Volkswagen T-Roc 2020 - A Rugged and Sporty SUV
The Volkswagen T-Roc is the fourth SUV to be produced by the German giants sitting above the T-Cross and beneath the larger Tiguan and Touareg respectively. The T-Roc is a rugged and sporty looking car while remaining elegant and classy. It is a small-medium sized SUV which will turn heads thanks to its trendy, funky and eye-catching design both in and out.
As part of the Volkswagen Group, the T-Roc has plenty of in-house competition such as the Audi Q2, Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca all of which are fantastic cars in their own rights. Throw into the mix the Toyota C-HR and the Mini Countryman, and you quickly see how much of a challenge it could be for the T-Roc to muscle in on such a talented market sector.
Volkswagen has tackled this by offering various trim levels; there are six to choose from, with prices starting as low as £20k. The six trim levels begin with the entry-level S, followed by the SE, Design, SEL, R-Line and finally the range-topping R (the sportiest version). Volkswagen has also allowed you to tailor the paint of the T-Roc with 24 different colour combinations to choose from, allowing you to create your own unique look. This option is only available as standard on trim models Design or above.
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Engines, Power and Performance
There's no shortage of options when it comes to the engine of your T-Roc, as there are four petrol engines and two diesel engines. If you are after a hybrid or an all-electric engine, then you will need to look for a different car, as these options are not currently available with the T-Roc. There are two transmissions to choose from, either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic but not all of the engines offer the option of the two. The majority of the T-Roc's come with FWD, but there are a couple of models where you can select Volkswagen's 4Motion (4WD) system.
The petrol line-up kicks off with the 1-litre TSi which develops 115hp and 200Nm, mated to a six-speed manual transmission and is capable of hitting 0-62mph in 10.1 secs.
Next up is the 1.5-litre TSi developing 150hpand 250Nm of torque and can be mated to either the six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission with both able to reach 0-62mph in 8.4secs.
These are followed by the 2-litre TSi 4Motion (4WD) generating 190hp and 320Nm of torque and mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. It will hit 0-62mph in just 7.2secs, which is fairly rapid for an SUV.
Finally, there is the most powerful petrol engine which is only available with the top-spec T Roc R trim level. It uses the same 2-litre TSi 4Motion engine previously mentioned, but the power has been increased to 300hp and torque climbs to 400Nm. All this power enables the T Roc to race from 0-62mph in a jaw-dropping 4.8secs.
The diesel line up starts with the 1.6-litre TDi developing 115hp and 250Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission which helps it hit 0-62mph in 10.9secs.
The final diesel engine is the 2-litre TDi which generates 150hp and 340Nm of torque perfect for when you need to overtake. It can be paired with either the six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission, both of which help it to accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.8secs.
There's an engine/transmission combination suitable for any occasion and thanks to a great chassis and suspension setup the T Roc grips and handles more like a hot hatch than an SUV and gives you one of the more exciting and entertaining drives. It is so much fun yet still easy to drive around town.
Interior Quality and Technology
The T-Roc has a very sleek and classy looking interior; however, it doesn't have the same amount of high-quality soft plastics and trim pieces found in many of its premium rivals. This is a little disappointing as Volkswagen usually score highly in the interior stakes, just look at the VW Golf or Arteon to see just how good it could be.
The entry-level S trim doesn't come with the most amount of standard equipment, but most of the extra features you may want are available as optional extras, and most are reasonably priced. Move up a trim level, and there is much more standard equipment included.
What you do get as standard with the S trim is an eight-inch colour touchscreen supporting the Composition Media infotainment system. For a small fee of a little under £200, you can get smartphone mirroring with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although this is standard on all other trim models.
If you opt for the SEL trim or above, you get a built-in sat-nav and Volkswagen's 10.3-inch Active Info Display digital instrument screen as standard and are available as an optional package for around £1500. The list of optional extras is extensive, and it would be worth calculating the cost of what you want your T-Roc to have against choosing a higher trim model where some extras become standard to see which is better value for money.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The T-Roc is one of the more spacious SUV's in its class with more space in the front than that found in its premium rivals the Mini Countryman and Audi Q2. There's lots of legroom and headroom to fit adults of all shapes and sizes in, with relative ease, and the seats have a wide range of adjustments, as does the steering wheel so finding the perfect driving position is easy.
Moving to the back, and space is a little less impressive but will still accommodate two adults comfortably. Adding a third adult will make it a bit of a squeeze and would only be comfortable for shorter journeys.
There are various storage cubbies including large door pockets, a spacious compartment under the centre armrest and cupholders.
The boot in the T-Roc comes in with an impressive 445-litre capacity dropping to 392-litres if you have chosen a 4Motion model. This trumps the Audi Q2 (405-litres), but not quite as spacious as the Mini Countryman which as a capacity of 450-litres. If you fold the rear seats away, capacity rises to 1290-litres or 1237-litres depending on whether you have opted for FWD or 4WD.
The Volkswagen T-Roc scored an impressive and expected top 5-star rating at the Euro NCAP safety tests carried out thanks to standard equipment such as; multiple airbags, Front Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Automatic Lane Assist. Some of the optional extra assists include adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera and blindspot monitoring, most of which come as standard on higher trim models such as the SEL.
Overall the T-Roc is a great little SUV offering an alternative to the family hatchback offerings. It handles and performs better than most hot hatchbacks, whilst providing the extra space and practicality a young family could need.