Australian patrons are ditching hatchbacks and turning to small SUVs in document numbers. Volkswagen is cashing in on the development with the T-Cross, a high-riding model of the Polo.

VALUE

The T-Cross is the most cost effective SUV in Volkswagen’s native line-up.

There are two variants to select from: the Life, which prices about $35,000 drive-away, and the higher geared up Type grade, which prices about $2500 extra.

Geared toward youthful patrons, the T-Cross is fitted with loads of tech and connectivity options.

The eight-inch central touchscreen is suitable with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and there are 4 USB-C ports and a wi-fi charging pad to maintain all passengers’ gadgets absolutely juiced.

The Life variant we drove has 16-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlights and black roof rails. The Type model upgrades to larger 17-inch-alloys, brighter LED bulbs and flashier chrome roof rails.

Metallic or pearlescent paint prices $600 or $900 additional relying on the shade you select.

A $2200 “sound and vision” bundle provides a Beats stereo, digital driver show, wi-fi smartphone mirroring and voice and gesture management.

Volkswagen covers its automobiles with a five-year/limitless km guarantee and a pay as you go servicing pack prices $2450 for 5 years of scheduled visits.

COMFORT

The Life’s cloth-wrapped seats are manually adjustable, whereas the Type has premium fabric and sport seats that present extra lateral help.

The excessive seating place supplies a transparent view of the street forward.

There are many exhausting sporting plastic surfaces damaged up by some textured inserts that add some pop to the in any other case spartan inside.

A leather-wrapped gear shifter and flat-bottomed steering wheel add a contact of panache.

There are a number of small storage areas scattered all through and regardless of its small dimension there may be loads of room upfront for adults.

The again seat is cosy, particularly if taller passengers are sitting upfront.

Boot area is beneficiant for this dimension SUV and the again seat can slide ahead to liberate additional space for storing if wanted.

The suspension is on the firmer aspect and also you’ll really feel most bumps and street imperfections by means of your seat.

Street noise will be intrusive too, particularly over coarser street surfaces.

SAFETY

Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are two notable omissions from the checklist of security gear.

The previous warns you when a automobile is in your blind spot and the latter sounds the alarm when a automobile is approaching from the aspect as you reverse.

The Life model has auto emergency braking and lane-keep help as commonplace, however in case you’re on the lookout for radar cruise, which maintains a secure distance to the automobile in entrance, you’ll need to improve to the Type. All variations are lined by six airbags.

DRIVING

The T-Cross is a captivating little SUV to drive.

Its 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine makes simply 85kW however has a wholesome 200Nm of torque out there from low within the rev vary, which helps add some oomph off the mark.

The seven-speed dual-clutch auto helps to maintain that torque on faucet nevertheless it takes some getting used to. Drivers have to have a fragile contact when accelerating in any other case it may be indecisive and jerky at decrease speeds.

The T-Cross is zippy round city and its compact dimensions make it perfect for parking in tight underground automobile parks and cramped interior metropolis streets.

It has typical VW sharp, correct steering that enhances driver engagement.

Agency suspension will increase the driving force enchantment on twisting again roads however is lower than compelling on the town the place poor high quality roads result in an at instances bumpy commute.

Gasoline use of 5.4L/100km is spectacular nevertheless it does want pricier premium unleaded petrol.

ALTERNATIVES

Mazda CX-3 Evolve, from about $35,000 drive-away

Non-turbo engine feels unrefined subsequent to the VW however has security tech the T-Cross misses.

Toyota Yaris Cross GX Hybrid, from about $34,500 drive-away

Gasoline sipping hybrid energy for a similar cash because the VW, however it’s sparsely geared up.

Kia Stonic GT-Line, from $32,990 drive-away

Cheaper turbocharged little SUV has a beneficiant seven-year guarantee however isn’t as polished to drive.

VERDICT 3.5/5

Sharp steering and classy small SUV that might do with a bit bit extra security tech.

VOLKSWAGEN T-CROSS LIFE

PRICE: About $35,500 drive-away

ENGINE: 1.0-litre three cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, 85kW and 200Nm

WARRANTY/SERVICING: 5 years/limitless km, $2450 for 5 years

SAFETY: Six airbags, auto emergency braking, lane-keep help, driver fatigue warning

THIRST: 5.4L/100km

SPARE: Area saver

LUGGAGE: 385 litres

Initially printed as 2023 Volkswagen T-Cross Life new automobile evaluation