Women on Wheels and Good Housekeeping’s managing editor Masechaba Mkefa-Hausen take Volkswagen’s new T-Cross for a drive #WOWdrive
The all-new Volkswagen T-Cross and families go together like watermelon and hot summer days – a perfect pairing. This small SUV fits neatly under the Tiguan range, with sophisticated looks and diverse personalisation options, plus it oozes casual style and practicality.
Top of the must-haves list on a new vehicle are safety features. The T-Cross scored a five-star rating for the Euro NCAP test (97% for adult occupancy and 86% for child safety). Active safety features include six air bags, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and Front Assist, which uses technical wizardry for pedestrian and cyclist safety. Included on the safety list are ISOfix anchorage points that connect an ISOfix-equipped child seat to the chair via specialised metal arms, doing away with the wrap-and-strap exercise of securing a child seat with the safety belt, which normally results in a bumped funny bone.
Although small on the outside, the T-Cross has plenty of space on the inside for a family. Luggage space ranges from 377 to 455 litres, easily fitting a child’s bicycle, small bag, picnic basket and pram for days out with the family. If you need a smidgen of extra space for holiday accessories, simply slide the rear seat forward by 14cm, creating extra boot space, and your passengers will still have enough legroom in the second row. Larger items from the hardware store and nursery (for those DIY projects inspired by Pinterest) can be packed into the vehicle without resorting to Tetris tactics, thanks to the split folding rear seats opening up 1 281 litres (a lot) of storage space.
The optional keyless entry system is worth the extra spend. If you are at a mall with children and multiple parcels it’s so much easier not having to search for a key at the bottom of a tote bag, rooting around among snacks, figurines and that day’s bespoke artwork. Simply have the key on you (somewhere) and pull the door handle to open the T-Cross – simple and easy.
Both rear doors have child lock and the seat-belt reminder (visible on the active info display for the driver) is active for the rear seats too, for when the little ones decide they’re not in the mood for safety restraints and make Houdini look like an amateur. In addition to easier entry, vehicle occupants benefit from an increase in interior space and legroom. The T-Cross is 10cm higher than the Polo; it guarantees good visibility from all seats so the kids can enjoy the scenic routes from the back without wanting to stand up on the seat while you’re driving. The T-Cross has two USB charging points in the front and two for the rear passengers, so if the scenery gets a bit boring for the youngsters, you can plug in the tablet and let them watch Dora The Explorer for the rest of the journey. (Although that might mean you need to listen to Dora too!) Pricing of the Comfortline model starts at R334 600, which includes a 3-year/45 000 km service plan and 3-year/120 000 km warranty. The entry-level T-Cross model with a starting price of below R300 000 will be available in South Africa in 2020.
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