Wolfsburg - Somewhat late to the party it may be, but Volkswagen is hoping to take the compact crossover market by storm with its Polo-based T-Cross.
Revealed simultaneously in Amsterdam, Shanghai and São Paulo on Thursday night, the newcomer is a true global product and it’s expected to touch down in South Africa during the second half of 2019.
Volkswagen describes it as an “urban crossover with a masculine design” and it certainly leans towards the conservative side of the design spectrum.
Built on the compact version of VW’s MQB platform that it shares with the Polo, the T-Cross is slightly longer than its sister hatch (4110mm versus 4053mm), making it marginally smaller than the Hyundai Kona.
It does appear relatively practical and versatile for its size, with a boot that holds between 385 and 455 litres depending on the position of the sliding rear seat bench, or 1281 litres if it’s folded down.
The local engine mix has yet to be announced, but European customers get to choose from three petrol options and one diesel. As per the Polo, the 1-litre, three-cylinder TSI turbopetrol is offered in 70kW and 85kW guises, and there’s also a four-cylinder 1.5 TSI option with 110kW on tap. The sole diesel choice is a 70kW 1.6 TDI.
The cabin is very similar to the Polo’s, also offering VW’s Active Info Display digital instrument cluster and a modern touchscreen infotainment system behind tempered glass.
European models have a raft of standard driver assistance gadgets, including Front Assist area monitoring with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, Rear Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection. Adaptive cruise control is offered as an option.
The T-Cross sold in Brazil and various other emerging markets (pictured below) has a longer wheelbase than the European version and some different design elements. Although VWSA is not confirming at this stage which version will come to South Africa, our bets are on the European model. Local pricing and specs will be divulged nearer to launch.