The T-Roc marked Volkswagen’s entry into the crossover SUV hatchback class. Featuring the solidity you’d come to expect from VW, as well as a good looks and impressive driving manners, the T-Roc is a strong contender in a fiercely competitive market.
Thanks to its wide bonnet and grille – as well as the fact that its slightly bigger than other cars in its class – the Volkswagen T-Roc has a commanding presence on the road.
While many of its rivals boast quirky design flourishes to stand out from the crowd, the T-Roc’s elegant, athletic lines give it an understated confidence that should appeal to those who prefer to keep a low profile while out and about.
Still, its large bullet-shaped LED daytime running lights, combined with chunky plastic-clad wheel arches, lend the T-Roc a premium feel that keeps it in line with the rest of its stylish competitors.
The Volkswagen T-Roc has a commanding presence on the road.
What’s it like to drive?
While the T-Roc has the dimensions of a crossover hatchback, its elevated driving position gives the impression of being in a much larger SUV. Unlike with larger SUVs, however, the trade-off in handling is largely minimal.
There’s some body roll in faster B-road corners. Overall, though, the T-Roc feels planted and confidence-inspiring, aided in no small measure by well-weighted steering, high levels of grip and a refined, comfortable ride. The T-Roc is equally at home on rutted city streets, where it soaks up potholes and rough tarmac with ease.
All models boast enough performance to tackle country roads and negotiate fast overtaking manoeuvres with the minimum of fuss. The T-Roc’s cabin also does a fine job of eradicating the majority of wind and road noise, making longer motorway journeys a breeze.
Overall, though, the T-Roc feels planted and confidence-inspiring.
Together with that pleasingly lofty driving position, the T-Roc has a nicely cushioned driver’s seat with a wide range of adjustment available for the seat and the steering wheel as well, so getting comfortable won’t pose much of a problem.
The dashboard layout is uncluttered and intuitive, with clear instrument dials and an array of knobs and buttons that fall easily to hand. Slim front windscreen pillars allow for a good view out, while the car’s slightly restricted rear visibility is happily mitigated by rear parking sensors, which come as standard on all models bar the entry-level S trim version.
The T-Roc’s roster of standard equipment is fairly generous, with S trim models including Bluetooth, a DAB radio, dual-zone climate control and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Step up to the SE spec and you’ll get an intuitive 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, as well as all-round parking sensors, a rear central armrest and handy ski hatch. Higher spec cars come with a range of slick styling flourishes such as rear privacy glass and grey contrast stitching throughout the inside.
The T-Roc’s interior is a pleasant place to be, although an over reliance on cheap plastics means that some rivals have the edge when it comes to cabin quality. Design trim models lift the T-Roc’s interior a tad with the addition of ambient lighting and coloured dashboard inserts.
The Volkswagen T-Roc’s cabin offers more space than many of its rivals. There’s plenty of head and legroom up front – the seats slide back a long way to cater for those with lengthier legs – while there’s an equally impressive amount of room in the rear as well.
As the T-Roc is one of the wider cars in its class, you could easily get all of Charlie’s Angels along the rear seat in relative comfort. There are lots of interior storage options too, with a large centre cubby, a big glovebox and generous door pockets.
The T-Roc’s large boot, which trumps several of its rivals for space, will happily swallow 7 carry-on sized suitcases. There’s also a standard height-adjustable boot floor that reduces the rear load lip, and the car’s 60/40 split rear seats fold down to increase capacity. For more loading flexibility, SE trim models and up offer a very useful ski hatch as well.
Running costs and reliability
The T-Roc offers sensible running costs, especially the smaller petrol-engine models. Both the entry-level 1.0-litre TSI model and the slightly more powerful 1.5-litre TSI EVO boast fuel economy figures over 44mpg, while the two available diesel engines will return between 53mpg and 60mpg.
C02 figures for all models are in line with the competition.
What cinch loves
We love the T-Roc’s imposing exterior looks. It’s a handsome machine, with an understated character that gives it more of a premium feel. It’s slightly bigger than its rivals too, which means more interior and boot space. There’s lots of standard safety kit as well, including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control. And, of course, the T-Roc has a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating to top it all off.
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Town and country drivers
The Volkswagen T-Rocseems to stand out from the crowd when it comes to the competition. And that’s not just because it’s bigger than most of them. Its combination of elegant, understated looks, refined comfort levels and German solidity mean the T-Rocis very nearly in a class of its own.
This review was