Volkswagen T-Cross long-term review: report 2

The Volkswagen T-Cross impressed us on test, but can it cut the mustard during the daily grind?...

2020 VW T-Cross LT over the shoulder

The car: Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI 115 SE

Run by: Alan Taylor-Jones, new cars editor

Why it’s here: To see if Volkswagen’s smallest SUV is worth the extra over the Polo on which it's based

Needs to: Not feel out of its depth on the motorway, be comfortable on long trips and prove more practical than a hatchback

Mileage 1221 List price £19,995 Target Price £19,421 Price as tested £22,580 Test economy 42.5mpg Official economy 47.1mpg (WLTP combined) 

6 January 2020 – There may be trouble ahead

Alright, I’ll admit it; I jinxed my T-Cross. Stupidly, I signed off my first report with the line “the next six months should be rather pleasant” which of course means something has gone wrong. 

VW T-Cross EPC light

After being parked up for a few days over Christmas, I fired it up only to find it running quite roughly. A quick glance at the dials revealed an orange EPC warning, which according to Google refers to the ‘Electronic Performance Control’ system. Now, I won’t bore you with the details, but it meant that not only was the engine running badly, but power was reduced, too.

Thankfully, my trip was only a short one to pick up some food from a nearby shop, so I cruised cautiously there and then parked up. With my mind already wondering where my nearest VW dealer was, I bumbled round the shop before jumping back in my T-Cross. Twisting the ignition key, I noticed the three-cylinder engine’s dulcet tones had returned while a scan of the instruments revealed the EPC warning was no longer glowing.

I did contemplate taking it straight to the dealer, but you could guarantee that as soon as I arrived, my T-Cross would be on its best behaviour. Instead, I’ve decided to keep a close eye on things, save the picture I took to prove it did happen, and hope that the T-Cross had the automotive equivalent of a winter sniffle.

VW T-Cross LT knee pain

And while I’m having a whinge, I have a bone to pick with whoever designed the front seats. Although there’s adequate side support, a decent amount of cushioning for your back and bottom plus the luxury of adjustable lumbar support on all models, the seat base has a habit of digging at the back of my knees, causing a bit of discomfort.

Initially I thought it was because of my rather stumpy stature, but this is the only car that causes me any issue. It also transpired that longer-legged members of the team including giant John Howell were similarly afflicted. Now, you can lessen the discomfort by slouching in your seat to relieve the knee-pit pressure, but that’s not going to do my already terrible posture any good at all.

There is a potential solution, however. Avoid the distinctive Design Packs and you don’t get the sports seats that my car has fitted. Whether or not they improve things is something I need to find out, but it’s something well worth considering when you’re nosing around your local VW showroom. 

VW T-Cross LT knee-pit

So, am I regretting my choice of wheels? Absolutely not. With more 1000 miles under its belt already, I’ve found the engine seems to be loosening up nicely, with economy up to 42.5mpg in mixed conditions. 

As for the lack of parking sensors caused by my inability to read a price sheet, that’s less troublesome than expected. Although I do miss the reassuring beeps as I approach objects, it’s easy enough to judge where the rear bumper is. Now, I would comment on not reversing into anything, but I wouldn’t want to tempt fate a second time...

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

Read more on our long-term Volkswagen T-Cross >>

See more long-term test reports >>

Also consider