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Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0 TSI 115PS 6-speed manual

T-Roc Design 1.0 TSI 115PS 6-speed manual

  • P11D Value/BIK Band:  £20,910/22%
  • 5-door, 5-seater SUV
  • 115ps/200Nm, 1.0-litre 3cyl petrol/manual
  • Economy (comb)/C02: 55.4 mpg/117g/km
  • Performance: 10.1sec/116mph

What is it:

Volkswagen, late to the booming compact SUV race, is now making up for lost time with this funky, Golf-based T-Roc and we try the Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0 TSI 115PS 6-speed manual.

Sitting below the Tiguan in the VW line-up but above the upcoming, Polo derived T-Cross (launching in 2018), the T-Roc takes to the road as VW’s first ever compact crossover.

Personalization, roominess and of course all the tried-and-tested rationality that comes with the Golf nameplate make up key parts of the T-Roc package. Broadly speaking, if you want a Golf that sits a bit higher and packs more image and urban kerb appeal, this is your car.

At launch, there’s a multitude of T-Roc variations to pick your way through. Eventually, there will be six petrol engines and four diesels (the range is launching in waves) but the best seller is expected to be this 1.0-litre petrol T-Roc, with 6-speed manual box, 115 ps and SE trim level.

We’re looking at a T-Roc one spec higher, however. That means the Design trim level (above S and SE but below SEL) which hits the road with a P11D number of £20,910.

So, all to play for, but the big question, does T-Roc make the grade as a company car?

What’s hot:

T-Roc Design 1.0 TSI 115PS 6-speed manual

Modern cockpit dispay in the T-Roc Design

  • T-Roc kicks off with a fresh and fashionable image yet below the skin we find the latest Golf platform and familiar VW engine range in play. Thus, everything the business community knows and respects about the Golf comes to bear. That’s a good start.
  • You want personalisation? Try four roof colours, 11 exterior plus a further nine alloy wheel colour options, and that’s just for openers. Inside, there are three customizable dashboard packs (orange, blue, yellow), plus an optional Sport pack (sports seats etc) if you want to liven up the ambience still further.
  • Space: T-Roc is a full, Golf-style five-seater and its 445-litre luggage bay is claimed to be one of the largest in its class. Fold the rear seats down flat and carry space zooms handily up to 1290 litres. You lose some of this with VW’s 4MOTION 4WD system on board, but that’s not available with this 1.0-litre engine spec.
  • VW UK expects 80% of T-Roc sales to be petrol and 90% front-wheel-drive so this 1.0-litre TSI T-Roc lands right in the market sweet spot. At the time of writing, you need to go up to 2.0-litres (petrol or diesel) to get 4MOTION all-wheel-drive, right at the top of the range, for extra traction and light off-roading.
  • Over this 1.0-litre, you can up the ante with a 1.5-litre petrol T-Roc. The 1.5 has an extra 35 ps and is obviously quicker. However, this three cylinder 1.0 is cheaper, also to tax and run, and in reality, maybe all you need with everyday driving. It’s punchy, super refined and responsive, definitely one of the best three cylinder units around.
  • VW has also put a lot of work into dynamics. T-Roc proves to be really well balanced, agile and, yes, fun through corners. Excellent steering feel and response is a further plus. On the motorway, it’s smooth, stable, unfussed, easy to drive, so a pleasing, rounded package.
  • The cabin looks and feels a quality item and spec levels are high. This Design trim brings a suite of safety systems, including Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, City Emergency braking and Predictive Pedestrian Protection as factory standard.
  • In the dash centre, there’s a wide, classy looking interactive display with 8.0 inch touch screen control system for sat/nav, CD and digital radio functions and VW’s Media Control, allowing remote control of the car’s infotainment system via tablet or smartphone. Or you can upgrade to a 10.3 inch TFT display with this Design grade.
T-Roc Design 1.0 TSI 115PS 6-speed manual

Loadbay expands to class-leading 1290 litres with the rear seats folded

What’s Not:

  • True, the T-Roc comes with a honey of a 6-speed manual box, which is precise and a delight to use. However, you need to use the box a fair amount to keep this 1.0-litre T-Roc on the boil and upper ratios are high so day-to-day, you’ll find you’ll barely get out of fourth on many typical A-roads.
  • No auto as yet. You can find this appealing and frugal 1.0-litre turbo TSI engine combined with a 7-speed dual clutch DSG box in VW’s new Polo supermini series but not in the T-Roc, so far… so for now, a traditional three pedals it is.
  • The higher-spec T-Roc 1.5 petrol is more flexible and not that more expensive, also pretty close on claimed economy, too, so could perhaps be a better all-rounder.
  • Yes, there will be a 1.6 diesel version of the T-Roc which could perhaps suit UK business buyers better, but no official data on that just yet.

Verdict on Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.0 TSI 115PS 6-speed manual:

VW is on the pace with T-Roc which debuts as a smart, comfortable, well-resolved new age SUV contestant that could well make life interesting for the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and SEAT Ateca.

All the traditional Golf plusses are there: sophistication, rationality, quality and an apparent air of indomitability, but now updated with a new, expressive dash of SUV street style.

Truth be told, VW sees T-Roc as mostly a retail proposition but we can see business buyers taking to it whether it’s in this 1.0-litre petrol spec, or not.

And how about leasing? SME owners can expect to lease this VW T-Roc for around £238 + VAT per month on a 24-month rental agreement.

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