£21,535 - £31,225 Price range
44 - 67 MPG
If you’re in the market for a well-built, practical coupe, then the Scirocco with its no-nonsense cabin and decently spacious boot is ideal. Admittedly, inside it’s a bit bland for a sports car, but a few years down the line everything should work and feel just like as it did the day it came out the factory.
The engine selection is strong too, with punchy petrols and frugal diesels to choose from. All of them return competitive fuel consumption figures and are a joy to use. VW also offers the Scirocco with its quick-shifting DSG gearbox.
Where the age of the Scirocco starts to show is in the handling department. Unfortunately, it uses an older Golf platform, meaning it’s quite dull to drive and the ride quality, compared to a Mk7 Golf isn’t that great either. There isn’t a four-wheel-drive option, like in the Audi and BMW, but there’s plenty of grip from the capable chassis and the stability control really knows what it’s doing.
Equipment levels aren’t great, because entry level models don’t get cruise control, let alone sat-nav.
Although most find little fault with the rest of the car, the interior is one place which doesn’t receive such high praise. With such a distinctive exterior, many were left disappointed with VW’s lack of imagination when it came to designing an equally beautiful inside of the car. Sitting in the Scirocco is like sitting in any other VW. That’s not a huge problem in the grand scheme of things – it’s a very logically laid out interior and well put together.
VW Scirocco passenger space
Visibility is a bit poor, due to the thick A-pillars, high waistline and narrow rear window. Rear head, leg and shoulder room isn’t great either, though the rear seats are still usable – largely as there’s only two of them. Things are much better in the front where there’s just as much space as in a Golf and plenty of adjustment for the driver’s seat and steering wheel.
VW Scirocco boot space
The boot is only 20% down on the Golf’s – at 312 litres in capacity. Fold the seats and the resulting 1,200-litre capacity is decent for what in reality is a sporty coupe. However, there are some little drawbacks that plague the Scirocco’s excellent practicality – namely a huge lip to carry luggage over and the rear seats that don’t fold flat on the floor.
The Scirocco gets universal praise for its prowess on the road, but this should come as no surprise as this car is based on the previous Golf – a car with no handling issues whatsoever. It doesn’t quite go like one, though, offering a sportier driving experience to match the looks. If you’re fond of threading your way down rat runs, you’ll find the Scirocco most rewarding.
That doesn’t come at the expense of ride comfort, though. You’ll find that the all-new Golf’s ride is a little better if you drive the two back-to-back, but the Scirocco is never uncomfortable, even if it’s somewhat firmer. Larger wheels can make the ride a little unpleasant, though.
For the Scirocco, Volkswagen offers a range of petrol engines but just one diesel. With petrol, you get a choice of 1.4 or 2.0-litres, with diesel it’s a 2.0-litre or nothing. All engines come with a six-speed manual that isn’t bad, but for £1,500 you can specify VW’s excellent DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
VW Scirocco petrol engines
The lowest power petrol – a 123hp version of the 1.4-litre TSI – won’t be breaking any land speed records, but it still cracks 60mph in less than 10 seconds and offers a decent 52mpg combined fuel economy. The 178hp 2.0-litre TSI is more about refinement and smoothness rather than performance, but still provides the Scirocco with a turn of speed to match the attractive exterior. Annual road tax on the petrols ranges between £100 and £130.
VW Scirocco diesel engines
With 148hp and 181hp versions of the 2.0 TDI, the diesels, naturally, get the best fuel economy and aren’t short on pace, but they’re perhaps a little grumbly compared to the smooth petrols. We’d go for the 148hp version because it’s decently quick and a fair few quid cheaper to buy than the 181hp, which isn’t that much faster. Annual road tax on diesels ranges between £20 and £30.
Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
In 2016 Volkswagen introduced the Scirocco GTS special edition. As well as adding black wheels and racing stripes it also brings the 2.0-litre, 217hp petrol engine to the range. It’ll get from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds while returning 46.3mpg with the manual gearbox and 44.1mpg with the DSG. Top speeds for the GTS are 153mph and 152mph for the manual and automatic respectively.
As you’d expect, the Scirocco breezed through the Euro NCAP safety test with five stars. The pedestrian safety score is middling – while the leading edges of the bonnet are quite friendly, the actual bonnet is not a great cushion for pedestrians’ heads – but the rest of the categories are dusted off with few concerns.
There are plenty of airbags, stability control and active head restraints. Throw a bit of money Volkswagen’s way and you get the dynamic chassis control and electronic differential lock which help when it comes to not crashing in the first place…
This being a VW product there is a decent standard equipment which includes air-conditioning, an infotainment system, multifunction steering wheel, alloy wheels and DAB digital radio. Unfortunately sat-nav is a £760 option across the range.
VW Scirocco GT
Next level up from the basic S adds alcantara-suede upholstery, larger 18-inch alloy wheels (up from 17in), dual-zone climate control, all-round parking sensors and rear tinted windows. For about £500 extra you can spec the GT Black Edition, which paints some of the exterior features (including the wheels) in gloss black.
VW Scirocco R-Line
Despite the R in the name, the R-line is more about luxury than racing. You do get a more aggressive bodykit and a bunch of R badges inside, but the main upgrades are the leather seats and the huge 19-inch alloy wheels. Just like in the GT, you can get the R-Line Black Edition for a more sinister look.
There really is a lot going for the Scirocco – well-built interior, practical boot, safe handling and modern engines. However, most of its rivals are a lot newer as models and you can really feel that age gap. The Audi and BMW come with much more advanced technology, while the Kia represents better value than the VW for a similar product.