Volkswagen T-Roc 2018 front right cornering shot

Volkswagen T-Roc review

Cost & verdict
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In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Volkswagen T-Roc hatchback running costs

You'll pay silly money for the top-end models, such as the 2.0-litre petrol with its standard automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Frankly, there are much better options available in the bugger family SUV category if you've got close to £30k to spend.

However, the 1.0 and 1.5 petrol models are priced just below equivalent versions of the Audi Q2 and Mini Countryman, and actually make quite a bit of sense.

Running costs for cheaper T-Rocs also look sensible. The 1.0-litre version averages more than 55mpg in official (WLTP) tests and, while we have yet to put it through our own True MPG cycle, mid-40s should be achievable in mixed driving.

Volkswagen expects the T-Roc to be bought mostly by private buyers, but if you're considering one as a company car, the 1.0-litre petrol will be the most affordable option. However, CO2 emissions are still higher than they are for the equivalent Seat Arona.

Likewise, if you're buying on a PCP finance deal, expect to part with more money each month than if you'd opted for an equivalent Arona. It’s cheaper than the Q2, though, thanks to the T-Roc’s strong resale values and the Q2’s higher list price.

Volkswagen T-Roc hatchback equipment

There are no shortage of trims to choose from, starting with entry-level S and rising through SE, Design, SEL before finishing up with the sportiest-looking R-Line.

Equipment fitted as standard across the range includes dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and alloy wheels of at least 16in in diameter.

SE trim is worth considering because it adds, among other things, adaptive cruise control and the front and rear parking sensors we mentioned earlier. However, we'd be tempted to go for Design; it's not a great deal pricier but brings a wider range of personalisation options and styling accessories, including twin chrome-effect trapezoid-exhaust surrounds and contrasting roof and door mirror colours, as well as bumpers with silver-metallic underbody protection.

The upper trims are too much money to justify on a car in this class.

Volkswagen T-Roc 2018 infotainment

Volkswagen T-Roc hatchback reliability

The T-Roc is too new to have appeared in the latest What Car? reliability survey. However, the larger Tiguan, to which the T-Roc is related, was a solid mid-table finisher in the Family SUV class. VW as a brand was equally mid-table, finishing 17th out of 31 manufacturers — that’s below Seat but above Audi.

A three-year warranty, limited to 60,000 miles, comes as standard with every VW. That’s typical of most car makers, but not as good as Hyundai’s five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty or Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile package.

Volkswagen T-Roc hatchback safety and security

Euro NCAP awarded the T-Roc five stars (out of five) for safety. A more in-depth look at the results shows that the car is better at protecting adult occupants, child occupants and pedestrians than the Q2 and Arona.

As a bonus, all T-Rocs get an automatic emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians as well as other cars. Other driver aids are standard, too, including one that warns you if you start to drift out of your lane and, on Design trim upwards, another that alerts you to driver fatigue and advises when to take a break. Blindspot monitoring is a reasonably priced option that comes with rear cross traffic alert; that alerts you if you’re about to reverse into the path of another car.

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Verdict

Stick to the cheaper trims and engines and the T-Roc is a fine buy. Its soft ride and practical boot will appeal to families, while its high-set driving position is just what SUV buyers crave, and something that many other small SUVs fail to deliver. However, the cheaper Seat Arona offers better value, and those considering a range-topping model might be better off with one of the T-Roc's premium Small SUV rivals (including Audi Q2 and Mini Countryman) or a larger car from the Family SUV class (such as the Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca).

  • Comfortable ride
  • Impressive safety
  • Good boot by class standards
  • Low-rent interior
  • Upper trims and engine options make it too pricey
  • Unexciting handling - Arona is a sharper drive
Trims
There are 5 trims available for the T-Roc hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
S
Entry-level trim offers dual-zone climate control, 16in alloy wheels, front and rear el...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£18,441
Average Saving £829
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SE
Adds 17in alloy wheels, front and rear centre armrests, a leather steering wheel and ge...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£20,031
Average Saving £904
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OUR PICK
Design
Comes with all the SE upgrades plus styling enhancements such as a contrasting roof, wi...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£20,700
Average Saving £935
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SEL
Features a driving mode button, 18in alloy wheels, sports seats, in-built navigation sy...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£22,247
Average Saving £1,008
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R Line
Top-spec model is mostly about more aggressive styling with R-Line logos throughout, bu...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£25,781
Average Saving £1,175
View Trim