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 3335 Official economy 55.4mpg Test economy 36.3mpg 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)

24 September – view from the top

One aspect of life with the T-Roc that has  thus far received little mention, but is one of my favourite things about the car, is just how pleasant it is to sit in. The raised driving position is, of course, one of the major reasons for buying a small crossover such as this, but is far from the best thing about it.

The seats, for example, quite aside from the fact that they look very smart with their blue-striped inserts, are superb: as someone who suffers from back problems, when the car arrived I was cursing myself for not specifying lumbar support, yet so far it has left me pain-free. And then there is the fabulous-looking dashboard. Bright blue inserts that wrap the centre console, instrument panel and infotainment system, which results in a cheery aspect – not to be underestimated on a gloomy Monday morning

Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0TSI

The only shame is that this cheeriness doesn’t extend to the rear of the car. Although the front doors get matching blue inserts – replete with gentle mood-lighting strips at night – the rear doors make do with black, further adding to the slight sense of gloom in there.

Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0TSIVolkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0TSI

And while we’re nitpicking, I can’t really talk about the interior without mentioning the plastics. Time was that Volkswagen set the benchmark for quality ‘soft-touch’ dashboards, which lend a real sense of quality, but the T-Roc’s dash – and indeed all of the plastics with which you come into contact – are unremittingly hard and shiny. While that might seem like an irrelevance to all but a picky road tester, it does have a practical downside: it gathers dust at a faster rate, leaving the perfect canvas for my kids to leave me cheeky messages...

Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0TSI

On a more positive note, fuel consumption continues to improve with miles. This means not only that the overall figure above is creeping up, but also that the past two tanks of 95RON unleaded (responsible for 720 miles) have given a much more respectable average of just over 39mpg.

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