VOLKSWAGEN T-ROC Hatchback driving position
You’ll immediately feel at home in the T-Roc if you’ve spent time in other cars from the Volkswagen stable. 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 a Seat Arona or Kia Stonic. However, the Nissan Qashqai has a higher driving position and you'll still feel very small if a Range Rover pulls up alongside.
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 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 spending the extra.
VOLKSWAGEN T-ROC Hatchback visibility
That relatively lofty driving position, combined with slim windscreen pillars, means you get a great view of what’s 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.
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 it’s been shifted to the top of the dashboard in the T-Roc, so you can still keep half an eye on the road when operating it.
This is just as well, because VW has done away with physical shortcut buttons, instead using touch-sensitive panels that look smart but require you to study them to make sure you're pressing the one you want. You simply can’t feel your way around the controls.
Otherwise, though, the system is great to use, responding quickly to prods and with menus that are structured in a way that makes them easy to navigate. What's more, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring comes as standard on all but entry-level S trim, where it's a reasonably priced option.
However, be aware that sat-nav is a very expensive option on all but range-toppong SEL trim. You also have to pay extra for wireless phone charging on all trims, whereas some rival small SUVs have this as standard.
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 its dashboards out of upmarket, soft-touch plastics – even in the much cheaper Polo.
Well, quality is actually the most disappointing thing about the T-Roc; its interior feels surprisingly cheap, with hard and unforgiving 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 another reason it's the cheaper end of the T-Roc range that has the most appeal.
At least you can brighten up the interior a bit with a selection of body-coloured dashboard inserts (included in the price) and the option of super-slim ambient lighting strips.