Volkswagen this week announced that its highly anticipated Polo-based SUV, the T-Cross, will arrive in Australia in April – with pricing starting under the expected $30,000 mark.
Two varieties of T-Cross will be available at launch, with a third, more powerful variant, to arrive later in June. First up to land on our shores will be a pair of turbocharged three-cylinder models: the 85TSI Life, which lists for $27,990, and the 85TSI Style, which costs $3,000 more.
Jason Bradshaw, director of customer experience and marketing at Volkswagen Australia, says the T-Cross arrives to disrupt a segment that “previously Japanese and Korean brands have had…to themselves.” Indeed, the T-Cross’s main competition will be vehicles like the Toyota C-HR and Mazda CX-3 – but also the Volkwagen Group’s own Skoda Karoq, and the larger Volkswagen T-Roc SUV that arrives in the same month.
The twin 85TSI models make use of an 85kW/200Nm 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine that also does service in the new Volkswagen Polo. Unlike in that hatch, though, the T-Cross SUV will pair the three-pot engine exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, with no manual on the cards.
The $27,990 85TSI Life will roll on 16-inch alloys – no steelies here – while packing wireless smartphone charging, four USB ports, and an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A leather steering wheel is included, as it is on all Volkswagen passenger vehicles, and there are automatic halogen headlights and wipers. On the safety front, AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection joins lane keep assist and driver fatigue detection.
Upgrade to the $30,990 85TSI Style and specification is boosted with larger 17-inch alloys, chrome roof rails and and LED headlights outside, plus paddle shifters, sports front seats and carpet mats inside. The Style also benefits from proximity access and start, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and automated parking.
Following the initial drop of the 85TSI models in June will be the arrival of a 110TSI Style grade, which upgrades to a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making 110kW/250Nm.
Volkswagen did not initially plan on offering a four-pot T-Cross in Australia, indicating in early 2019 that larger engines would be reserved for the Golf-sized T-Roc SUV that also launches in April. However, a late change of heart will see the flagship T-Cross utilise a 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre turbo four that is a development of the 1.4-litre used in the outgoing Golf Mk 7.
The 110TSI Style includes the bigger engine and also adds 18-inch wheels, tinted rear windows, black door mirrors and a unique black/grey cloth on the seats and dashboard. Pricing has not been announced for the 110TSI Style, but expect it to land around the $34,990 mark. Notably, integrated satellite navigation is not standard on any grade – it is part of an option pack described below.
Options for the T-Cross include premium paints, including a suite of metallics – Energetic Orange, Limestone Grey, Reflex Silver, and Reef Blue, which cost $600, while the halo T-Cross hue, Makena Turquoise metallic, will cost $800. White and ‘Dark Petrol’ will be free colours.
A Sound and Vision package can be added to any model for $1,900, adding satellite navigation, Volkswagen’s digital gauges, and a 300-watt Beats stereo.
The base 85TSI Life can be optioned with a Driver Assistance package for $1,200, adding the Style’s additional safety tech in the form of adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and automated parking, plus power folding door mirrors.
Meanwhile, the two Style grades will be able to be optioned with an athletic R-Line package for $2,500 ($1,900 for the 110TSI engine). This pack includes a different design of 18-inch wheels, ‘dark body accents’, tinted rear windows, a sports steering wheel, carbon-flag cloth for the seats, aluminium pedals and R-Line scuff plates.
2020 Volkswagen T-Cross price in Australia
T-Cross 85TSI Life: $27,990
T-Cross 85TSI Style: $30,990
T-Cross 110TSI Style: TBA
Metallic paint: $600
Turquoise metallic paint: $800
Sound and Vision package: $1,900
Driver Assistance package (Life only): $1,200
R-Line package (85TSI Style): $2,500
R-Line package (110TSI Style): $1,900