Motoring News

Close-up on VW’s new SUV – little toughie called T-Cross

  • New VW SUV – striking design, spacious cabin
  • Class-leading driver assistance systems
  • Five-star rating in Euro NCAP destruction tests
2019 VW T-CROSS: Coming soon to a dealer near you. Image: VWSA

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – VW, with premieres in Amsterdam, Shanghai and São Paulo,  has presented its latest compact SUV ”for a global sales offensive”. It’s due for launch in SA within weeks.

It’s the stunningly pretty, four-door, T-Cross which will join the Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg in the model range in South Africa – whose SA media folk describe it as ”a practical, cool, and versatile addition to Volkswagen’s fast-growing SUV range”.

The automaker describes the small SUV as ”a carefully balanced combination of casual style, refined practicality and extreme cost-effectiveness”. The T-Cross, assembled in Spain, will reach South Africa later in 2019.

2019 VW T-CROSS: Coming soon to a dealer near you. Image: VWSA

Attractive highlights, VW says, include the combination of a front spoiler and a large and wide radiator grille within which are mounted the car’s headlights – long and flat and extending to each side. Certainly the T-Cross will be immediately identifiable…


Diode headlights are an option but the tail diode units are standard and, VW believes, the T-Cross is unmistakeable from the front. If the optional LED headlights are installed, the daytime running lights share the same housing. The tail light clusters feature LED technology as standard.

A bold reflector band runs the width of the tail – an excellent idea for South Africa’s mist and – at least on the Highveld – heavy rain. The large wheel arches house ”dynamically designed” wheels – 16, 17 or 18” alloys according to taste and depth of pocket – though there are other available customisations.


The T-Cross is compact at 4.2m long – which is  18cm longer than the VW Polo but 11cm shorter than the T-Roc – the latter due for launch in SA in 2020. The newbie is also taller and has a longer wheelbase so gives up to five passengers a more spacious and elevated ride along with power window. The luggage volume measures 377-455 litres according to the (flat-folding) rear seat adjustment.

2019 VW T-CROSS: Coming soon to a dealer near you. Image: VWSA

Remove the seat and you have a van capable of expanding to take as much as 1281 litres – which, VW says, ”is unsurpassed by any other SUV in its segment”.

External communication has also been given lots of attention with up to four USB ports and (optional) wireless charging. There’s also an American Beats sound system with a 300W, eight-channel amplifier and a separate sub-woofer is buried in the luggage compartment.

The driver also gets lots to play with (and to depend on)… a five-star crash-test rating whose need might well be obviate by the also standard occupant protection: lane-keeping. hill-start, auto adaptive cruise control, parking radar.

READ MORE VW features on Carman’s Corner

Despite what VW calls, ”an extensive range of standard equipment” there is much customisation to be done, as per…

Trendline trim: The entry level variant.  16” steel wheel rims, diode running lights, split/folding rear seats, colour-coded door releases, power/heatable external mirrors. power window lifts, and full adjustment for the front seats.


mirrors, electrically adjustable and heated side mirrors, electric windows at the front and rear, height and lumbar adjustable driver and passenger seats, tyre-pressure monitors, 16.5cm ‘Composition Colour‘ display, front and side crash balloons.

Comfortline trim: Adds 16” alloy rims, black roofrails, front foul-weather lights, leather-clad and multifunction steering-wheel, parking radar front and rear, cruise control, and a central front armrest.

2019 VW T-CROSS: Coming soon to a dealer near you. Image: VWSA

Option on this model include Park Distance Control (front and rear), cruise control, Light and Sight Package and a front centre arm rest. Optional on this model include 17” alloy rims, Beats auto, wireless charging for cellphones and Composition Media with App-Connect that includes satnav, rear camera, folding external mirrors, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping, rearview camera and keyless entry. A removable towball is hidden in the boot.

Highline trim: All the goodies on the Comfortline and Highline but with sport seats, driving profile selection, auto aircon, 18” wheel rims and Composition Media with App-Connect.

And the really important bits: a one-litre turbo petrol engine capable of 85kW or a 1.5-litre thre-cylinder capable of 85kW. Later will come another 1.5 TSI boosted to 110kW.

  • Pricing will be announced when the T-Cross reaches our sylvan shortes.

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