New SUVs – they come along more often than buses and one of the more notable newcomers to the ever-ballooning soft-roader marketplace is the Volkswagen T-Roc.
Sitting below the Tiguan and Touareg in the VW range, the T-Roc has no shortage of rivals, with enough competition to worry about from its sister brands – SEAT Ateca, Skoda Karoq and Audi Q2 – without having to concern itself with the Mini Countryman and Toyota C-HR.
The British motoring press recently got their hands on the hiked-up Golf, and here’s what they had to say about it…
Fun, but at a price
Auto Express (AE) handed the T-Roc four out of five stars, hailing it as ‘fun to drive, great to look at and family friendly’.
However, matters took a disappointing slump inside due to a cabin quality that is ‘most un-VW-like’ with hard plastics on the dash and door that feel cheap. AE also felt VW is asking a bit too much, taking issue with its steep list prices.
That said, the motoring weekly loved the T-Roc’s sporty yet comfortable drive, stylish looks and personalisation options and the fact it had more interior space than its like-sized Golf.
Petrol engines include a single-litre 114bhp, a 1.5-litre with 148bhp and a two-litre with 188bhp. Diesel drivers can go with a 1.6-litre with 114bhp or a 148bhp two-litre unit.
Autocar seemed particularly taken by the largest petrol engine, which they reckoned ‘performs with the strength and zest that has been conspicuous by its absence from this class thus far’.
This engine claims a zero to 62mph sprint of 7.2 seconds on paper, but thought that was ‘unnecessarily conservative’ after clocking it at 6.7 seconds.
Awarding it 4.5 stars, Autocar commended the T-Roc’s broad dynamic handling ability. One of the tester described its body control as excellent through faster corners in sport mode, ‘with just a hint of jitteriness from the ride under duress’.
Top Gear gave the T-Roc seven out of ten, praising its looks and interface technology but feeling let down by cabin plastics that fell short of the usual VW standard.
They said the T-Roc was ‘just what the market ordered – a stylish crossover for people who don’t need family space’, adding that the model is a great choice ‘for people who like cars as objects’.
However, dig deep and the T-Roc is revealed as a car that’s ‘just slightly the poor relation of the Golf in far too many areas’ and criticising it for relying too much on style; this was before a cabriolet version was confirmed for production in 2020.
All in all, the T-Roc seems to be a worthy addition to the soft-roader segment. If you’re more fussed with how your compact SUV looks rather than its cabin quality and durability, then you’ll have no issue with VW’s latest SUV.
What do you think of the T-Roc? Let us know down there in the comments…