The new small SUV is fuel efficient and spacious

Forgive me for saying the bleeding is obvious, but one of the main reasons people buy a small SUV rather than a hatchback is the extra space – in all directions, including the top.

All the extra height under the high roof of the SUV is great, but unless you are 200 cm tall you cannot do anything useful with it.

Below floor level, where that matters, some SUV interiors give you less space – for more money – than the hatchbacks that depend on them. The Hyundai Kona, for example, is less spacious in whatever direction you run the bar from the i30 hatch. The Mazda CX30 is more compact in the back seat than its hatch sibling.

The Volkswagen Polo hatch isn’t exactly in Texas, so I expected the sub-show, the new T-Cross, to be another case of a lot of money for very little an SUV. I was wrong. Somewhat …

the value

The T-Cross is powered by a 1.0-liter 85 kW three-cylinder turbo petrol engine that drives the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch car.

85TSi Life, at $ 29,990, has an 8-inch display, Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, wireless phone charging, four USB, 16-inch alloys, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Model specifications, priced at $ 32,990, add 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, dual-zone AC, gear shift switches, semi-automatic parking and more supportive seats.

You can purchase a similarly fitted polo at a much lower price. Prices for the Polo 85TSi (with dual-clutch car) start at $ 24,990 by car. Polo Style $ 27,490. It has everything the T-Cross has (except for the 17-inch wheels) plus superior infotainment, including navigation and Beats audio. Volkswagen also includes three-year / 45,000 km service through September 30.

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Comfort

You get a lot of metals for your T-Cross money. The smart, space-saving cabin design in a body that’s 55 mm longer (on a 15 mm longer wheelbase) results in significantly more legroom in the rear seat and 30 percent more boot volume.

Up front, drivers of taller height have plenty of legroom and customizability. You sit on the firm, supportive seat rather than in it, with great visibility around the car and plenty of space and light, thanks to the high roof and large windows.

While the harsh gray plastics betray the low-cost T-Cross brief, the interior is no-nonsense German pragmatism, executed with elegance and restraint. The controls, including the touchscreen, are well placed and easy to use. Our test car included the Sound and Vision package, which adds digital instrumentation, navigation system and Beats sound for $ 1,900.

The T-Cross is an excellent baby carrier with a high fixed back seat that slides forward / backward for easy access and two USB connectors. Two Isofix and Australian Standard Anchors are provided. Adults also have more legroom than most small hatchbacks

As mentioned earlier, trunk space – even with the rear seat positioned to provide maximum legroom – is spacious by class standards.

safety

Autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian and cyclist detection) operates in Life at speeds up to 30 km / h; The model’s adaptive flight adds high-speed AEB functionality. This $ 1,200 Life Option Pack includes this, plus blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and it’s also standard on Style.

Leadership

Multi-torque, Volkswagen’s 1.0-liter triple-turbo engine delivers impressive traceability response away from idle and across the mid-range. The pinnacle of strength? This is not the goal. Driving ease and fuel efficiency are a priority.

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The lethargic, dormant tone under acceleration are typical features of the three-cylinder; Once even cruising speed both fade away.

The seven-speed DSG gearbox shifts, as usual, momentarily when exiting idle. It’s well calibrated to exploit accessible triple torque. You are already in fifth gear, for example, only 40 km / h.

Wherever you drive, you get 5-7 liters / 100 km, unleaded premium. Aside from the Toyota CH-R Hybrid, this is as frugal as it is in the classroom, especially in town. Most of the competitors who breathe natural air, however, operate on a regular basis unleaded.

Open-road dynamics don’t quite match front-row racers like the Toyota C-HR, Kia Seltos, and Subaru XV, and the T-Cross doesn’t feel as planted or as confident as the Polo. It can get loose on rough surfaces, and it feels more dangerous at corners and has helped overly steer.

The ride is firm, partly due to lower tires, and has become more proportional to speed, as large blows are effectively absorbed. Subaru’s XV still has the best ride / handling compromise in its class.

Heart says

A little Volkswagen is very nice, but the hatchbacks were yesterday. I’m a millennial. This is my beetle.

Head says

I prefer European. The Volkswagen is small on the outside and big on the inside, with much more interesting technology than the usual compact SUV.

Judgment 3.5 / 5

A beautifully designed small engine and space-saving body, the T-Cross is a front runner in its class and a must-drive if you are looking for a compact and kid-friendly SUV.

Alternatives

Subaru XV from $ 29,490

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The 2.0-liter four-wheel boxer / CVT is a bit weak, but otherwise, the XV is the winner, with all-wheel drive, safe handling, comfortable ride, superb quality and the ability to out-do bitumen.

Toyota C-HR from $ 30,290

Smaller on the inside than the T-Cross, with a throttle rear seat and boot. The 1.2 all-turbo / CVT engine provides similar performance; Better safety features and cheap service too.

VOLKSWAGEN T-CROSS VITALS

price: From $ 29,990 by car

Warranty / Service: 5 years / km $ 1900 for 5 years / 75,000 km

engine: 1.0-liter 3-cylinder turbo, 85 kW / 200 Nm

safety: Five-star, 6 airbags, low-speed AEB, lane-keeping assist. Pay more for adaptive cruises, a full AEB system, and blind and aft traffic alert

Thirst: 5.4 liters per 100 kilometers

additional: Space saver

long shoes: 385-455L

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