The 296bhp Volkswagen T-Roc R is one of the best sports SUVs to drive, but how easy is it to live with? We’re finding out…
The car Volkswagen T-Roc R 2.0 TSI 300 4Motion DSG Run by Steve Huntingford, editor
Why it’s here To see if this thrilling sports SUV continues to impress when you live with it every day
Needs to Combine its undoubted pace and agility with practicality
List price £40,735 Target Price £38,120 Price as tested £46,709 Miles 480 Official economy 32.5mpg Test economy 27.8mpg Options fitted Akrapovic titanium sport exhaust (£3050), Lapiz Blue metallic paint (£755), Dynamic Chassis Control (£695), tracker (£534), black contrasting roof (£430), Driver’s Assistance Pack Plus (£205), rear-view camera (£190) and Lapiz Blue Dashboard Pack (£115)
25 July – First impressions
Volkswagen hot hatches are generally great all-rounders, rather than the sharpest cars of their kind. However, when we group tested the brand’s first sports SUV, the T-Roc R, it impressed for altogether different reasons.
We actually found it to be both less comfortable and less practical than the rival Cupra Ateca, but still awarded it the win because it was ‘biblically good in the bends’. In short, we decided the fun outweighed the flaws. But now I’m putting that to the ultimate test by actually living with a T-Roc R.
The technical highlights of the car are the same 296bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, four-wheel drive system and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that you get in the Golf R hot hatch. Meanwhile, visual changes over lesser T-Roc’s include 19in alloy wheels, an enlarged rear spoiler, beefier looking bumpers and quad exhausts.
The interior has also been modified, gaining a pair of figure-hugging front sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a good few ‘R’ emblems. And there’s a long list of standard equipment, with bright LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and an 8.0in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring all fitted.
True, that screen is actually quite small by modern standards; the latest Golf’s is 10.0in, for example. However, I find the T-Roc’s easier to use, because its menus are simpler and there’s a rotary knob for scrolling up and down lists.