an up to date range of safety and driver aids, plus electric folding door mirrors. A comfortable and quiet ride would be nice., too. I know little about electric cars and am not interested in them. My current front runner is the Ford Puma, which for me is a bit more interesting than other possibilities which include the Skoda Kamiq, Mazda CX30 and Volkswagen T-Cross. What do you recommend?"
Your shortlist is very strong. The Ford Puma is our favourite small SUV – closely rivalled by the likes of the Volkswagen T-Cross and Skoda Kamiq. As an alternative, also take a look at the very comfortable Hyundai Bayon. Discounts on new cars are few and far between at the moment but, if you shop around, you might find a good deal on a pre-registered model.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Volkswagen T-Cross cost?

Buy new from £19,647(list price from £22,130)