30 September 2020

Volkswagen T-Cross 2020 Car Review

Built on VW’s new MQB AO platform and landing in New Zealand just before the first Covid-19 lockdown, the Volkswagen T-Cross is quite the package.

Volkswagen T-Cross 2020
Volkswagen T-Cross 2020
Volkswagen T-Cross 2020
Volkswagen T-Cross 2020
Volkswagen T-Cross 2020
Volkswagen T-Cross 2020
Volkswagen T-Cross 2020

Yes, it’s another crossover SUV, but this is one that’s based on the much-loved Volkswagen Polo – a car that’s been on sale now for well over a quarter of a century.

How does it look?

Uniquely versatile, incomparably compact, paired with on-trend crossover design and everyday practicality. In short, the Volkswagen T-Cross is a modern adventurer and master of transformation who is reinterpreting the signs of the times. Combining urban appeal with striking design, the small SUV is brilliantly spacious, clever, and packed with features.

This is the first Volkswagen model to use the new variant naming conventions ‘Life’ and ‘Style’ to describe the base and mid-spec cars. The car we tested is the ‘Style’ variant, clothed in the new hero colour ‘Makena Turquoise Metallic’ that’s used in all the launch marketing for the T-Cross and is unique to the German marque’s quirky little SUV.

On the outside, an athletic and sleek design broadens the appeal of the new T-Cross, while vibrant and youthful exterior colour choices allow you to express yourself like never before.

What does it come with?

Four variants are offered - the three-cylinder Life, Style and 1st Edition, and the top-spec R-Line, which is powered by the 110kw four-cylinder TSI engine. The ‘First Edition’ models are based on the Style variant with the addition of a styling pack and Beats audio system. Volkswagen NZ ordered 41 of these.

The T-Cross has a few tricks up its sleeve, including wireless smartphone charging, four USB ports, and impressive safety features that were previously reserved for VW’s more expensive vehicles.

It’s also the first vehicle released using VW’s new (but still familiar) badge that was unveiled as part of the electrification of the company. Cleverly, the front badge actually houses the radar for the safety systems. Our test car came equipped with voice command, Sat Nav, and the ‘Virtual Cockpit’ which comes standard on the Style model upwards.

The rear seats can slide 14cm to add some extra luggage space or increase passenger leg room as required.

How does it drive?

The T-Cross is a zippy little car that really sharpens up when Sport mode is selected thanks to extra power on acceleration and the famous DSG lightening gear changes. This gives the three-cylinder engine room to rev (which it loves by the way).

The driving position is excellent – you don’t feel too high nor too low down – and the overall ride is quite firm, which makes the car feel a lot sportier than it actually is.


Looking to the future, the ID.4 will be Volkswagen’s first fully-electric SUV to be launched on the market. Then, with models ranging from the T-Cross to the ID.4, Volkswagen will offer one of the world’s largest SUV ranges and cover practically all segments.

The T-Cross is a well put together combination of style, practicality, flexibility, and safety. What more could you want in a vehicle for everyday life?

At a glance


T-Cross Style


999cc three-cylinder turbo


From $34,240

ANCAP safety rating


Power and Torque

85kW, 200Nm


Seven-speed DSG

Fuel economy

From 5.4L/100km combined

Towing capacity

630kg (Braked), 1,100kg (Unbraked)



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload


Safety systems

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert

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