Car Tested: T-Roc SEL 2.0 TSI 4Motion 190PS 7-speed DSG
OTR Price – £32,205 Inc. Sport Pack. Pre-crash preventive occupant protection.
Emissions: Car tested 155 g/km
With Thanks to Heritage of Salisbury Volkswagen. 01722 431300.
By Dominic Parkes
Take any vaguely petrol-headed person off the street, blindfold them (steady on…) spin them round and place in front of this month’s review car, and I would happily stake my secret stash of chocolate, which I hide from the children, on the outcome of a test to describe the manufacturer. Just by opening and closing the car door and clicking a couple of switches, I am confident a high percentage would conclude ‘German and probably Volkswagen. ’There can be no doubt VW has joined the crossover market (a car which is neither a hatchback or a SUV) fairly late, and the competition is pretty fierce, with the likes of the Ateca from Seat and the C-HR from Toyota being among the best at present.
Safe to say it has to be extremely good straight out of the box as there is no space for anything less than perfect. The T-Roc will be very appealing to a younger driver who requires something compact, safe, and exuding vivacity when parked outside the gym.
In my day, a standard-looking hatchback with a GTi badge on its boot was the passport to nirvana. The T-Roc sits below the larger Tiguan and Toureg already on offer from VW, and first impressions instantly tell you it is crafted from the same metal and with the same sense of purpose. Just by sitting in the driver’s seat confirms this is a good choice. The driving position being a little higher than a hatchback is good. All switches and driver aids fall to hand, and the aura of quality and longevity is all around.
With a 2.0 petrol engine out front, it is fair to say it is a perky little performer, and combined with the 4Motion four-wheel drive system, it hangs on in corners too. A chunky dial, which falls nicely to the left hand, allows the selection of drive options and includes Sport mode which is rather fun and shows the steering is well-weighted and can tame the inherent top-heavy design.
A diesel engine is available but the petrol model is supremely smooth and, although heavier on fuel, is the likely choice of the masses. Wiltshire’s potholed roads proved little to worry about as the supple suspension took care of most of the shock – it is worth mentioning that the 4Motion versions have proper multi-link suspension, whereas the front-driven T-Rocs all have simple torsion beam.
It has a purposeful stance to it, and walking back through the car park and selecting the T-Roc for the journey home, will never be a problem.
This carries through to the interior too, which has a great eight-inch touch-screen for audio and sat nav which can also be shown in the speedo binnacle. The cabin storage options are pretty good, but the boot, which although deep, at 440 litres, is not going to take long to fill. Dropping the back seat, or part of, makes it far more useful.
After a couple of days with the T-Roc, I can confirm that it is a classy, good-looking vehicle very easy to live with – which, in such a busy market sector, it has to be.