2012 VW Scirocco R-line manual review
Choosing R-line trim gives the Volkswagen a sporty bodykit that includes new front and rear bumpers, a new grille and side sills. It also adds 19-inch alloys.
The sporty theme continues inside the car, with leather sports seats, a sports steering wheel, aluminium-look pedals, metallic trim and bespoke R-line kick plates.
R-line trim is available with the more powerful engines in the Scirocco range. These include the 208bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol and the 2.0-litre diesels, with either 138bhp or 168bhp.
All have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but are available with a six-speed twin-clutch gearbox as a £1400 option.
The car we tried was the lower-powered diesel with a manual gearbox.
What's the 2012 Volkswagen Scirocco R-line manual like to drive?
Really rather good. Like the GT trim below it, R-Line models have Volkswagen’s Active Chassis Control (ACC) system fitted as standard. This allows you to alter the stiffness of the suspension at the touch of a button.
Select 'Comfort' mode and the car glides over bumps and potholes with impressive composure at all speeds.
In 'Sport' mode, meanwhile, there’s some serious fun to be had. The car powers through bends with plentiful grip, tight body control, neutral balance and meaty, communicative steering.
The diesel engine impresses, too. It doesn’t quite have the sparkle to match the R-line’s racy looks, but it’s powerful enough and it delivers its punch smoothly and progressively.
It stays reasonably quiet most of the time, too, which along with the impressive suppression of wind- and road noise, makes the Scirocco a surprisingly capable long-distance cruiser.
What's the 2012 Volkswagen Scirocco R-line manual like inside?
The R-Line’s interior styling upgrades succeed in giving the cabin a much sportier feel, and with the soft-touch dashboard and slick switches on display, it’s effortlessly classy, too.
True, some of the materials in and around the footwells are harder and scratchier, but they’re not bad enough to detract from the overall effect.
The Scirocco's cabin is just as good for ease of use. The simple dashboard layout and clearly marked controls make it simple to use the car's various functions, and the touch-screen infotainment system has logical menus. The screen could be more sensitive, though, and even when it does register your input, the system is rather slow to react.
However, if you need a healthy dose of practicality from your four-seat coupe, the Scirocco is definitely the way to go. Unlike most of its rivals, the VW has enough to space to comfortably accommodate four adults.
There’s a reasonably big boot, too.
Should I buy one?
R-line cars cost £1525 more than GT versions. That sounds like a lot, but with the Scirocco being so focused on style, we reckon many buyers will consider it money well spent.
Given their power, all the engines available are competitive on CO2 emissions and fuel economy, so the Scirocco won't cost you too much to run. Strong desirability helps keep resale values solid, too.
As appealing as the R-line is, though, our favourite Scirocco remains the 1.4 TSI 160. It’s nearly £5000 cheaper to buy, comes with enough equipment and still looks fantastic.
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By Ivan Aistrop