Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test: report 9

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...

Camping with the VW T-Roc

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 4731 List Price £27,815 Target Price £26,414 Price as tested £30,585 Official economy 47.1mpg Test economy 46.3mpg

20 May 2024 – Camping cruiser

In the planning stages, camping sounds like all fun and games, with the promise of glorious sunshine and all-day partying.

Fast-forward to the trip itself and the reality is often quite different, and not in a good way – especially in England during the wettest spring for years. Fortunately, a damp camping trip was the perfect test of the resilience of my VW T-Roc.

But I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s start with getting to said camping site.

Kiall Garrett and VW T-Roc camping trip

Three friends and I had decided to go camping for a long weekend, and I thought it would be interesting to see whether I could get all four of us and our luggage into the T-Roc. With its 445-litre boot and height-adjustable boot floor, it seemed perfectly possible, but the reality proved to be quite different.

Once we’d filled the boot and one of the back seats with a four-person tent, two campers’ luggage and way too much food, it was clear we’d need a second car.

In fairness to the T-Roc, that was more to do with our over-ambitious packing than the car’s load capacity. It took a lot of kit, and spreading ourselves and our supplies across two vehicles made for a much more comfortable journey.

Kiall Garrett and VW T-Roc camping trip

My T-Roc has front-wheel drive rather than the four-wheel drive available higher up the engine range, but its 109bhp and 147lb ft of torque was more than enough for the light off-roading required to negotiate the water-logged campsite.

Our supreme packing skills – and the T-Roc’s wide-opening boot and relatively low load lip – made heaving the tents and luggage out of it very easy. Once empty, the boot continued to serve us well as a food cupboard and beer store.

Everything was fairly easy-breezy until the following morning, when the rain started up again, forcing us to take shelter in the T-Roc.

Kiall Garrett and VW T-Roc camping trip

We relaxed in the comfortable seats and played Uno while we waited for the rain to clear. It’s the one time I’ve wished my Life trim car had heated seats (only top-spec R-Line trim gets them, sadly).

All in all, the T-Roc was an excellent camping companion – taking lots of luggage, and keeping us comfy as we sheltered from the storm.

It’s also proved its worth on other recent trips to dog parks and National Trust sites. They haven’t tested the T-Roc quite as much as camping, but have shown that the car’s size dimensions make it a very practical and versatile small SUV.

Kiall Garrett and VW T-Roc camping trip

I’ve found it small enough to fit in most parking spaces, with enough ground clearance to give me confidence tackling wet grass fields.

I’ve mentioned in previous reports that during my regular commute I’ve found it hard to match the T-Roc’s 47.1mpg official fuel consumption figure, but I managed an impressive 48.9mpg on our camping trip.

So, even though the sun didn’t shine for me, when it came to delivering good efficiency on faster roads and motorways, the T-Roc really did.

Read more on our long-term Volkswagen T-Roc >>

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