VW’s smallest SUV, the T-Cross, doesn’t have a tiny price, but it has more than enough space and features to cross swords with the big boys in Singapore
UPDATED: 28 November 2020 with video review
First published 26 November 2020
SINGAPORE — The Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment may be huge now, but that doesn’t mean the cars themselves have to be big. The Volkswagen T-Cross is just one of a growing crop of small SUVs, but its maker is counting on its potential to be its next big thing.
The T-Cross is the baby of VW’s SUV range, which in Singapore now goes (from biggest to smallest) Touareg, Tiguan, T-Cross. The T-Cross puts the first rung on the VW SUV ladder at S$128,900 with Certificate Of Entitlement — until December 9 there’s a S$10,000 discount off that, so you might as well have a look. It’s not like you’re in another country right now, holidaying.
Speaking of other countries, other markets have the T-Roc that slips between the T-Cross and Tiguan. Expect more to come; if the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have SUVs coming out of their ears, why not Volkswagen? In fact, VW is planning to sell 30 different SUV models around the world by 2025. By then, the company reckons half its sales will come from SUVs.
On paper, you might be tempted to make a link between the Polo compact hatch and the T-Cross. Between the T-Cross and the current Polo, both cars have the same 2,551mm wheelbase and sit on the same MQB-A0 architecture.
In Singapore, they come with the same three-cylinder, 1.0-litre turbo engine with 115 horsepower and a twin-clutch seven-speed auto.
That’s where the visible similarities end, however, and in no way does the new SUV look like it’s simply a jacked-up Polo. The T-Cross wears its SUV clothing well, and between the body’s chiseled lines and the way the headlamps blend with the upright grille, there’s more than a nod to the Touareg.
Clever trick, making your smallest SUV look a bit like your biggest.
For now, Volkswagen Group Singapore only offers the T-Cross in R-Line trim. Abroad, there is a 95hp version of the same 1.0, and a range-topping 150hp 1.5-litre engine, but VW Singapore has no plans to offer either of those variants here yet.
The R-Line trimline adds surprisingly mean-looking 17-inch alloys, colour-coordinated wing mirror caps, R-Line badges and the like. As baby SUVs go, the T-Cross looks fiercer than most, and has a road presence that’s totally at odds with its ostensible segment/placing. If you like your SUVs brash and boxy, the T-Cross is one of the smallest SUVs — Kia Seltos and Suzuki Jimny aside — that’ll do it for you.