Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The great news is that we reckon the Volkswagen T-Roc's cheapest engine is the one to go for. It's a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder unit with 109bhp, badged the 1.0 TSI 110. It may be small but, thanks to a turbocharger, it packs a relatively mighty punch and delivers some welcome zip when you rev it hard (0-62mph takes a healthy 10.8sec). There's also enough low-down shove to make it flexible, even at motorway speeds. Of its rivals, only the Ford Puma offers more oomph for the money.
If you fancy a bit more vim and vigour – or plan to carry lots of passengers and luggage – it's well worth looking at the 148bhp, four-cylinder 1.5 TSI 150. It's noticeably quicker than the 1.0 TSI, cutting around two seconds off its 0-62mph time, while providing more overtaking opportunities with less stress and fewer gear changes. It adds the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, too, which you can't have with the 1.0 TSI 110.
Suspension and ride comfort
The cheaper versions of the T-Roc – those that come with smaller wheels and higher-profile tyres – are supremely comfortable. They soak up bumps better than the Audi Q2, Ford Puma, Mini Countryman and other rival small SUVs but aren’t so soft that they bounce you out of your seat on undulating roads, as the Citroën C3 Aircross can.
With that in mind, we’d save a few pounds by avoiding the pricier trims that come with bigger wheels, which make the ride knobblier. R-Line is definitely one to avoid if you value ride comfort because it adds stiffer sports suspension.
The same can be said for the optional Dynamic Chassis Control. It lets you soften or firm up the ride to suit your mood (or the road), but the differences are subtle and the system isn’t cheap so we wouldn’t bother adding it.