Let’s see what it’s like
What is it?
Volkswagen has a wide range of SUVs to choose from at the moment, but it’s the T-Roc - the firm’s compact model - that has undoubtedly proved to be one of the most popular. In fact, since its launch late in 2017, more than a million examples have rolled off the production line, which goes to show just how quickly this car is being snapped up by buyers.
Not one to rest on its laurels, Volkswagen has given the T-Roc an update to ensure that it stays current in what is a very competitive segment. We’ve been behind the wheel to find out what it’s like.
Volkswagen has aimed to give the T-Roc a more premium feel with this update, implementing a variety of soft-touch plastics in the cabin to ensure that it feels a little more upmarket. It has also given it digital displays which helps to give it a more modern appearance.
Exterior-wise things have been sharpened up too, while Volkswagen’s clever IQ matrix LED headlights can now be fitted as an optional extra.
What’s under the bonnet?
You’ve got a good number of options when it comes to powertrains on the Volkswagen T-Roc, with small-capacity petrol engines moving right the way up to 300bhp four-wheel-drive ‘R’ versions. However, our test car was equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine that has been used in a variety of Volkswagen Group vehicles.
It’s a great fit for the T-Roc, too, with 148bhp being sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. It provides decent enough acceleration with 0-60mph coming in 8.4 seconds, while 45mpg combined is more than respectable.
What’s it like to drive?
You don’t expect a super-involving driving experience to come from a car like the T-Roc and while it might not rival hot hatches, it’s got plenty of refinement to offer. The engine is smooth and delivers more than enough power, while road and wind noise are kept well isolated from the cabin.
It handles very well, too, with our R-Line vehicle’s sport suspension setup helping to keep the T-Roc’s body roll in check. Even on upgraded 19-inch wheels, the ride was decent enough too.
How does it look?
There were few complaints about the T-Roc’s styling when it was first unveiled in 2017, so it’s unsurprising that Volkswagen hasn’t been radical with changes to the way this new version looks. You’ve got a good range of colours to choose from, while a contrast roof helps to give the T-Roc a funkier edge.
The front end receives the bulk of the changes, with new LED headlights fitted to all models as standard, while higher-spec versions benefit from an illuminated front grille strip.
What’s it like inside?
Volkswagen has really pushed hard to lift that feeling of quality inside the T-Roc. The older vehicle was let down slightly by poor materials and scratchy plastics, so it’s pleasing to see this issue addressed with the inclusion of soft-touch trims on areas like the dash. There are still some cheaper materials used on the door cards, mind you.
However, the level of technology here has really been pushed too. So you now get an updated eight-inch touchscreen as standard, alongside digital dials that have become standard practice for the rest of Volkswagen’s range.
What’s the spec like?
Volkswagen has simplified the range of specifications available on the T-Roc, slimming it down to just three - Life, Style and R-Line. All cars get 16-inch wheels as standard, alongside that eight inch touchscreen, LED headlights and adaptive cruise control.
Style is predicted to be the most popular trim, bringing 17-inch alloy wheels in the process as well as a larger digital cockpit screen and satellite navigation as standard.
The changes made to this new T-Roc are welcome. They really do fix some of the issues that we had with the older T-Roc, making it a more refined and polished vehicle in the process. It’s still just as good to drive, too, while its range of engines is impressive.
At £25,000, the T-Roc definitely has a premium price tag to match. However, it’s likely that many drivers will be happy to make this trade-off in order to get behind the wheel of a well-rounded and premium-feeling SUV.