The Volkswagen T-Roc offers the chunky styling and raised driving position small SUV buyers are looking for, but it does look a little pricey next to its alternatives
The Volkswagen T-Roc is a funky looking small SUV that tries to inject some fun into VW’s smart and sensible image. It comes with plenty of personalisation options and an all-important raised driving position that gives you a better view out. You can think of it as a posher alternative to the Kia Stonic, Hyundai Kona and Citroen C3 Aircross.
Unfortunately, while it might look quite upmarket on the outside there are plenty of cheap-feeling plastics inside the VW T-Roc. The interior design is interesting at least, and you can get some bright body-coloured dashboard inserts but they’re only standard in mid-range models.
Also brightening things up is a sharp and responsive 8.0-inch infotainment screen, which is standard on all Volkswagen T-Rocs. Pick a mid-range Design trim model and you’ll even get smartphone mirroring for Apple and Android devices as standard. This is handy because you can use these systems to display your phone’s satellite navigation app on the T-Roc’s screen, saving you from upgrading to a top-spec model to get VW’s own built-in sat-nav.
Whichever version of the VW T-Roc you pick, you’ll have plenty of interior space to stretch out in the front, and just about enough back-seat room for a six-foot-tall passenger to sit behind an equally tall driver. That said, a Citroen C3 Aircross is roomier for tall passengers, and the VW’s narrow middle seat means it isn’t great for carrying three adults abreast.
So it might not be the best for carrying four passengers, but in terms of practicality the Volkswagen T-Roc’s boot is better than many alternatives. There’s easily enough room for a baby buggy and some soft bags with the back seats up and just as much space as in the Citroen with them folded flat.
The VW T-Roc might share some mechanical bits and bobs with the Golf but its eye-catching styling and funky interior mean you won’t easily mistake it for a humdrum hatchback
If you regularly fill the boot and carry lots of passengers, you’ll want to consider one of the VW’s two diesel engines. They pull harder from low revs than the petrols and are more frugal at motorway speeds.
If you spend more time driving in town one of the two petrols will quieter and cheaper to run. On bumpy city streets the VW T-Roc irons out potholes impressively well if you stick to a model with smaller alloy wheels and it’s just as relaxing to drive on long journeys as the C3 Aircross.
You can also rest easy knowing the Volkswagen T-Roc comes with all the latest safety tech to help protect you in the event of an accident. As a result, it’s certainly worth considering if you’re looking for a small family car that looks sharp and comes with plenty of big-car kit in an eye-catching package.