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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've got four months to find out

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Volkswagen T-Roc
  • 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 Β£20,500 Price as tested Β£23,540 Miles covered 1369 Official economy 55.4mpg Test economy 34.7mpg Options fitted Discover Navigation (Β£780), Car-Net Security and Service (Β£350), 17in β€˜Mayfield’ Atlantic Blue diamond-turned alloy wheels with anti-theft bolts (Β£40), Active Info Display (Β£405), Ravenna Blue dashpad (free), black roof (free), metallic paint (Β£575), luggage compartment mat (Β£70)


29 June 2018 – where's my fuel gone?

My T-Roc experience to date has been pretty positive, but I do have a few gripes. The 1.0-litre petrol engine is refined and copes well with the weight of the car, yet it does have one frustrating flaw: give it too few revs when pulling away and it’ll stall; too many and it can induce clutch judder.

That’s not ideal in stop-start commuter traffic, where the T-Roc spends a lot of its time. The car has been put through the mill since its arrival – either fully laden or shunting through jams – so fuel economy has been struggling to get over 40mpg. You wouldn't expect to reach the heady heights of the official figure, of course, but I didn't expect the gap to be quite so large.

Even with the help of the Think Blue Trainer app, I’ve struggled to raise that figure, and its thirst has highlighted a further irritation: the β€˜light bars’ fuel gauge makes it hard to judge when it’s time to find a petrol station. What’s wrong with the old needle and dial, anyway?

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