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...

Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0TSI
  • 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 3006 Official economy 55.4mpg Test economy 33.8mpg 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)

10 September – sizing up a larger SUV

I took the opportunity to drive colleague Jim Holder’s Peugeot 5008 this last month, because although his is fundamentally a larger car – and our reigning Large SUV of the Year, let's remember – it shares the T-Roc’s choice of powerplant: a compact turbocharged petrol engine, in the Peugeot’s case a 1.2-litre unit with 128bhp. The power figure is only 15bhp more than that of the T-Roc, but the 5008's extra 200cc results in 170lb ft of torque – 22lb ft more – and you can really feel it when pulling away, which it does smartly, without the need to be revved like the 1.0-litre Volkswagen engine.

It also confirmed my suspicion that a DSG automatic gearbox might have made a better match for the engine in my car than the six-speed manual that comes as standard. With this in mind, I opted for an automatic gearbox for my holiday hire car with a lively Ford Fiesta EcoBoost – fun, but I was relieved to return to the refined, high-quality and spacious confines of the T-Roc upon our return.

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