In-depth reviews

Volkswagen T-Cross SUV - Engines, drive & performance

The T-Cross is good to drive and impressively refined

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

Small SUVs are unlikely to be the dream vehicle for keen drivers, but the T-Cross easily competes with the current class leaders in this regard. It drives well, with pleasingly light steering and a comfortable ride. Over most bumps and bad surfaces it’s composed, and body roll is kept to a minimum through the majority of corners.

Like many other VW Group cars, the T-Cross isn’t built primarily to excite; its handling and driving experience is composed and careful, which inspires confidence in the car. The higher driving position compared to the Polo helps with seeing further ahead, and is one of the main reasons to buy an SUV over a standard hatchback. If you're after more fun behind the wheel, consider the Ford Puma.

Volkswagen T-Cross petrol engines

A 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is the most popular option, with outputs of either 94 or 108bhp. While the latter is essentially the engine from the Volkswagen up! GTI, the T-Cross doesn’t provide mini-hot hatch performance. However, it manages 0-62mph in a smidge over 10 seconds, or 11.5 for the 94bhp version - the 108bhp engine is our pick.

Refinement is very impressive for such a small car. In fact, it feels very mature and capable. The higher-powered version offers a six-speed manual gearbox over a five-speed in the entry version, and the 108bhp engine is available with a slick DSG automatic gearbox at extra cost.

In January 2020, Volkswagen introduced a 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine to the range. It’s almost as efficient as the 1.0-litre, thanks to the ability to shut down half its cylinders when you’re not pressing the throttle hard, but the 0-62mph time improves to 8.5 seconds. Its top speed is 124mph.

Diesel engines

A diesel engine was available for a short time but, unsurprisingly, slow sales saw it withdrawn. The 94bhp 1.6-litre engine has been removed from the Polo range too. It prioritises efficiency over performance, and 0-62mph takes almost 12 seconds. No hybrid version is currently available to rival the Hyundai Kona or Renault Captur E-Tech, which is a shame. However, Volkswagen is planning to electrify most of its range, so a hybrid or pure electric version could be in the pipeline.

Recommended

Volkswagen T-Cross SUV review
Turquoise VW T-Cross driving
Volkswagen T-Cross
28 Jul 2021

Volkswagen T-Cross SUV review

Top 10 best used small SUVs 2021
Ford Puma SUV
Ford Puma
26 Jul 2021

Top 10 best used small SUVs 2021

Volkswagen T-Cross SUV now available in Black Edition trim
Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition
Volkswagen T-Cross SUV
9 Apr 2021

Volkswagen T-Cross SUV now available in Black Edition trim

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2021
Hyundai Tucson SUV front 3/4 tracking
Deals
10 Sep 2021

Best new car deals 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Vauxhall Mokka-e SUV review
Vauxhall Mokka-e driving - front
Vauxhall Mokka-e SUV
15 Sep 2021

Vauxhall Mokka-e SUV review

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks