Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test: report 3

Can What Car?'s 5-star small SUV of 2023 be the perfect companion for our senior videographer? That's what we're going to be finding out over the coming months...

Using the T-Roc on a video shoot

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 1926 List Price £27,815 Target Price £26,414 Price as tested £30,585 Official economy 47.1mpg Test economy 46.3mpg

26 January 2024 – Boot Tetris

One of my favourite things about my Volkswagen T-Roc is the fact that, compared with some of its small SUV rivals, it feels like a proper SUV when you’re sitting inside it.

You see, in some cars in this class, it really just feels like you’re sitting no higher than in a conventional family hatchback. However, the T-Roc gives you a naturally high driving position with a terrific view of the road ahead. It’s not just great out the front either, because the big rear window ensuring rear visibility is also great.

The T-Roc gets front and rear parking sensors as standard, while I added a reversing camera as a £300 optional extra. In hindsight, however, I could have saved the money, because the T-Roc's generously sized rear window and big door mirrors have so far helped me avoid any embarrasing car park scrapes.

T-Roc wingmirror and rear window

So, if you want a small SUV with a great driving position, the T-Roc has you covered. In my book, though, even a small SUV needs to have a decent boot – does the T-Roc deliver?

Well, the good news starts before you even talk about storage capacity, because when you lift up the tailgate of the T-Roc you’ll find a helpfully wide loading aperture, so fitting bulky things into the back and getting them out again is a doddle.

And when you’re being particularly ambitious with the amount of stuff you’re carrying that wide opening really helps you dive into the boot to rearrange the bags and suitcases that you might have in there.

Loading the T-Roc boot

If you’ve read any of my previous long term reports, you’ll know that as a videographer for What Car? I am forever lugging around vast amounts of suitcases and bags. But even with my considerable amount of equipment, loading it all into the boot of the T-Roc feels like beginner mode on Tetris – I could do it with my eyes shut.

The 445 litres on offer means I can even sling everything in without having to put the rear seats down. The T-Roc comes with a height-adjustable boot floor but to be honest I’ve left it in its lowest setting so far to have as much overall capacity as possible. If I didn’t always have a crazy amount of stuff to carry then I’d be tempted to raise it up and put it in a higher setting to give it a smaller loading lip and create a neat underfloor storage area – but for now my priority is simply having as much space as possible.

T-Roc underfloor hump

The only disadvantage to the boot floor being in its lowest position is that there’s a slight bump in the back of the boot where the floor rises up. I haven’t found this to be too detrimental when loading the boot, but it does mean bigger suitcases won’t lie entirely flat. 

I’ve driven a number of the T-Roc's rivals in the past, including the the Mini CountrymanSeat Arona and Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, and none were as practical as my car.

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