Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test review

The T-Roc is a new kind of Volkswagen – one that's designed to appeal to your heart as well as your head. But is it good enough to gain recognition amid a field of impressive small SUV rivals? We...

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What Car? team
27 Jul 2018 7:14 | Last updated: 17 Sep 2018 15:53

  • The car Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0 TSI 115
  • Run by Alastair Clements, special contributor
  • Why it’s here Having rested its SUV aspirations on the larger Tiguan and Touareg thus far, VW is now hoping its smaller and funkier T-Roc can take on a wealth of small SUV rivals
  • Needs to Combine the quality, solidity and practicality we’ve come to expect from VW, with enough flair to tempt buyers away from some seriously chic opposition

Price £20,500 Price as tested £23,540 Miles covered 1369 Official economy 55.4mpg Test economy 34.7mpg Options fitted Discover Navigation (£780), Car-Net Security and Service (£350), 17in ‘Mayfield’ Atlantic Blue diamond-turned alloy wheels with anti-theft bolts (£40), Active Info Display (£405), Ravenna Blue dashpad (free), black roof (free), metallic paint (£575), luggage compartment mat (£70)


27 July 2018 – where's my fuel gone?

It’s only when you wash a car – yourself, I mean, not by giving £15 to the bloke in the supermarket car park while you do your shopping – that you really get to appreciate the car designer’s art. And running the sponge over the T-Roc has been interesting; that pseudo-off-roader look has been achieved by all sorts of SUV devices, from rugged black plastic wheelarches to a profusion of faux vents and even mock exhaust exits in the rear bumper. Overall, I think it’s a success; it looks suitably tough, and at a glance it’s hard to tell it from a Tiguan, at least from the front.

I’m not so sure about the sill steps fitted to the T-Roc parked behind me in the queue for the Isle of Wight ferry, though. To me, they look a bit clumsy. That example also reinforced my belief that the two-tone paint of my car is a must if you don’t want your T-Roc to look like just a tall hatchback.

Volkswagen T-Roc long-term test review

Packing for our mini-break to the Isle, I perfected my load-lugging technique; if, like me, you travel with dogs (two in my case), you won’t be left with much luggage space at all unless you raise the boot floor to its higher level and use the space beneath. It is vast, even if, like us, you have a spacesaver spare tyre.

I took the opportunity on the two-hour drive to Southampton Docks to quiz my passengers about the T-Roc as a family vehicle. “It feels a bit skittish on bumpy dual-carriageways at speed,” commented wife Emma on the A31. To be fair, it is a poor road surface, but it’s true that the T-Roc is a little short on suspension refinement.

“It’s nice in the back,” said nine-year-old Niamh, “but not as nice as the front, because it’s not very colourful in here. It’s a bit bland.” The blue dashboard is certainly a winner, and of course you can’t see the jazzy seat trim when you’re sitting on it.

Niamh also pointed out the paucity of charging points in the rear. There’s a 12V socket, but it’s a long stretch to the front to plug in a USB charger for her tablet.

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