The T-Roc is a stylish compact SUV that drives as good as it looks. It is packed with all the latest technology and infotainment systems and is competitively priced. Customers can choose from a range of highly-efficient engines, transmissions and generously-equipped trim levels.
The goodStyling, driving dynamics, on-board technology and comprehensive safety kit
The badCompeting in a sector that is incredibly overcrowded
VW T-Roc SEL 2.0 TSI 4MOTION 190PS 7-speed DSG
The compact SUV sector may be bursting at the seams, but the arrival of Volkswagen’s latest model certainly adds an extra option for customers looking for a sporty all-rounder that mixes style with substance.
It’s called the T-Roc and is priced from £18,950 to £31,485. There is a wide choice of trim levels, powertrains and transmissions and it is proving exceptionally popular with buyers. In fact, recent UK sales figures showed the car has topped the 9,000-mark in just over eight months.
The five-door car looks appealing from any approach thanks to its dynamic, compact styling with sweeping lines, LED lights with signature running lights, 18-inch alloys, body-coloured bumpers and door mirrors, chrome-effect twin exhausts, silver roof rails and privacy glass.
The interior is instantly recognisable as being a VW thanks to its clutter-free yet feature-rich layout with plenty of plush materials and trims to help create an upmarket feel to the car. I particularly liked the smart two-tone seats along with the decorative inserts in the doors and dashboard.
Techno treats are plentiful and include the likes of a 10.3-inch high resolution dash display screen with customisable menus, an eight-inch colour touchscreen with navigation system, a wireless smartphone charger, a six-speaker audio system, a rear-view camera, 2Zone air conditioning, heated front seats, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and lots more besides.
Our test car in SEL trim was priced at £31,690 (£35,535 with options fitted) and was powered by a 2.0-litre 190PS petrol engine mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox. It could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 7.2 seconds, topped out at 134mph and, according to official figures, delivers combined fuel economy of 41.5mpg with carbon emissions of 155g/km.
Getting comfy inside the T-Roc is a quick and simple process with ample seat and steering wheel adjustment, and the slightly elevated driving position results in great all-round visibility.
There is ample space in the vehicle for a couple of adults to sit comfortably in the rear seats or three at a bit of a squeeze. The boot is also well-sized with a capacity that ranges from 392 litres to 1,237 litres when the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats are lowered. Throughout the car there are numerous convenient storage compartments such as a glovebox, a central bin, door pockets, a non-slip tray ahead of the gear stick, cup holders, a drawer under the driver’s seat and pockets in the backs of the front seats.
When it comes to driving dynamics and performance, the T-Roc is an absolute delight to drive. The responsive, punchy 2.0-litre engine delivers all the power you need to accelerate smoothly and swiftly through the gears and national speed limits are quickly reached on motorways. In busy town centres, the T-Roc is nimble and easy to manoeuvre with a Park Assist system that helps make light work of parking in tight spaces. Then out on the faster twisting country lanes, the car proved balanced and well grounded. There is minimal body sway into bends and the road-holding is ultra-grippy with ample driver feedback through the precise steering.
At higher speeds or when driving on poorer road surfaces the noise levels within the car are more noticeable, but generally the T-Roc is very well-insulated. And the effective suspension irons out all but the most severe bumps and dips along the way. Our car featured a Dynamic Chassis Control system costing £870 extra that offered variable suspension settings with a choice of Sport, Comfort or Normal.
There are also different driver profile modes called Eco, Normal, Sport or Individual that alter the way the car responds with Sport really livening up the reactions.
It’s worth noting too that the T-Roc boasts VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system which will help keep you motoring during adverse weather and driving conditions. This also has different settings called on road, off road individual and snow.
The car was awarded the maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating. As well as the more traditional safety specifications, the T-Roc is fitted with a number of driver aids, including lane assist, front assist with city emergency braking, predictive pedestrian protection, adaptive cruise control, high beam assist and a pre-crash preventative occupant protection system that increases the seat belt tension, closes electric windows and a sunroof and preconditions the brake systems if a critical driving situation is detected.
All in all, the VW T-Roc may be competing in the fastest growing sector, but it’s a compact SUV with plenty to offer. It is dynamically styled, packed with first rate technology, competitively priced, as safe as houses and it drives beautifully making it the complete package.