Volkswagen T-Roc R review
You’ll want to consider the VW T-Roc R if you fancy a car that pairs the performance of a VW Golf R with the street-cred and practicality of an SUV. It is rather expensive, however.
What's not so good
Volkswagen T-Roc R: what would you like to read next?
If you love the VW T-Roc but wish it had a bit more horsepower and an even more confusing name, you’re in luck. Volkswagen has opened the order books on the all-new VW T-Roc R – a jacked-up small SUV with the high-performance heart of the Golf R.
On the outside, this speedy SUV shares plenty with the standard VW T-Roc. It gets a similar chunky silhouette, chrome trims and a contrasting roof, but the front bumper has been given a helpful does of air intakes to help cool its much more powerful engine.
Nip round the back – past a set of new 18-inch alloy wheels – and you’ll notice four large exhaust pipes, a new roof-mounted spoiler and a customary R badge on the bootlid.
Inside, the changes are just as easy to spot. There’s a sporty steering wheel for starters, alongside a few carbon-fibre trims and some more supportive sports seats pinched from – you guessed it – the Golf R.
Space in the back is unchanged from the standard VW T-Roc, so things are a bit cramped for three tall adults and there’s room in the boot for a few suitcases, but not too much else.
Big, fast SUVs are nothing new, but the VW T-Roc R is still one of the first compact crossovers that aim to offer hot-hatch thrills in a more upright, family-focused package.
More exciting than how much you can cram behind the seats, though, is what sits under the VW T-Roc R’s bonnet. Rather than the standard T-Roc’s most powerful 190hp 1.5-litre engine, this R model comes with a 300hp 2.0-litre unit that drives all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
With the accelerator pinned and launch control engaged, this high-riding SUV will reach 60mph from rest in less than 4.9 seconds, making it a smidgen slower than the VW Golf R and Audi SQ2, but quicker than the Cupra Ateca.
To make sure it isn’t just fast in a straight line, the VW T-Roc R also gets upgraded brakes, lowered suspension and a Race driving mode that tweaks the responsiveness of the accelerator and gearbox. Just the thing for nabbing that last parking spot on the school run…
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