By Ian Strachan
Volkswagen has clearly been eyeing the fast-growing medium SUV sector. Hence the launch of the T-Roc to sit below the popular and well-established Tiguan writes motoring editor Ian Strachan.
With rugged good looks and some striking paint colours (my test car came in a startling Turmeric yellow) this is unmistakably a Volkswagen. It comes with front wheel drive or VW’s 4MOTION four wheel drive system.
The interior of the T-Roc has body colour trim which helps the overall ambience with a splash of colour. You get pleasant trim and seat materials and clear, well-lit instruments with easily accessible controls.
Specification on the Design specification which I tested is good, with two-zone electronic air conditioning, all-round airbags, touch-screen navigation system with DAB radio plus Bluetooth compatibility, single CD player and USB port, and adaptive cruise control. You also get 17 inch alloy wheels, black roof rails, all round electric windows and door mirrors, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, front and rear ultrasonic parking sensors and lots of storage space. The Design trim level also has fatigue detection alert, rain and dusk sensors, under-seat drawers, keyless entry and ignition and automatic stop/start..
Extras on my test car included an uprated and connected navigation system (£1,130), heated front seats and washer jets (£285), LED headlights ((£880) and cornering front fog lights (£250).
I test drove the 1.0 litre three cylinder 115 horsepower petrol version which gives a respectable 55.4 miles to the gallon in mixed driving, and is a smooth unit. A 1.0 engine doesn’t sound powerful enough for a vehicle of this size, but with a turbocharger fitted it is surprisingly brisk. It gives a 0-60 mph time of a shade below 10 seconds. At motorway speeds it feels comfortable and unfussed.
Handling is good, with crisp steering, and no body roll on cornering. My test car had a pleasant six-speed manual gearbox
The T-Roc looks good, has a nice driving environment and good performance. Plus it won’t break the bank. The T-Roc Design 1.0 TSI 115 PS manual which I tested comes in at a competitive £20,500 on the road, and will probably hold its value well.