What is it?
Some say it is an icon reborn. Others, that it is Volkswagen shamelessly pillaging its back catalogue. A couple even postulate it is simply a Golf GTI in a little black dress.
Whatever. It’s ruddy good, is what it is. The Scirocco retains the funky spirit of the original and injects the quality underpinnings of the group’s best-selling and most entertaining vehicle platform to create a proper sports coupe. Plus, it looks really good.
Essentially, you get three engines – a 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre petrol, and a 2.0-litre diesel – in various guises. The smaller four-pot is available in 122bhp (lively) and 160bhp guise, the latter sprinting to 62mph in eight seconds flat, while the cooking 2.0-litre turbocharged R gets a meaty 265bhp, a 5.8 second 0–62mph dash and a top speed of 155mph. Tasty.
Sadly, the noise and power delivery still lack the performance edge the empirical data proves, but you’ll make effortless progress nonetheless. The 210bhp 2.0-litre TSI is essentially a Golf GTI, but seems quicker and feels like a car for all situations. All but base ‘Rocs get VW’s excellent adaptive chassis control, which has three settings and adjusts throttle response, steering and damping. And it works a treat. You still get the same VW driving vibe – sure-footedness, accurate steering, plenty of grip – but it’s basically 25 per cent better than the GTI. Little body roll and crisp turn-in make this a proper driver’s tool, without actually making you look like one.
On the inside
If you’ve ever sat inside a modern VW, you’ve sat inside the Scirocco. Where Volkswagen innovates with chassis, it stagnates with interior design. Everything is bolted together beautifully and falls to hand easily, though. Room in the back is generous for something of this size and the boot is of adequate size (312 litres). But visibility out the back is poor and rear headroom stinks. Still, the driving position is spot on and the controls feel lovely.
The 177bhp 2.0-litre diesel returns 55.4mpg and emits 134g/km of CO2 – while still recording a 0–62mph time of 8.1 seconds – while the BlueMotion TDI 140 diesel emits 118g/km and averages 62.8mpg. With a base price of £20k for the entry-level 120bhp 1.4-litre TSI and rock-solid residuals, the Scirocco actually soothes the painful-throbbing-vein part of coupe ownership. It’s the same price as the three-door GTI, and also costs less than its rivals. Following a recent range tweak, sat nav is now standard on all, and we love the latest R-Line trim: R looks, without the price tag or lack of diesel availability. It’s not even all that expensive, as prices were recently chipped, too.