Volkswagen T-Roc hatchback driving position
If you’ve spent time in other cars from the Volkswagen stable, the chances are you feel immediately at home in the T-Roc, thanks to how it shares the same layout and many of its switches with other VW Group cars. And even if you haven’t, it won’t take you long because the switches and controls are as logical as they come.
If you like to sit high up, the T-Roc puts you a bit farther from the road than lower-riding small SUVs, which include the Seat Arona and Kia Stonic. But if a lofty driving position is your absolute priority, try looking to the family SUV class instead, where a Nissan Qashqai should do the job.
Getting comfortable is also easy thanks to a wide range of adjustment for the seat and steering wheel. It's a pity that there's no standard adjustable lumbar support on any trim, but at least you can add it (on all but the entry-level version) for a nominal sum.
The Active Info Display (standard on range-topping SEL trim and optional on SE and Design) replaces conventional analogue instrument dials with a screen that presents a vast amount of information very clearly. It can even show you a full-width sat-nav map. However, the definition of the screen could be better, so we wouldn't bother paying for it as an optional extra.
Volkswagen T-Roc hatchback visibility
That relatively lofty driving position, combined with slim windscreen pillars, means you get a great view of the road ahead. Rear visibility is more restricted, so you’ll be glad that front and rear parking sensors are standard on all but entry-level S trim. That said, the T-Roc is still easier to see out the back of than an Arona or Hyundai Kona.
There’s also the option of a reversing camera or a bird’s-eye-view camera to make it easy to see how close you are to obstacles. You can even add a self-parking system that’ll find a big enough space and steer you into it.
Brighter LED headlights that offer better visibility at night are standard on range-topping SEL, but a pricey option on all other trims.
Volkswagen T-Roc hatchback infotainment
The standard touchscreen infotainment system is the same 8.0in unit that you find in the VW Golf, but because it’s positioned higher in the T-Roc it’s easier to keep half an eye on the road while operating it.
This is just as well, because VW has done away with physical shortcut buttons of the kind you can feel your way around after a little familiarisation. Instead, the buttons either side of the screen — for directing you to the various menus — are touch-sensitive, which look smart but require you to study them to make sure you're pressing the one you want.
Otherwise, the system is great to use, responding quickly to prods and with well-structured menus that prove a doddle to navigate. What's more, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring come as standard on all but entry-level S trim, where it's a reasonably priced option.
It’s worth noting that sat-nav is a very expensive option on all but range-topping SEL trim. You also have to pay extra for wireless phone charging on all trims, which comes as standard on some of the T-Roc’s rivals.
Volkswagen T-Roc hatchback build quality
Chances are you’re expecting the T-Roc to look and feel quite posh inside. After all, VW has a history of building upmarket interiors – even in the much cheaper Polo.
It comes as a bit of a shock, then, that quality is actually the most disappointing thing about the T-Roc: its interior feels surprisingly cheap, with hard, unyielding plastics the order of the day throughout. Quality is roughly on a par with the cheaper Arona, but a world away from the plusher Audi Q2 and Mini Countryman. That's one or the reasons we think the cheaper end of the T-Roc range makes the most sense.
At least you can brighten up the interior with a selection of body-coloured dashboard inserts (included in the price) and the option of super-slim ambient lighting strips.