It’s a cold 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 24 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 level 115np petrol for €24,750. 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 6.5inch ‘Composition Colour’ headunit with Bluetooth and USB ports.
The next model on the pricing walk is the €26,995 Design spec which comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch glass 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 range topping Sport models, which comes with sports seats, 17-inch alloys wheels, LED headlights and privacy glass in the rear. We had the wonderful 4Motion 2.0 litre diesel mated to a DSG gearbox which brings the price up to €34,795 but you can have the same spec with a manual 150hp 1.5TSI petrol for €29,750.
Our all-wheel drive version of the Volkswagen T-Roc has 4MOTION Active Control that would really come into its own if we had a winter like last year. This system is operated via 4MOTION Active Control on the centre console. You can basically use it to activate four higher-level modes and various pop-up menus. You can turn left for Street’ and ‘Snow’ mode or turn it right the two off-road modes ‘Offroad’ or ‘Offroad Individual’. 4MOTION Active Control seeks the optimal grip levels within seconds to help you when needed.
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 150hp diesel / DSG combination which can propel you to 100km/h in just 8.4 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 glass-faced eight-inch touch screen infotainment system is within easy reach. There is 392 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!
Engine Size – 2.0 TDI
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 150hp
Torque – 340Nm
Acceleration (0-100km/h) -8.4 seconds
Top Speed – 200 km/h
Consumption (Combined) – 5.1L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 134g/km
Road Tax – €280
Base Price – €24,750
Price as Tested – €42,996