2022 Volkswagen T-Cross With AID Review

We’ve had a bumper crop of subcompact crossovers in the Philippines within the last 10 years. Brands have made names for themselves off the back of crossovers, and others still have been revived as a result of a good model. 

Volkswagen has been steadily growing in the past few years, launching minor updates here and there, and then came the T-Cross. It was the most novel of VWs to come out since the brand retooled its lineup several years back and it breathed new life into the lineup that was otherwise just timeless. So after the buzz, VW decided that it would be nice to equip its T-Cross with an Active Information Display, or AID for short. Does it make the experience better? Let’s see. 

We’ve all seen the T-Cross in the showroom and on the road as well. Either it blends into the crowd with its tasteful design or it stands out thanks to a myriad of bright colors that help it stand out from the rest. If you ask us, it’s a good mix between trendy and classic, with the latter quality being the more dominant of the two. Is it a looker? Absolutely, but get up close and you may find a few more things that give away its price point. 

Don’t get us wrong, it’s a tasteful design, though there are some elements that we wish were given the full attention of VW instead of being there for the sake of design. For example, the rear taillights are a missed opportunity, since the rear garnish already has the makings of an LED bar. At first, we thought that it would be the model’s signature look from the rear, but alas, the model features a separate set of taillights that make it look rather plain at nighttime. Just think of the extra looks that you will get with this car if it had it though! Apart from that, it’s largely the same story for the exterior design. You get LED headlamps with LED DRLs, a grille with an interesting design, and all clean lines from the front to the rear. There is a garnish on the side of the door that lines up with the door handles giving it some extra style, but we cannot get behind the outlines at the bottom of the rear bumper so much because it looks like fake exhaust tips. Still, however, without them, the rear would look quite bare so we’ll give it a pass.

2022 Volkswagen T-Cross Side Garnish

Now, we’re not ripping on the T-Cross per se, but we’re simply pointing things out that we’ve noticed with the first 180 SE that we reviewed without the AID system. After the buzz, we will admit that there are some things that we truly wish were different, and others that we’re totally fine with like the wheel design that comes in at 17 inches in diameter, which nets it up to 185 mm of ground clearance. The exterior design also feels new and familiar at the same time. You can keep looking at the T-Cross for years to come and it will likely age gracefully over the years being that it is from a brand that takes changes to its design language very seriously. 

When we first saw the T-Cross when it was launched, we thought the interior looked great. Fast forward to today, and the body-color-matched interior panels might get old pretty quickly. Don’t get us wrong, just get the more boring colors if you want your panels to blend into the background. If not, then go for the bright colors like the red that we reviewed. It’s a little flash to have that much color in your cabin, and others would have rather preferred an all-black setup, but where’s the fun in that? The T-Cross is meant to appeal more to the younger car buyer, or the older generation that appreciates a quirky car with a modern yet classic exterior. The T-Cross is rather subdued on the outside, but it’s all party on the inside and can keep your drive interesting, that is until you get used to it and the party trick becomes old.

VW used a lot of plastic in the cabin to achieve this look. While it’s a breath of fresh air for the brand, some might find the execution to be a little tacky. The upside is that it looks nothing like its competitors, and can definitely wow you. On another note, the space at the back is plenty, and we had no problems with head or legroom. Rear cargo space can be expanded up to 1,319 liters but you have to leave the rest of your passengers at home. With a full 5-member crew, however, you can only haul up to 329 liters of space, which is par for the course in the segment. 

The AID is the main star of the show, however, and it makes this variant the model to get if you want a fully-digital experience. That being said, it’s a fantastic display with sharp text and smooth animations that should be standard for all the T-Cross variants (one can wish). It’s also the same display that you will find on the high-end Volkswagen Lamando, and having it here at a lower price point is definitely a point in the T-Cross’ favor. Without it, the cabin will be slightly less boring, otherwise, it’s an add-on that enhances the experience, but doesn’t make or break the car. In other words, it’s nice to have. 

2022 Volkswagen T-Cross Panoramic Sunroof

Stepping into the T-Cross, you will notice how bright the interior is, and how fun it might be to drive. Once you get seated, you’ll notice the cloth and leather seats hold you in nicely and provide an acceptable level of comfort, especially on hotter days. 

Once you get out on the road, you will notice that the suspension of the T-Cross handles bumps fairly. It’s a bit soft from the factory and the chassis does absorb much of the shock without jumping out of line. That being said, however, the ride may be too soft at times which leads to some harshness, especially when going over rough patches of road. Otherwise, NVH is standard with only the economy tires drawing some ire. 

2022 Volkswagen T-Cross 9.2-inch infotainment Display

We’ve talked about the T-Cross in detail the first time we got it, but let’s run down a bit more on the features. The 9.2-inch infotainment screen is just as smooth as the AID and comes with Wireless Apple CarPlay, but no Android Auto, however. It was a miss then, and it’s still the same story now. We wish there was Android Auto, though Apple CarPlay is pretty good on the widescreen. The speaker system is still par for the course in its price range, returning good loudness along with crisp mid-tones. Low and high frequencies, however, leave something to be desired. 

2022 Volkswagen T-Cross AID

The AID itself gives this model a slight edge over the (now) mid-level 180 SE, mainly because it adds a lot of flavor to the menu of features that the T-Cross already has. Being all-digital, you can customize what you see on the display, and the movement of the text and other elements are fluid and feel polished. The screen refresh rate is also pretty decent for a car of this price point. 

Still, everything good from the 180 SE makes a return here, like the easy-to-use air conditioning system with actual knobs, as well as the panoramic sunroof that makes your trips a little more interesting. Did VW need to launch an all-new variant just to put in the AID? Well, perhaps, but only because the former top-of-the-line model was already a rather complete package. 

2022 Volkswagen T-Cross Gear Selector Lever

You start the engine with a push of a button and you also get a rather efficient drive from the T-Cross. The model comes with a 1.5-liter naturally-aspirated gasoline engine that pushes 111 hp and 145 Nm of torque. While those specs look good on paper, the drive is not quite as exciting as we had hoped, thanks to the T-Cross’ weight and its rather long gearing. 

The transmission was tuned more for fuel economy, meaning that it takes a while for the engine to row through the gears and get up to speed. Unfortunately, the model’s still rather dull in the throttle response and engine response area, which can be a good thing for most normal folk that just want to get from point A to point B. Not everyone wants a throttle that is sharp, and we get that. In that respect, the T-Cross is a respectable option for people who aren’t looking for sportiness in their drive. 

Handling-wise, the T-Cross is also well-behaved. The steering is super light which lends itself well to tight city streets and parking spaces. The crossover isn’t great in the corners, often making us feel that it’s a bit unstable thanks to the numbness of the steering wheel, but as a tool to get the job done, it’s a light and easy-going drive. 

2022 Volkswagen T-Cross Push Start Button

Volkswagen's key strength with its cars is that none of them guzzle fuel like there is no tomorrow, at least for the models we have in the Philippines. The T-Cross is no different, employing the same engine as before and in the VW Santana sedan and wagon. Previously, the T-Cross managed 18.5 km/L on the highway and 11 km/L in the city with some light to medium traffic in the way. However, we thought we could make a part two and sort-of hyper-mile the model and put it through its paces.

So we tried our darndest to make the most out of the fuel we got from the gas station by feathering the throttle and seeing how much we could coast. To our amazement, we were able to push the fuel economy rating up to 14 km/L on a good day without traffic, and get about 9 km/L with a lot of traffic. On the highway, however, we were able to push it up to 20 km/L, but that was with carefully planned acceleration and deceleration. It's possible to get a little more out of the crossover, but that means that you would have to really try hard. Other than that, we'll stick to our more "normal" figures of 11 km/L and 18.5 km/L in the city and highway, respectively since it's what we're thinking most people will get anyway. 

2022 Volkswagen T-Cross Steering Wheel

It’s the same story in the new variant as well, with dual front airbags, side airbags, head curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, a rearview camera, and ISOFIX tethers. It also comes with stability control, hill hold control, anti-slip regulation, rear parking sensors, an engine immobilizer, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Automatic braking ensures that you don’t rear-end someone because you weren’t paying attention, and drivers in this segment who frequent crowded city streets will be glad that VW put this feature on the list. 

So if you want the T-Cross with the AID, then be prepared to pay P1,250,000, and if you want to save money, why not go for the variant below it with all the bells and whistles minus the AID. Well, that’s a bit of a problem because the T-Cross’ former top-of-the-line variant has been replaced by this new one with the AID system. 

That effectively bumps the price up by P52,000, and we feel that the AID system isn’t the only thing to blame for this increase in price. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to hide behind price hikes with extra features, and this could be the case. In other words, VW Philippines might be trying to sweeten the pot in light of not-so-great exchange rates or other factors. Still, the AID system is worthwhile, and it only makes the deal better for the T-Cross which was already quite affordable. 

If you like the prospect of a youthful interior paired with an exterior look that won’t age too quickly, then the T-Cross is for you. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, it’s featured packed with everything that you need and might want in a subcompact crossover, and it’s easy to drive. Drive it harder and you might feel a little uneasy, but that’s just the car’s way of telling you to behave. The large infotainment system paired with the AID is icing on the cake, and the car will keep you safe thanks to the automatic braking system. Other rivals may boast the same number of features or more, but if you want that VW badge in your garage or parking slot, then this is the model to get. 


Specifications

Engine

1.5 L

Fuel Type

Gasoline

Performance

111 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Transmission

Automatic

Summary

Name Volkswagen T-Cross 180 MPI SE AT with AID
Body Type Crossover
Price ₱1,340,000
Transmission Type Automatic

Engine

Performance

Economy & Environment

Dimensions

Safety & Security

Features

Technology


Colors

Get the best deal - Choose multiple dealerships to compare offers!

You can compare quotations simultaneously from multiple Volkswagen dealerships. Select your preferred dealers from the list below.

  • Compare quotations from multiple dealerships in minutes.
  • Check vehicle and color availability.
  • Find info on special offers and promotions.
  • 100% Hassle-free with no obligation to purchase.

Latest Review

View More Articles

Popular Articles