In-depth reviews

Volkswagen T-Cross review

The Volkswagen T-Cross is a competent small SUV, but it’s relatively expensive and lacks pizzazz

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£23,945 to £31,635
  • Easy to drive
  • Great infotainment
  • Practical interior
  • Expensive top-spec models
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Low-quality interior plastics
Find your Volkswagen T-Cross
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
9/10 sellers got the price they expected
Advertisement

The Volkswagen T-Cross has all the fundamentals to provide stiff competition in the compact crossover segment. Among its many attributes are a practical cabin with a sliding rear bench seat, and a strong engine line-up, which provides enough performance and decent fuel-efficiency. However, it’s not quite capable of toppling the best in the class.

Many of the T-Cross’ rivals are much more eye-catching, for instance. The VW is rather plain inside and out, and as a result lacks the fun-factor most alternatives offer. It’s as refined as you’d expect of a VW, although the T-Cross isn’t the most exciting behind the wheel. 

We used to hold the VW’s expensive price tag against it as well, as it was often undercut by its competitors. VW addressed this by introducing a new entry-level Move model, which is now our pick of the range. Partly due to its cheaper price, but it’s also well equipped; so well in fact it makes the more expensive specifications on offer look a bit redundant.

Our choice: Volkswagen T-Cross Move

About the VW T-Cross

The Volkswagen T-Cross started from a rather left-field concept called the Breeze that was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The Breeze looked pretty much identical to the production-spec T-Cross, aside from not having a roof. The T-Roc Convertible filled VW’s drop-top SUV niche a few years later, however, and the T-Cross took on the popular small SUV segment, first going on sale in March 2019. A facelifted T-Cross has also been unveiled, and is set to arrive in the UK in early 2024.

Rivals include the Citroen C3 Aircross, Renault Captur, Nissan JukeToyota Yaris Cross and Peugeot 2008, as well as the other similarly sized models from within the Volkswagen Group: the Seat Arona and Skoda Kamiq. The higher-spec SEL and R-Line versions of the T-Cross are even priced as rivals to our reigning Car of the Year and Small SUV of the Year, the Hyundai Kona. The T-Cross is the smallest of the six SUVs in Volkswagen’s range, sitting below the Taigo, T-Roc, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg.

The majority of the VW T-Cross line-up is powered by a 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine that produces either 94bhp or 108bhp, while higher-spec models can also be had with a 148bhp 1.5-litre TSI EVO engine. The 1.0 motor can be paired with a manual or automatic transmission, while the 1.5 is auto-only. A single diesel was available in the T-Cross for a time, but the 94bhp 1.6 TDI unit has since been axed.

There are four trim levels available for the T-Cross: Move, Black Edition, SEL and R-Line. Move is the most recent addition, and has a starting price of just over £23,000. Despite being the base model, it’s well equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, digital driver’s display, eight-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus several safety features including front and rear parking sensors, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control and driver fatigue detection.

For around £550 extra, you can get the Black Edition, which adds 17-inch rims, LED headlights, upgraded front seats, tinted window and black styling pack. The SEL trim costs around £2,700 more and adds slightly more supportive seats, different wheels, silver roof rails, two-zone climate control, plus an uprated infotainment system with sat-nav built-in. For around £2,000 more, the range-topping R-Line is yours. This adds 18-inch alloys, a host of interior and exterior styling upgrades and a standard 10.3-inch Active Info Display digital instrument system.

Frequently Asked Questions
The Volkswagen T-Cross is a competent and appealing compact SUV, especially in entry-level Move trim, but not the roomiest or the most enjoyable car in this highly competitive segment.

For an alternative review of the Volkswagen T-Cross, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...

More on T-Cross

Show me:
Volkswagen T-Cross gets a new look for 2024 and dips under £24,000
2024 Volkswagen T-Cross - front tracking
News
4 Jan 2024

Volkswagen T-Cross gets a new look for 2024 and dips under £24,000

The T-Cross has undergone a mid-life refresh to help it stand out in the small SUV market
Top 10 best small SUVs and crossover cars to buy 2024
Best small SUVs - header image
Best cars & vans
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best small SUVs and crossover cars to buy 2024

There's a huge range of crossovers and small SUVs on the market today. These are our top ten picks
New Volkswagen T-Cross facelift review: VW’s baby SUV gets a midlife refresh
2024 Volkswagen T-Cross - front tracking
Road tests
10 Nov 2023

New Volkswagen T-Cross facelift review: VW’s baby SUV gets a midlife refresh

Volkswagen's latest updates have given the T-Cross some much-needed interior upgrades, but not much else
Deal of the Day: VW T-Cross is great value at £205 per month
Volkswagen T-Cross Move - front cornering
News
6 Nov 2023

Deal of the Day: VW T-Cross is great value at £205 per month

Our Deal of the Day for 6 November is a lot of VW SUV for just over £200 per month
New Volkswagen T-Cross Move 2023 review
Volkswagen T-Cross Move - front tracking
Road tests
4 Oct 2023

New Volkswagen T-Cross Move 2023 review

The latest Volkswagen T-Cross trim level makes the rest of the lineup look a bit redundant
Used Volkswagen T-Cross (Mk1, 2019-date) review
Used Volkswagen T-Cross - front
Used car tests
8 Sep 2023

Used Volkswagen T-Cross (Mk1, 2019-date) review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Volkswagen T-Cross covering the T-Cross Mk1 that’s been on sale since 2019
New 2024 Volkswagen T-Cross facelift brings big redesign
New Volkswagen T-Cross - front
News
5 Jul 2023

New 2024 Volkswagen T-Cross facelift brings big redesign

Volkswagen’s baby SUV has received its mid-life update and the facelifted T-Cross will be on sale later this year
New Volkswagen T-Cross Move launched
Volkswagen T-Cross Move
News
19 Apr 2023

New Volkswagen T-Cross Move launched

VW’s baby SUV has gained a new trim level, starting from £23,470
New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition on sale now
VW T-Cross Black Edition
News
8 Apr 2021

New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition on sale now

New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition SUV launched, with black exterior styling and more interior tech
Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI: long-term test review
Long-term tests
29 May 2020

Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI: long-term test review

Third report: Family life has been a real test of the small SUV’s versatility
Volkswagen T-Cross gains new 148bhp petrol engine
Volkswagen T-Cross - front
News
9 Jan 2020

Volkswagen T-Cross gains new 148bhp petrol engine

Volkswagen has expanded the engine range of the T-Cross SUV again, with a new 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit priced from £24,910
Skoda Kamiq vs Volkswagen T-Cross vs Citroen C3 Aircross
Kamiq group test
Car group tests
30 Nov 2019

Skoda Kamiq vs Volkswagen T-Cross vs Citroen C3 Aircross

We find out if the new Skoda Kamiq has what is takes to beat the Volkswagen T-Cross and Citroen C3 Aircross
Volkswagen T-Cross gets a new 1.6 TDI diesel engine
VW T-Cross - front action
News
10 Jun 2019

Volkswagen T-Cross gets a new 1.6 TDI diesel engine

The Volkswagen T-Cross compact SUV is now available with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, priced from £21,240
Volkswagen T-Cross vs Mazda CX-3 vs SEAT Arona
T-Cross vs CX-3 vs Arona
Car group tests
3 Jun 2019

Volkswagen T-Cross vs Mazda CX-3 vs SEAT Arona

VW are late to the small SUV party with the T-Cross - we test it against the SEAT Arona and Mazda CX-3 to see if it's been worth the wait
New Volkswagen T-Cross 2019 review
Road tests
30 Apr 2019

New Volkswagen T-Cross 2019 review

The new Volkswagen T-Cross is the firm’s smallest SUV, and it looks accomplished next to cheaper rivals