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VW’s best-seller – T-Roc Life review

The three cylinder 1.0 engine is not only the cheapest in the range to buy, it is also cheaper 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. The entry-level petrol engine certainly offers sufficient power and is definitely worth considering to keep costs down.
vw t roc 2022 front static

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11 April 2023

What is it?

It’s Volkswagen’s compact SUV, first launched around five years ago – later than many rivals in this competitive segment, but it has made up for lost time and is now a top-seller for the VW brand in the UK.

There are a few trims in the T-Roc line up, including a proper four-seat convertible at a reasonable price, and with the soft top Golf now discontinued, it’s is now the brand’s only rag top.

There are not many proper four-seat convertibles at a reasonable price around either and those that are cheaper are not really credible for travelling four-up – unless you have (very) young children in the back seats.

It is pretty much what it says on the tin in that the tin roof has been replaced by an electronically-operated fabric roof. It has two doors and retains a decent level of rear hatchback practicality with 161 litres of loadspace.

However, the model we have recently tried is the entry level T-Roc Life 1.0-litre TSI 110 PS 6spd manual 5dr. At £24,240 it’s the best priced model in the range, although there are cheaper rivals around.

 

What do we think?

Firstly, and most important, you get space. The 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 the 1.0-litre engine spec.

The three cylinder 1.0 engine is not only the cheapest in the range to buy, it is also cheaper 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.

The entry-level petrol engine certainly offers sufficient power and is definitely worth considering to keep costs down. The three-cylinder engine produces 109bhp and will sprint from 0-62mph in 10.8sec, which is perfectly respectable. Better still, it has plenty of low-down torque and doesn’t struggle when accelerating up to motorway speeds.

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.

vw t roc 2022 dash

The cabin looks and feels a quality item and spec levels are high. There is a suite of safety systems, including Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, City Emergency braking and Predictive Pedestrian Protection as factory standard.

Standard equipment also includes 16in alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, automatic front windscreen wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, two-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, adjustable lumbar support, an 8.0in digital driver display and a 6.25in touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, DAB radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

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.

The 6-speed manual gearbox is an absolute delight, precise and a easy to use although you need work the box a fair amount to keep the 1.0-litre on the boil and upper ratios are high so you’ll need the lower ones on the hills.

troc 2017 874 rear 615x461 1VW is certainly on the pace with T-Roc which is a smart, comfortable, well-resolved SUV.  Many of the traditional Volkswagen plusses are there: sophistication, rationality, quality and an apparent air of indomitability, but now updated with a new, expressive dash of SUV street style.

While the manufacturer sees T-Roc as mostly a retail proposition, there is general appeal for  business buyers, particularly with the relatively good BiK rating for the entry model. It remains a good buy and is still one of the most comfortable cars in the class and its spacious interior and big boot will appeal to families

How about leasing? SME owners can expect to lease this VW T-Roc Life for around £237 (including VAT) per month on a 24-month agreement.

T-Roc Life 1.0-litre TSI 110 PS 6spd manual 5dr

P11D Value:    £25,925

Engine:             1.0-litre, 3 cylinder petrol

Max power:    11hp

Max Torque:  200Nm

Top Speed:      115mph

0-62mph:        10.8 secs

Fuel econ:        47.8

CO2:                   136g/km

BiK:                      32% (20% tax band)

 

 

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Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to Justauto.com

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