Volkswagen T-Roc R long-term test: report 3

The 296bhp Volkswagen T-Roc R is one of the best sports SUVs to drive, but how easy is it to live with? We're finding out...

LT Volkswagen T-Roc R on motorway

The car Volkswagen T-Roc R 2.0 TSI 300 4Motion DSG Run by Steve Huntingford, editor

Why it’s here To see if this thrilling sports SUV continues to impress when you live with it every day

Needs to Combine its undoubted pace and agility with practicality

List price £40,735 Target Price £38,120 Price as tested £46,709 Miles 1120 Official economy 32.5mpg Test economy 28.6mpg

2 September – The long and the short of it

Until recently, my time in the T-Roc R was limited to relatively short journeys due to a certain global pandemic. However, with life returning to something vaguely resembling normal, I’ve found myself once again attending events around the country for work, and that’s meant long motorway runs.

In some ways, though, these don’t show the car to its best. While the sports suspension makes this an SUV that’s beautifully controlled through twists and turns, things are less impressive when cruising at the national limit; it’s not that the ride is harsh, but you are bounced around quite a bit, no matter what setting you put the £695 adaptive dampers in.

Volkswagen T-Roc R mode control knob

Then there’s the noise. The turbocharged 2.0-litre engine may fade into the background once you’re up to speed and the dual-clutch automatic gearbox is in seventh, but road roar is intrusive enough to have you reaching for the volume on the stereo.

On the up side, that gearbox works well with the engine, shifting down only when needed, and otherwise letting the car’s considerable torque haul you up hills or past slower traffic.

What’s more, while the seats look like they’re designed for cornering rather than comfort – and do indeed stop you sliding from side to side – I’ve found they keep me ache-free even after a couple of hours behind the wheel, partly thanks to the wide range of adjustment they offer, including for lumbar support.

Volkswagen T-Roc R 2020 RHD front seats

I am grateful, however, that I specified the Driver’s Assistance Pack Plus, because this brings a blindspot monitoring system that makes up for the restricted over-the-shoulder visibility in the T-Roc.

In fact, at £220 this option represents fantastic value, also including automatic wipers, front parking sensors, auto-dipping headlights, and lane-keeping and traffic jam assistance, with the latter allowing the car to control its own steering, acceleration and braking when congestion slows you to a crawl.

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