Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
After a brief pause while its turbocharger spins up, the T-Roc R accelerates with the kind of ferocity that would put many a two-seat sports car to shame. And, because maximum pull is available from 2000rpm all the way through to 5200rpm, its gearbox doesn’t even have to shift up or down that often for you to make rapid progress.
Volkswagen quotes a 0-62mph time of 4.8sec, and we managed 0-60mph in 4.7sec using its standard-fit launch control system, which is designed to get you off the line with the minimum of wheelspin.
True, the Audi SQ2 and Cupra Ateca are similarly fast, but the T-Roc R sounds much more exciting than those cars if you specify it with the Akrapovic sports exhaust system. It's just a shame this is such an expensive extra; the standard exhaust will still pop and crackle when you lift off the accelerator after hard acceleration, but it doesn't have anything like the depth of sound you get with the optional system.
The T-Roc R’s most decisive advantage is in the way it handles. From its quicker-reacting, more precise steering to its vice-like grip on the road, it feels more like a hot hatch than an SUV and will leave both of its sister cars trailing on a winding road.
What’s more, that grip is spread evenly front to rear, and you can really feel the power being sent to the back wheels when exiting corners, helping to prevent the nose from running wide.
So far, we've only tested the T-Roc R with optional adaptive dampers, which allow you to stiffen or soften the suspension on demand. But no matter which mode you’re in, you get less body lean than you do in the SQ2 or Ateca. The penalty for this composure is a constant patter, although the ride is never harsh in the way that the BMW X2 M35i's is.
The engine fades into the background at a steady motorway cruise, and wind noise is well controlled, but you do have to put up with a fair bit of road noise.
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