Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
It’s a cool September morning and I need to be just outside Belfast from Kildare within a couple of hours. Normally this drive on the motorway isn’t particularly interesting but as I have just collected Volkswagen’s latest baby Crossover, I’m actually looking forward to the spin. The new T-Roc is a handsome little thing and buyers are spoilt for choices with so many colour combinations and various wheel choices. When you visit your local dealer you will find three trim levels available which kick off with the entry ‘Life’ trim powered by a 115np petrol for €31,705. This model is powered but the 1.0 litre TSI engine, which shouldn’t be frowned upon until you try it. Lets just say it punches well above its weight. In terms of spec you get climatronic two-zone air-con and a standard Digital Cockpit relaying all the information relevant to you on the 8-inch colour display with slick graphics. By using the multifunction steering wheel, you can therefore conveniently access functions such as audio, telephone or assist systems via the instrument cluster while driving.
The next model on the pricing walk is the Style spec priced at €33,850 which comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen ‘Composition Media’ head unit with voice activation and Apple CarPlay along with a good dose of chrome should that tickle your fancy. Our test vehicle was the super cool R-Line model, which comes with sports seats, 17-inch alloys wheels, LED headlights and privacy glass in the rear. We had the wonderful 2.0 litre diesel mated to a DSG gearbox which brings the price up to €41,385 but you can have the same spec with a manual 110hp 1.0TSI petrol for €34,705. With a 10.25-inch high-resolution display, it offers a wide range of options for individual configuration and additional displays, such as a navigation map display directly behind the steering wheel.
Something else very noticeable is the quality from the new LED lighting. It doesn’t matter if you’re out and about during the day or night or in bad weather, the IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights, optionally available from the T-Roc Style equipment line upwards, give incredible visibility. While Dynamic Light Assist helps to predictively illuminate winding roads and ensures that oncoming traffic is not dazzled even when the main beam headlights are active, the individual LED segments of the high-tech light system ensure better light distribution by specific activation and deactivation depending on the driving situation. This not only increases your safety, but also that of other road users. We have seen and tested this technology on other vehicles but usually on cars twice the price!
Aside from the engines powering the above models we should also mention the Volkswagen T-Roc R is also available on Irish shores. With 300 horsepower and 400Nm of torque from the 2.0-litre TSI engine, the T-Roc R accelerates from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 250 km/h on the Autobahn of course!. The T-Roc R is every bit the R model, following on from the much-loved Golf R it features many of the styling cues of its performance sibling, with bumpers in R styling, air intakes with black fins and R logo in the black radiator grille. This is the full fat version and perhaps not for the vast majority! If you do like an odd track day coupled with the practicality the T-Roc offers then perhaps this is the beast for you!
The T-Roc performs well in the safety stakes earning a five-star crash safety rating from independent expert body Euro NCAP. With a generous list of crash-avoidance technologies you are in good hands in the unlikely event of an impact. All models have autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, emergency brake assist, lane assist and a plethora of airbags throughout. Now mandatory features such as anti-lock brakes and traction control are fitted along with a warning sound if any doors are left ajar when you take off or fail to put a seat belt on.
Aside from the outright purchase prices mentioned in the article already, VW also offer competitive PCP Finance from 5.9% APR. This allows you to enjoy low monthly payments and good flexibility from Volkswagen Financial Services. The new T-Roc Life is available with PCP Finance from 5.9% APR. Including a 3 Year Volkswagen Service Plan. This ensures all your routine servicing costs, for both parts and labour are fixed over a period of time. They include all the standard items recommended by Volkswagen such as mandatory service parts including oil filters, pollen filters, high quality lubricants and brake fluid changes. A 3 Year service plan is included as part of your monthly rate, at a reduced rate of €12.99 per month.
So what is the new T-Roc like to drive? Well the first thing I noticed when behind the wheel was the similarities to the Audi Q2, which is built on the same platform. In fact the (MQB) platform also spawns the Skoda Kodiaq and SEAT Ateca but I would argue that the T-Roc is the best looking in this Crossover family. Pulling out onto the motorway and sinking the go pedal gives you a feeling of quality as the gearbox seamlessly engages a gear to match your engine revs. As good as the two petrol options are, its hard to beat the diesel / DSG combination which can propel you to 100km/h in 10.4 seconds.
On the motorway with the cruise control set, we found time to engage more with the interior and what it has to offer. The seating position is good with great visibility all round and the modern touch screen infotainment system is within easy reach. There is 445 litres of boot space and four adults can travel comfortable with ample headroom all round. Coming off the motorway and onto some more challenging B roads the T-Roc stacks up well with little of no body roll and a smooth ride over uneven surfaces even on the 17-inch alloys.
Buyers for this particular car will no doubt be considering all the options. The Opel Mokka, Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman and BMW’s new X1 will all offer good alternative options to the T-Roc or its VW group siblings. The T-Roc is not the cheapest but nor is it the most expensive in this category and in our opinion you pay for what you get. In the looks department it has all but perhaps the BMW X1 beaten but to drive, it is second to none. As our journey to Belfast came to an end we couldn’t help but wonder what offers a better drive in this category at this price point? The choice is yours but be sure to have a test drive!
Supply issues right now!
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