Volkswagen may have a few elec-tricks up its sleeve. Still, like all significant players in the Indian market, it is banking on the success of its immediately scheduled BSVI compliant petrol-powered offerings.
Their latest offering in the all-too-popular compact SUV segment, for the Indian market, will be the T-Cross. It is slightly bigger than most compact SUVs at 4,110mm length and 1,580 mm height. A wheelbase of 2,550 mm is a little shorter than others in class but works well in proportion to the other dimensions.
Engine and Transmission
Powertrain options range from 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol and 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol to a 1.6-litre diesel four-cylinder engine. The T-Cross will have power outputs varying across 93bhp from the 1.0-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel and 113 bhp from the 1.5-litre petrol. Transmission options to include a five-speed manual standard gearbox, a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The 113 bhp producing 1.5-litre petrol will surely be happier with a manual transmission assembly, which makes it fun across snaky roads that test for one’s command over the steering wheel which comes with just three spokes for that sport-inspired feel. The steering wheel makes for some impressively accurate response on short and long-distance drives. The T-Cross can be as silent as possible even on long-distance journeys and features like the stability control program, high ground-clearance, and overall structure.
Wheel options on the T-Cross would be sixteen and eighteen inches, of which the India model would get the smaller sized set.
Safety and Technology
Safety is expected to be at par with international standards. It is managed by pedestrian detection systems, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and a variety of other electronic safety technology that is years ahead of its segment. Premium models also get adaptive cruise control and parking assist, all-LED variants of headlights and more. The LED taillights are standard on all models. They are bridged by a reflector strip which makes for an attractive feature every time it catches natural light or from the headlights of a tailing car. It is unique to the T-Cross and like itself comes with other optional customizable features in the European spec model.
Three basic equipment levels contain all the features save for a few and a sport-specific “R” package which includes subtle design and styling upgrades. Beautifully crafted interiors, colour options in alloy wheels and a dashboard with a 3D decor are some of the said upgrades that can be opted for. However, a lot of these features may not be provided in the India bound car and details will only be obtained once we see the vehicle at the expo.
Inside the cabin
The interior is quite spacious and includes a rare sliding rear seat-bench which can be moved 140 mm forward or backward from the centre, giving rear passengers the luxury of increased legroom. It also means more cargo space in the boot when you’re travelling to faraway destinations with more than a week on your quota. With the rear seat function, the boot volume can be increased from 385 litres to 455 litres. The seating position is also higher than most cars in its class and surprisingly doesn’t compromise the headroom in both front and rear seats. The absence of a sunroof is a little disappointing, though we can always hope that Volkswagen pays attention to the Indian glass-roof syndrome.
Infotainment comes with a large central touchscreen panel, a first in class beats audio speaker system with 300-watt output and an internet connectivity package. There are plenty of USB ports for Apple car play, Android auto and phone charging. The Volkswagen Connect app provided by the company will also act as a personal vehicle assistant. It has been programmed to give complete vital statistics and informatics of the car and its condition, journey analyses, driving behaviour and patterns. The application is available for free download from the App store as well as Google play.
In our opinion
The T-Cross is undoubtedly one of the best in class offerings from Volkswagen, and we can’t wait for it to come to India. It sets a new benchmark for the cars in its segment. It cements the belief that the German automobile manufacturer has truly built some of the greatest passenger cars that have challenged the very existence of their peers and have strived to provide for much more than just mobility. It is expected to raise the driving standards of those looking for a different experience from the mid-sized SUV, and the market standard of the segment in our country.
Ideal competition for the T-Cross SUV in the Indian market would be the likes of Ford Ecosport, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon, Vitara Brezza, and so on.
Pricing can be expected to be in the INR 9-12 lakh range, depending on the features being offered across variants. Launch dates will only be confirmed once the car hits the Volkswagen pavilion at the 2020 Auto Expo.