What's the used Volkswagen Scirocco coupe like?
The pert and cute Volkswagen Scirocco made its debut way back in 1974, and was based on the mechanicals of its sibling, the contemporary VW Golf. Despite not being a speed freak's machine, it was a popular car and it sold well over many years. A more rounded and slightly larger Scirocco appeared in 1982, before disappearing into the ether only a few short years later, and it took until 2008 before the Scirocco name once again graced a sporty VW coupe.
This then all-new car, once again based heavily on the Golf, was released to high acclaim. Distinctive styling, a great chassis and a hint of practicality made it a serious alternative for those considering a hot hatch. A mid-life facelift in 2014 kept it fresh, with subtle changes made to the exterior styling and the use of some improved materials for the inside, which raised the feeling of quality. It also coincided with the launch of two even faster versions, the GTS and the R.
The updated range featured a broad choice of four-cylinder engines, ranging from turbocharged versions of the VW group 1.4-litre petrol, three 2.0-litre petrols and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel offered with 148 or 178bhp.
There were also seven trim levels to choose from - Scirocco, GT, GT Black Edition, R-Line, R-Line Black Edition, GTS and R. Entry-level models get 17in alloy wheels, a roof spoiler, brake discs all round, front electric windows, automatic lights and wipers, and electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors on the outside as standard, while inside there is air conditioning, a cooled glovebox, and Volkswagen's Composition infotainment system complete with a 6.5in touchscreen display, a DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
The GT trim added 18in alloy wheels, front foglights, sat-nav, speed limit display, climate control, parking sensors and VW's Car-Net online services, while opting for the GT Black Edition added black alloys, wing mirrors, roof and rear spoiler.
R-Line models include 19in alloy wheels, an R-Line bodykit, leather upholstery, and electrically adjustable and heated front seats, while the R-Line Black Edition added numerous glossy black details to the exterior.
Topping the range was the GTS and R models, with the former coming with 18in alloy wheels, a chrome twin exhaust system, a sporty bodykit, sports seats, a golf ball gearknob and numerous GTS badges dotted inside and outside the car, while the latter gets 19in alloys, adaptive sports suspension, xenon headlights, LED day-running-lights, a rear diffuser and an electronic locking differential.
On the road, whatever speed it's doing, the Scirocco is hugely impressive. The 123bhp 1.4 is more about style than speed, as a 0-62mph time of 9.7 secs proves. Given its relatively low asking price and decent economy, it is a sensible choice for someone who wants this car's looks more than performance. The 2.0-litre model records a sub seven second 0-62mph time. This is an outstanding performance and fully competitive with selected rivals, like the BMW 225i coupé. Meanwhile, the R is fast and offers very usable performance. The diesels aren’t especially swift, but they’re not slow either. Due to their immense torque (the flagship diesel offered 258lb ft) they're best seen as GT cars rather than sports models, as you don't have to chase every engine revolution to eke out excellent performance.
The handling of all versions is neutral and there's plenty of grip - remember the Scirocco has a wider track and a lower centre of gravity than the equivalent Golf. Drivers can personalise the ride by changing settings that control the suspension, steering and throttle response, but although it's firm it never threatens to grow uncomfortable.
However, it's not just about dynamics, because the VW was also a stylish car that was well put together using quality materials. The cabin was cleverly thought out and distinctive - so you won't be left feeling as if you're just driving a Golf derivative.
The driving position should suit most people, and there's plenty of forward passenger space. The two rear-seats have limited head room, but there's respectable leg room for this type of car. The boot is just about big enough to be of use, and the two rear seats fold down when extra space is required.
What used Volkswagen Scirocco coupe will I get for my budget?
You can buy one of the early Sciroccos for as little as £3500, this for a 2008 model with an average mileage for the year and a service history. Spend between £5000 and £7000 for a good example of a 2009/2010 car, and around £8000 to £10,000 on a 2011/2012 car bought from a dealer and with a full service history. Around £12,000 to £14,000 should net you a 2014/2015 car with all of those criteria.
How much does it cost to run a Volkswagen Scirocco coupe?
The Scirocco's low weight and clever engine technology keep emissions down. The two 1.4-litre versions produce 146g/km and 154g/km of CO2, while the 2.0-litre petrol produces 172g/km. Even the R comes in at a respectable 189g/km, helping to keep annual road tax costs (VED) reasonable.
The two diesels produce 134g/km or 138g/km. The semi-auto DSG gearboxes are more efficient than the manual 'box, so automatic models are ever so slightly greener.
It's the same story with fuel economy: the diesels save you the most time and money at the pumps - their official averages come in at 55.4mpg and 53.3mpg depending on power. The petrols give between 44.1mpg and 34.9mpg.
Maintaining a Scirocco will cost more than running an equivalent VW Golf, but this isn't to say it's expensive. Insurance starts at group 28 for the least powerful petrol, rising to the R in group 34. Expect servicing costs to be on a par with the Golf, though, and there are a number of plans available for newer cars. If your car has been serviced outside the VW dealership then you'd be better off seeking out a specialist, of which there are many, who can service your VW at a lower cost.
Which used Volkswagen Scirocco coupe should I buy?
Petrolheads might turn up their nose at the 1.4-litre TSI model, but the 208bhp 2.0-litre petrol will satisfy the need for speed.
All Sciroccos come with alloys, air-con, stability control, side and curtain airbags, a CD multichanger and automatic lights and wipers. GT trim models add climate control, upgraded alloys, foglights and numerous styling and equipment tweaks in the cabin.
Our favourite Volkswagen Scirocco: 2.0 TSI 210 GT
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What alternatives should I consider to a used Volkswagen Scirocco coupe?
The Audi TT is the frontrunner in the coupe class. It comes with a range of smooth and eager engines, darty handling and a beautifully built interior. The ride is well judged for UK roads, too.
The Seat Leon SC is quick, agile and economical. It's also excellent value on the used forecourts, and there's a good amount of space inside for both people and luggage.