VW’s Polo SUV: Destination South Africa

Polo, Polo Vivo, Arteon… Volkswagen has released some fantastic products over the past two years and in 2019 turns its attention to the compact SUV market with two new models both built on its most successful products – the entry-level T-Cross (Polo) and stylish T-Roc (Golf).

With the new T-Cross, the automaker hopes to grab its share of the compact SUV market in SA that’s long-since been dominated locally by Asian rivals. The T-Roc, however, has loftier goals targeting the R300k – R400k market and slots in below its popular Tiguan sibling.

The T-Cross is set to arrive later in 2019 with the T-Roc penned for 2020. We experienced the new T-Cross in the stunning surrounds of Mallorca, Spain. So, will the new “Polo SUV” be a sales hit in Mzansi?


Like its larger Tiguan sibling, the new T-Roc will be offered with a range of turbocharged engines; three petrol engines (TSI) and three diesels (TDI). The engines can be mated to either manual or 7-speed DSG, driving power to the front-wheels as standard. There will also be a 4Motion all-wheel drive variant.


Entry level variants are fitted with Front Assist area monitoring with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring. Other systems include automatic post-collision braking and lane-keeping assist. Included in the base specification is aircon, colour infotainment system, LED tailights, underbody guard (black) and LED daytime running lights.

Volkswagen will be offering the new crossover based on the ‘T-Roc’ specification along with ‘Sport’ and ‘Style’ variants.


The T-Roc will be available to order in two-tone paintwork with visually contrasting roof section (including the A-pillars and side-mirrors).

Numerous design elements define the new five-seater’s style. at the front it sports a wide grille with integrated dual headlights and new light signature. It has chromed elements along its flanks and its profile is reminiscent of a coupe. It’s off-road design is enhanced by dark plastic trim which, VW says, “protects the bodywork around the wheel arches and side sills, as well as the vehicle’s front and rear”.


Inside, it uses the automaker’s Active Info Display, to create a new digital cockpit with smartphone and Volkswagen ‘Car Net’ connectivity. Another feature being offered for the new T-Roc is the “Security & Service” package (includes Emergency Service, Automatic Accident Notification and Roadside Assistance).

Luggage space is rated at 445 litres and with the backrests folded, space increases to 1290 litres.

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