Volkswagen T-Cross Review & Prices

The VW T-Cross is a small-on-the-outside, big-on-the-inside SUV that’s loaded with plenty of equipment as standard. It’s not as much fun as alternatives to drive, though, and its design is on the conservative side

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Urban Living Award
Highly Commended
Reviewed by Tom Wiltshire after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Generous boot space
  • Lots of room for passengers
  • Loads of standard equipment

What's not so good

  • Not very exciting
  • Annoying climate controls
  • SEAT Arona is cheaper

Find out more about the Volkswagen T-Cross

Is the Volkswagen T-Cross a good car?

The Volkswagen T-Cross is a small SUV that’s among the best in its class. If you’re a couple or a small family and you have your heart set on an SUV, then the T-Cross is a car you should be shortlisting - it drives like a hatchback, has the practicality of a mini-MPV, feels better inside than many premium models yet it’s one of the cheapest cars Volkswagen sells.

The T-Cross definitely punches above its weight, then - it’s so good that it was highly commended in the Urban Living category of the 2024 Carwow Car of the Year Awards. It’s a bit like a roast chicken dinner - not flashy, not complicated, but still excellent and hits the spot most of the time.

The T-Cross is based on the same underpinnings as the VW Polo hatchback, and isn’t much bigger in terms of its footprint. That means it has tons of similarly-sized SUV alternatives - from the mechanically-related SEAT Arona, to the sporty Ford Puma and the plush Peugeot 2008.

Climb inside, and you’ll find the T-Cross has loads of room courtesy of its nice squared-off body. It’s one of the roomiest cars for its size, with space for six-footers to stretch out in the back especially with the neat sliding rear seat which allows you to balance legroom and luggage space.

Front passengers are well treated too, and the T-Cross’ raised ride height lets you tower over most family hatchbacks for a great view out.

There are so many small SUV options these days, but the Volkswagen T-Cross does at least stand out for its decent space and practicality, if not for being the most inspired choice

An update in 2024 improved the interior finish of the T-Cross. While older cars felt decidedly cheap and plasticky, the newer model has much nicer materials, particularly across the face of the dashboard and on the door cards where your arm rests. It also improved the technology, tidied up the trim levels, and crowd-sourced the name for the bright yellow paint (Rubber Ducky Yellow - brilliant).

It also removed the very sensible physical climate controls for an awkward touch-sensitive panel, though, so it’s not all positive change.

In contrast to lots of other small SUVs, you won’t find a hybrid option or a fully-electric version of the Volkswagen T-Cross. Three engines are available - a 1.0-litre petrol with 95hp or 110hp, or a more powerful 1.5-litre with 150hp. Of these, we reckon it’s the middle engine that’s by far the best - it’s powerful enough, very efficient and can be had with manual or automatic gearboxes.

Regardless of engine, the T-Cross is a competent car to drive. It’s not fun like a Ford Puma, and a Citroen C3 Aircross irons out the bumps more effectively, but the little VW feels solid, reassuring and stable. Combined with a refined interior and nicely supportive seats it’s a great little SUV to cover long distances in.

Get offers from trusted dealers on this car by having a look at the Volkswagen T-Cross deals. If you're in the market for a used Volkswagen T-Cross, or any other used Volkswagen for that matter, then you can find some great examples at Carwow. If you want to change your car entirely, use our Sell My Car service, where you can get the best price for your car.

How much is the Volkswagen T-Cross?

The Volkswagen T-Cross has a RRP range of £24,125 to £31,825. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,322. Prices start at £22,974 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £233. The price of a used Volkswagen T-Cross on Carwow starts at £12,920.

Our most popular versions of the Volkswagen T-Cross are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.0 TSI Life 5dr £22,974 Compare offers
1.0 TSI Match 5dr £23,140 Compare offers

The VW T-Cross comes pretty well in the middle of the small SUV pack in terms of pricing. It's slightly more expensive than a SEAT Arona or Renault Captur, but beats out the Ford Puma and even the Skoda Kamiq. Good residual values mean impressive finance packages, too.

In terms of trim levels, we'd skip the entry-level 'Life' trim - not because it's poorly equipped as it still has air-con, LED lights, a digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen with smartphone connectivity. For less than £200 extra, though, 'Match' trim adds a reversing camera, keyless entry and nicer alloy wheels, so it's a real no-brainer. The 'Style' model brings driving aids and built-in sat-nav, while the range-topping R-Line gets a sportier bodykit too. These upper trim levels are quite pricey, though.

Performance and drive comfort

The VW T-Cross is great around town and competent down a twisty road, although we’d avoid the underpowered base petrol engine 

In town

The T-Cross is compact and easy to drive, combining the benefits of a small family hatchback with the added advantage of a raised ride height. Forward visibility is further aided by large windows, although the thick rear pillars can obscure your view a bit when reversing. The T-Cross is small enough for this not to be much of an issue, and all but the entry-level SE trim get front and rear parking sensors.

Ride quality is good, too, especially on the 17-inch wheels offered on the lower three trims. The basic 95hp engine only gets a five-speed manual gearbox, which feels a bit clunky - the six-speed gearbox of the 115hp engine makes it well worth the extra. The DSG automatic - available with the 115hp and 150hp engines - is great in traffic, but it can be a bit hesitant at parking speeds.

On the motorway

The VW T-Cross copes well on the motorway, offering a supple ride quality, great visibility and plenty of driver aids as standard. You get adaptive cruise control, lane assist and blind spot detection on every trim.

Like many small SUVs, there is a fair amount of wind noise at higher speeds, but overall refinement levels are good, and the seats are comfortable enough for long journeys. The base 95hp engine needs a lot of coaxing to get going and its five-speed manual leaves the engine revving quite high, making the more powerful 110hp or 150hp motors the better choice at motorway speeds.

On a twisty road

Considering it was designed first and foremost to be a practical, city-friendly SUV, the VW T-Cross does a good job down a twisty road. It grips well and doesn’t lean much around corners so your passengers shouldn’t get queasy.

It's not exactly fun - you'll want a Ford Puma for that - but if you just want something that's competent and feels solid the T-Cross makes a good companion.

Space and practicality

This is one of the more spacious small SUVs, capable of seating four adults in comfort. Squeezing three passengers in the rear will be a challenge, though

It may be small, but the VW T-Cross offers an impressive amount of interior space. The front seats have plenty of adjustment, including height and lumbar support. Leg and head room is good, too, and there’s a wide centre armrest that opens up to provide storage for items you prefer to keep out of sight. The door bins will accommodate 500ml bottles, and a pair of cupholders are placed behind the gear shifter. A spacious storage shelf at the base of the dashboard will easily take a phone or other loose items.

Space in the back seats

The rear seats offer a decent amount of head room thanks to a squared-off rear end. And leg room is good too, as long as the occupants up front don’t push their seats all the way back. The rear seats are adjustable, allowing you to choose between more leg room or boot space depending on their position.

The centre rear seat is narrow and the hump in the boot floor limits leg room, so is best suited for children. A set of ISOFIX anchor points are provided in the outer seats, getting your kids in and out is aided by the wide-opening rear doors.

There is a small shelf in the back of the centre console that can be used for storing smaller items. You also get front seatback pockets and decently-sized door bins. The centre seatback doesn’t fold down, though.

Boot space

With the rear seats in their standard position, the VW T-Cross offers a decent 385 litres of boot space. That’s just below the SEAT Arona and Skoda Kamiq, which both offer 400 litres.

However, with the rear seats pushed forward the load space increases to a more impressive 455 litres, and neither the Arona nor the Kamiq have that feature. The Renault Captur does, though, and it offers between 422 and 536 litres, depending on the setting.

The available space in the T-Cross is still impressive though, and you get an adjustable boot floor that can either minimise the load lip or maximise the load space. The rear seats fold down in a 60:40 split to provide 1,281 litres of flat load area. That’s up there with the Renault Captur (1,275 litres) and the spacious Citroen C3 Aircross (1,289 litres).

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

You get a logically laid out cabin with an impressive amount of standard kit, although some areas still aren't as posh-feeling as you'd hope

The T-Cross’s interior has an angular design style that is echoed across the air vents, driver binnacle and door handles. The overall look and feel is all very grown-up and a bit sombre compared to the funky designs of the Citroen C3 Aircross or Renault Captur, though Style trim does come with a really rather lovely blue dashboard trim and denim-style seat upholstery.

The 2024 update for the T-Cross did address some of its previous problem areas - namely, the cheap plasticky feeling of the interior. While that's not totally gone - the top of the dash is still pretty hard - most of the places you touch are now premium-feeling enough. The door cards in particular feel much nicer.

Base T-Cross models come fitted with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, upgraded to 9.2-inches for upper trim levels. All models also get a digital dashboard too, with upper trim levels having a full-width affair with great clarity. Lower models have a smaller screen, though it's still clear and works well enough.

The touchscreen is intuitive to use and has clear graphics with Bluetooth connectivity and DAB digital radio. Life and Match trims don’t get sat nav, but wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard across the range which means you can use your smartphone’s navigation apps. 

Base trims get manual air conditioning controls, while the upper models have a digital climate control unit. This is really frustrating to use, and we can't help but feel like physical buttons would be much easier - or, save the space in the dash and put them in the touchscreen. You get a regular USB and newer USB-C charging socket up front, with two more USB sockets provided for the rear seat passengers.

MPG, emissions and tax

The VW T-Cross is available with either a 95hp or 110hp turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine or a 150hp 1.5-litre turbocharged unit. Front-wheel-drive is standard on all trims.

The 95hp version is paired solely with a five-speed manual transmission and goes from 0-62mph in 11.6 seconds. It will do an official 49.6mpg and emits 130g/km of CO2. These figures are nearly identical to the SEAT Arona and Skoda Kamiq, since they all share the same basic engine. 

The 110hp engine is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. In manual guise it will get to 62mph in a sprightly 10.8 seconds and consumes the same amount of fuel as the entry-level 95hp engine. Equipped with the automatic transmission, it accelerates to 62mph in a slightly slower 11.3 seconds and fuel economy drops to 45.6mpg. This is once again similar to both the Arona and Kamiq, as well as the similarly powerful petrol offered in the Citroen C3.

Unlike the Renault Captur which offers both self-charging and plug-in hybrids, the T-Cross is petrol only. But even when equipped with the most powerful 150hp engine (available on SEL and R-Line trims), it is still impressively frugal. Overall fuel economy works out at 47.1mpg with 137g/km of CO2. The seven-speed DSG automatic is standard with this engine. It is capable of a rather rapid 8.5-second 0-62mph time, which is quicker than any engine option found in the Renault Captur and Citroen C3 Aircross.

Safety and security

The VW T-Cross was awarded a full five-star Euro NCAP rating in 2019. It received a very impressive 97% for adult occupant safety and scored highly in every other category. 

Driver safety aids are comprehensive, with autonomous brake assist, adaptive cruise control, lane assist and blind spot detection all fitted as standard. All but the base 'Life' model even get a reversing camera.

Reliability and problems

The T-Cross shares the majority of its components with other VW Group vehicles, so it should prove to be a reliable vehicle, however, recent reliability surveys haven’t seen it performing as well as some alternatives. 

You get a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, extendable by another 12 months. This is pretty standard amongst most manufacturers but well behind Kia’s seven-year/100,000-mile offering. There have been two recalls for the T-Cross so far, one for an instrument cluster software issue and another for potentially incorrectly fitted curtain airbags.


Despite looking like an off-roading car, there are no variants of the Volkswagen T-Cross that have four-wheel drive, with front-wheel drive being the only available option.

The T-Cross is below the T-Roc in the Volkswagen model range. The T-Cross is 109mm shorter (4,127mm), 59mm narrower (1,760mm), but 11mm taller (1,584mm) than the T-Roc.

You can buy a Volkswagen T-Cross via the Motability scheme. All the trim variants – Move, Black Edition, SEL and R-Line – are available through the scheme, along with either 1.0 TSI or 1.5 TSI EVO engines.

The T-Cross is built at the same manufacturing facility as the Volkswagen Polo, at Pamplona in Spain.

Buy or lease the Volkswagen T-Cross at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £24,125 - £31,825 Avg. Carwow saving £1,322 off RRP
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