It finally gives VW a model in the burgeoning supermini-sized-crossover market, a year after sister brand Seat launched the Arona.
Project manager Felix Kaschützke admitted VW was late to the segment but said that was “something we have done before”. He added: “Usually we are not the first in a segment but, when we come, we are the best.
"When customers hear there is a new small SUV from Volkswagen, they know we’ll get it right. We’ve put everything in this car that customers might expect.”
The T-Cross is based on the VW Group’s MQB A0 supermini platform, and shares many mechanical underpinnings with the Polo, which it will be built alongside at the firm’s Pamplona factory.
But while it shares a number of mechanical elements – including powertrains – with the supermini, the T-Cross has distinctive SUV styling. Kaschützke says that was a result of a focus on versatility to serve the target audience of small families.
“We needed to differentiate it [from the Polo] so customers could see the added benefits,” he said. “It can’t just be a reworked Polo: it has to be a truly credible car. People aren’t going to buy this car because it’s an SUV but because of the versatility it gives them: a higher driving viewpoint and extra space.”
The five-seat T-Cross is 4107mm long and 1558mm high, making it marginally bigger than the Polo (4053mm and 1461mm respectively). The wheelbase of the two cars is identical, the extra length coming from larger front and rear overhangs. The T-Cross is 127mm shorter than the T-Roc, which is broadly similar in size to a Golf.