New Volkswagen T-Cross Move 2023 review

The latest Volkswagen T-Cross trim level makes the rest of the lineup look a bit redundant

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

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The main thing that we’ve held against the T-Cross in our previous encounters is that it’s too pricey. With this new model, that significant flaw is thrown out the window, immediately making this a much more appealing compact SUV. It’s still not quite the roomiest car in its class or the best to drive, but it does everything competently without any significant downsides. It’s so well equipped now that it makes the expensive trim levels above it seem almost redundant.

The T-Cross is due to get a facelift next year, but until then, Volkswagen has chosen to freshen up the range by introducing a new trim level. It’s called the Move, and it starts from £23,765, making it the cheapest model in the brand’s compact SUV lineup.

The Move can be singled out by its 16-inch alloy wheels, plus subtle badging on the B-pillar and door sills with ‘Move’ lettering. Inside, the upholstery is made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles and polyester, and a jazzy bit of silver trim across the dash gives the cabin a lighter feel than the darker panels of the higher trim levels. The cabin doesn’t feel as expensive as those of a Renault Captur or Peugeot 2008 - the plastics all feel a bit too hard and scratchy to compete - but it’s all logically laid out, with big, chunky air conditioning controls on the lower part of the dashboard. 

The back seats are above the class average for leg room and slightly below average for headroom, while the sliding back bench moves 150mm back and forth to allow an already roomy 385-litre boot to grow to as much as 455 litres.

Its entry-level status makes the standard equipment list you get even more surprising. Front and rear parking sensors, safety features like blind spot detection, and even a digital driver’s display are all included. Very few competitors can boast of tech like that - especially at the bottom of their ranges. 

Be sensible with the options list, and a couple of select extras can add a little more utility for everyday life, too. A £345 Winter Pack adds heated front seats and heated windscreen washer jets, a reversing camera costs £300, and wireless smartphone charging is £115. A full proprietary navigation system costs a hefty £960, but considering that wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are thrown in as standard anyway, we wouldn’t bother with it.

Under the bonnet, there are three choices, all centred around Volkswagen’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine. The £23,765 option has 94bhp and comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, while for £24,540, power is boosted to 108bhp and the gearbox gains an extra gear. A seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission can be added to the more powerful engine for £1,570.

The Move drives much like any other T-Cross. That is to say, the controls are light and easy to use, the handling is safe and steady, and ride comfort is not class-leading, but not bad at all. The petrol engine, in the 108bhp manual guise we’re driving here, gets the job done without much fuss; at motorway speeds, it’s quiet enough that wind and road noise are the more obvious sounds. We didn’t find it hard to average high-forties mpg, with more gentle driving on A roads enabling figures comfortably in the fifties.

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As it stands, Volkswagen offers a generous £1,500 deposit contribution with the T-Cross, which means if you place a £5,000 deposit on a three-year PCP finance agreement with a 10,000-mile annual limit, you’ll be paying from £237 per month for the TSI 95, £269 for the TSI 110 manual and £296 per month for the auto.

The Renault Captur is our favourite in this class, and beyond its strengths of impressive space, comfort and equipment, value for money plays a big part in our rating. So the fact that its base Evolution trim costs £235 per month on matching terms to the T-Cross, shows that the Move is very much in the right ballpark. 

Model: Volkswagen T-Cross Move
Price: £24,540
Engine: 1.0-litre 3-cyl turbo
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power: 108bhp/200Nm
0-62mph: 10.8 seconds
Top speed: 117mph
Economy: 49.6mpg
CO2: 130g/km
Dimensions (L/W/H): 4,108/1,760/1,573mm
On sale: Now
Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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