Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test: report 5

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...

VW T-Roc on the road

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 2307 List Price £27,815 Target Price £26,414 Price as tested £30,585 Official economy 47.1mpg Test economy 38.8mpg

2 March 2024 – Eco-warrior

I swear that filling up your car’s fuel tank then going out for dinner didn’t used to be such a momentous financial occasion. But against the backdrop of the high cost of living, I’ve become accustomed to testing out whether zero miles on the driver display really does mean zero miles, and hunting for the magical yellow stickers in the discount shelves at the supermarket.

At the start of my time with the Volkswagen T-Roc, I was hopeful that the official 47.1mpg on the spec sheet would mean filling up the 50-litre tank wouldn’t cause me too much fiscal pain too often.

Filling up the VW T-Roc with petrol

But what’s the reality been? Well I wouldn’t say that I’m blown away by how little I’m filling up, but I’m certainly happy not to be making the trip on a weekly basis like I have had to with thirstier cars drinking from smaller fuel tanks in the past.

A lot of my miles in the T-Roc have been commuting to and from our office in Twickenham, which is around a 25-mile round trip of pure (and often painful) town driving through London.

Now, it’s not a plug-in hybrid, and this particular 1.0 TSI petrol engine doesn’t have any fuel-saving mild-hybrid technology to boost its economy – but the trip computer will usually tell me I’ve achieved 34mpg after a trip to the office and back.

It’s a different story on the motorway, as you’d expect, where I can typically see 48.2mpg after stretching the T-Roc's legs on a long journey to a far-flung location to shoot a What Car? video.

Overall, the trip computer is telling me I’ve recorded 38.8mpg over the course of a couple of thousand miles with the car so far. And through a mix of town and motorway driving, I’ve found I can eek out about 390 miles from a tank before filling up.

VW T-Roc at petrol station

What to make of this? Well, what I'm acheiving might be down on the T-Roc's official fuel economy figure, but that’s still a fairly respectable real-world number from a small SUV with a small engine, I’d say, even if it doesn’t reach the heady fuel economy heights of a fuel-sipping hybrid alternative like the Toyota Yaris Cross or Lexus LBX.

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