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More affordable VW T-Cross coming to South Africa

VW South Africa has confirmed that in the second quarter of 2023, the subsidiary will introduce a new Trendline trim for its best-selling T-Cross mini-SUV to the local market, which is only sold in Comfortline and Highline grades at the moment.

The company has revealed little else about its upcoming crossover, though historically, the Trendline specification has always assumed the entry-level spot in the line-up. Exhibit A: the Polo Vivo.

Considering the starting price of the T-Cross is teasing the R400,000 mark, after retailing under R300,000 in Q2 2020, a more accessible version of VW’s cheapest high-rider is likely on the cards.

While there’s a slim chance we will get a 2020-rivaling window sticker for the 2023 Trendline, we do anticipate that it will see a marked price decrease to bring the VW more in line with competitors such as the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro, Ford EcoSport, Haval Jolion, Kia Sonet, and Toyota Corolla Cross – all of which retails for between R300,000 and R381,000.

What to expect

It’s expected that the new T-Cross Trendline will sport the same powertrain as its base Comfortline sibling, in this case a 1.0-litre, turbo-petrol motor paired with a five-speed manual gearbox.

This configuration is capable of putting out 70kW and 175Nm at an average fuel economy of 4.8l/100km, with the 0-100km/h dash finished in 10.8 seconds.

As it stands, this particular drive unit is offered in manual only so it’s improbable that the upcoming T-Cross will have an automatic shifter, as these boxes are reserved for the variants developing 85kW or more.

Concerning equipment, the T-Cross is well-endowed at present and the standard specification sheet will presumably be thinned out before being sold in Trendline guise.

At the very least, we expect the new entry-level VW to come with the 6.5-inch central touch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a small multifunction driver’s screen, fabric seats, electric windows, manual air conditioning, and halogen headlamps – with pricier amenities such as cruise control, climate control, LED lights, auto-dimming mirrors, and automatic wipers likely to be foregone in the quest of cost savings.

When taking the Vivo as a benchmark, it’s also possible that the T-Cross Trendline will get steel wheels with plastic covers as well as a plain leather steering wheel with no buttons, or a urethane wheel but with buttons, to further cut down on price.

However, it must be noted that the above-mentioned features remain speculative until the official pricing and specifications are announced by VW, which will only happen closer to the vehicle’s launch date.

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