Volkswagen T-Roc vs Ford Puma vs Toyota Yaris Cross: interiors

We see if a mid-life refresh has turned the T-Roc small SUV into a better buy than the award-winning Ford Puma or the super-frugal Toyota Yaris Cross...

Volkswagen T-Roc 2022 dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

Each of our contenders provides a raised seating position, but the VW T-Roc sits you the farthest from the ground. With all three having plenty of (manual) seat and steering wheel adjustment, you’re unlikely to struggle to fit behind the wheel.

The Toyota Yaris Cross is the only one to use a lever (as opposed to a wheel) to adjust the backrest, making it a bit more fiddly to fine tune your position. It’s also the only car here that doesn’t come with adjustable lumbar support as standard, and since its seats are rather flat and thinly padded, you’re likely to find it the least comfortable car in which to cover longer distances.

Ford Puma 2022 dashboard

The firmer seats of the T-Roc are comfier than those in the Yaris Cross, and their cushions are the longest here, with the most thigh support. Long-legged drivers might like them the best. Overall, though, the Ford Puma seats are the comfiest. They provide the most lumbar support to keep your back at ease on long trips, and, with that bit more side support, they’re better at holding you in place through corners than the others.

With its slightly higher driving position, the T-Roc offers the best forward view, but all three cars have chunky windscreen pillars that can get in the way at junctions. Rear visibility isn’t great in any of them; all have small rear windscreens that are framed by chunky pillars. The Puma also has the smallest door mirrors. Fortunately, all three come with some form of parking assistance. The T-Roc gets front and rear parking sensors, with the Puma having them only at the back. The Yaris Cross comes exclusively with a rear-view camera.

The Puma and the T-Roc have full digital instrument panels, but the T-Roc’s 8.0in display is clearer and provides a wider range of layouts. The larger, 12.3in screen fitted to the Puma is the brightest of the three, but it’s not really configurable. The Yaris Cross, meanwhile, uses a combination of analogue dials and a central 7.0in screen in a layout that’s still clear to read, if less modern looking.

Toyota Yaris Cross 2022 dashboard

All three cars provide controls specifically for their air conditioning systems, rather than having you dive into a menu in the infotainment system when you want to change the temperature. The Yaris Cross’s knobs and buttons are the easiest to use, and while the Puma’s layout isn’t quite as neat, it’s still intuitive enough. The T-Roc, though, uses touch-sensitive controls that are more distracting to use when driving.

In terms of quality, the T-Roc feels the plushest, with the most soft-touch materials. It’s a shame, then, that the effect is spoilt slightly by cheap-looking silver trims, and that the surrounds to some of the buttons have a bit of give when you press them.

Although the Puma doesn’t look bad inside, there are more scratchy plastics on display. The Yaris Cross, meanwhile, feels sturdy enough inside, but the materials used are the most disappointing to look at and touch.

Infotainment systems

Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen T-Roc 2022 touchscreen

The 8.0in touchscreen in the VW T-Roc has sharp, slick graphics and plenty of shortcut pads on either side to take you directly to specific functions. You have to pay £750 for built-in sat-nav, but the T-Roc is the only car here that lets you connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly as standard, and this means you can use your phone’s navigation app via the screen instead. Overall, it’s the best system here.

Ford Puma

Ford Puma 2022 touchscreen

The 8.0in touchscreen in the Ford Puma isn’t the most modern looking; it could do with sharper graphics and more colour to help liven it up. Its responses could be quicker, too, but navigating the menus is simple and there are physical shortcut keys. You get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone integration, as well as What3words – an app that supplements the sat-nav to make it easier to enter precise destinations.

Toyota Yaris Cross

Toyota Yaris Cross 2022 touchscreen

Using the 8.0in screen in the Toyota Yaris Cross is simple at first – the large tiles on the home screen are easy to read and tap, but the list-format submenus are trickier to use when driving. Its responses aren’t the quickest, but we welcome the physical shortcut buttons. This larger 9.0in screen comes in the £500 Tech Pack, which also adds sat-nav and wireless connectivity for the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Also consider