2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Mar 21, 2022

Editor's: 4.0/5
A subcompact crossover that has a unique laid-back vibe.
2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Crossing over with style
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Engine & Performance
  6. Fuel Efficiency
  7. Verdict
  8. Variants & Price
  9. Color Options
  10. Specs

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE: Crossing over with style

Subcompact crossovers have been gaining popularity in the Philippine market. Several car brands have already jumped into the current trend, which was a segment once held dominantly by the Ford EcoSport

The demand for such vehicles can be attributed to characteristics such as a relatively more spacious interior, a flexible cargo loading option, and a higher ground clearance. Not to mention, subcompact crossovers also come with an attractive price tag, which makes it one of the choices among Filipino car buyers.

Among the sudden influx of vehicles competing in the said segment is the Volkswagen T-Cross. It comes with a unique exterior and interior styling but the top-of-the-line variant T-Cross SE is priced a tad higher compared to its segment rivals such as the Kia Stonic, Hyundai Venue, and MG ZS. With that, we look into what the T-Cross SE can offer. Is the higher price tag justifiable? Read on Philkotse’s 2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE review to find out.


Volkswagen T-Cross 2021 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics

    Overall exterior & Interior design, build quality, form vs function

  • Safety & Technology

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money

    Sticker price vs overall package

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE Exterior Review: Sleek and premium-like appeal

The Volkswagen T-Cross SE comes with an exterior that goes against the tide compared to its segment rivals. It doesn’t have that much of an athletic or sporty look since the T-Cross leans more on giving you a sleek and premium-like appeal. The appeal of VW’s subcompact crossover is refreshing, which makes it unique among its rivals. 

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE front shot

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE

The front end of the VW T-Cross SE has a laid-back demeanor, which sort of gives you the impression that it has a chill vibe. It is fitted with LED headlights that are integrated with daytime running lights. The chrome grille seamlessly blends between the headlights and gives a nifty accent to the T-Cross’ fascia. 

It’s also worth noting that this vehicle’s emblem already shows the new VW logo. The sleek demeanor of the vehicle is further highlighted by the bumper, which has a mustache-like trim that surrounds the halogen fog lamps.

Turning at the side, the T-Cross has a typical Volkswagen design that features a straight character line. I like the simplicity that the T-Cross gives when viewed from the side. Although, I wish that it already has power-folding side mirrors. 

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE side shot

The T-Cross features a straight character line

But to make up for it, the T-Cross’ side mirrors come with a heating function, which can give you better visibility when there’s a heavy downpour. It also has subtle chrome trim on the door handles, black cladding, and roof rails.  

The dimensions of the 2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE are as follows: 4,218mm long, 1,760mm wide, and 1,599mm tall. It also has a wheelbase of 2,651mm, and a ground clearance of 185mm.

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE rear shot

The distinctive taillight design makes the T-Cross unique

The rear of the T-Cross comes with a set of unique LED taillights that are seamlessly connected by a blacked-out trim on the tailgate. The said design detail is one of the things I like about the T-Cross as it makes it stand out among its segment rivals. It also gives you that youthful and modern styling, which is good considering the bulk of the T-Cross’ target market. The rear is complemented by a large bumper that has black cladding, giving the vehicle the right amount of bulkiness.


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2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE Interior Review: Keeping it hip with color play

The cabin of the T-Cross SE has a tri-tone interior theme, which is again one of the unique features of this Volkswagen subcompact crossover. Among its segment rivals, the T-Cross SE can be considered to be the vehicle that has the hippest interior due to its play of colors. 

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE interior dashboard

It has a tri-tone interior theme

The interior gives you a youthful vibe due to the contrasting colors of black, white, and blueish purple. However, I am not much of a fan of a white-colored interior since it gets significantly dirtier through time as compared to having a black-themed cabin. But I do like the dashboard layout of the T-Cross SE as it has a nice texture, and gives a youthful appeal. 

The T-Cross has a flat-bottomed steering wheel that’s integrated with several buttons such as Cruise Control. It also has a white-on-black analog instrument cluster that gives a straightforward design. The simplicity of the rotary knobs for the climate control works for me as it balances out the hip look of the interior by giving a nostalgic feel of conventional vehicle controls.  

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE steering wheel

The flat bottomed steering wheel is integrated with several controls

You’ll also notice the use of hard plastic materials inside the Volkswagen T-Cross SE, which is already expected considering its price point. Moreover, the T-Cross’ segment rivals also use plenty of hard plastics. The seats of this subcompact crossover have a two-tone finish, and the driver and front passenger get manual seat adjustment. To add, the T-Cross comes with a panoramic sunroof. 

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE rear seats

The T-Cross comes with rear AC vents, and a panoramic sunroof

Up to three individuals can be accommodated at the rear. Passengers at the back also get rear aircon vents, USB ports, and a generous leg- and head-room. Speaking of which, the legroom is more than enough when two individuals are seated at the back.   

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE cargo space

The T-Cross has ample cargo space for assortment of items

The Volkswagen T-Cross also has good cargo space, and you can easily fit an assortment of items. A standard-sized guitar hard case can easily be placed in the truck. The rear seats can be folded in case you need additional room for other types of cargo.

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE: Tech & Safety Review

The Volkswagen T-Cross offers several tech features that are essential in today’s lifestyle. Placed at the middle of the dashboard is a 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay. I find this feature essential since it seamlessly connects your iPhone to the touchscreen where you can access apps such as Waze and Spotify. 

The infotainment touchscreen also features a Hand Gesture system, where you can swipe left and right to browse through the screen’s menu by simply waving your hand. When you’re playing your playlist while your phone is connected via Bluetooth, you can forward the song to the next track by simply waving your hand.

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE infotainment touchscreen

Equipped with a 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen

The T-Cross can also increase or decrease the volume of your music through voice commands. Simply utter ‘Volume Up’ or ‘Volume Down’, and the T-Cross will respond accordingly. However, during the duration of my test drive, this specific feature sometimes acts up and does not work as it should.

The infotainment system transforms into a rearview camera when you put the gear in reverse, which is helpful whenever your backing into a parking space. The T-Cross also has several USB ports for Type A and Type C. 

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE steering wheel

The T-Cross comes with cruise control

In terms of safety, the Volkswagen T-Cross SE is equipped with dual front airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, head curtain airbags, an anti-lock braking system, electronic stability program, among others. The T-Cross also has rear parking sensors and a tire pressure monitor.

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE: Engine & Performance Review

The Volkswagen T-Cross is powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that puts out 112 hp and 145 Nm of torque. The engine is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission, and power is sent to the front wheels. 

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE engine

The T-Cross is powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine

The T-Cross’ engine delivers adequate power when driven around the city. The engine is relaxed during my drive within the urban jungle, and the transmission is smooth. But, I find the power delivery to be a bit sluggish when driven on the open highway, especially when you want to overtake slower vehicles. That said, you should plan your overtakes well for good measure.

Going through an uphill road could also pose a bit of a challenge with the T-Cross, which is also the case for most subcompact crossovers offered in the market today. Good thing though, the T-Cross comes with a manual mode where you can have better control of the engine rpm.  

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE front shot

It has the new VW logo

The other thing I appreciate with the T-Cross is its light steering feel, which is beneficial when limiting driver fatigue. I do wish that it has a little more steering feedback to make the overall driving experience better. Despite that, the T-Cross is stable when driven on the open highway. 

When it comes to ride comfort, the T-Cross can absorb road impacts well. It minimizes the harsh road condition along EDSA, giving you a relatively pleasant drive. The seats also give a comfortable cushion, which makes stop-and-go traffic more bearable. 

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE rear

The blacked-out trim creates a seamless look

Although, it took me quite a while to get my most preferred driving position. I also find the pillars or beams inside the vehicle to be too thick, which affects driving visibility. But, you’ll get used to it right away, and wouldn’t be much of an issue as time progress.

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE: Fuel Efficiency

In terms of fuel economy, the Volkswagen T-Cross registered 7 km/l while being driven around the city at an average speed of 10 km/h. On the open highway, the T-Cross posted 17.6 km/l while being driven at an average speed of 90 km/h. Note: there were two people onboard the vehicle during the said fuel eco runs. 

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE: Verdict

It’s evident that the Volkswagen T-Cross comes with a unique exterior and interior styling that makes it stand out among its segment rivals. The laid-back look of its exterior is one of the sleekest designs among subcompact crossovers offered in the market today. The interior, on the other hand, is quirky and has a youthful vibe, which is on point to the bulk of its target market. 

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE full front shot

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE

The engine and power delivery are capable to tackle the daily challenges brought by city driving. It may not be as sprightly as the Geely Coolray, but the T-Cross can still deliver and do its job well. The T-Cross is also equipped with cool tech features that you can’t find in some of its segment rivals such as the Hand Gesture, and the voice command in managing the volume of its audio system. Not to mention, it also has decent cargo space.

With all the points mention, one could argue that the Volkswagen T-Cross SE’s Php 1,198,000 is justifiable. The uniqueness of T-Cross’ overall design is one of its best selling points.  

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE: Variants & Price


Volkswagen T-Cross Price & Variants in the Philippines

Volkswagen T-Cross SE

Php 1,198,000

Volkswagen T-Cross S

Php 1,098,000

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE: Color Options


2021 Volkswagen T-Cross Color Options

Syringa Violet, Tribu Yellow, Romance Red, Polar White, Chinchilla Gray

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross SE: Specs







Body Type

Subcompact Crossover

Dimensions & Weight


4,218 mm


1,760 mm


1,599 mm

Engine & Transmission


1.5-liter Gasoline

Engine Displacement


Max Power

112 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Max Torque

145 Nm @ 3,900 rpm


6-speed automatic


LED Headlights

Halogen fog lights

Daytime Running Lights

Chrome grille

Roof Rail

Rear Spoiler

Panoramic Sunroof

Rear view camera


Leather + Fabric seats

Ambient Light

Front Center Armrest

Multifunction Display

9.2-inch Infotainment Touchscreen with Apple CarPlay

Hand Gesture Control

4 Speakers

USB Ports for Type A and Type C

Cruise Control

Rear Aircon Vent

Power Windows

Safety & Tech

Driver and Front Passenger Airbags

Driver and Front Passenger Side Airbags

Head Curtain Airbags

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

Electronic stability program

Hill Hold Control

Anti Slip Regulation

Rear Parking sensors

Rear Camera

Tire Pressure Monitor

Engine Push Start Button