Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test: report 10

Is this former What Car? Small SUV of the Year the perfect companion for our senior videographer? That's what we'll find out as we put our long-term T-Roc to the test...

Volkswagen T-Roc rear driveby

The car Volkswagen T-Roc 1.0 TSI 110 Life Run by Kiall Garrett, senior videographer

Why it’s here To prove whether this five-star small SUV can be big enough and comfortable enough to meet the demands of regular long-distance load-lugging journeys.

Needs to be spacious enough to carry around lots of camera equipment and chew through long motorway journeys with ease while delivering good fuel economy on a town-based commute.

Mileage 5928 List Price £27,815 Target Price £26,414 Price as tested £30,585 Official economy 47.1mpg Test economy 46.3mpg

10 June 2024 – Noise-cancelling T-Roc

Tired of screaming babies on aeroplanes? Or that wannabe Gordon Gekko trying to seal the deal over the phone on the train? I thoroughly recommend investing in some noise-cancelling headphones to block out the world around you.

This technology has also started to make its way into the car world. However, noise cancellation in a moving car is not designed to stop you from hearing what your passengers are saying (although that would be nice sometimes). Instead, it’s there to shut out the road and wind noise from the outside to try and wrap you in a bubble of silent serenity.

Unlike a Range Rover luxury SUV, my T-Roc does not have noise-cancelling speakers in the headrests. But you could be fooled into thinking it does, because it's impressively hushed when I'm driving along.

No wind noise in the VW T-Roc

Driving lots of other cars recently has given me a newfound appreciation for just how quiet the T-Roc is. You see, I’ve been in and out of many mainstream cars on video shoots for the What Car? YouTube channel recently, like the Renault Clio, Suzuki Swift and even the T-Roc’s little brother; the Volkswagen T-Cross.

The T-Cross was actually a car I considered back when I chose the T-Roc for my next company car, so it was nice to have a chance to drive it to see if I’d made a terrible mistake. I’m pleased to say I don’t regret my choice.

The T-Cross is a fine car, but the T-Roc does feel like an even more polished small SUV (which you’d hope, considering it’s more money). And my chosen 1.0-litre petrol engine is pleasantly isolated from the rest of the car – it's not unless I really put my foot down that it becomes a bit vocal. When I'm cruising around town or on the motorway, it's like I've activated noise cancelling mode on my expensive headphones.

Quiet engine noise from the T-Roc

A glance back through some recent What Car? group tests show my impression is backed up by the numbers. Our decibel meter showed the T-Roc was quieter than its Kia Stonic and Skoda Kamiq rivals at both 30mph and 70mph. 

It's easy to take quietness for granted, but in the same way that stepping back into a quiet house after a night out with friends brings me a sense of calm and comfort, getting into the T-Roc after a hectic (and noisy) day is its own small de-stressing measure. 

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