Ben 10 with Charm – VW T-Cross first drive.
The Volkswagen assault on the market was too much for customers and media alike, they overwhelmed us with great product thus enhancing an already wealthy portfolio. They took a break and we could khoka umoya, yerrrrr bebesihlelele maaan, the new Polo, New Vivo, Golf R with more power just to mention but a few amongst a seam of new products.
September 2019 marked the reveal and launch of something that allows them to enter the compact SUV market, one that is hugely popular and ruled by one brand at the moment or at least in my view, do the new T-Cross have what it talks to take the fight to the ever popular Ford EcoSport.
Allow me to shed some light!
The exterior is a blend of bold and witty design cues, a wide bold grille with a chrome insert running across the face linking both headlights, the lower bumper is blessed with chrome housed fog lights abd a satin finished beading that also accentuated the look, depending on the trim level, this frontend can be bolder like our launch unit with was in Highline Trim. The side profile has a decent view of the ground clearance and those should lines with show some muscle albeit uBen 10, our unit wore a bright orange paint (energetic orange) pick it if you are not shy. Rolling on 18” finished in gloss black with colour matched highlights that exude such bubbly character, colour coded mirrors and roof racks add to the street cred. The headlights and taillight close and open the side view profile with amazing details and they have the hugging effect on both panels.
The rear is a masterpiece of detail, from the high gloss black roof spoiler, to the one piece design blacked out rear taillight thus adding to the presence while it leaves you in its wake. Below this detail you find what the party is about, the T-Cross logo, the bumper also has a similar satin scuff plate mounted, in essence, umhle uBen 10!
The Interior , The multi-function steering is just beautiful, finished in leather with a satin chrome insert marking elegance, the centre console and and arrange thereof had me grinning as if Mbali had graduated,the dash with the bright orange matching exterior paint might be childish for some but it would up my mood daily. The Infotainment system led by a Beats Audio system is well made and is in tune with the aim to keep you focused when driving. The upholstery seats in hyped detail finish off what is a spacious and well-made and well insulated cabin. The only gripe was that top plastic panel on the door, good thing it’s in grey and it’s not in your face. Boot space is good since we could fit all our bags with ease and it can be extended by moving the rear seat bench forward by a few millimeters.
On launch we had one engine availed with all the trim lines on sale to sample, a force-fed 3 potter with 85kw and 200nm of torque, mated to a very good 7 speed DSG gearbox pulling with front wheels. A 70kw derivative with be available in the ¼ of 2020, however if you are keen on more power you can get a 1.5L 4cyl Turbo 110kw power plant that will also go on sale sooner. The current incumbent does great duty to uphold the T-Cross name for 1st impressions, 3 cylinders have an undeniable low end grunt, that is not the case here that to some refinements, so you have a family car that wafts along swiftly without any issues and delivery is ample. The ride quality is impressive and handling is also as good as any VW. Our Highline unit was equipped with Driver profile selection, so if the kid in you is eager you can switch to sports mode witch invigorates the gearbox and throttle input. The drive is just lovely.
Safety & Features
A whole host of features come standard with the T-Cross and VW has done a sterling job packing the options list , our Highline derivative boasted Comfort seats, wireless charging, climatronic airconditioning, LED headlight and Discover media with nagivation with app connect , Key less start and Key less Entry, rear view camera, front and rear park assist to mention but a few. The addition of blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control, lane assist and front assist tell me that VW is always serious about safety.
Pricing starts from under R300k for the entry level 70kw Trendline which will also be available in with a Manual gearbox, the 85kw Comfortline DSG come in at R334 600, our launch unit is priced at R365 00 and the range Topper which you can pre order now is priced at R403 500 which also affords you a R-line kit. All these are backed by a 3year/45 000km service plan, and a 3year/120 000km warranty. A 12 year anticorrosion warranty is also standard.
While the T-cross is mainly powered by 1.0L turbo charged 3cylinder engines, do not be fooled by trhen capacity as they deliver a great deal in drive experience, the overall package is great and I was quite impressed by the feel and look, it has my vote. Will it take the reigns from the EcoSport?, Yeah , Hell YEAH. They already have over 1400 orders !!! Ben 10 uzengamandla!!!!
This launched marked a milestone for my bucket list, thus making it another outstanding experience with the brand, I jumped from 216mt high Bloukrans, the highest Bungee in the world.
For the Tourist in you
Try out Enrico’s Restorante in Keurbooms as you arrive in Plett for the best lamb shank and seafood, book yourself at the new Knysna Hollows for a relaxed tranquil setting with great service, and have your Sundowners at Simola with full views of the peaceful town as youm sip M’oet!!!
Thanks to Volkswagen SA, Andile, Siya, Nozipho,Yusuf, Shaun , and Wandile for a great , and very well executed launch. Yerrr nidlalile maaan!
Yours in motoring
Wezile Lorenzio Bonani