2019 Volkswagen T-Cross – price, specs and release date

Smallest and cheapest Volkswagen SUV will rival the Seat Arona...

Author Avatar
Darren Moss
25 October 2018

Volkswagen T-Cross front
Volkswagen T-Cross front

On sale Summer 2019 | Price from £17,000 (est)

As any horse racing jockey will tell you, size is no measure of ability. So even though Volkswagen’s SUV line-up already contains the luxurious Touareg, versatile Tiguan (plus its seven-seat sibling, the Tiguan Allspace) and funky T-Roc, there’s room for an all-new model at the bottom of the range. That model is the T-Cross.

Based on the Polo hatchback, the T-Cross also shares many of its parts with the Seat Arona – and considering the latter is our reigning Small SUV of the Year, that’s a good place to start.

Volkswagen T-Cross rear

Just like the Arona, the T-Cross should be a practical choice. Its rear seats can slide forwards or backwards, allowing you to prioritise either rear leg room or boot space. With those seats as far back as they’ll go, you can fit 385 litres into its boot; that’s slightly less than in the Arona, but some weekend shopping or a couple of carry-on suitcases should pose no trouble. If you need more space, the T-Cross’s rear seats also split and fold in a 60/40 arrangement. Gone a bit mad at the garden centre? The T-Cross’s front passenger seat can (optionally) fold down too, allowing you to accommodate longer items.

The rest of the T-Cross’s interior is fairly standard Volkswagen fare, with an 8.0in central touchscreen for infotainment (6.5in on entry-level cars) and a digital instrument panel in place of traditional analogue dials. Drivers can specify up to four USB ports, too, so everyone can keep their technology topped up.

Volkswagen T-Cross interior

So, what’s under the bonnet? Since the T-Cross and Arona are closely related, it’s hardly surprising to see the same engines on offer. The range kicks off with a 1.0-litre  three-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit in 94bhp and 113bhp forms. The lower-powered choice is likely to be the pick of the range, given that this is the engine we recommend in the Arona for its gutsy performance and decent real-world fuel economy.

If you need more power, there’s also a 148bhp 1.5-litre turbo petrol model that can cover the 0-62mph sprint in 7.8sec. This engine can shut down two of its four cylinders when you’re cruising to save fuel, too.

Volkswagen hasn’t ditched diesel entirely for the T-Cross; there’s a sole 94bhp 1.6-litre engine on offer for high-mileage drivers. Gearbox options are five and six-speed manuals, or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. There will be no plug-in hybrid version of the T-Cross, because VW officials consider the technology too expensive to fit to such a small SUV, at least in this first generation.

Volkswagen T-Cross front

Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection comes as standard on the T-Cross, as does a lane departure warning system, while adaptive cruise control and a self-parking system are on the options list.

Buyers will have two trims to choose from above the standard car’s equipment (which includes a height-adjustable driver’s seat and electric windows), with Life models gaining front and rear parking sensors, air conditioning and 16in alloy wheels. Style trim, meanwhile, features LED headlights, climate control, sports seats and larger 17in alloys. Personalisation options on either trim add colour to the car’s seats, wheels and interior trim, while an R-Line styling package brings beefier styling.

Volkswagen T-Cross boot

Prices for the T-Cross are expected to start at around £17,000, making it more expensive than older but big-selling rivals such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, as well as the Arona. Our early drive of a prototype T-Cross in October revealed the T-Cross has the potential to be a class leader, offering a flexible interior and nimble handling, and on the next page you can read our full impressions from that drive.

Next: what's the T-Cross like to drive? >

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here