SUVs have become the most popular automotive body style in the world, with consumers opting for their practicality over the efficiency and superior performance offered by sedans. The four-door sedan was the darling of the industry and a mainstay of American motoring. But those days are over and consumers aren’t looking back. We are officially in the age of the SUV. They count for 45% of new passenger car sales, and it’s easy to see why the world is obsessed with this segment; they are the Swiss army knives of cars.
Big, hulking SUVs like the Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrols started the process, but SUV crossovers have taken over. They are junior SUVs with the handling of a car, so they combine the DNAs of sedans and SUVs. Every major manufacturer has crossover offers in their lineup. In 2017, volkswagen added the T-Roc to their range of SUVs already with the Taos, the Tiguan, the Atlas and the ID.4 all-electric SUVs. The small SUV has a close relationship with the Golf Mk7 and other VW Group cousins like the Audi A3 Mk3 and Skoda Octavia Mk3. Here’s what we love about the VW T-Roc.
ten Sports car with coupe silhouette
Volkswagen built the T-Roc on the MQB A1 platform closely related to the Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia. This is also the second generation of the foundations of the Volkswagen Golf MK7. It’s a golf-based SUV that adds practicality to the popular hatchback fun factor.
The T-Roc introduced a new design language for Volkswagen, with a cute, compact silhouette and plenty of customization options. Fiery engines and a chassis that combine control and fun have assured the T-Roc of style and substance.
9 More room than a golf course
Externally, the T-Roc is similar to the Golf, therefore occupies the same space on the road and is shorter than the hot hatch of a mustache. But once inside you find more space.
There’s plenty of legroom and headroom for four adults, even the tallest ones, and it’s more accommodating than most rivals like the Ford Puma and Kia Stonic. The trunk offers 15 cubic feet of luggage storage compared to the Golf’s 13 cubic feet. It increases to 45 cubic feet with the rear seat down, making the T-Roc more practical than its sibling.
8 Sporty but comfortable
Despite the sporty drive, VW made sure the T-Roc was as comfortable as any crossover on the market. Dynamic Chassis Control absorbs bumps incredibly and higher profile tires increase ride comfort. Sporty driving does not come at the expense of comfort.
The doors open quite wide and the seat position is higher than in a standard hatch, making it easier to get in, out and install a child seat. The seats and steering wheels are multi-adjustable for the driver so you can create the perfect driving position.
seven Seven powertrains and five trim levels
Similar to the Golf, the T-Roc is one of those vehicles that offers something for everyone, and it comes in a total of seven turbocharged petrol and diesel engine options. For petrol, you can opt for the 108 hp 1.0 TSI Turbo, the 148 hp 1.5 TSI Evo with cylinder deactivation, the 187 hp 2.0 TSI and the 296 hp top-of-the-range 2.0 TSI. The diesel has two options, the 113 hp or the 148 hp 2.0 TDI. A six-speed manual transmission accompanies all gasoline engines except for the 2.0 TSI.
It also enters five trim levelsfrom the entry-level Life and Style to the sporty R-Line, including the top-of-the-range R model and a superb Cabriolet.
6 Funky interior and a quiet cabin
VW builds some of the best interiors, so you’d expect a classy interior on T-Roc. Early models failed in this regard, but the Mid-life facelift got rid of cheap rigid plastics in favor of a higher quality cabin. The improved interior quality comes with soft-touch materials that hide remaining plastics.
It’s a stylish car inside and out, and plenty of high-tech options enhance your stay inside. The Air care Climatronic air conditioning system with digital controls and display ensures a pleasant climate throughout the cabin. You should opt for the top-level R-Line trim if you want the best cabin with sports seats.
5 Technology and instrumentation
Volkswagen has equipped the compact crossover with technology from higher vehicle classes like the IQ.LIGHT with matrix LED headlights and partially automated driving. There are new levels of digitization and connectivity with the new T-Roc. It comes with the third-generation modular infotainment toolkit, which enables various functions and online services.
Base models feature an 8-inch floating touchscreen for infotainment control with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Additionally, higher trims come with a larger 10.25-inch digital instrument panel display. All T-Roc versions come standard with voice activation and built-in satellite navigation, while wireless phone charging is an inexpensive option.
4 Driving assistance systems
The T-Roc features advanced driver assistance technology including Front Assist, Lane Assist, Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control ACC and perhaps the highlight, IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist. This system acts as an intelligent co-pilot and keeps an eye on everything around the car. When the roads are well laid out, it intervenes to keep the vehicle in the lane and maintain the speed according to the traffic ahead.
Easy connectivity via the optional Volkswagen We Connect Plus facilitates smart navigation by providing up-to-date traffic information, such as warnings about traffic disruptions. Plus, intelligent online route calculation lets you react flexibly to changing conditions and ensures you’re always on an optimized route.
3 Decent running costs
You’ll have to shell out around $50,000 to hunt the top-end T-Roc R, which is pretty stiff. But if you avoid the higher trims and more expensive engine options, you get a relatively affordable T-Roc with decent running costs. At $30,972, the base model isn’t the cheapest crossover model. But you get superior driver-assist technology and build quality.
Plus, the lower engine options are quite efficient. The entry-level petrol 1.0 TSI returns a combined fuel economy of 47.1 mpg, as does the 1.5 TSI Evo with cylinder deactivation. Diesel options offer the best fuel efficiency with 60.1 mpg from the 114 hp TDI. Moreover, the depreciation rate is quite solid and you can expect to recover around 53% of your investment after three years of ownership.
2 Fashionable convertible option
Now that’s a fashion statement of the Wolfsburg outfit. Convertible SUVs occupy a very niche segment, and the T-Roc Cabriolet is VW’s very first and arguably the coolest yet. Its sleek hatchback siblings can’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. It comes with a fully automatic electro-hydraulic soft top that opens within nine secondseven in motion.
Besides the looks, the car is surprisingly practical, featuring a second row with plenty of room for a two-door convertible. The hatchback DNA is present in the handling, and the convertible will offer a unique driving experience compared to what you’ll get from other versions of the T-Roc.
1 A capable family crossover
The T-Roc sold over one million units in the first five years of production. Some markets like India stopped accepting reservations for the 2021 model after selling its share of units. This shows that customers have embraced the T-Roc. It proved a capable family crossover offering a small package with smart styling and ample functionality.
Plus, with the T-Roc R trim, you can impress your friends with its fast performance. It can sprint to 60mph in just 4.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 155mph, a surprisingly close return to what the sportier and more passionately cherished Golf R comes back to.