Volkswagen T-Cross Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
eBay's Guide to Thrifty Motoring
Read it all here
Monday 20th March


What is it like to drive?

There are no diesel engines, at least to start with, and the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol is something of a known quantity, having been used in both bigger and smaller VWG products for some years.

It’s not at its very best in the T-Cross, though. As my colleague Paul Horrell pointed out in our review of the Seat Arona - same platform, same engines - in most-powerful 115bhp form it’s punchy enough (just - could use a bit more push lower in the rev range), but drive it for economy, by changing up early and using the low-down torque, and it sounds laboured. Use the revs and it gets quite noisy. By the standards of the class it’s ok - a good performer for sure, but not quite as refined as it is in other VWs, and as it ought to be here.

Advertisement - Page continues below

The 115bhp version has either a six-speed manual or seven-speed double-clutch auto. The former is fine, whereas the latter is from the “shift up early and stay there at all costs” school of automatic gearboxes. Least the shifts themselves are smooth, and should you want to seize control yourself it responds swiftly to a pair of paddles on the wheel. The 90bhp car - the only other engine option from launch - has a five-speed manual. You should probably stay away from that one anyway - its 0-62mph time is 1.3 seconds slower than the 115’s time. Simply too slow.

Good driving position - manages to feel suitably elevated, without making you feel as though you’re perched on a tall, wobbly object. On the move the tallness manifests itself with a little bit of body-roll and plain steering that serves up no encouragement to corner quickly. No matter. Its owners won’t want to. For the most part bends are handled ably, with no fuss from the mostly surefooted chassis.

Ride is on the firm side of things - but it’s never annoying or uncomfortable. Might be better on smaller wheels - ours had big ones and you could tell - but for the most part the T-Cross rides very well for a car of this size and type. Good news for long-distance cruising, the trade-off being slightly more road- and wind-noise (especially from around the large wing mirrors) than you’d expect. Steering could also do with a bit more heft around the straight-ahead, to make it more stable on the motorway.

A 1.6-litre diesel and more powerful 1.5-litre petrol will be added to the range soon.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Variants We Have Tested

compare car finance
Powered byZuto Logo
more on this car
Take one for a spin or order a brochure
Powered byRegit Logo

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

Get your first 5 issues for £5