Volkswagen Philippines today announced during their media roundtable that they are realigning themselves to offering their global models, with the Volkswagen T-Cross being the first step in this new direction.
The cause of the shift in the German automaker’s direction is due to the not-so-impressive sales numbers and reception of its SAIC Volkswagen joint-venture products from China. While the Volkswagen Santana, Lavida, Lamando, and the long-wheelbase Tiguan (albeit the first-generation model) brought down the average prices of the Volkswagen brand, the unfamiliar names did not resonate well with buyers. This is despite the fact that these vehicles use parts from German suppliers and therefore adheres to Volkswagen’s strict global quality standards, or the fact that they are still the Polo, Jetta and Passat that we know but in a different suit.
But that’s all behind the German automaker now as they are once again going to offer the iconic nameplates that we know and love, and this starts with the T-Cross subcompact SUV.
The Volkswagen T-Cross was first revealed in late 2018 simultaneously in Amsterdam, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. The T-Cross is a global subcompact crossover SUV that uses the Polo hatchback’s MQB platform. Since then, it became one of Volkswagen’s top sellers with over 300,000 units sold just in 2020.
Styling-wise, the all-new T-Cross features three slightly different exterior designs to cater to each region’s tastes. The European version looks like a tall hatchback especially in R-Line form, while the South American and Asian versions look properly rugged. We honestly prefer the look of the Asian version that we’re also getting, which will also be sourced from the SAIC Volkswagen plant in China.
Aimed at younger buyers, the Volkswagen T-Cross features a youthful exterior design. Compared to Volkswagen’s generally conservative design, the T-Cross features more distinct styling elements such as the bold front end, striking side character lines and a black panel that connects the two taillights.
The interior of the Volkswagen T-Cross is just as youthful as its exterior. If we check out SAIC Volkswagen’s website, we can see that the T-Cross we would be getting could be equipped with Volkswagen’s 10.3-inch Active Driving Display digital gauge cluster, 8-inch touch screen infotainment system, Beats audio system and even a panoramic sunroof. Though the specifications have not been confirmed, Volkswagen Philippines President Felipe Estrella says that they will equip this German subcompact SUV with features to the brim to make it extremely competitive in one of the country’s hottest segments.
In China, the Volkswagen T-Cross comes with either a base 1.5-liter naturally-aspirated gasoline engine or a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. The bigger non-turbo mill produces 113 hp while the smaller, turbocharged mill produces 148 hp. Transmission options include a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission while the 1.5-liter non-turbo engine gets a more conventional 6-speed automatic.
No exact pricing has been given yet, but Volkswagen Philippines President Felipe Estrella did confirm that it will be priced aggressively at around P1.1 to P1.3 million, which should make it really competitive against offerings like the Toyota Corolla Cross, Honda HR-V, AC Motors’ own Kia Seltos, and even Chinese competitors like the Geely Coolray.