Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Volkswagen T-Cross's entry-level petrol engine (badged 1.0 TSI 95) is all you'll probably need. It isn't as nippy as a Ford Puma 1.0 Ecoboost MHEV buts still hits 0-62mph in a claimed 10.8sec and serves up enough performance from low revs to avoid you having to thrash the engine. You don't even miss the absence of a sixth gear – this engine and the 1.6 TDI diesel are the only versions of the T-Cross with a five-speed manual gearbox.
As well as an extra gear, the more powerful 1.0 TSI 115 offers slightly faster acceleration (0-62mph in 9.5sec), but the difference isn't huge so we'd be tempted to save the money. Nevertheless, it's still easier to recommend than the range-topping 1.5 TSI 150 petrol. That's available exclusively with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox and in the higher trims, but, while it's is by far the nippiest T-Cross, if you've got that much money to spend there are better cars available, including Volkswagen's own T-Roc.
Suspension and ride comfort
The T-Cross isn't quite as comfy as the more expensive T-Roc or the Skoda Kamiq, but it rides pretty well compared with most other small SUVs. It’s much less fidgety than the firmer Kia Stonic, for example, and far more controlled and less bouncy than the Citroën C3 Aircross.
Often we suggest sticking with the smallest wheels possible for the smoothest ride. With the T-Cross, though, wheel size makes little difference to comfort; our recommended SE trim comes with 17in wheels, but even the R-Line model with 18in wheels isn't a boneshaker.