Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Sensible, intuitive controls abound
  • Well-assembled, but plastics feel cheap
  • Vibrant personalisation options available

No surprises that the Volkswagen T-Cross shares much of its interior with the closely-related Polo, which is both good and disappointing news. Positively, the switchgear feels pleasant and logical to operate, with well-damped actions that reassure you of the car’s potential longevity.

What’s more disappointing is the abundance of rigid, hollow-sounding plastics that line the interior, including the whole dashboard moulding. It might be acceptable in a city car at half the price, but given most T-Crosses will cost in excess of £20,000 it smacks of penny-pinching. A lack of fabric matching the seats on the door panels feels especially miserly.

It creates a stark contrast in a couple of respects, too. Those personalisation packs with a choice of orange or green panels across the dashboard give it a positive visual lift, making the cabin feel that bit more special. It’s a pity you have to pay extra to make that the case, though.

Similarly, the slick 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and sharp Active Info Display digital instrumentation pod both look glossy, high-tech and similarly at odds with some of those hard, shiny plastic surfaces.

Still, most touch points are better – particularly the thick-rimmed leather-wrapped steering wheel and it’s easy to get a comfy, commanding driving position that’s more like a traditional SUV – compared with the SEAT Arona, you sit appreciably higher in the VW.

Comfort

  • Spacious cabin for four adults
  • Compliant ride quality on most road surfaces
  • Seats support well on longer journeys

As with most small cars, five seatbelts are fitted in the Volkswagen T-Cross, but if you’re an adult sat in the middle of the rear bench you’ve drawn the short straw – particularly if you’re flanked by a pair of burly six-footers. Four-up, it’s pleasingly spacious with generous amounts of head- and legroom, plus that rear bench can be slid backwards and forwards, a useful feature for adults in the front reaching children in the back.

There’s a little hollowing of the rear seat’s outer cushions for comfort, although the backrest is flatter, while the front pair are supportive and comfy – but a tad more bolstering around the thighs wouldn’t go amiss. Comfort is further enhanced by the T-Cross’s compliant ride quality, which successfully irons out the sharpest of imperfections without inducing the kind of floaty sensation that often induces travel sickness.

It’s not perfect, though, and models tested with the larger 18-inch alloy wheels displayed an occasional tendency to transmit the aftershocks of deeper road surface imperfections through to the cabin. We found it on the firmer side when driven on UK roads, often feeling a little jittery on cracked tarmac.