2023 VW T-Cross (facelift) year-end release confirmed; Hybrid unlikely [Update]

  • Facelift expected with minor exterior cosmetic tweaks and a more modern interior
  • Expected to continue with VW’s TSI Evo 2 gasoline engines with manual & DSG transmissions
  • New features likely to include ‘IQ.Light’ LED matrix headlights and ‘IQ.Drive’ Travel Assist
  • Prices in Europe could start from around EUR 23,000 (appx. USD 24,875)

Update: ‘Design’ and ‘Price & Release Date’ section updated.

Arriving in Europe for the first time in October 2018, the VW T-Cross has maintained its status as one of the more popular crossover/SUV models from VW’s line-up in the old continent. Since then, it has been built alongside the Polo hatchback at the Group’s Navarra facility located in Pamplona, Spain.

Later this year, the T-Cross will receive its first refreshment which should give it the rejuvenation to remain competitive on the market for the next few years. Here’s what we know about the 2023 VW T-Cross.

New T-Cross confirmed

2023 VW T-Cross facelift confirmation from Thomas Schäfer
VW has confirmed that it has 5 launches for the rest of the year, and at the T-Cross is the final one in the pipeline. Image: Volkswagen Group

Even as the German auto major continues its push for electrification, it remains of paramount interest for VW to keep updating its entry-level models like the T-Cross. The refreshed T-Cross will be launched in the second half of 2023, Thomas Schäfer, CEO, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, announced during Volkswagen Annual Media Call 2023 on March 15, 2023.

In June, we will be launching the ID. Buzz LWB: LWB stands for long wheelbase – a wheelbase extended by 25 centimeters, offering up to seven seats. In the second half of the year, the very important new generations of the Passat and Tiguan will follow, and an update of the T-Cross.

Thomas Schäfer, CEO, Volkswagen Passenger Cars (Volkswagen Annual Media Call 2023, on March 15, 2023)


Spy photos have revealed cleverly-disguised test mules of the VW T-Cross facelift undergoing trials in Europe. As with most mid-cycle updates, the new T-Cross will retain the overall design and exterior silhouette of the current model. However, Volkswagen is expected to make just enough changes to the compact SUV to keep it looking fresh.

While the smart camouflage is well-executed, keen-eyed readers will be able to spot the pseudo fog lamps and intakes in the front bumper of the test mules. This indicates that VW has carried out cosmetic tweaks to enhance the overall look of the front fascia, while it is possible that the new model could come with a sportier front bumper & lower apron like those seen in the latest-gen T-Roc.

Similarly, the facelift might also feature a thin LED strip at the front for a more sophisticated and upmarket look. At the same time, ‘IQ.Light’ LED matrix headlights should be available as an optional extra.

The new T-Cross will feature redesigned connected rear lights with new graphics. The outer part of the connected rear lights form the shape of an “X” when seen together, a letter typically associated with characteristics like adventurous, rugged, and tough in the automotive world and thus mainly used in different visual cues on SUVs. Volkswagen will likely offer the facelifted SUV in new colors and with new alloy wheel designs.

Interior & Features

Compared to the current T-Cross, the facelifted model is likely to get a revised interior with more attention paid to minimalism and modern equipment. Customers would also appreciate if VW tweaked the quality of materials in the cabin while retaining the current model’s ergonomically-sound and comfortable interior layout. We are expecting the new VW T-Cross to sport new cabin upholstery, along with Volkswagen’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital driver’s display and a touch-operated HVAC panel.

Higher trim levels of the 2023 VW T-Cross are likely to host modern amenities such as a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED ambient lighting, optional 9.2-inch infotainment display with VW’s MIB3 system, App-Connect with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, and multiple drive modes along with ‘IQ.Drive’ Travel Assist feature with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist & Autonomous Emergency Braking with City Emergency Braking System.


While the brand has not confirmed it yet, we surmise that the VW T-Cross will likely remain a combustion-only model for the time being. Newly launched Volkswagen Group compact models in Europe such as the VW Polo, Skoda Fabia, and Skoda Karoq are devoid of any form of electric assistance (including hybrid technology).

Instead, these popular models are equipped with highly-efficient gasoline powertrains that not only appear to satisfy customer expectations but also meet stringent emission standards laid down by various EU regulatory bodies. The updated VW T-Cross could continue with the 1.0-liter three-cylinder and 1.5-liter four-cylinder TSI Evo 2 gasoline engines, producing 94 hp and up to 148 hp respectively. Transmission choices should include a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, and a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.

Having said that, Volkswagen could consider equipping the T-Cross with at least mild-hybrid technology to increase efficiency even further while also capitalizing on lower emissions provided by this feature, especially in typical urban driving conditions. The compact crossover will continue to ride on the VW Group’s modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform, which is also shared with the new Polo.

Price & Release Date

Volkswagen has little incentive at the moment to employ fully-electric or even hybrid powertrain technology in its entry-level models, as this would make them more expensive and thus less attractive to buyers in the segment. Moreover, the company is planning to release the ID.2 SUV around 2026, which should become the zero-emissions alternative to the T-Cross.

The new T-Cross will arrive in the second half of 2023, Schäfer announced during Volkswagen’s Annual Media Call 2023 event on May 15, 2023. We think the new model’s prices in Germany could start from around EUR 23,000 (USD 24,875).

Volkswagen doesn’t plan to launch the T-Cross in the U.S., where most customers prefer much bigger SUVs. Volkswagen’s next SUV launch in the U.S. will be the next-gen Tiguan in the U.S. Senior Vice President of Product and Strategy at Volkswagen Group of America, Hein Schafer said, “I can confirm Tiguan will have a successor (in the U.S.),” CarBuzz mentioned in its report published on July 20, 2022.

TopElectricSUV says

Given the distinct preferences between American and European customers, the Volkswagen Group will find it more prudent to push its state-of-the-art EV models in the U.S. market over traditional combustion vehicles. This will likely be the case going forward as well, with the new VW T-Cross kept out of the American line-up.

Featured image: Volkswagen