REMEMBER a time when families only had the option of choosing between humble hatchbacks, a saloon or its estate version? The motoring world’s a very different place in 2020 and just about every manufacturer has branched out into the complex world of SUVs.
You’ve got large ones, middling ones and smaller ones - no matter what your budget is, there’s something for everyone. Take Volkswagen, for example. Whereas before you had the Golf and Passat, you’ve still got those brilliant options but now there’s the Touareg, Touran, Tiguan, T-Roc and this, the Polo-platformed T-Cross.
Overkill? Perhaps, but don’t think the smallest, cheapest one means it’s below par, because it absolutely is not. Pitched at cars such as the perhaps dull Skoda Kamiq, the impressive Nissan Juke and Ford’s reincarnated Puma, the T-Cross brings VW’s build quality and class to the table.
With prices starting at £18,000 for the entry-level 95bhp 1.0-litre, it’s this engine that’s probably all you need. There are more powerful petrol and diesel versions, but VW’s combatted the tough-to-crack three-cylinder unit and it easily serves up enough grunt even in its weakest guise. Its five-speed manual is also perfectly good, as is its fool-proof clutch.
Looks-wise it’s different and is a car that’ll definitely be a grower. Given it’s still quite a novel sight on the roads, people are still making their minds up as it’s fun, unlike the usual VW design recipe and stands out - notably thanks to some cars’ garish hues. Inside, it’s typical VW: quality, attractive, well-made and done just right. Switchgear feels premium, everything’s easy to use and well-positioned.
Sure, its set-up won’t ignite excitement in petrolheads from a driving point of view but given it’s based on the Polo - which is a fun little car - the T-Cross feels similar. You obviously sit higher, but the steering and handling are very much admissible and the package works well.
Is it just another pointless SUV, though? I don’t think it is - it has a clear place in VW’s line-up and if you’re a young family with perhaps one small child, it’s perfect. You’ve got quality, acres of interior space and a fun-looking car that you know will fare well residually.