Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test: report 7

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...

Volkswagen T-Roc self-parking in parallel bay

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 3137 List Price £28,330 Target Price £26,822 Price as tested £30,585 Official economy 47.1mpg Test economy 40.6mpg

11 April 2024 – Self-park simplicity

Hate parking? Well, modern cars are making it increasingly easy for you. Granted, they can’t guarantee there will be a spot for you right next to the supermarket entrance, but the act of slotting your car into a space can now, in many cars, be done with the touch of a button.

Sounds futuristic, right? Well, it isn’t. In fact, this tech has been around since the early 2000s, becoming relatively mainstream by 2012. Today, it isn’t the kind of technology that’s reserved for exclusive, uber-luxury vehicles, either – indeed, it’s standard on my Volkswagen T-Roc.

VW T-Roc park assist screen

In the T-Roc, the system goes by the name of “Park Assist” and is extremely intuitive and easy to operate.

A small box on the digital driver display automatically alerts you if there’s a space nearby which the T-Roc can navigate itself into. Once you’re happy with the slot it’s selected, you press the Park Assist button which is down by the climate controls.

Now, cars with this function that have an automatic gearbox can take care of the whole of the rest of the process for you. In my T-Roc, the car controls the steering but, because of its manual gearbox, the gear, speed and stopping is down to you.

T-Roc auto-steering during park assist

Let's be honest, though, that’s no hardship, because it’s the steering which is the only challenging bit of squeezing into a space – at least in my experience.

The T-Roc makes simple work of it, twisting and turning until “Park Assist Finished” on the driver display lets you know when you’re done. I don’t use it every time I park, but it’s useful to know I’ve got backup if I’m eyeing up a tight parallel parking spot and feeling nervous about my 16in alloy wheels. 

The proof is in the pudding, too, because – touch wood – none of those wheels have been scuffed so far.

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