April 21, 2022 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

2022 Volkswagen T-Cross SE

The Banana Dinghy

Aside from the Tribu Yellow exterior and matching interior trim color, our updated 2022 Volkswagen T-Cross test unit has the new 10.3-inch digital Active Info Display instrumentation instead of the traditional analog system that allows the operator to customize the output of driver information. This new display matches the crisp quality and graphic themes of the standard, for the SE variant, 9.2-inch central infotainment system which functions very well but unfortunately sends audio through only 4 speakers though the A-pillars have obvious mounting points for additional tweeters. Hopefully future models will fill the recesses with the available optional premium 300-watt Beats™ audio system with 8-channel digital amplifier and subwoofer.

Notable reminders regarding the Volkswagen T-Cross for the Philippine market; we get the extra comfortable Long Wheelbase model combined with a modest 110 bhp / 107 lb-ft 1.5-liter gasoline engine mated to a 6-speed automatic (essentially the same power unit and transmission found in the Santana and Santana GTS), it is very frugal yet full featured, it accelerates from 0-100 km/h in a relaxed 12.2 seconds with a top speed of 189 km/h, the rear signature lighting resembles a “C”, it uses the excellent MQB A0 chassis, it has comprehensive safety equipment, the suspension are independent MacPherson struts up front with a coil sprung torsion-beam at the rear, and brakes are vented discs up front and solid discs at the rear.  The suspension tuning is appropriate for our road conditions combined with the conservative 205/55R17 91V Hankook Kinergy EX+ tires wrapping fairly good-looking 17 x 6.5J alloys.

The cabin fitment, standard features, and design are refreshingly fun and accommodating. It is 4218 mm long, 1760 mm wide, and 1599 mm tall on a 2651 mm wheelbase. The electric-boosted steering is numb but very easy to use. The T-Cross is a practical and reliable everyday city commuter, but can feel quite winded if driven aggressively. The Volkswagen T-Cross SE is a purposeful world-car that is a visual standout on the road and you can take pride in its ownership.

For P152,000.00 more than the entry-level “S” variant, you get the excellent LED lighting (in projector low and high beams with DRL), the new digital instrumentation, autonomous emergency braking, electronic stability control, LED reading lights, a panoramic moonroof, cruise control, front halogen fog lamps with corner lights, combination leather and fabric seats with matching interior stitching and matching exterior color for the front interior dashboard trim, climate control with rear vents and additional backlit USB A & C ports, additional side and curtain SRS bags, rear parking sonar with rear camera, smart key, and the 1.2-inch larger infotainment system with gesture control and Apple CarPlay® wired/wireless connectivity.

The T-Cross is a handsome and fairly well packaged subcompact crossover with genuinely desirable brand characteristics. Our market gets a nice palette of available colors with matching interior trim for particular SE models: Tribu Yellow, Syringa Violet, Romance Red, Polar White, and Chinchilla Gray. Load capacity is 329 liters with the rear seat up and when the rear seats are folded, handles 1,319 liters. The ground clearance is 185 mm.

It would perform even better dynamically if the more potent TSI (Direct Injection with Turbocharging) powerplants, in either 1.0-liter or 1.4-liter capacities mated to a 7-speed DSG transmission are used hopefully in the near future. The 1.5-liter MPI engine is certainly practical and sufficient for general routine duty but the T-Cross and its future owners deserve more. With the competition in the segment only becoming exceedingly fiercer almost every month, the Volkswagen T-Cross also has to keep up by adding more standard equipment features on top of a better audio system that also includes Android Auto™ connectivity, wireless smartphone charging, automatic rain sensor wipers, more active driver aids, ambient interior lighting, and an automatic dimming interior rear-view mirror.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4
Displacement 1498 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Multipoint Injection, Atkinson-cycle
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 110 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 107 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm
Transmission 6-speed AT

Performance

Top Speed 189 km/h (118 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 12.2 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 5.9 L/100 km Overall

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 1,250,000.00
What's Great Refreshing packaging, versatility and comfort, comprehensive driver aids, pedigree, build-quality, and very efficient.
What's Not So Wish it had either the 1.0-liter TSI or the 1.4-liter TSI engine mated to the 7-speed DSG, and more than 4-speakers for the audio system.
C! Editors Rating 8.5/10
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