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Volkswagen T-Roc — long-term review

Would you have a faux-SUV over a decently-specced Golf?

Volkswagen T-Roc 1.5 TSI Evo
1,498cc 4-cyl turbo
Claimed MPG:
123g/km C02, 42.2mpg (combined)
0-62mph in 8.4 seconds, 127mph top speed
£24,145 (£28,978 as tested)

They call it ‘Turmeric Yellow’ though I can’t help feeling that I’ve seen this shade before, in a more organic format (I have both children and a dog - you pick). Still, it’s lathered over a VW T-Roc Design 1.5 TSI EVO to grind out its formal title, 150bhp-ish of six-speed manual, front-wheel drive, Golf-sized SUV (above T-Cross and below Tiguan). There are three petrol (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0-litre with 115, 150 and 190bhp) and two diesel options in the range (1.6 and 2.0-litre, with 115bhp and 150bhp respectively), and we’ve gone for the interesting new 1.5 petrol with ACT active cylinder technology - it can shut down cylinders at low-maintenance cruise to save fuel - to see if it can put the wind up a diesel in the economy stakes.

This one weighs in at £24,145 basic, £28,978 with options, which on our car include: Discover Navigation (8-inch touchscreen with various functions, Car Net ‘Guide and Inform’ with traffic and fuel pricing) for £795, Car Net ‘Security and Service’ which for a 10 year, £353 subscription manages auto-call of emergency services in an accident, breakdown and some other bits, £300-worth of Winter Pack (heated seats, washer jets), £85 carpets (?!), keyless entry and a starter button for £395, a hugely pointless electric tailgate for £335, £430 Active Info display, £185 rear-view camera, £155 High Beam Assist (which I hate), and £265 ‘cornering’ front foglights. There’s also a towbar for a whopping £745, £45 for optioning the alternative ‘Mayfield’ alloys, and £145 for the PreCrash occupant protection module (tightens seatbelts and closes windows in a shunt).

Hmmm. We’ll see if that little lot stacks up.

There are, of course, lots of other options that you can flavour up your T-Roc with to make it a bit more salty. There’s 4Motion four-wheel drive, seven-speed DSG ‘boxes, and a trim ladder of S, SE, Design, SEL and R-Line, with SE proving to be the most popular in the UK. There are convertible and 300bhp T-Roc R variants already coming, and considering that’s twice the power of our car, it might well be quite rapid. We’ll have a go in them in due course.

First impressions are pretty much as expected. It looks good, the body-colour interior inserts and cloth seats all hang together very nicely and it feels solid. It rides well - on the sporty side, but not desperate - keeps up with normal traffic with ease. It’s not fast, but 0-62mph in 8.4 is perfectly acceptable these days, and the six-speed manual is generally very lovely to use. The engine is thorough, albeit dull as anything to actually rev, and it better be on boost or it feels as if the ‘Roc has stalled while driving. Oh, and it’s doing about 450-miles per 50-litre tank of unleaded, or roughly 43.4mpg. Other than that, there’s space for five, and a slightly strange boot arrangement with a space-sapping double floor. Not sure what that’s about, but haven’t delved too deeply as yet. Let’s see what this soon-to-be-stalwart of the VW range has to offer long term.

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